If you look at a flea under a microscope, this blood-sucking insect looks like a terrible monster. Paws covered with thorns are attached to the flat body for easy movement on wool. After all, the hind legs are mighty, which helps the flea jump as much as half a meter in length (it’s like a person jump 200 meters). There is an oral cavity on the flea’s small head, capable of biting through the rather hard hair of an animal. A real monster, you say. And you will be right. This article gives you full on information how flea treatment for cats.
Although due to its small size, the flea seems to be an invisible and harmless insect, in fact, this small midge is about 3 millimeters in length, but it can bring truly hellish torment to its owner. So if you notice in the fur of your cat or cat small brown insects with a flat body, gathering in groups near the ears (where the skin is softer), then this is undoubtedly they are – fleas.
Where do fleas come from in cats?
As it turned out, it’s just a myth that a domestic cat that doesn’t leave the apartment and doesn’t walk with street cats cannot become infected with fleas. In search of a victim, these parasites are quite capable of moving a long distance on their own, even feeding on raids, without using the animal. Therefore, it can be difficult for owners to detect if a cat has fleas.
The main reasons for the appearance of fleas in cats:
- from another infected animal;
- you could bring a flea from the street on your own clothes;
- from a neighbor’s apartment or basement, if you live in an old house or the neighbors do not handle their animals.
“Fleas in animals is a very relevant topic since most dermatological patients suffer precisely because of this problem. There is such a disease as atopic flea dermatitis (allergy to flea saliva). It occurs in many patients and manifests itself as dermatitis, itching.
This is also a problem because many owners believe fleas cannot be in their apartment or on their pet. Unfortunately, we do not live in sterile conditions. In residential buildings, especially if they are not new, fleas can live in basements, be in baseboards, and get out of the apartment entrance. Both a walking animal and an absolutely domestic animal can get infected “- Marina Mikheenko, a veterinarian.
Infection symptoms: Flea Treatment For Cats
Fleas in a cat cause characteristic symptoms, which are impossible not to notice:
- frequent scratching, or more intense than usual, licking the coat;
- restless sleep;
- the nervousness of behavior;
- loss of appetite.
If the disease is not treated, it can lead to the following consequences:
- exhaustion of the animal from lack of sleep and nervous excitement;
- the appearance of bald spots on the coat;
- the development of anemia (decrease in hemoglobin levels). This condition requires flea treatment for cats by a veterinarian;
- infestation with helminths;
- allergic dermatitis. Subsequently, the bubbles burst (by themselves or from scratching), and weeping areas form in their place. Over time, they dry out, scar, and form scales and crusts;
- secondary infection of wounds from scratching and, as a result, to inflammation, abscess, and even sepsis.
Fleas can appear in a cat, even if it does not go out on its own. Fleas can get on the animal when traveling by public transport when participating in exhibitions and competitions. After visiting such places, you should examine your cat to prevent the breeding of “uninvited guests.”
Also, the likely source of fleas entering the apartment and, accordingly, on the cat is the owner of the animal himself. A flea can jump on a person’s shoes or clothes on the street or in the entrance and thus get home.
If there are few fleas on the cat, then they may not be visually detected. You can check for parasites as follows:
- put the animal on a piece of white cloth (fleas on it, their excrement or eggs will be clearly visible);
- Take a special flea comb (with frequent teeth) and gently comb the animal’s fur from head to tail.
- You can tell dirt from excrement by placing unidentified black particles on a wet cloth.
What to do if a flea is found?: Flea Treatment For Cats
First, don’t panic. Parasitic insects are living organisms, which means they can be destroyed. For this purpose, special flea remedies for cats have been developed, which have been tested and successfully used in practice by millions of cat owners.
A short algorithm of actions if you find parasites on your pet or in an apartment (house):
- if there are few fleas, or your kitten is still tiny, then wash the animal with a special shampoo;
- with a large number of fleas, the shampoo may not be effective. More details on how to get rid of fleas from a cat – in the next section of this article;
- after antiparasitic treatment, it is necessary to carry out the room’s disinfestation (s) where the cat lives. You can find out how to do this in the last section of this article;
- the next step is to eliminate the damage to the animal’s health caused by fleas. It is possible to relieve the cat from itching and speed up wound healing with a Miramistin solution. This pharmaceutical agent disinfects wounds and has an anti-inflammatory effect, and can be purchased at your regular pharmacy. If you go to the veterinarian, he will prescribe an antihistamine. A visit to a doctor is also necessary if the wounds have begun to rot.
Flea treatment for cats
Flea remedy overview
Modern pharmaceuticals offer many effective means for insects’ extermination both directly on animals and in their living environment. Also, veterinarians recommend giving your cat an antihistamine daily to relieve itching. This should be done until the itching disappears completely. Next, let’s look at the various flea remedies for cats in a little more detail.
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Drops from parasites are the most effective remedy for getting rid of cat fleas. Drops scare away or kill insects, destroy pathogenic microflora, prevent re-infection. Because drops are a concentrated solution of various insecticides that are harmful to fleas but safe for cats.
The principle of drops: the substance, getting on the animal’s skin, is absorbed and accumulates in the sebaceous glands. Then, over a long time, the substance is gradually released from the glands and scares off parasites or affects their central nervous system, and they die. The effect on parasites occurs in the intestinal or contact way; that is, the substance is in the stomach of the insect or falls on the body’s surface. After that, an irreversible reaction begins, leading to the death of fleas in a cat.
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Benefits of using drops
- ease of use. Insect repellents are usually produced in the form of disposable pipettes. It is very convenient for application;
- duration of exposure. The drug should be used once every 2 to 3 months. The frequency of processing for each type of drops is different;
- the universality of action. Drops protect the cat not only from fleas but also from ticks and worms.
Bonus for the cat owner: there will never be fleas in the room where the animal treated with insecticides lives. Indoor parasites move to the cat’s body and then die.
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Rules for the flea treatment for cats
it would help if you broke off the tip on a pipette at a specially made risk;
- then one should push the fur on the withers of the animal with one hand and, with the other, squeeze a drop from the pipette onto the skin.
The amount applied depends on the age and weight of the pet. The dosage instructions are attached to any drops. The drugs are sold over-the-counter at veterinary pharmacies, clinics, and pet stores.
Experts note that the most popular drops are “Bravecto” (USA), “Stronghold” (Zoetis), “Vectra Felis” (France).
- flea drops for cats can cause an individual intolerance in an animal. Therefore, if an allergic reaction occurs, the cat should be washed immediately and then contact the veterinary clinic;
- you can treat a cat with flea drops not earlier than 2 days after bathing;
- after applying the drops, the animal cannot be washed for 2 days if the preparation is water-based, and within 5 days if it is oil-based;
- on the first day after treatment, when the applied substance is the most toxic, it is impossible to stroke the cat and let it near children;
- before removing fleas from cats, you must carefully read the instructions attached to the drops.
Flea collars for cats
Special repellent collars are impregnated with a smell that does not tolerate fleas, i.e., The agent is repellent (but not destroying insects). It can be either a natural repellent – an essential oil that is safe for cats’ health – or a small dose of a synthetic insecticide. For kittens and pregnant cats, collars with natural repellents should be used.
Experts recommend using collars as a prophylactic agent after fleas have already been removed from a cat with the help of more powerful insecticidal preparations or used as a means of complex therapy (i.e., drops + collar). Repellent collars scare away not only fleas but also lice, itch, and ixodid ticks.
The anti-flea collar lasts up to 8 months. It is effortless to use: fasten the collar around the cat’s neck and cut off the excess. There is a small “minus”: the coat under the collar is caking, and this is not suitable for cats that take part in exhibitions and competitions.
Collars popular with cat owners: “Bars” (AVZ), “Doctor Zoo,” “Bolfo” (Germany).
If the cat has scratches on the neck, you cannot use the collar. The active substance applied to it can get into the wound and cause a serious allergic reaction in the animal.
The shampoo is the mildest agent in the fight against blood-sucking insects. With the help of shampoo, you can get rid of fleas, even in pregnant cats.
Benefits of using shampoo for fleas in cats:
- affordable cost;
- ease of use;
- low toxicity;
- the possibility of using it for washing cats allergic to insecticides.
The shampoo can be dry. It must be applied without water and ordinary, which must be washed off the animal’s fur. When choosing a detergent, you should pay attention to which breeds of cats the flea shampoo is intended for long-haired, short-haired, or bald. The fact is that shampoo for small kittens and pregnant cats contains a minimum amount of toxic ingredients, and their concentration in the detergent for adult animals is much higher.
Experts recommend the following types of shampoos: “BIO-GROOM” (USA), “Bars” (AVZ), “Fitoelita” (Veda).
Flea shampoos for cats consist of three main components:
- components that create lather;
- substances that care for the hair of the animal. These are herbal decoctions, essential oils;
- Both synthetic substances (phenothrin, deltamethrin) and natural ones (pendrin in the Caucasian and Persian chamomile) are used.
How to remove fleas from a cat at home?
Fleas in a cat can be removed at home on their own or by visiting a veterinary clinic. In the clinic, the doctor will examine the animal, determine the lesion’s severity. Assess the individual clinical situation, and select the right method for removing insects.
Diagnosis of the presence of fleas is not difficult for an ordinary person, far from veterinary medicine. Therefore, the earlier the flea treatment for cats start, the more effective it will be. Parasites are very prolific, so it is unacceptable to postpone treatment “for later.”
Are cat fleas dangerous to humans?
Cat fleas do not live on humans, but they can bite them and transmit the causative agents of some serious diseases.
Among the most dangerous diseases that cause fleas of domestic cats to stand out:
- hepatitis – inflammatory liver damage;
- brucellosis – damage to many-body systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, nervous, etc.;
- encephalitis – inflammation of the brain substance;
- helminths – worms that parasitize in the body of animals and humans;
plague is a fatal disease (without treatment, it is fatal). It is sporadic in Russia, Italy, London. Those cat owners who take their pets to Central Asia, Africa, America should show concern. They need to know how to get rid of fleas from a cat as quickly and efficiently as possible.
It is also possible to introduce infection into combed bites. This can already lead to a more serious outcome – purulent inflammation of the skin and infection penetration into the bloodstream. This development of events is fraught with many dangerous diseases, including sepsis (blood poisoning).
Therefore, flea control is necessary to protect the cat from parasitic insects and preserve human health.
If the cat is domestic, then the direct removal of fleas on the animal’s body. It is necessary to carry out pest control in an apartment (private house). This is necessary so that the pet does not “pick up” fleas again.
Fleas of a domestic cat live in places where the animal spends most of its time: on upholstered furniture, on a litter, on window sills. If the apartment has a “warm floor” system in the bathroom or flushing toilet, then you should not forget about this place, which is cozy for cats and fleas.
How to carry out pest control yourself:
- wash the floor and window sills with bleach, wormwood decoction, or with special products sold for these purposes in the store. Attention! Chlorine is a substance hazardous to human health, so you should not use it if the family has small children, very elderly parents, or people suffering from any allergy or asthma;
- Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture, paying particular attention to creases and crevices between furniture pieces. Then you should treat all surfaces (and furniture cracks) with a rag dipped in wormwood broth or a special tool. You can use a cat flea spray to treat surfaces. When carrying out disinsection, it is necessary to take the children out of the house. And put on a respirator mask. So that the insecticide does not enter the respiratory tract;
- boil the bedding on which the animal usually sleeps, or replace it with a new one;
- wash all covers from beds, armchairs, sofas.
If, for some reason, it is not possible to carry out disinsection on your own. Then you should call specialists from the Sanitary and Epidemiological Station or any private company. I think you clearly understand flea treatment for cats.