Just like dogs, cats are also infested by fleas and ticks. These small adorable creatures can’t bear the pain and irritation caused by fleas, ticks, lice and other insects. It is easy to spot fleas on cats because of the short coat. Once you find about parasite infestation, you need to start shopping for cat flea and tick control products.
What are Fleas:
Fleas are shiny dark brown parasites about 1/12 inches long, covered in small spines. They have a mouth with protruding piercers and 6 powerful legs used for jumping long distances. Their preferred hosts are cats and dogs.
What are Ticks:
Ticks are members of the arachnid family, not insects, like spiders or scorpions. Like all arachnids, ticks have four pairs of legs and no antennae. A defining feature of ticks is that they are parasites. They eat by attaching to another living creature and slowly sucking its blood. Once attached, they can feed from a host for several days at a time.
Information on Cat Fleas and Effective Cat Fleas Treatment
Whether you are a new or an experienced cat owner, you should always be ready to battle with cat fleas. If your pet and entire household is sorely in a battle with a flea infestation, the best thing to do is to perform serious and effective action. However, before getting your gears ready for an effective cat fleas treatment, it’s important that you know the fleas life cycle and nature.
The Beginning of Cat Fleas Treatment – Know thy Enemies
Cat fleas are the most widespread flea specie on Earth, and as we all know, they plague the domestic cat. They do infest dogs and humans, though the latter are not considered regular hosts.
Unlike other parasites, only a certain percentage of adult fleas stay in the warm body of the host. Most of the flea population is staying in your pet’s environment, which is your home.
To understand better, here is an explanation on flea reproduction and their life cycle:
Adult fleas feed on the blood of their host. Within 36 – 48 hours of the first feeding, an adult female flea can lay its first egg and the succeeding eggs in an interval of approximately one hour.
Within 24 hours, the adult flea can lay 20 to 30 eggs.
The eggs are not sticky and easily fall off the host’s body when your pet scratches, jumps, or moves. These eggs look like white specks, much like smooth and tiny rock salt.
Eggs can hatch within 1-10 days, depending on environmental conditions. The hotter the temperature, the faster the eggs will hatch. Fewer eggs hatch in lower temperatures.
When the eggs hatch, they enter the larvae stage where they look like minuscule maggots. Flea larvae feed on dead skin, flea excrement left by adult fleas, and food debris.
In approximately 7-18 days, the flea larvae create a cocoon and enter the pupae stage. In 7-10 days, the larvae develop into adult fleas. During this stage, the pupae are resilient to insecticides and are virtually undetected.
Once they emerge as adult fleas, they begin feeding and the cycle starts again.
Types of cat fleas treatment
There are numerous cat fleas treatment options in the market:
This cat fleas treatment is not very effective as it can only remove 10 to 50% of adult fleas. However, it is a good first step in knowing if your cat indeed is infected with fleas. Use this cat fleas treatment along with a basin or container with hot water where you can drown the fleas after being combed out the fine-tooth flea comb.
Like the flea comb, this cat fleas treatment does not eliminate the majority of fleas preying your pet. It is considered unhealthy as a cat flea treatment as it dries the coat of the pet and can induce respiratory distress and certain allergies to your pet.
It does eliminate fleas around the cat’s neck but it is not a very effective cat fleas treatment for the whole body. The collar can also cause fur loss around the neck. If you don’t want to use this cat fleas treatment directly on your cat, place it inside the vacuum bag whenever you are clearing the area of fleas.
This traditional cat fleas treatment is an inconvenient tool for the pet owner as well as a resentful cat fleas treatment for your cat. It does kill adult fleas as it contains insecticides. Some stronger variety of cat fleas treatment shampoo can also kill eggs. However, the effect is temporary and will last only for a day.
This monthly cat fleas treatment is added on the cat food to be absorbed by the pet’s bloodstream. When adult fleas bite your cat, they ingest the active ingredient, pass it to their eggs, and then prevent the eggs from hatching. This cat fleas treatment is effective on slowing flea multiplication. However, the environment must be kept free from fleas or untreated adult fleas can still reproduce.
Topical Cat Fleas Treatment
This cat fleas treatment is in liquid form and administered at the shoulder of the cat. The liquid is dispersed within minutes. This is a very effective cat fleas treatment as it can kill all adult fleas on your pet. Topical creams are generally applied once a month.
What to Do After Cat Fleas Treatment Application?
If you have multiple pets, separate them during the cat fleas treatment to prevent them from grooming each other. Some cat fleas treatment need time to dissipate on the animals’ body.
After cat fleas treatment, monitor your pet for side effects especially if your pet is being treated for the first time.
If your pet experiences a bad reaction on a certain cat fleas treatment, immediately wash your pet with lukewarm water and mild soap to eliminate the product on your pet’s coat. Contact your pet’s veterinarian if your pet shows weakness or becomes sick after the cat fleas treatment application..
Wash your hands thoroughly after the cat fleas treatment. You can also use gloves in applying the product.
Simple Home Remedies to Get Rid of Cat Fleas
Even if your cat is scratching a lot or not, you can’t be entirely sure that your beloved pet is free from cat fleas.
Follow these simple tips to get rid of cat fleas:
Every 2-3 days, immerse your cat’s bedding in water and color safe bleach. Wash the bedding and hang outside to dry.
Clean surfaces and furniture your cat has access to. If your cat roams around freely inside the house and sleeps on surfaces like tables, shelves, and countertops, or even the sofa, always clean these surfaces and furniture.
Spray them with an anti-flea formula that contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR).
Vacuum the house daily. Go over the entire house and vacuum carpets, floors, and upholstery.
Vacuum your cat’s favorite spot at least twice a day. Dispose the vacuum cleaner bag immediately.
Cat fleas are a nuisance and can cause harm not only to your beloved pet, but to your home and health as well.
Nip the problem right in the bud before cat fleas spread to every corner in your home.
Ticks on Cats How to Remove and Prevent Them
Ticks are parasites. They feed on your cat’s blood.
Ticks can transmit a number of diseases to both your cats and you, your family, loved ones and not so loved ones.
A well known disease that ticks can transmit to humans is Lyme disease.
Cats are so low to the ground it is easy for them to pick up a tick or two on their adventures.
These ticks can dig in for the ride too. They stick their little heads under the skin to suck the blood for nourishment.
The ticks on cats can be a problem though that has to be dealt with.
These ticks will have to be removed for the health of the cat. You see ticks are great at spreading diseases.
Lyme Disease in Cats
One disease they can spread is Lyme disease. If a tick is allowed to be on the cat too long it can develop this disease. This is a bacterial infection given to the cat by the ticks.
Luckily you can’t catch this disease from your cat only from the ticks.
See the ticks get on wild animals like deer and mice that have the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, which cause the Lyme disease.
Then the ticks have a nice meal of blood from these animals. The ticks then jump onto the cat and bite it. This gives the cat Lyme disease.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease in a Cat
You need to look for the following symptoms in cat when they have this disease: lameness, arthritis, joint swelling and pain, lack of appetite, fever, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, dehydration, and in real severe case kidney failure could occur.
So you can see why it is so important to remove any ticks from your cat quickly. If you have not done this before you are probably wondering how to get these clingy creatures off safely.
Removing Ticks from a Cat
Now if you are too squeamish to remove the tick yourself you can make a trip to the veterinarian to get it removed.
This could cost you some money though that you may not want to spend. Instead grab your plastic gloves and your tweezers. You grab the tick on its head right at the skin of the cat.
Gently pull to extract the tick from the skin. You don’t want to pop the tick’s body though this could cause bacteria to get into your cat’s system through their skin. Make sure to get all the head of the tick out too.
You can kill the tick by with a paper towel but not your bare fingers. Throw the tick in the trash afterwards. Remember do not touch the tick bare-handed at all.
If you do not want to go through this removal process all the time do something to prevent the ticks from getting on your cat.
You can use preventatives from topically-applied ones to collars. Just make sure all these products are made just for cats. These will keep the ticks and fleas at bay.
Also if your yard is a source of ticks you may want to treat your yard with a preventative safe for cats. You can protect your home by treating it too. Just make sure your cat is not present at the time.
The ticks on cats can be a problem but hopefully now you understand how to handle it better now.
DIY Solutions for Cat Fleas and Ticks
One of the best opportunities to find those itchy fleas and clingy ticks is when you are brushing your cat.
If your cat is a free roamer and spends a lot of time outdoors then he will probably pick up quite a few ticks along the way.
Once you find these parasites during your brushing procedure, they can be removed by a little dab of special tick fluid (which can be found in most pet stores) or for a home remedy you can use salad oil.
After you have applied the liquid then twist the parasite carefully with a pair of tweezers.
Instead of tweezers you may also use a pair of “tick pliers” (these can also be found in most pet stores).
Be very cautious about not leaving the head of the tick still embedded within your cat’s skin. This will lead to major irritations and possibly infection.
Ticks may be picked up less frequently than fleas will so it is best to always be on the lookout for fleas within your cat’s fur.
Fleas must be combated on a regular basis (especially for outdoor cats).
Fleas are major carriers of worm eggs and diseases and they are the toughest parasites to get rid of over the long term.
If your cat does have a problem with fleas then it is best to go directly to your veterinarian. He will have a choice of products for you to choose from.
These flea treatment products may come in the form of soaps, sprays, sticks, powders, and dips.
Your veterinarian will also lay out a treatment procedure for your cat to follow as well as a worm check.