Fleas are small wingless jumping insects which feed on the blood of mammals and birds.
Fleas are one of the most common parasites that affect cats. Outdoor cats come into contact with these parasites more often. But even indoor cats can get them if the parasites hitch a ride into your home. You can carry a flea into your home without even knowing, other pets can carry them. They are parasites that cause itching and can carry diseases.
Sometimes is hard to tell if your cat has them as they are fast moving and and they are tiny. So how do you know if your cat has fleas? There are a few signs that can indicate if your cat has these parasites like: the cat is restless and doing more scratching or chewing on certain areas of her body, the cat grooming herself excessively, the cat becomes more agitated then usual and her energy is lower than usual.
If you suspect that your cat might have fleas you should check on her.
How? First of all take a white towel and place it under your cat. Check if fleas or flea dirt fall off your cat. Fleas dirt looks like tiny black dots. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the fleas directly on your cat. Especially if your cat has a dark color or if she has a long fur. Flea dirt can be spotted easily. If the cat has fleas you can also see on her skin red, irritated lesions or scabs. Also all the excessive scratching and grooming can lead to hair loss.
Why you shouldn’t let your cat have these unwanted parasites?
Not only that these little insects can make your cat feel very uncomfortable. They can also transmit diseases to cats.
Fleas can pass along a bacterial infection called Bartonella. Our furry friends can be hypersensitive to fleas’ saliva when they bite, causing a condition called flea allergy dermatitis and this is one of the most common causes of itchiness in cats. They can also cause anemia and anemia can be very dangerous especially for kittens who can even dye from a massive infestation with fleas. Fleas can also transmit the tape worm you your cat.
Watching this video will make you understand better how can fleas affect cats:
So now comes the biggest question: how do we get rid of fleas on cats?
Some people try to find natural and home made remedies against fleas. And this is wrong. The internet is full of all kind of home remedies against fleas that can not only put your cat’s life in danger, but that are totally ineffective against fleas. Here is a list of this remedies and why you shouldn’t use them on your cat:
Lemons – never put any kind of lemon juice on your cat’s fur! All citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, limes and lemons) are toxic to cats. Consider every part of the fruit, from the seeds to the fruit and skin, to be toxic or even potentially deadly for your cat.
Spices – never put spices on your cat’s fur! You can poison your cat without even knowing. Oregano essential oil is toxic to cats. It is high in both phenols and terpenoids, which cats can not properly digest due to a lack of glucuronyl transferase digestive enzymes in the liver. This can result in a toxic reaction and permanent liver damage to the cat. This apply to other essential oils too! So always keep your cats away from any kind of essential oil!
Apple cider vinegar – when apple cider is diluted it won’t kill your cat. But some cats may have allergies to it, which may lead to itching and rashes. Cats hate the smell of vinegar, so you would cause your cat under a huge stress putting her under such an uncomfortable situation. And apple cider vinegar won’t work against fleas.
Lavender and Chamomile – lavender plant itself is not toxic to your cat but formulations from the plant can be. If the cat eats some lavender she may suffer only an upset stomach, but on the other hand, lavender essential oil can be deadly for your pet because of its concentration. And even if you dilute it, it can still be dangerous, so would you put your cat’s life in danger?
These are only a few of so called ‘natural remedies’ against fleas on cats that you might find on the internet. But despite the fact that they put your cat’s life in danger, they are not even efficient against fleas.
When it comes to fleas, if you really want to help your cat and to be sure you keep your cat healthy, always ask a veterinarian what is the best solution for your cat.
And the veterinarian will recommend you a spot-on that yes, is not naturally or home made, but at least is safe, it doesn’t put your cat’s life in danger and is efficient against fleas. This way you can protect end even prevent your cat to reinfest with these parasites for a certain period of time.
Spot-on flea products are made as liquids. The liquid is squeezed on the cat’s skin, in general between the shoulder blades or down the back. It is very important to read the package label and apply the product as directed, and at the time intervals listed on the label.
When you buy a spot-on for cats be sure that the product is specifically labeled for use on cats. Never treat a cat with a spot-on product labeled for use on dogs.