Did you know that a flea can jump to over a foot in just one leap? Well, so much for that trivia, but this seemingly trivial information explains a lot of things. It explains for instance why these tiny little creatures manage to find their way to your bed, the drapes, the walls of your house, and of course, your cats.
Cat fleas are parasites that commonly infest cats and other furry animals. They scurry through these animals’ fur and feed on their blood. Fleas on cats can cause painful itching, which would naturally result in your cat scratching itself raw just to find some relief. If that is enough reason for wanting flea control for cats, then you may want to know that fleas can infest humans, too.
The first step in controlling cat fleas is to determine whether there is a flee infestation in the first place. Only when you know for certain that your cats have fleas would you be able to take the appropriate course of action.
Why Cat Fleas Are A Problem
Aside from the obvious (that fleas drink your pet’s blood), fleas cats are carriers of various illnesses and diseases. Some of the more common illnesses that are transmitted to your pet through fleas are listed as follows:
This often occurs if the flea infestation goes for a long time unchecked. The loss of blood from the cat fleas is a huge contributory factor. Sometimes, the anemia may be fatal, especially in kittens. Check for pale gums as these are red flags of anemia.
Tapeworms may be transmitted through a flea bite. The likelihood of your cat having tapeworms because he or she has fleas increases if he or she is a kitten. That is why when you treat your cat for fleas, be sure to go all the way and treat him or her for tapeworms as well.
This condition is similar to anemia in that it proceeds from blood loss. However, haemobartonellosis has usually more serious repercussions than simple anemia. The disease is caused by a microorganism carried by cat fleas. If you suspect that your cat may have this condition, get him or her tested immediately. Treatment for haemobartonellosis includes steroids and antibiotics although in severe cases, resort may be had from blood transfusions.
Observations involve more than just watching for any visual signs of cat fleas. In fact, what you need is to make a thorough inspection or examination of the entire household, not just your cat.
Cats fleas love to hide in the carpeting so be sure to check there. You can usually tell whether your cat has a flea problem by persistent scratching. Or, you could take a comb and gently run it through your cat’s hair. If dark speckles appear on the comb, then that is a sure sign that your cat has fleas. The dark speckles, commonly referred to as “flea dirt,” are actually flea excrement.
Getting Rid Of Cat Fleas
If you know for a fact that your house is infested with fleas, the next step is to get rid of these parasites. How? You start with the eggs.
Wash all bedding thoroughly. Remember how fleas can jump to up to a foot? This neat little trick they can do is how they end up in your cats bedding. Be sure to clean and wash all bedding. Go out on a limb and vacuum the mattress, too, paying particular attention to crevices where cat fleas have laid their eggs.
Dispose of your vacuum bags. That way, the cat fleas can’t go back and start laying eggs around the place again. Then, to make sure that you didn’t miss anything, steam-clean the carpeting. This will kill off any flea that was left from your vacuuming.