Flea and ticks are common external parasites of cats. At best, these pests are a nuisance. At worst, they cause significant health problems in pets and people. Our climate in Nova Scotia allows fleas and ticks to live almost year-round, hence our belief that pets should now be protected year-round. In addition to causing mild to severe skin irritation, fleas and ticks can be the source of other problems that are detrimental to the health of your cat. A flea infestation can also be very time consuming and costly to get rid of.
At Avon Animal Hospital, we promote the prevention of fleas and ticks for our patients through the use of very safe, effective and easy-to-administer products. Please call us if you have questions about what products are best for your kitty.
How do I know if my cat has fleas?
Fleas are very small insects that move very fast. A small number of fleas may not be detectable just by looking for them on the cat or in its environment. Often, behavioural changes in your cat will be the only evidence of an infestation. If your cat appears more restless, is scratching or grooming more or is shaking their head often, there may be a flea problem in your household. When the numbers of fleas increase, it becomes easier to see the flea dirt, eggs and live fleas on your pet. Remember, not every cat who has fleas will scratch, and not every cat who scratches has fleas.
Do fleas harm cats?
Fleas can cause a lot of skin diseases in cats ranging from mild irritation to severe dermatitis due to an allergic reaction to the flea bite. Additionally, fleas have the potential to pass parasites to your cat. Severe flea infestations can result in anemia, and this can be very debilitating or even life-threatening, especially to very small kittens.
Why is treating and preventing fleas so important?
Did you know an adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day? Another interesting fact is that adult fleas you see represent only about 5% of the flea population. When you see fleas, you are dealing with a much bigger problem of eggs, larvae and pupa in your home.
Successfully ridding your cat and home of fleas can take many months. The statement, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is very applicable here. Being proactive about flea prevention will save your cat a lot of discomfort and potentially more concerning health issues, and for you, a lot of work and unnecessary expenses.
What are some simple steps for treating fleas in your senior cat?
There are several options for treating fleas that are very safe for your senior cat. Please give us a call to discuss which option is best suited for your animal.