It is important to know if your cat is affected by fleas and take the appropriate action to help control flea infestation. Don't assume that indoor cats do not have fleas since they have no contact to the outdoors, since fleas can get into a house through many ways. |
A couple of fleas on a cat may easily translate in hundreds within a small period of time. Inspection is the first element for protecting cat against fleas. There are several ways to detect if your cat has fleas. Check out this article for more information.
Fleas can cause your cat to itch, bite and scratch aggressively and excessively. Fleas are very hardy insects, they have a hard body that resists well to pressure, a survival feature that protects them to withstand the long nails of a cat scratching!
Ways to Detect Their Presence
Scratching may be an obvious sign of fleas in cats, but alone it cannot be absolute proof of fleas because there are many other skin conditions that may cause a cat to itch and scratch. Therefore, to diagnose the presence of fleas in cats, owners should rely on other signs.
The constant scratching will often produce several crusty bumps which owners may detect by petting their cat carefully. Often such bumps are produced as a skin reaction to the fleas' saliva known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Such bumps are more easily detected in short haired cats.
Severely infested kittens may have so many fleas that they can get anemic from too much blood loss. When this occurs, kittens are covered in fleas, will appear lethargic and exhibit pale gums. Very young kittens may need the fleas removed with a good flea comb, because most topicals can be applied only to kittens over 8 weeks old (read lable carefully).
Presence of Flea Dirt
Fleas deposit feces on the cat, something often seen resembling dirt on the cat. Such dirt is easily visible on light colored cats and presents as little black specks. The est way to confirm that such debris is actually flea dirt is by performing an easy test.
Presence of Tapeworms
Tapeworm segments which resemble rice can be found in the cat's rectal area or in areas the cat likes to sleep. Fleas act as vectors for tapewore, in other words, a cat gets tapeworms when it ingests an infected flea, therefore tapeworms are proof of a flea infestation.
Tapeworms are treated by giving tapeworm dewormers and getting rid of fleas which cause tapeworm in the first place.
Don't fret, there are flea products out there that do work, but most of them are prescription products where you will need to consult a vet before getting it.
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