An Expert’s Guide to Getting Rid of Fleas on Cats
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
A flea infestation on cats can be deadly for your furry and cute pet. Read on to learn how to get rid of fleas on cats here.
Pests are not only an annoyance to your home life but are also destructive to you and your pet’s wellbeing.
Fleas, in particular, were responsible for carrying the bacteria that caused the plague in the Middle Ages. While we’re past those times, we’re not past the times of dealing with the repercussions of having an infestation in our homes.
Keep reading to find out how to get rid of fleas on cats so that you can keep your pets and family safe.
What Are Fleas?
Aside from being a nuisance of an insect, fleas are parasites that feed on blood.
They are incredibly small (roughly 1/12 inch) and range from looking dark brown to reddish to black. They have six legs and instead of having wings, they have an incredible jumping capability.
There are over a thousand different species but the most common is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Unfortunately, all types of fleas live between 30 to 75 days throughout their life cycle from egg to adult, giving them plenty of time to reproduce and cause an infestation.
Cats tend to pick up fleas at places such as boarding kennels, groomers, and outside. That means that any cat can get fleas, even if they’re indoor pets.
Why Are They a Problem?
When fleas feed, they leave itchy bite wounds on their host. As a result, cats can develop sensitivities to them and have mild allergic reactions.
This leads to your cat scratching the bites excessively, which inflames the wounds and can lead to infection.
In more severe circumstances, fleas can carry tapeworm larva or cause your cat to become anemic. This is why it’s essential to take care of the problem as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms.
How Do You Identify Fleas?
Once you know what fleas look like and how they act, it’s easy to determine whether they are feeding on your pet.
First, you can see the tiny, adult fleas themselves. By brushing your cat, they will become dislodged and you will see them jumping around.
You may also see tiny specs on areas where your furry friend lounges. Black specs are the tiny feces of dried blood that fleas leave behind and white specs are unmatched eggs.
Oftentimes, you won’t even see these small suckers. Therefore, the best way to identify a flea problem is to look for signs and symptoms from your cat.
Your cat may have fleas if they:
- Groom excessively (i.e. constant licking)
- Have red bumps or scabs, especially on their back or neck
- Lose fur in patches
- Seem restless or irritable
- Shake their heads more than normal as if they are trying to get something off of them
If you see the fleas themselves or notice your cat acting funny, you should act quickly to get rid of them on your cat and in your home.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
To get rid of an infestation, there are two steps you must take: treating your cat and treating your home. While these suggestions are viable for treating them yourself, it’s always wise to consult professionals (i.e. veterinarians and pest control) to ensure you eradicate the issue.
Here’s a comprehensive list of what you can do to start the process.
Removing Fleas From Cats
Investing in a flea comb will help you detect and remove fleas easily. These are small-toothed combs that are able to catch the small parasites.
Once you detect fleas, you can dip the comb into a mixture of safe dish soap, such as Dawn, and water. Then, you thoroughly brush your cat to remove eggs and fleas. Be sure to have a trash bag nearby to remove the build-up in the brush throughout the process.
If your cat can stand it, give them a bath with medicinal flea shampoo. In the case that they are already on flea medication, you should skip this suggestion, as mixing medications is never a good idea. Most cats don’t like water, so you may want to schedule an appointment at the vet or a groomer to get the job done.
After you’ve removed the eggs and fleas, you should get to a vet as soon as possible. They can give your cat same-day treatment to kill any remaining fleas and prescribe you preventative medication.
Removing Fleas From Your Home
Once fleas are in your vicinity, they can spread all over your home. This is due to the fact that fleas lay their eggs on their host, which tend to fall off onto carpet and couches.
To remove them from your home, clean and wash all of the bedding and blankets with warm water. Treat your furniture and carpets with a steam cleaning, a safe chemical spray, or a specialized powder. Be sure to follow instructions on any products that you use.
Then, vacuum your entire home, tile and all. Immediately discard the vacuum bag into your outside trash.
This article gives more in-depth tips on how to get rid of fleas in your house so that they don’t harm your family or pets anymore. Keep in mind that you may need to enlist professionals to treat outdoor areas where your cat hangs out.
After you’ve taken care of the infestation, it’s important to start flea prevention to deter these pests from entering your home again.
Put your cat on preventative flea medication or have them wear a flea collar. Every week, use the flea comb to make sure that your cat’s fur is clean and clear.
As for your home, be sure to deep clean regularly and always discard the vacuum bag and other cleaning materials as soon as you’re done.
If Your Cat Has Fleas, Act Quickly
Now that you know how to get rid of fleas on cats, you can act accordingly to maintain your loved one’s health.
Don’t hesitate to call us today for professional flea removal so that you can be certain you’re exterminating the issue.