Cat Flea and Tick Control
As much as we all love the warmer months in Nova Scotia, unfortunately, it is accompanied by the emergence of fleas. It is crucial for your cat to be on monthly flea prevention to avoid a flea infestation. The adult fleas that are visible on your cat represent only 5% of the infestation. One flea can lay up to 50 eggs on your cat in a single day. During the pupae stage of development, fleas can lay dormant in carpets and on fabrics for up to 6 months! Warmer temperatures, vibrations from movement, light, and carbon dioxide can cause them to hatch. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk for flea infestations, but indoor cats can develop infestations as well. Over the counter flea medications found in pet stores and grocery stores are not recommended, as they contain pesticides that may be harmful to your cat. Please contact our hospital today to discuss safe and simple products that you can use for flea prevention in your cat.
What are fleas?
Fleas are external parasites that feed off of the blood and skin of your cat. Cats can acquire fleas from their environment or contact with other animals. Fleas are dark brown or black and are typically about 1-3 mm long. They can feed on people as well, but we are not their first choice in a host. Please contact us if you think your cat may have fleas, so we can select the appropriate medication to help eradicate the flea infestation while keeping your cat safe.
How do fleas harm the cats?
Fleas must take a blood meal from a cat to survive. The flea saliva secreted during the act of feeding creates a reaction in your cat’s skin, causing them to itch. Itching is the most common sign of a flea infestation in cats. Some cats have severe allergic reactions to the protein in the flea saliva causing secondary skin issues (i.e. severe itching, hair loss, scabs). Fleas also have the potential to transmit tapeworm to your cat by acting as an intermediate host. By ingesting a flea during grooming, your cat can ingest the tapeworm larvae living within the flea. If a flea infestation is significant, it can also cause your cat to become anemic. A large number of fleas taking blood meals from your cat can cause them to become extremely ill. Regular flea prevention can prevent these harmful conditions in your cat.
Why is treating and preventing fleas so important?
To end the life cycle of the flea, it is essential to treat your cat and the environment immediately. Keeping cats on monthly flea prevention is imperative to ensure the infestation doesn’t occur again or at all. By using monthly flea prevention, you can eliminate the risk of allergic reactions, tapeworms, and anemia in your cat.
Simple steps for treating fleas in your senior cat?
As is the case with all cats, prevention is the best treatment for fleas in your senior cat. There are several safe and straightforward products available for use in senior cats. Some senior cats require long-term medications for other illnesses and diseases. Your veterinarian will help answer any questions or concerns you may have and choose the product that is the most appropriate for your senior cat. Contact Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital today to set up a consultation with your veterinarian.