Protecting your cat from fleas: here’s how to do it rightDennis Steenbakkers
When should I de-flea my cat and with which product? In this blog we will answer these questions and tell you all about these pesky critters.
But first: what are fleas?
Fleas are reddish-brown bugs about two millimeters long. They are parasites because they live off your cat’s blood. And because they like heat, you’ll usually find them in the neck and groin, as well as the eggs. But you can also find them in the cat tree, on their blankets or on the carpet. If you have fleas in your home you have to do something about it, because they reproduce very fast.
This is because after each meal, a flea lays dozens of eggs in your cat’s fur. These fall out, turn into larvae and pupate until they turn into a flea. This can take six weeks, but sometimes up to a year. And then, just like that, you have a flea infestation in your home.
Fleas in adult cats and kittens
The idea that there are all kinds of bugs in your house is, of course, quite dirty. But it is especially annoying for your cat, because flea bites cause discomfort and especially a lot of itching. Does your cat bite and scratch his body more often than usual? Then there is a good chance (s)he has fleas. Does your cat also get bald spots? Then your cat is probably allergic to fleas and you should go to the vet.
Kittens, of course, can get fleas too. As long as a kitten is still drinking breast milk, it is safe and protected – Mother Nature has thought of that very nicely. But once that stops, you need to provide protection. A flea infestation can be really dangerous for such a little one, as it can make it sick or even make it anemic.
So whether your cat is an adult or still small, it’s super important to start flea prevention on time!
Hygiene in the house is always important if you have pets. Vacuum preferably every day and wash baskets and rugs weekly at sixty degrees. And don’t forget the cat tree! Hoover it completely at least once a week.
Do you like it really clean? Then a steam cleaner is a godsend, because it keeps your sofa, carpet and floor nice and fresh. But it can also help prevent a flea infestation – most parasites, larvae and eggs die at temperatures above 60 degrees. But beware, good hygiene alone is not enough. You should always treat your cat with an anti-flea drug!
Ways to de-flea your cat
Back in the day, every cat walked around with a flea collar around its neck. You know, one of those clumsy and foul smelling rubber collars. Fortunately, these are no longer necessary, because there are much better remedies available.
There has been something new on the market for a few years now: you can have your cat injected with an anti-flea drug at the vet. It sounds harsh, but it turns out to be very safe. The injection works for about half a year and makes the fleas infertile – so they can’t lay new eggs. That makes a huge difference! But the environment must also remain free of eggs and larvae. Therefore, always treat your home and your cat’s favorite places with an environmental spray. Because the injection works for half a year, you should go to the vet twice a year for a treatment.
These remedies are really super easy to use – you apply the liquid directly to the skin and it does its job immediately. It kills at least the fleas your cat already has. Some species break the cycle in the house completely – they also kill the eggs and larvae. And then you have species that immediately protect your cat from ticks and various types of worms. These remedies are effective, but they work temporarily. So you have to repeat the treatment several times a year.
Not too familiar with flea control or the new remedies? Then feel free to ask your veterinarian or pet store for advice. Good luck!
Petrebels is not a veterinarian: all content, information and tips on this blog are meant to inform you. Does your cat have complaints or problems? Or do you have doubts about the health of your cat? Then always go to a veterinarian or behaviorist.