We’re here to help shed some light on those pesky, biting parasites.
Unfortunately, all cats are at risk whether they are strictly indoors or go outside.
Here is some more information on how to reduce the risk of fleas for your family and your furry friends.
Fleas are among the most common parasites we see in the clinic.
These tiny flightless insects are found on the skin and fur and survive on blood meals taken from the host animal.
- Fleas are irritating to skin and are very itchy
- Capable of transmitting disease such as : tapeworms, rickettsial disease and anemia possibly causing death to young animals
- Fleas can bite humans. Infected fleas may transmit Yersinia pestis (plague), and Francisella tularensis (tularemia)
- May cause allergic reactions in some pets (Flea allergy dermatitis)
Fleas can be hard to find as cats are fastidious groomers and may ingest fleas. To check for fleas, use a flea comb and brush it through fur looking for fleas or flea dirt (small brown to black specks – flea poop)
To check for flea dirt, place a white paper under your cat and fluff it’s fur. Watch for black specks on the paper and a drop of water. If they turn red, you have flea dirt which means fleas are present!
- A single female flea may lay up to 50 eggs per day!
- Fleas begin feeding immediately once on the host.
- It only takes 24 hours for fleas to reproduce.
- Flea eggs are sticky! Did you know you can track them into your home on your shoes and clothing?
- Flea larvae can move about 1 meter in any direction and adult fleas can jump about 8 inches horizontally and reach an average height of 5 inches!
Prevention is much easier than treatment of these parasites.
CAPC (Companion Animal Parasite Council) recommends year round flea prevention for cats throughout their lifetime.
Once an animal in the household has fleas, all animals must be treated to eliminate the infestation. A minimum of 3 months of treatment is needed to break the flea life cycle.
We recommend Revolution and Advantage II, both topical monthly products for flea protection. These are safe and effective products that kill adult fleas, reduce flea allergy dermatitis and also treat your home! Please call us to discuss which product is right for your cat : 519-660-0300
*Please avoid over the counter flea products as these are often NOT effective and contain the ingredient permethrin which is toxic to cats.*