Fleas & Cats

Fleas & Cats

Updated on 9/21/13, Originally posted on 1/14/12

Weekly Bible Verse: Genesis 2:19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

The Lord created the cat and the flea.  But due to the sin that entered the world the flea today is now a harmful parasite!  There are hundreds and hundreds of flea species found worldwide (about 3,000).  There are only about 250 species in America and of those, only a few common ones are normally found.  One common flea is the Cat Flea.  Cat Fleas live on a number of different kinds of animals including dogs and sometimes humans.  It gets its name, Cat Flea, because when you look at it under a microscope you can see several hairs by their mouth that look like cat whiskers.  It is true that fleas can carry diseases but it is not very common here in the U.S.  Fleas are prolific egg layers and can lay 20-50 eggs a day.

There are many different products for cats that kill fleas such as shampoos, flea dips, sprays, powders, drops, and collars.  There are also a number of products that can be used on your carpet.  Flea eggs can survive up to a year before hatching even if there is no host present (e.g. in your carpet).  Flea eggs are difficult to get rid of because the egg’s shell protects the larva inside and many flea products can not kill them.  This is why it is important to treat your carpet and pets several times, even if you don’t see any fleas.  Most products say to apply treatment to your cat again in two weeks.  This is because when flea eggs are on a host their incubation time can be from a few days up to two weeks after being laid.  It is necessary to retreat so the larva that will hatch out from the eggs can then be killed with the follow up treatment.  Also, vacuuming your carpet will help remove fleas and eggs.

Most times fleas will be noticeable first on your cats’ ears.  Look for fleas attached and feeding on the inside edge of the ears.  Eventually, the fleas will spread to other areas of the cats’ body and face.  If you keep your cats indoors you should not have any problems with fleas, providing that you do not have dogs that go in and out of the house.  If you have an outdoor kitty you should probably keep them on a flea control medication.  If your cat should get fleas, don’t worry it happens.  It is however very important to treat fleas as soon as you find them because if left untreated the fleas will multiply and can even kill the cat.  Older cats and kittens are at a higher risk of dying if they become infested with a lot of fleas.  Talk to your veterinarian about the best, but safest, products to use to rid yourselves of these pests.

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