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Flea and Tick control for Cats

Flea Free Pets
Everyone loves having houseguests. But if your houseguests are fleas or ticks, they can invade and linger in your home for a long period of time, infesting your cat and causing it all sorts of discomfort. But fleas and ticks can also bring about infection, and can even transmit other disease-causing organisms. Knowing the effects of fleas, ticks, and other parasites can help prolong the life and health of your family feline.

Fleas

Fleas are tiny, nearly-invisible pests that can make life unhappy and disturb your household with a vicious cycle of biting and scratching. If they are left untreated, fleas can cause medical problems in your cat. Among them are tapeworms, anemia, and Flea Allergy Dermatitis, or FAD, that can result in loss, skin inflammation and irritation, and severe scratching. FAD can be fatal if your cat is young or small in size.

Cats can also get Rickettsiosis, which can be passed to humans through flea bites. Infected cats may not show symptoms, but infected people may get symptoms such as severe headache, high fever, delerium and depression.

If you think your cat has fleas, check its fur by doing one of the following:

  • Using a flea comb - Metal ones are usually the best. Run the comb through your pet’s coat of hair, making sure the comb reaches the skin. If black specks are found on the comb, they may be flea dirt. If fleas are on the comb, drown them in soapy water before they can get away.
  • Using a white paper towel - Place a white paper towel beneath your pet and rub your hands across its fur. If black specks appear on the towel, it may be flea dirt.
The following steps can be taken to help prevent flea infestation:

  • Vacuuming - Frequently vacuum the areas your pet is around, including carpeting, furniture, and in your car (if your pet rides in your car). This can clean up as many immature fleas (before they reach adulthood) as possible.
  • Washing - Regularly wash your pet’s bedding, blankets, and other washable items in the hottest water the laundering instruction allows.
  • Yard work - Mow your lawn and rake up any leaves, brush or clippings.

Ticks

Ticks are a common parasite that feed on cats and other small mammals. They can infest cats in large numbers. One of the most common places these parasites are found is in tall grass, where they can find and attach themselves to a passing host. Like fleas, ticks can transmit disease-causing organisms, which can cause Lyme Disease and Babesiosis, among other diseases.

The risk of your cat getting infested with ticks increase if:

  • Your pet spends time in wooded or undeveloped areas
  • You have seen or previously removed a tick from your cat
  • Your yard has dense shrubs or tall grass
  • Your cat is not on a tick control product
If you think your cat has ticks, look for the following signs:

  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Sudden pain in your pet’s legs or body
  • Arthritis or swelling in your pet’s joints
  • Lethargy or depression
Flea & Tick Checkup for Cats
If you think that your cat has been bitten or infected by a tick, contact your veterinarian immediately for an examination and a blood test. If you personally remove any ticks, save them if possible. Your veterinarian may want to examine them to determine the type of tick they are. Also, never remove a tick with your hand. Always
remove them with tweezers.


The following steps can be taken to help prevent tick infestation:

  • Avoid tall grass and brush - Keep your cat as far away as possible from these common tick breeding grounds.
  • Examination - Examine your pet every day. Ticks prefer attaching to your pet’s head, neck, and paws, but will attach themselves nearly anywhere.
  • Yard work - Mow your lawn and rake up any leaves, brush or clippings.
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