Not only for your feline friend, flea infestation, is troublesome for you too. Fleas make all our lives miserable. Though being miniature in size they create havoc distress to the cat’s daily life.
Cat fleas keep on jumping on to your cat more and more as days pass by creating more discomfort to them. You should keep a sharp eye on your cat whether it has a flea infection or not and try to eradicate the dreadful pests as early as possible.
Cog-fleas, scientifically known as Ctenocephalides felis are parasitic insects that infest on cats. Parasitic insects live in or on the hosts (in this case – your cat) even until they die. They also transmit vector-borne diseases to the hosts. Cat fleas live by sucking blood from the host’s body.
It is very difficult to remove cat fleas from the host as that is their only source of nutrition. Fleas don’t live long without hosts. So until and unless you free them from your pet or you kill them, fleas are hard to eliminate.
The life cycle of a cat-flea includes 4 steps: the flea-egg, larvae, pupae, and adult flea. To lay eggs a matured female flea needs a substantial blood meal and that is the reason they choose their hosts. They jump on to your cat, hide in the furry skins of the animal and suck blood from them. Just for the knowledge, one female adult flea can lay 1000 to 2000 eggs in its lifespan.
They are tiny in size, about 1.5 to 3.2 mm. They are horizontally compressed and reddish-brown in color. The color of their epidermis helps them hide in the furry skins of cats. They are wingless insects but have strong hind legs by the strength of which they jump quite high and travel quite a distance. It is impossible to locate fleas in naked eyes; you would at least need a magnifying glass.
But if you have a light-colored cat you may trace them. Take a flea brush and apply it on any particular spot of your pet’s body, stroking from left to right or right to left you might trap some. Flea droppings sometimes appear like fleas. If you witness groups of red small lumps on the body of your cat, they are flea bites and fleas are hiding in the fur nearby.
As mentioned earlier, mature female fleas need a blood meal before laying eggs. They are capable enough to lay 30 to 50 eggs per day. They need a sumptuous drink of blood for that. Your cat is a proficient source of the meal. Multiple numbers of female adult flea infestations could cause a disastrous situation for your pet.
Proper care should be taken to prevent and treat these infestations. For that, you should watch your cat over and over to determine whether it has flea infestations or not. There are few signals you may get from your pet itself.
Watch the video to get some ideas:
If you find your feline friend agitated and constantly itching, rubbing and biting at various parts of its own body, it is definitely because of flea bites. Flea bites really hurt them and they feel the prickliness and hence the action. They keep on shaking their heads and from that action, you can get a clear idea at what part these annoying pests are troubling them. This physical discomfort is the primary sign of flea infection.
Cats naturally groom themselves and that is quite a usual phenomenon by which they keep themselves tidy and calm. They bite, rub and lick their bodies while grooming. But if you notice excessive or uncontrolled grooming in your cat, it must be because of the flea infestation. They keep on biting, rubbing or licking at the same place multiple times because they get the stinging sensations caused by flea bites. Sometimes doing so, they tend to eat fleas too.
The basic food for fleas is blood and an adult female flea, about to lay eggs needs a substantial blood meal. Multiple infestations increase the blood suction from the host, ultimately resulting in a reduction of blood amount in your cat. The symptoms of anemia in cats are weakness, whitish gums, and appetite loss. Anemia in cats is a common feature. Just because your cat has anemia does not mean it is flea affected. You should look at other clues also for flea infestation in your cat.
Flea dirt is flea feces which they excrete after digesting the blood they intake from the host. They look like small brownish clumps. You may not find them on your pet but very likely you will see them on the pet’s bed, on the floor or even on your own bed. Apply a little water on them and they turn red. If they don’t, then they are something else. Actually flea feces, when dry up turns brown. Finding flea dirt is a positive indication that your pet is infected by fleas.
A cat’s skin is a sensitive one and flea bites really cause pain. Flea bites look like small groups of red lumps and are itchy. Cats tend to scratch at those areas resulting in rashes and streaks. Continuous scratching and rubbing cause hair loss at that point.
If you want your house, your family and your pet, to be free from fleas totally, the first step would be to examine your feline friend. Let the cat stand on a white cloth or paper. Get a friend or someone from the family to distract the cat and you start searching for fleas. Use a flea-comb and gently stroke the skin from top to bottom.
Focus more at the places where fleas tend to stick to, like head, ears, neck, tail and covered places like folds of legs. While combing the cat if you see small brownish-black granules falling on the white cloth or paper apply some water on them. If they turn red they are flea droppings. If smaller white granules drop from the skin, they are flea eggs.
See the video to get an idea about the method:
Fleas cannot hide from the thin teeth of a flea comb. They get stuck to them. Check your cat whether it is losing hair too much. Loss of hair is a prominent sign of allergies cats get from flea bites.
Fleas generally do not change hosts, especially if they are getting substantial blood meals from the present one. But sometimes they jump on to other sources of nutrition around them and it may be you also. They are great jumpers, having strong hind legs can jump 150 times of their own heights.
If you do not take the initial flea infestation on your pet seriously and try to exterminate them at an early stage, it may take a severe turn for your pet, your family, yourself and your home.
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