If your kitten has the habit of frequenting areas of lush vegetation or stagnant water, it is exposed to a possible flea infestation. These external parasites are especially elusive and potentially harmful to the health of a cat due to the diseases and allergic reactions that they can trigger.
Do you know that fleas are the beings that can jump the highest? This peculiarity makes them difficult to detect. However, there are certain changes in your kitty’s behavior that should alert you to their presence. We explain how to identify and combat them. Are you joining us?
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Fleas, obligate parasites
These external parasites inhabit the lower layer of your cat’s coat, level with the skin. They need to be close to the skin to bite and feed. In fact, their saliva prevents the blood from clotting to facilitate suctioning. In addition to causing skin irritation and itching, this fluid exchange is a dangerous source of disease transmission .
If your pet ingests a flea, it can develop tapeworm in its intestines. In turn, due to the continuous scratching and loss of blood, the animal will feel exhausted, listless and anemic. If you are allergic to flea bites, you could develop skin diseases such as allergic dermatitis that causes eczema and severe skin wounds.
Fleas like to perch on the cat’s ears, neck, and bottom of the back for shelter and food. It is somewhat unlikely that you will see them, since after feeding they will get off your cat. What you can detect are their defecations, in the form of black dots , or their eggs or nits, in the form of white dots.
How do I know if my cat has fleas?
You will appreciate it easily, as it will begin to scratch compulsively with its hind legs behind the ears and / or on the neck. You may also appreciate that they have less desire to eat, that they lose their hair, or that it looks dull.
If you have suspicions, you must act urgently, since given its speed to reproduce the longer you take to take measures, the more difficult it will be to get rid of them . Get a nit or brush with very fine, close-fitting bristles. Place a white sheet or towel under your cat and brush it from the bottom up. Look at what falls into it.
How to remove fleas from a cat?
After visiting your veterinarian, he will recommend the most appropriate method. Among the many options on the market, pipettes or spot on are the most widely used because they combine comfort and efficiency . You just have to break the nozzle to pour its content on the nape or the beginning of his back.
You should not bathe it in the next 2-3 days so as not to neutralize its effect, which will last around 2 months. After this time you must repeat the process. The antiparasitic collars perform a double action, corrective and preventive, which is maintained for approximately 3 months.
Shampoos and sprays are more appropriate to prevent infestations or when they are mild.
Home remedies to eliminate fleas from your pussycat
With some of the products that we usually have at home and vegetable essential oils (based on mandarin, lavender, citronella, grapefruit, oregano, rosemary or pennyroyal) you can prepare your own solutions to spray or apply directly on the conflictive areas of your cat ( legs, tail, neck, ears).
Of course, its effectiveness is lower than that of commercial preparations , so you should use them more as a preventive than as a corrective. If your pet is a puppy, do not apply essential oils, as their delicate skin will be very irritated and you will aggravate the situation.
Homemade flea bath
If you need to kill fleas that undermine your cat’s well-being, we encourage you to try bathing it using a shampoo for sensitive skin and essential oil of lavender or citronella. Add a few drops of the essential oil to the shampoo.
Rub well on the hind legs, tail and neck. Leave it on for about 5-10 minutes before removing the shampoo . Make sure to remove it perfectly to avoid poisoning when grooming. Dry it with a white towel and brush it with the nit. It won’t take long for you to spot the dead fleas or their larvae on the towel.
Homemade flea spray
You have different solutions to make a homemade preparation, which you can then pour into a spray bottle and use as a preventive when your cat goes outside. You should boil lemon, orange, chamomile or chamomile peels in a liter of water. All you have to do is choose one of these ingredients.
When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let it rest. When it is cold you can strain it and pass it to the sprayer . Likewise, you can take advantage of this preparation to spray their belongings (toys, stuffed animals, bed, scraper and sanitary tray). You should not abuse, since its smell could displease your cat.
Before resorting to these remedies, you should make sure that your cat no longer has fleas.
As necessary as going to the vet and administering the method that guides you, is not neglecting the cleanliness of the space in which your pet and the house in general operate. Both actions must walk hand in hand, otherwise you will not be able to get rid of fleas .
In this sense, you should work hard to vacuum your bed, the scraper, the sofa and the rugs, as well as wash in the washing machine as many covers as there are in your home. Don’t forget to scrub the floors with a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. We assure you that if you follow these guidelines once the fleas are eradicated, they will be kept away from your home and your cat.