Fleas in a cat: where they come from and how to remove them at home

Ectoparasites can appear even in a domestic cat that has never gone outside. Fleas carry dangerous diseases, so you can’t delay with this issue. How to help a pet - told in the article.

Fleas in a cat: where they come from and how to remove them at home

Insect development cycle

A flea is a blood-sucking insect without wings no larger than 5-6 mm in size. The body is flattened on the sides, has a brown color and a characteristic sheen. Obutcovered with spikes and bristles to hold onto the host's coat. 

Development stages:

  • Egg - hard to see with the naked eye, size - no more than 1 mm. The duration of this stage is 2 weeks. They can be found in the bedding of the animal, crevices, behind baseboards, on the carpet .
  • Larvae - larvae (transparent worms with dark spots) appear from eggs, which feed on skin particles, decaying remains and animal excrement. At the last stage, they grow up to 4 mm, after which they pupate. This process takes 3 weeks. 
  • Pupa - upon transformation, the larva forms a silk-like cocoon, from which an insect appears on the 7-10th day. But under inappropriate conditions, the release may be delayed for a year. Moreover, in this state, the parasites withstand both cold and exposure to insecticides.
  • An adult individual - when favorable conditions occur, an imago (adult insect) appears from the pupa, ready for reproduction. But for mating, both partners must be full. After the fertilization process, the female immediately begins to lay eggs, which she throws over long distances. In a lifetime, one ectoparasite lays up to 500 eggs. 

How do fleas appear in a domestic cat

Fleas can travel long distances in search of food.. In a pet, there are several ways of infection:

  • contact with an infected animal, in this case a dog;
  • outdoor shoes, which may contain larvae and eggs;
  • basement or entrance, neighbors' apartment;
  • exhibitions, veterinary clinics where there may be contact with animals;
  • travel by public transport or taxi;
  • mice and rats in the house, which often carry larvae, eggs or adult insects. 

Why you need to remove fleas

Ectoparasitesmay pose a threat to pets and humans. Fleas are carriers of dangerous diseases:

  • helminthiasis;
  • salmonellosis;
  • acute intestinal infection;
  • hepatitis;
  • pseudotuberculosis;
  • dermatitis;
  • allergy;
  • eczema;
  • mycoplasmosis. 

In addition, the presence of insects weakens the immunity of the animal, cats become restless, lose weight and appetite. Fleas can also infect humans with plague, hepatitis, anthrax, helminthiasis, and typhoid fever.. A bite can cause an allergic reaction, including swelling and itching.  

How to find out about the presence of ectoparasites

Flea infestation can be detected both at the veterinarian's office and at home. Signs: anxiety, hair loss, itching, loss of appetite, weakness, the appearance of non-healing scratches. Put the cat on a white sheet of paper and start combing out the fur. If brown marks or black dots are found, it can be said that the animal has parasites. 


How to remove fleas from a cat at home

There are many products on the market to combat ectoparasites. Consider the most popular and safe for the animal. 

1. How to shampoo fleas from a domestic cat

Not the fastest way to get rid of insects (if you consider that not all cats like to splash in water ). Several active substances are added to shampoos that allow you to destroy several types of parasites. This tool can be used in tandem, in the initial stages or for prevention.. Do not use flea shampoos for dogs - this can lead to the death of a pet. After use, rinse thoroughly under warm, running water. Many shampoos are made from plant extracts, so they are suitable even for small kittens. 

2. How to get rid of fleas with a cat spray

Aerosols help to get rid of parasites within a few hours. It is recommended to use on short-haired cats so that the active substance gets deep. If sprayed on long and fluffy hair, insects will not die. Processing is best done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. During the action of the drug on the cat, you need to wear a protective collar so that the spray does not get into the eyes, nose and prevent licking. It is also worth spraying all the places where the animal likes to sit or lie. 

3. How to get rid of fleas in a cat with drops

Drops are used at the withers, where it is difficult for a pet to reach. This is a popular and effective way to get rid of insects and prevention. The drug is effective for several months after use. Principle of action: after application, the active substance migrates into the fat layer without penetrating into the bloodstream, is absorbed into the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Over time, the drug is again on the skin, poisoning insects. The disadvantage is that many drops are not suitable for newborn kittens  and weakened animals. 

4. How to kill insects with pills

Tablets are an effective remedy, but most drugs apply only to adults. If you take a remedy based on the hormone lufenoron, then it contributes to the drying of eggs and prevents pupation. The principle of operation is simple: the active substance enters the bloodstream, when bitten, the parasite dies. The tablets are safe for animals, can be given to pregnant women, nursing mothers and kittens. Usually the drug is given in tandem with antihelminthics. But first get rid of fleas to prevent re-infection. 

5. Flea Collars

The collar repels, but does not destroy insects, so it is better to use it together with other products (shampoo, sprays or drops).The fabric is impregnated with different compositions, in rare cases, active substances can cause irritation or allergies in a pet. The collar is valid for no more than 1-2 months, so you need to change it regularly. 

6. Injections from ectoparasites

Effective tool. But due to the high concentration of the active substance, this method is only suitable for healthy and adult animals. Injections should not be done at homebetter to go to the vet. 

7. Powder (powder) from fleas

The powder is suitable for cats and cats that do not like water procedures. Powders can be compared with shampoos in terms of effects, that is, you should not hope for a quick effect. The agent is applied to dry and clean hair, from where the substance enters the skin. During a bite, a flea swallows poison that paralyzes the nervous system. You can not use a similar product intended for dogs. 


What to look for after processing

Due to the use of anti-flea products, a cat may develop an allergy, so carefully observe the condition after treatment. An allergic reaction manifests itself in the form of a rash, itching and redness. There is even lacrimation, redness of the eyes, nasal congestion. If these symptoms appear, it is better to immediately contact the veterinarian and do not use this drug again. Do not throw away the packaging from the product, it will help the veterinarian determine further treatment. 

Collars can also cause problems - not all animals will appreciate this anti-flea accessory and will try to remove it with their paws. Do not overtighten, as there is a risk of suffocation. Some collared cats walk with their paws bent, it seems to them that someone is holding the withers. Don't worry, this behavior will pass in a couple of days. 

How to treat an apartment for fleas 

Laid eggs remain not only on the animal's fur, but may also be on carpets, floors, beds. It is not enough just to treat the cat, you need to get rid of the ectoparasites that are in the apartment. It is better to do all the procedures at the same time, in a complex. In this case, the most effective remedy is a spray. Spray on your pet's favorite spots, behind baseboards and on the floor. After a couple of hours, you need to do a wet cleaning and vacuum. It is good to use shampoos for washing bedding and beds, and a solution with tar soap for washing floors . 

Prevention

Preventive measures help to avoid primary or re-infection. 

  • Do not allow your pet to come into contact with infected animals.
  • Wash floors regularly and vacuum dry.
  • Treat your indoor cat with flea medication once a quarter.
  • Make sure that the cat does not go out into the porch and on its own.
  • Take them to the veterinarian for a routine check-up at least 2 times a year. 
  • Wash your pet's bedding regularly in hot water. 
  • Do not allow the cat to sleep on clean clothes and linen. 
  • Periodically comb out the coat and conduct a self-diagnosis for the presence of parasites. 
These simple measures will ensure a long and happy life for your pet. 

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