Are These Buggers Bugging Your Cat?
The most common external feline parasite is a flea. You may be saying, “Oh my cat is an indoor cat.” Well guess again, indoor cats get fleas all the time. Fleas are good hitchhikers; they most often ride in on you, your guests, or another pet. Once in your home, a single flea can produce 600 new fleas in a month! If your cat gets fleas not only will they be miserable, but fleas add up to more than just an itchy nuisance. They can cause allergic dermatitis, anemia, tapeworm, and in kittens, they can be deadly.
Here is how to spot an infestation on your pet:
- Constant scratching
- Constant grooming
- Red or irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Skin infection
- Seeing the fleas on your pet
- Visible flea “dirt” on your cat’s skin (it looks like dirt but is actually flea poop, gross!)
If your cat has fleas, be sure to treat all the pets in your home, because fleas don’t play favorites! What to do if your home is filled with unwanted guests? There are a number of products on the market, from oral flea medications, topical flea treatments, and even flea collars. The best bet is to discuss it with your vet.
The most frequent internal pest your cat can get is Tapeworm.Tapeworm is spread by ingesting the larvae, usually from fleas or by catching and eating outdoor rodents or scavenging in trashcans. Tapeworm can be spread to humans (usually to children), so it’s something you want to take care of right away. They are generally not considered dangerous to your cat, but they can cause weight loss and tummy pain.
The most common symptom of tapeworm in cats is small cream-colored segments of tapeworm in your cat feces or on their fur under their tail. Your cat may lick or bite at their bum more often or drag their hindquarters on the floor to combat the itching.
If your cat has Tapeworm symptoms call your vet, take in a stool sample, and your kitty will get a shot or medication that will quickly take care of the problem.
Keeping your cat indoors does cut down on the possibility of parasites but doesn’t eliminate them completely. So keep an eye on your cat, and you’ll both be itch free!
(A flea is about the size of a poppy seed! Way smaller than this one. →