Danger to animals
Unpleasant facts, than fleas are dangerous for cats:
- violation of the integrity of the skin with parasite bites leads to the development of flea dermatitis, allergic reactions;
Allergic dermatitis in cats to flea saliva
- fleas are carriers of helminth eggs, while infecting domestic animals with worms;
- with flea damage, the risk of developing mycoplasmosis and rickettsiosis increases, since parasitic insects can carry dangerous fungal and viral infections;
- blood-sucking insects are carriers of hemobartonellosis (infectious anemia);
- insect bites lead to a deterioration in the physical and mental state of the animal, the cat becomes nervous, hysterical;
- there are foci of baldness, the appearance worsens;
- appetite decreases, weight decreases;
- blood-sucking insects are very dangerous for small kittens, causing them anemia and exhaustion.
We recommend that you read the article on how lichen is transmitted from cat to person. From it you will learn about the ways of infecting a cat with shingles, symptoms of a pet’s disease, what to do in order not to get infected to the owners, and what to do if the infection has already occurred.
The main sources of infection or where does a domestic cat get fleas from, their danger to animals and humans
Often, the owners of fluffy couch potatoes who never leave the apartment are perplexed about where fleas came from a domestic cat. According to the owners, an animal can become infected by uninvited guests, but only if it walks on the street and communicates with stray relatives. Nevertheless, a cat that never leaves the room can also become infected with blood-sucking parasites.
The biology of external parasites is such that both adults and larvae are incredibly tenacious. So, a sexually mature flea can do without food for about a year, and the larva develops even outside the host’s body. The ability to survive in adverse environmental conditions makes these parasites one of the most common among blood-sucking insects.
In addition, high fertility (one sexually mature female lays about 2 thousand eggs per life) contributes to the fact that fleas are one of the frequent guests on the animal’s body. It is enough that at least one adult individual or its larva gets on the pet, so that the population of parasites in a short time will cause a lot of trouble for both the cat and the owner.
Infection of domestic cats occurs in the following cases:
- By direct contact with an individual affected by fleas. The most common source of infection is stray, stray cats and cats. The flea population in street animals can be so high that the animal is “teeming” with insects.
- When a house cat visits the street, entrance. In this case, it is not necessary that there be direct contact with a sick animal. The pet can become infected with flea larvae that are on the grass, trees, on objects, in the soil, etc. Given the high survival rate of adults, cats often “bring” on themselves after walks already sexually mature insects or larvae.
- Understanding where fleas come from in a domestic cat can be difficult. A person himself can infect a fluffy beauty-homebody, bringing larvae and adults on his clothes, shoes, household items. Blood-sucking insects attack humans not only on the street, but also in entrances, where the density of the flea population can be very high.
- Rodents (mice, rats, etc.) can also carry blood-sucking insects. Infection occurs when hunting a pet.
- Kittens and young animals become infected with external parasites from the mother cat.
Having an understanding of the peculiarities of the biology of fleas, their survival in the environment, ways of pet infection, the owner of a domestic cat will be able to prevent the infection of his pet with blood-sucking insects.
How to tell if your pet has fleas
It is important to understand what fleas look like in cats in order to distinguish them from other parasites. The cat flea. Ctenocephalides felis, is a small, 2-3 mm in size, blood-sucking insect with an elongated body, usually dark brown or black. Fleas do not have wings. Their distinctive feature is long jumps due to highly developed hind limbs.
Flea development cycle
Insects feed on the blood of their host, and most often they adhere to species specialization, i.e. parasitize on their own species (cat fleas. on cats, dog fleas. on dogs, etc.). Nevertheless, the same feline fleas often bite a person, but quickly leave his body in search of their species host.
The development cycle of an insect from egg to adult is about 2 weeks. At the same time, eggs and larvae can persist for a long time in the external environment. Most often they accumulate in the litter of an animal, on carpets, in clothes, in cracks between furniture, under skirting boards.
How to tell if a cat has fleas? It is not difficult to identify this if you take a closer look at the pet’s behavior:
- the domestic cat itches intensely;
- the animal often gnaws its skin with its teeth, trying to bite someone;
- the pet becomes nervous, sometimes runs around the apartment, meows.
This behavior of the cat should prompt the owner to conduct a thorough examination of the fluffy coat. To do this, arm yourself with a rare comb (comb). Spreading the coat with a comb, blowing through the hairs, you should carefully inspect the skin. Fleas will not be visible on the pet’s fur, but on the skin. In addition to the detection of sexually mature individuals, their excrement in the form of black dots or large black dust is also found on the skin of the animal.
If there are still single individuals living on the cat, then they can not be detected immediately. The skin on the neck, back and abdomen should be carefully examined. With a massive defeat of an animal by blood-sucking insects, you can see them almost immediately after the fur is parted.
To find out if a cat has fleas, you can apply the following effective method. To do this, the animal must be carefully combed out with a comb with frequent teeth (slicker) and shaken off its contents onto a white sheet of paper. On a white background, insect excrement will be clearly visible.
Catching a blood-sucking parasite is very difficult. The insect is small in size and jumping ability. The hard chitinous cover, the body flattened from the sides make it difficult to destroy the caught specimen. It is possible to crush an accidentally caught adult only on a hard surface, pressing down with a fingernail.
Are parasites so dangerous??
Unfortunately, not all owners of domestic cats understand the danger of cat fleas in pets for themselves and for humans.
Danger to humans
As a rule, cat fleas live on their immediate owners. cats. But they can cause trouble and household members, periodically attacking them. The danger of external parasites for humans is as follows:
- insect bites cause an allergic reaction, swelling, itching (this is due to the fact that when the parasite bites, it injects an anesthetic substance, which is a strong allergen for humans);
- fleas are potential carriers of such dangerous diseases for humans as typhoid fever, hepatitis, plague and even anthrax;
- in addition to infectious diseases, bloodsucking can infect a person with eggs of ascaris, flukes and other helminths.
Thus, the danger of cat fleas for both the pet and the person is obvious. Therefore, the owner of a domestic cat should know how to determine that the cat has fleas, and not hesitate to treat the animal from blood-sucking insects.
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If a domestic cat has fleas, then emergency measures must be taken. One random flea is easy to deal with. But if there are more of them, then this is fraught with disastrous consequences for the animal. There are characteristic symptoms:
How Did my Indoor Cat Get Fleas?
if blood-sucking insects appear, then this provokes the appearance of helminthiasis; parasites constantly bite a person’s legs; the appearance threatens the development of infectious, viral diseases in an animal; wool falls out; there is a risk of developing psychosis.
Therefore, as soon as your cat has fleas, take emergency medical and preventive measures. It is necessary to regularly bathe the animal with special shampoos, use sprays, drops. Ensure that the cat is constantly in a collar.
The apartment must be cleaned regularly using various antiseptics. Treat the place where the animal sleeps. It is better to wash the litter.
The cat has entrusted its life to the man. She gives him affection and tenderness for caring. And if your cat or cat has got fleas, then the sooner measures are taken, the calmer the pet’s life will be. If the animal suffers from allergic reactions to various drugs, then it is best to consult a veterinarian about the choice of insect control products.
Preventive measures are equally important. Don’t think long about whether your cat might have fleas? They can, and will certainly start, if the appropriate processing of wool is not carried out. As long as cats exist, such bloodsuckers will live. And it doesn’t matter if your pet is on the street or not.
Description of the parasite
Fleas are wingless insects, the most popular feline parasites. Two days after the flea female enters the body of the animal, and the blood-sucking process begins, she lays about 50 eggs a day (in just her life, a female can lay up to 2 thousand units).
After a week, larvae appear, which feed on the waste of adults and larvae of cystodes, and can spread helminthic infections. After about three weeks, having gone through all the stages, the larva turns into an adult insect.
Such a parasite in its final form has an oval brown body with a characteristic shine, flattened on both sides, covered with villi, six legs (three on each side), the last pair of which is jumping; serrated ridges on the head. ctenidia; piercing-sucking mouth apparatus; body length ranging from 0.8 to 4 mm. depending on age.
The insect is so masterly hiding in the animal’s fur that it can be extremely difficult to catch it, and it is almost impossible to crush it with your fingers.
Common routes of flea infestation
Fleas attack cats swiftly and are in no hurry to leave the warm coat. It is imperative to destroy them, you should act decisively and quickly. a protracted disease greatly undermines the health of the pet and is difficult to recover. The professional actions of the feline owner lead to the complete destruction of parasites without going to the veterinarian.
The most common routes of infection are:
- Walk on the ground, grass, asphalt.
- Meeting with a sick animal.
- Bringing fleas into the house by a person (on shoes, clothes).
- Remains of flea droppings in the apartment (on carpets, furniture).
What does a cat flea look like? This is a small insect, the body of which is strongly flattened from the sides. There are no wings, the flea moves by jumping. developed hind legs help in this (it has six legs in total).
Powerful jaws easily bite through the skin, and the parasite drinks the blood until it is completely saturated. At the same time, his stomach increases several times.
The larvae feed on organic debris, excrement of adults. After 12 days, an adult insect grows from a tiny white egg, hungry for cat blood.
The pet parasite control market is growing at a tremendous pace. The choice is overwhelming. The age, weight and degree of infection of the animal must always be taken into account.
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Mousse (foam) against fleas. It is well tolerated by animals. Economical in consumption. Usually, a very small amount is enough to treat an entire cat.
Flea sprays. Effective, but not very convenient to use. Animals often lick them off immediately after application. This is harmful to their health. Sprays need to be applied in stages, and the cat will feel stressed every time. Apply the product first to your hand and only then to the animal’s fur.
It is not necessary to spray the cat, like a plant from a spray bottle, in order to exclude the drug from getting on the mucous membranes. The direction of processing is from head to tail, and not vice versa. Do not buy products containing organophosphates. Kittens, until they reach three months, should not be sprayed!
Anti-flea collars. It should be worn after the main treatment and as a preventive measure. Some collars contain a substance that is harmful to your cat.
The choice of an insecticidal agent should be approached with great responsibility, carefully read the instructions, and study the contraindications. If even the slightest doubt arises, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian who will tell you how to be.
How to choose a product
There is no fundamental difference between the drugs, be guided by the addictions of the pet and the state of your health. If there are allergy sufferers or children in the house, use a spray, prefer shampoo.
When deciding how to remove fleas, heed the advice of veterinarians:
- Use only products for cats. similar drugs for dogs will lead to the death of the animal.
- Use only one product, not all purchased chemicals in the complex.
- Calculate the dose and slightly reduce it. the cat’s body is already weakened, your beauty may not tolerate a large amount of insecticides.
- The most harmless are drugs based on luferonone, the most dangerous are drugs based on permethrin.
How to get rid of fleas with folk remedies
Our ancestors, like us, could not imagine life without cats, but they were treated not with drugs from a veterinary pharmacy (they were not there then), but with available improvised means:
Wormwood. Fleas do not like its smell and jump away from the danger zone. Chop up the dry grass and rub into the cat’s coat. Do not forget to peel your pet’s skin afterwards. Place the bag of wormwood in the animal’s bed.
Frequent comb. Caring owners remove most fleas without the use of chemicals, painstakingly combing out insects.
A wonderful remedy that forever relieves a fluffy beauty from harmful insects has not yet been invented in any country. As long as there are cats, cat fleas will also live. Therefore, the question of the health of a pet is completely on the conscience of its owner. Pets of caring owners glow with health and happiness. Treat your cat on time.
Signs of fleas in a cat
There are several signs that a cat has fleas:
- the pet often begins to itch and at the same time literally bites into the fur;
- the animal feels anxiety, is very nervous and meows plaintively (severe itching deprives her of her usual rest);
- if you push the fur apart, you can see black-brown lumps (flea excrement);
- when combing, you can see the parasites themselves.
The disease has several stages. At first, the cat’s behavior remains almost unchanged, she eats well and does not express anxiety. It is also impossible to see parasites on her body due to their small number. The only symptom that should alert the owner is the itching and frequent scratching of the pet.
The second stage is characterized by a change in the behavior of the animal. A flea cat itches all the time and tries to gnaw fleas with its teeth, starts to get nervous and mischievous. His sleep is disturbed. The body is covered with scratches and wounds. At this stage, fleas in a domestic cat can be detected visually. Their favorite places are the belly, the neck area and the space around the jaws. If you do not start taking action, the disease will go into the third stage, and then the affectionate, sociable and cheerful animal will become gloomy and downtrodden. The cat’s health will be severely impaired. She will begin to lose weight and weaken, stop playing, bald spots will begin to appear and various dermatitis will develop.
As a rule, the owners do not allow these unpleasant consequences to arise. As soon as fleas appear in a pet, measures are immediately taken to destroy them. There are a lot of anti-flea drugs. These are drops, sprays, shampoos and flea collars. But what if insects infected a pregnant cat? After all, the insecticides that are part of the flea preparations negatively affect the future offspring.
The cat needs to choose the most effective drug that is as gentle as possible. Your veterinarian will help you make the right choice. His help will also come in handy if a kitten suffers from flea bites. It is better to destroy parasites before the planned mating and take measures to prevent flea infection of pregnant and lactating cats in the future.
Ways of infection of cats
Domestic cats are everyone’s favorites. They are taken care of: they buy special food and vitamins, comb them with brushes, and bathe. It would seem, where did the fleas come from? Those pets that have the opportunity to go outside can become infected with insects from other pets or stray animals, directly contacting them or simply running by. As already mentioned, blood-sucking parasites can easily jump from one animal to another and stay on the coat. A couple of seconds is enough. Walking the cat on the ground or grass infested with the eggs of blood-sucking insects can be another infection option. The probability that she will bring insects or their eggs from the street is quite high, almost 100%.
Even if the pet never leaves the apartment, there is a threat of infection for him too. The carrier can be a person or other pet. often than not, people can bring insect eggs into the house that accidentally get on their shoes, clothes, or other things. In the same way, adult fleas can appear in the apartment. They are not visible to the naked eye. And insects, having chosen a new home, begin their hunt for pets.
What you need to know about fleas
The cat flea is a small, blood-sucking insect. It is so small that it is not noticeable in the fur, so a person can not immediately determine its presence on an animal. An adult is only 2-3 mm long and has a laterally flattened body covered with bristles and spines. Due to this shape, the insect easily moves between the hairs, and the chitinous cover protects it from mechanical damage. It is impossible to crush a flea with your fingers, it can only be done with a fingernail and another hard surface.
Fleas are wingless insects, they cannot fly. But they are excellent jumpers. In one jump, they are able to cover a distance 100 times their size. For clarity, an example can be given: a flea is quite capable of jumping from the floor almost to the knee of a person. Therefore, it is not difficult for an insect to get on by a running cat and, thanks to the bristles, stay on the wool.
Cat fleas do not have to live permanently on the animal. They can comfortably exist somewhere nearby and from time to time attack a pet to satisfy their appetite.
And they feed on blood. They can bite a person, but it is the representatives of felines that are closer to them by nature.
It would seem, what is the harm from the bites of one or two insects? For a cat, fleas are a danger, and no small one. The fact is that they multiply rapidly. During her life, which is about 2 years, the female is able to lay up to 2 thousand eggs. That is why, getting on a cat, the insect colony will soon grow many times over.
Females do not lay eggs, but rather “shoot” them. Therefore, they can get into any crevices, on the pet’s bedding, on the carpet, in other places. After 2 weeks, worm-like larvae hatch from them, which have enough decomposing organic matter, debris and dust for growth. The next stage of transformation is pupae, from which already adult insects appear. Cat fleas can go without food for several months, but then they pounce on their prey with special greed. And then the cat jumps up from surprise in an unfavorable place and runs as best as it can from him.
Why does a domestic cat have fleas??
If your cat starts to scratch and meow pitifully, it may have become infected with fleas. But where does a domestic cat get fleas from? There can be several ways of infection, and you need to know more about them. But first, a few words about the flea itself, in order to have an idea about this parasite and how it gets on an animal or an apartment.
Why fleas are dangerous
Fleas in a cat with their bites significantly worsen the general physical and mental state. They are also carriers of many serious diseases of humans and pets. Feline fleas do not tolerate plague and typhus, as their rat “relatives” do, but it has been proven that they are intermediate hosts of tapeworms. An animal, biting through an insect, may well become infected with worms.
Fleas in a domestic cat can be carriers of infectious anemia, fungal and viral diseases (mycoplasmosis, rickettsiosis).
Often, cats develop allergic dermatitis from blood-sucking insects. The appearance of a large number of insects can lead to the fact that the animal is completely or partially bald. over, in these places the wool will no longer grow.
Insect bites pose a certain danger to humans as well. They can cause allergic reactions. Fleas are also carriers of diseases dangerous to humans: pulicosis, mass dermatitis, brucellosis, anthrax, etc. Therefore, the fight against harmful insects should be carried out in two directions: to destroy insects on a pet and to process all premises in the house where they can potentially to appear.
In order to remove fleas, you can use:
- special shampoos;
- tar soap;
- flea medications;
- anti-flea collars.
In order to remove fleas, there are a large number of drugs.
Medicines include drops, sprays, powders (powders). They all have their merits. The drops are very simple to apply. you just need to apply them to the scruff of the cat in the place where she cannot reach with her tongue. Sprays are about as easy to use. Powder is required to be rubbed into the skin of the animal. They act quickly and effectively, but care must be taken that the animal does not lick itself while the drug is acting. After applying the powder, the cat is combed out after a couple of hours and washed.
The advantages of medications for fleas are that they can additionally destroy ear mites.
Tar soaps and shampoos help to mechanically wash fleas from the skin and fur of the animal, relieving it of suffering. The repellent substances that are part of their composition prevent flea repopulation.
Interestingly, shampoos are more effective for cats with long or thick hair. Persian, British, Angora. And sprays and drops are for short-haired common cattle.
Collars can be ultrasonic, with essential oils of plants and with chemical insecticides. For prevention, it is better to use ultrasonic and essential oils, for treatment. with insecticides. Collars are valid for 3 months. But it is best to use ultrasonic and essential oils. they are safe for cats and humans.
The whole house must be washed with soapy water and vinegar, and the upholstered furniture must be vacuumed.
What fleas can infect a cat
Cats are parasitized by feline fleas from the genus Ctenocephalides felis. However, it would be naive to think that only cat fleas get the cat. Alas, fleas are ready to feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animals and do not particularly distinguish between species. Therefore, dog, rabbit and rat fleas may well go to cats. And in principle, outwardly there will be no difference which fleas torment the animal. And the methods of treating cats for fleas of different species are the same.
How to tell if your cat has fleas: 8 telltale signs
Cats are parasitized by cat fleas from the genus Ctenocephalides felis
Flea routes to cats
For pet owners, fleas may be surprising, as many meowing pets never go outside, unlike dogs. However, there is nothing surprising in the appearance of fleas.
- from other pets. the risk increases if a dog lives in the house, or a new animal is brought into the house;
- through household items and shoes. fleas can be brought from the street.
Cats can get fleas from other pets
Most often, fleas enter houses from basements and attics. In basements, feral stray cats are found, which are source of infection. Fleas can easily get to the first floors through the cracks. That is why veterinarians always say that animals living on the first and last floors of apartment buildings are at risk.
Cats walking outdoors have many times the risk of infection.
Fleas are blood-sucking parasites. Cat fleas in structure are not much different from canine fleas. Their size can be up to 5 mm. The color of insects is brownish, their body is flattened on the sides and raised. The hind legs of the flea are longer than the front ones, thanks to which the parasite can jump quite well. The flea is covered with hairs. There is a blood-sucking apparatus on the head.
Flea control process
It is important to follow the dosage accurately and follow the instructions so as not to harm the cat.
It must be remembered that the treatment is best repeated after a couple of weeks. In this way, it is possible to destroy a new batch of fleas that may have hatched from undetermined larvae. All flea medicines only kill adult insects.
Is it possible to get infected from a cat
A cat can get fleas from a dog or rabbit. There are practically no cases of human infection from cats. But there is a risk. If a person is bitten by a cat flea, then infection with a disease such as bacillary angiomatosis is possible.
On the pages of our site you will also find the answer to the question of how to get rid of fleas from a rabbit.