Cats make amazing pets, despite the fact that they own you from the time they set their foot in your home. A small ball of fur meowing here and there appears all cute and adorable, until the problem of fleas crops up. Pets are often victimized by fleas, which not only affect their health, but also of the people around. And cat fleas are not too inconspicuous to overlook, as they are evident with a deviant behavior.
Symptoms of Cat Fleas
One of the most apparent symptoms is constant scratching of the skin and fur coat by the cat. And the female flea is the most dangerous, as it ends up sucking blood for several weeks, leaving the cat severely anemic. One can easily trace signs of anemia in a cat, as the pet experiences fatigue and discoloration of the gums. And not to miss, a severe anemia can prove fatal for the pet. Besides, indication of fleas also includes hot spots, flea bite dermatitis, fur loss, and bald spots, which result from the allergic reactions to flea saliva. The best way to check is to hold the pet tight and rub its back against a white paper towel. If there are traces of reddish brown specks (which are actually dried flea feces), a flea infestation in the pet can be confirmed.
Cat Fleas on Humans
If the fleas are detected and extradited, they may opt for a bigger host, and that is humans! The symptoms on humans show up with tiny red spots in the lower parts of the legs, which may cause mild to severe itching. More the itching, more the person tends to scratch, and slowly the small red spot develops into a skin rash. At times, the rash may bleed too. Cat fleas on humans can also cause hives, that result from continuous itching. Hence, people who pet cats, are advised to use anesthetic creams (like 1% hydrocortisone cream) and ice compress to arrest the itching sensation and the swelling caused by a flea bite. Also, wash the affected area with antiseptic soap. In certain cases, antihistamines are also prescribed.
Breaking the Flea Cycle
To combat the symptoms, the first step is to break the flea cycle. Vacuum your home well, under the carpets, rugs, sofa sets, stairs, and all the wet and cozy places where your cat tries to snuggle in. Vacuuming is an effective way, as it wipes off all the flea larvae, thereby stalling the second stage of the flea cycle. After vacuuming, sprinkle these areas with a mixture containing 3 cups diatomaceous earth and ½ cup boric acid, and keep the arrangement for a couple of days. Then vacuum again. If you do not have diatomaceous earth, try spraying a mixture of cleaning powder, table salt, and lukewarm water, and then vacuum. Salt, pertaining to its osmosis properties, dehydrates the fleas, thereby disrupting the flea cycle.
Now, not ignoring your pet, use flea comb, which is an effective home remedy for cat fleas. You can dip this comb in apple cider vinegar and use it to 'deflea' your adorable pet. Occasionally, one can spray essential oils on the pet's fur, to keep these pests away, as essential oils contain antibacterial agents that help in combating fleas. There are many cat flea shampoos and medicines available which help effectively. Flea control measures like flea collars, flea bombs, flea spot ons, and flea sprays can also be adopted.
For a healthy feline, the master of the house must adopt a healthy and hygienic lifestyle, and care for the cat properly. Follow the above-mentioned tips, and keep your pet healthy, and be assured, the sweet meowing with the occasional purring sound will be filling your home again. After all, a pet is no less than a child, and its health is important too.