Have you recently noticed that your cat is often scratching insistently? This is probably due to the presence of fleas. Do not panic! It’s time for a flea bath for cats. Although this is very unpleasant for your cat, it does not pose any significant danger to its health. However, they should be treated as quickly as possible because the more they increase, the longer it will take to eliminate them. That's why in this article. We first offer you to fight fleas naturally with home remedies that will keep these parasites at bay and help your companion live happier than ever.
Eliminating cat fleas is not such a complicated task. As with any feline condition and pathology, it is best to focus on prevention. If your pet is already infected, follow this article in which you will discover natural home remedies against fleas that will help you free your little beast from this hell.
The flea bath for cats: classic but effective
The first home remedy for fleas in cats is still a good bath. Cats are extremely clean animals, but once infected with fleas, grooming with the tongue is no longer enough to eliminate them.
To prepare a good flea bath for cats that will eliminate fleas from your pet, you will need:
Shampoo for, sensitive skin
Lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus oil
A fine cat comb
Make a special flea shampoo by mixing shampoo with an equal part of the oil. Then, scrub his back and tail well when you shower your pet. If possible, leave shampoo and oils on for 5-10 minutes. Also, be careful not to get shampoo in his ears or face.
Then rinse your cat well and dry it thoroughly with a soft towel. This is the best time for them, so do it with love. Finally, to be sure to eliminate all the fleas, give him a brush stroke all over his body.
Your cat is not a dog, so do not use flea products for dogs under any circumstances in flea bath for cats; not only will they not be effective, but they can also endanger your feline's health.
Avoid using oils if a kitten is less than three months old. Cats' skin is susceptible; if they are too small, it could cause significant skin irritation.
Considering that cats spend most of their time cleaning themselves, removing any remaining shampoos from their fur is essential. But unfortunately, licking these residues can intoxicate your cat.
Few cats like water, so you'll need to do it with love, care, and patience to make the experience as pleasant as possible. For example, avoid using strong water jets and control the water temperature.
While drying, place the cat on a transparent or white towel to make sure you remove the fleas.
A healthy home for a happy cat
It is useless to apply specific medicines to our animals or to give a good flea bath for cats if we do not keep the house clean. Eliminating fleas from cats involves acting on the animal and all the areas in which it develops, at the very least, on which we can serve, such as our home. Once a cat has been infected with fleas, he will invade not only its body but also the furniture, its cat tree, the cushions, and all the rooms in which your animal spends most of the time. Therefore, once you have acted on your cat, either with a shower or medication, the next step is disinfecting your home.
To make this home remedy natural and effective against fleas for cats, you must have on hand:
A handheld vacuum cleaner
A washing machine
Lots of hot water
Wash all blankets, sheets, and clothing in general that have been in contact with your pet. Program the washing machine in a cycle with hot water and if you have a dryer, use it to kill the remaining fleas.
Also, vacuum any furniture, scratching posts, or places your cat previously slept. You wouldn't want to risk leaving loose fleas that could re-infect your friend.
Finally, prepare a solution of white vinegar and hot water to clean the house. Use it for floors and surfaces such as shelves or furniture.
Are Fleas On Dogs And Cats The Same?
Pet guardians are surely aware of the enormous problem that fleas represent. These parasites are common in domestic animals but affect other species, such as rodents and even humans.
To avoid them, it is essential to maintain good hygiene and use products that prevent their appearance. But knowing how to recognize and differentiate them is also crucial since, in this way, you can choose the most effective treatment.
Do Fleas Cause So Much Damage To Pets?
Yes. And not only because that furry friend will feel an itch that will force him to scratch compulsively. These ectoparasites transmit diseases such as marine typhus. The latter is due to an allergic reaction caused by the flea's saliva on the pet's skin.
Some species, such as the rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis), can even transmit deadly diseases to humans, such as bubonic plague. However, the good news is that they can be kept at bay if good hygiene habits are developed for your four-legged friend, including regular bathing and applying special powders or lotions.
Most Common Types Of Fleas
There are many different kinds of fleas. Some 2,000 species have been recorded, the most common being those affecting cats and dogs. These are classified as follows:
Ctenocephalides canis: also known as the dog flea, its body is reddish and usually reaches 4 millimeters in diameter. Its larvae are white, and it is known to transmit the dog tapeworm. It is the most common among canid populations.
Ctenocephalides felis is dark in color and much smaller than the previous species. Its maximum diameter is just 3 millimeters. Although it is associated with cats, it can also appear in other animals, such as dogs, horses, and rabbits.
As can be seen, both varieties are common in mammals since they feed on tissues and warm blood. However, to survive, they take refuge in the body of the animal, which will cause an annoying itch in addition to other conditions.
What is the life cycle of fleas?
Fleas usually turn to a host for food. When this occurs, they can wait up to 2 weeks on various surfaces, such as grass, clothing, carpets, or synthetic fabric. After that, it may be the owner who carries them.
Once they are on a host, they will suck its blood until they can reproduce. Each female can lay a maximum of 600 eggs throughout her life, and in each cycle, it is typical for her to apply up to twenty. Fleas can be differentiated because they are tiny and white.
After this stage, larval development takes place, where the eggs hatch after two weeks of incubation. In this process, the larva will use the dead skin to feed and traces of dried blood. When completed, they will elaborate a cocoon where they will complete their maturation.
Finally, they have considered adult ectoparasites when they emerge from the cocoon and are ready to repeat the cycle. In total, the complete life cycle of fleas is approximately 114 days, including the estimated reproduction time. This is the explanation for why they tend to increase so quickly.
How To Detect Fleas
As noted at the beginning, scratching can be one of the most evident signs of fleas on a dog or cat. However, other skin conditions can cause the same effect on the animal, so relying only on this symptom is not convenient.
Hair loss, reddened skin, and dirty fur are sure signs that that adorable feline companion or beloved doggy friend may harbor a colony of these pesky critters. It is also recommended that guardians remain alert for possible symptoms of anemia from blood loss.
Occasionally, wounds may even appear due to itching. In this case, starting treatment immediately and using topical lotions that relieve the itch is best.
Diseases Associated With Fleas
As with other ectoparasites, dog and cat fleas carry diseases that can affect the health of any pet and sometimes also that of their owner. These are the most common.
Bartonellosis is classified as an infectious disease that shares a common pathogen, Bartonella bacteria. The best known is cat scratch disease, which produces inflammation at the level of the lymph nodes.
Endocarditis: manifests as an inflammation of the endocardium due to the accumulation of Bartonella henselae bacilli. When transmitted by this organism, it is classified as an infectious disease.
Intestinal parasitosis: it is usually caused by the action of the parasite Dipylidium caninum, and its most common symptoms are abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. It can also cause insomnia sometimes.
Many of these conditions attack people with low defenses more strongly, so it is an aspect that must be considered, especially if there is concern about the impact that fleas may have on the health of the guardian or the pet.
Besides, when children are at home, the chances of contagion increase. Above all, extreme precautions are recommended if the children are under four years of age.
Best Products for Cats
My pet has fleas, can it parasite me?
Yes. However, species associated with dogs and cats tend to prefer animal carriers over humans, so these are rare cases. Only the common flea (Pulex irritans) enjoys feeding on people more. Fortunately, current cleaning habits make it increasingly difficult to spread.
If this is not enough and you want to make sure that there are indeed none of these despicable critters lurking around, you can keep an eye out for the signs described below:
Presence of small bites: they are characterized by forming a red circle and a point right in the center.
The bites are focused: they usually appear several at the same time, in the same area. Also, the most affected areas include the ankles, armpits, elbows, and part of the legs.
There are marks of injuries and loss of body hair: traces of blood on clothing can also be an indication that the person has been bitten by fleas.
If all these signs exist, then it's time to bathe that furry friend and thoroughly clean every corner of the house. It is also a good idea for owners to go to their trusted veterinary center and request a deep deworming.
Ticks, Another Enemy to Defeat
In addition to fleas, there is another potential threat to your pets. Ticks are parasites that attach to the skin to suck blood. They tend to abound in summer and the rainy season. And likewise, they transmit diseases that can be life-threatening.
One of the most dangerous is ehrlichiosis, caused by a variety of the blood parasite Ehrlichia. Its main characteristics include inflammation of the lymph nodes, nosebleeds, and chronic anemia as a result of this last symptom in the most severe cases. It commonly occurs in dogs, although there are documented disease cases in felines.
Other tick-borne conditions include Lyme disease and borreliosis. When they appear, they usually cause kidney problems, problems walking, and fever. However, once diagnosed, they typically respond well to treatment, as long as they are detected early.
Factors That Influence The Appearance Of Fleas
In addition to all the characteristics, life cycles, and diseases described so far, and it is essential to know in depth the factors that influence and even favor the appearance of fleas in dogs and cats. These are the most common.
Coat Length: Long-haired species are much more susceptible to contracting Ctenocephalides varieties than short-haired specimens. So those who have a canine or feline companion with abundant hair, it is best to get a special comb to avoid this inconvenience.
Climate: warm places favor the proliferation of fleas and ticks. Similarly, it is common for both species to reproduce more quickly during the spring and summer months and to disappear in autumn and winter, respectively.
Where you live: If they are near a place with a lot of grass or open spaces, they are more likely to come into contact with this parasite. In this case, it is best to take precautions and disinfect the home thoroughly, at least once a month. It is also a great help to prevent weeds from building up.
So now you know that the combination of these three characteristics will determine the seriousness of the case presented by your furry friend.
The best way to keep fleas at bay is to give your pet a variety of treatments. Veterinarians often prescribe topical medications, which are often highly effective and spread against the grain.
Depending on the severity of the case, the vet may prescribe ingestible tablets that work like insecticides. Unfortunately, the content of these pills usually goes into the bloodstream, so the fleas die shortly after feeding on the animal's blood.
Finally, there are cosmetic products specially designed to eliminate fleas during bathing. In some cases, your vet may suggest a specific combination.
Each of these treatments must have medical supervision. This way, you will have a specialist to go to in case of an allergic reaction.
Tips For Grooming Your Pets
If you have found that one of your pets is fighting an itchy battle against these parasites, it is best to get to work at once. These simple but effective cleaning tricks will be of great help.
Choose a good shampoo. Most flea killers work bath time to be accommodating in mild or moderate cases. Make sure to leave it on for at least 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with plenty of warm water.
Thoroughly wash your pet's objects. Their bed, leash, and even cloth toys can harbor eggs. Make sure you clean them well with unique products. If you don't have them, mix one part of liquid soap with another piece of white vinegar and dilute it in enough water. When you're done, let them dry well.
Use lotions with residual effect. Aerosols and exceptional foams are the products that work best. Depending on the size of your four-legged friend, you can opt for special powders.
Opt for more drastic alternatives. Currently, there are special injections to reduce the proliferation of ticks. You can also try products that contain citronella extract, a practical component in veterinary cosmetics.
Put a unique necklace on it. Many veterinary stores sell collars that release a substance capable of keeping fleas at bay. It lasts about three months.
As you can see, exterminating fleas and ticks is an arduous task, but it provides satisfactory results. Your pets will appreciate it, and you will begin to notice the improvement in a short time. So give your best friend a new life and forget about this annoying problem once and for all.
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