How Can Fleas Affect Cats00:00

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Fleas are parasites that survive by ingesting the blood of warm-blooded hosts like cats, dogs, and humans. For many cat owners fleas are a real concern. It only takes a few fleas for your cat to become infested. When your cat carries fleas into your home, that’s where the real trouble start. Those few fleas can multiply and once they are on the skin and coat they start biting. Causing irritation and distress. But this is not the worse part. After they bite they lay eggs. As many as 50 a day. When your cat is shaking, some of those eggs fall on the floors, on the carpets. In less than two weeks these eggs can hatch and develop into new adult fleas which can bite your cat and continue to infest your home. That’s why treating your cat to prevent fleas is so important.

Not only that fleas can make your cat feel very uncomfortable, but they can also transmit diseases to your cat. Fleas on your cat can pass along a bacterial infection called Bartonella. Cats most commonly contract this disease through close skin contact with infected flea feces. Cats usually don’t show direct clinical signs from this infection but a wide variety of medical conditions have been linked with Bartonella infections, including mouth and gum disease, eye inflammation and heart disease.

Cats can be hypersensitive to fleas’ saliva when they bite, causing a condition called flea allergy dermatitis, one of the most common causes of itchiness in cats.

Fleas can also cause anemia and this is a serious medical condition especially in kittens who can even die from a massive infestation with fleas. Symptoms of anemia in cats include weakness, lethargy or rapid breathing.

Fleas can transmit the tape worm to your cat. The larva of this tape worm is carried in the body of the flea. In the cats chew and annoy the flea why they groom themselves, the tape worm larva is released and travels through the stomach to the gut. In the gut the larva develops in an adult. One adult tape worm can produce many hundreds of eggs. Segments of the tape worm are eliminated with the feces. They can be noticed in the poop looking like cucumber seeds or like small grains of rice. Tapeworms can sometimes lead to abdominal pain and diarrhea, as well as itchiness around the anus.

To keep your cat healthy, prevent fleas, use an effective flea prevention product for cats throughout the year. If is possible avoid cheap products and never use essential oils as a flea prevention. Many essential oils are toxic to cats. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil, the greater the risk to the cat. Cat owners should be cautious using essential oils and diffusers in their homes in order to protect their cat(s) from a toxic risk. Most importantly, concentrated essential oils should never be directly applied to cats.

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