It’s amazing how much a cat can still make you smile. Our cats are the centre of our world and a short glance or affection nudge is enough to melt our hearts. What is altogether less appealing in a cat is the pests and parasites that can live in and on them. Getting rid of cat pests can be difficult, but by looking out for the warning signs and acting swiftly you can keep your kitty happy and healthy.
Fleas are a very common cat pest problem, you’ll struggle to meet a cat owner who hasn’t had a flea problem at some point, but fleas can be deadly – anaemia can be triggered in kittens or elderly cats who are the subject of severe flea infestations.
If your cat has fleas you will probably notice he or she scratching themselves more than normal. You may also notice small black dots around the cat’s bed, or in his or her hair. This is a mixture of flea eggs and faeces, which will also show up if you comb the cat’s fur.
Female fleas can lay up to 50 eggs each day, so it’s important to act fast when you identify a problem. It’s usually a combination of methods which eliminate fleas from a pet most efficiently. There are many good cat flea shampoos on the market, including this herbal flea & tick shampoo at the RSPCA superstore. He or she may or may not appreciate the bath, but it will give them some instant relief from constant irritation. It’s important to try to let flea shampoos to soak into the cat’s coat for as long as possible, which can be easier said than done!
Fleas can also carry tapeworms, which grow inside the fleas until they are eaten by the cat, when they attached themselves to the intestines. You may notice tape worms protruding from the cat’s rear, they’re usually small and white. The best way to prevent the spread of tape worms is to prevent fleas.
There are other types of worms that affect cats, including roundworms, hookworms and ringworms. A cat with worms may show no particular signs of infection, so the only way to identify the problem is by checking their faeces or rear end. This is why many people worm their cats routinely with worming tablets. There are many available on the market, but look for a product which covers all intestinal worms, such as the Drontal Allwormer Tablets from the RSCPA superstore, which only need to be used every three months to ensure a happy, healthy cat.
Nothing is more important than the health of your cat, so if a pest problem presents itself it’s your duty as a pet owner to protect your cat. There are a range of off-the-shelf cat pest treatments available which are highly effective, but if you notice an unusual problem or you are worried that your treatments are not effective you should consult a qualified veterinarian.
All profits from these cat care products go towards the Australian RSPCA. Alan Cairns is based in Brighton, UK. He writes on a number of subjects relating to pets and pest control, including dog flea removal. Thanks for this great article Alan. Cat Image used under a creative commons licence courtesy of Ihasb33r.