My cat has fleas: why and how can I get rid of them?

  My cat has fleas: why and how can I get rid of them?

My cat has fleas: why and how can I get rid of them?

Whether your cat has access to the outside or not, you are not immune to a flea infestation ... But who are these little parasites and how do they get into our home? Stinging and extremely invasive, fleas can become a real scourge once installed.
Here is essential information on cat fleas and tips for detecting and eliminating them; luckily, there are several natural remedies as well as some very effective veterinary products. You still have to know how to use them and take all the necessary measures to overcome them.

Where do cat fleas come from? 

Fleas are from the ectoparasite family, which feed on the blood of the animals they infest. They can also attack humans and are therefore the cause of stings and sometimes acute itching. Once sated, the females will lay eggs on the host animal and these will spread quickly in the environment: bedding, clothing, floors, parquet ...

When the eggs hatch, the larvae colonize the dark and humid places of the house and will proliferate by feeding on organic debris, as do the mites. These larvae can survive up to 150 days before settling on a new host ... Or again on your cat who will continue to spread them wherever he goes!

In addition, fleas can jump high and far, and thus move from host to host effortlessly. In this way, if the infestation is not eradicated as quickly as possible, it can quickly become a veritable vicious circle. Fleas are particularly virulent from March to October, and can also be transported by humans to then attack the animals in the house, hence the need to use anti-flea products in prevention, and this, throughout. year-round to eliminate the risk of recurrence.

How to detect the presence of fleas?

At first glance, a flea-infested animal may not show obvious symptoms other than scratching itself, but this can also go unnoticed as it is not necessarily going to appear to be doing so more than usual. In addition, since cats are animals that groom themselves a lot, they can catch fleas in their coats and swallow them.

Unfortunately, this technique does not rid the environment at all of the larvae and adult fleas already installed and can multiply even more by the presence of eggs that survive in the stool. In addition, the only way to check if your cat is infested is to inspect its coat carefully, using a very fine comb whose teeth should be spaced less than 2 mm. Bypassing the comb, one can thus detect the presence of fleas or larvae between the teeth. Flea droppings, the size of a pinhead and black in color, can also be seen in the cat's hair with close observation; they are often found in greater numbers on the head, ears, neck, rump, and inside the thighs of the animal.

Natural methods to eliminate fleas from cats

Some natural products are effective against fleas, such as lavender essential oil, to be used as a spray diluted in water and a little vinegar. Count 10 to 20 drops of essential oil for a liter of water. We can also Vet's Best Flea and Tick Repellent Collar for Cats| Pest Repellent Cat Collar salt or diatomaceous earth on the ground and in particular between the parquet slats, leave on for several days then vacuum everything up.

Be careful, only vacuuming can remove flea eggs and larvae, because sweeping will tend to scatter them to the four corners of the house! For carpets and bedding, it is advisable to use a Karcher-type steam cleaner. Finally, the bicarbonate and the diatomaceous earth can be used in the manner of dry shampoo, by rubbing the coat of the animal directly with it; take care to protect his eyes as well as yours, and wear a mask to avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth, which is extremely drying, hence its action on fleas.

After a few days, wash the animal with a natural insecticidal shampoo with neem (neem) oil. Also beware of insect repellent, preventative-only shampoos. These can be used once the fleas have been eliminated, to prevent a recurrence.

Commercial flea and parasiticides

While many anti-parasitics are commercially available, only a small number of them are really effective ... The product must be able to eliminate fleas at all stages of their growth (eggs, larvae, young adults, and adults) but also be permanently impregnated on the hair to fight against the entire colony. The most effective anti-fleas are found in veterinary surgeries, so they represent a certain budget but their spectrum of action is the broadest. These products exist in the form of pipettes, sprays, or even tablets.

On the market, and especially in supermarkets, there is a wide range of anti-parasitic items such as flea collars and insect repellent shampoos, however, the latter is rarely effective and, if they are, do not allow to truly fight against an already established colony. So, in the event of a severe infestation, seeking advice from your veterinarian is the best solution.

In pharmacies, there are certain veterinary products whose effectiveness is good, but whatever the product is chosen, it is impossible to get rid of fleas without also treating their entire environment. Your pharmacist and your veterinarian can therefore recommend a product to treat your home, in the form of a spray or a diffuser.

Finally, you cannot overcome a flea infestation without washing all the textiles in the house at 60 ° C minimum, starting with your cat's belongings (cushion, basket ...) as well as bedding and sofas in particular.

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