How to Tell if Your Cat Has Fleas

Fleas are common parasites that often find ways to stick to your beloved furry pets, especially dogs or cats. They feed on their host’s blood, lay eggs and in this way spread over the pet’s body. Their tiny body size plus the dark brown color make it easy for them to mingle with the habitat. If you raise a dog or cat as a pet, you should expect to find fleas on them at some point. They may bite and leave itchy and painful spots on your pet’s body and this can be really annoying for the poor animal. For those of you who own a cat, you will find this article especially useful as it focuses on the question of how to tell if your cat has fleas.

A cat that is free of fleas will behave differently from a cat that is being attacked by fleas. Thus, in order to answer the question, “How to tell if your cat has fleas”, we will look for the differences in behavior of your cat when its body is full of pesky parasites. Early flea detection is necessary in order for you to take action quickly because fleas multiply in number very fast. The sooner you know that there is a flea infestation, the quicker you will be able t take action to treat it. Otherwise, fleas may not just disturb your cat but your own well-being as well.

Scratching

How to tell if your cat has fleas

Fleas often bite their host and their bites become terribly itchy. The itchy bites will cause the pet to feel like scratching. “How to tell if your cat has fleas” is answered by watching out if your cat is scratching its body to relieve itself of the crazy itchiness. Sometimes, your kitty will even bite itself for the purpose of catching fleas and getting rid of itchy irritation. These are symptoms you can easily notice and know that your pet is being troubled by fleas.

Excessive grooming

Cats are graceful in the way that they gently groom their fur. We may find it normal as they do it quite often. However, it is abnormal if your cat keeps grooming itself all the time and that is one way to tell that your cat has fleas. The pet is being irritated by flea bites and it is trying to soothe the pain and itchiness by licking their body. You may pay attention to areas on their body that fleas are most likely to be found. If the cat keeps licking its armpits, groin, legs or tail then this is probably where the fleas are.

Avoiding certain places

Animals are intelligent in their own way. If you keep an eye on your cats, you will notice some of the places where they often hang out. Let’s take the carpet, sofa or somewhere in the garden for example. Those places could be the areas which are populated with fleas and cause them a lot of itchiness or discomfort everytime they go there. As a result, cats will frequent these places less often than usual. If you notice this sudden avoidance, it is a clue that your cat probably has fleas.

Signs of anemia

If your cat is heavily infested by fleas, there is a high chance that it could be suffering from anemia. Some symptoms of anemia you need to remember are lethargy or fatigue, muscle loss and pale gums. In other words, your cat will not be as active as usual so a check by your vet is advisable to see if it has anemia or not.

Hair loss

Hair loss may result from many reasons, one being continuous scratching and biting. Flea bites could be the cause of all of this or flea saliva could be the source of an allergy to sensitive cats and they react by scratching excessively. This ultimately results in patches of hair loss.

Double check with a flea comb

How to tell if your cat has fleas

In order to know for sure that your kitty is infested with fleas, comb through its fur with a flea or lice comb. Start combing its coat from head to tail and pay attention to places that fleas are very likely to be hiding such as the armpit, groin, neck or ear. The tiny dark brown parasites are easy to detected while combing. It is a good idea to have a dish of soapy water nearby so that you can dip the comb into it to kill any fleas you remove with the comb. Even you find no fleas but your cat’s body is full of red spots or irritated skin, the chances are that fleas are the cause. This evidence alone is clear enough to conclude that there are fleas on your cat.  

As you can tell, it is not difficult to find the answer to the question, “How to tell if your cat has fleas?” To recap, watch out for abnormal behaviour in your cat; check for excessive scratching or grooming; notice whether the cat no longer hangs out in places it used to frequent. Also, check for signs of anemia or hair loss on parts of its body. If you want to have a closer look at its fur, comb the hair and check it for fleas.

As soon as you know that your cat is being troubled by fleas, prompt action must be taken to deal with the problem. Unfortunately, the few fleas you see on your cat are probably just the tip of the iceberg. If you do not treat the problem promptly, your entire home could soon have a flea infestation.

Cats are more sensitive than dogs are so addressing fleas on a cat’s body needs greater care and patience. A flea comb is one of the methods you can use to remove fleas from your cat. If you intend to treat fleas with a comb, you will have to keep doing it until no more fleas can be found on your pet’s body.

Another method is to purchase a flea collar or buy special flea medication from your vet. Professional help from a vet is essential if your own efforts at curing your cat of fleas fail. It is also important to wash your pet’s bedding in very hot soapy water, as well as vacuum any carpets, rugs or other places in the house that are infested with fleas in order to create a healthy living environment. Keep your house spotlessly clean to get rid of flea eggs, larvae or adult fleas altogether.

Thanks for reading!

Richard Clayton

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