Your cat can play host to a number of parasites, both internal and external. These parasites can be very difficult to spot with the naked eye until severe infection. Cat fleas, ticks and worms can all cause illness and disease in your pets, as well as pose a health risk to you and your family. This is why preventative treatment is so important in keeping our feline friends healthy and happy.
It’s fair to say, the choice of cat worm, flea, and tick treatments can be vast, and not all products are as effective as others.
Fleas can cause anaemia, itchy or sore skin, and weight loss. Fleas are not always easily spotted by the human eye as they run away from light when the hair is parted. Using a flea comb can help you find flea dirt. Flea dirt is actually flea poop and looks like small black grains of pepper. Wet the flea dirt on a damp paper towel and you will see a pink tinge on the towel. This is digested blood and confirms you have a flea problem in your cat.
Most flea topical treatments are either a monthly-three monthly application or flea collars can be used for longer protection. Younger kittens benefit from flea sprays as the dose they need changes rapidly as they are growing.
If your cat has fleas, they may also have a worm burden (fleas can carry tapeworm larvae) so remember to treat for cat flea and cat worm parasites if you find fleas on your cat.
Fleas can bite humans and leave small red itchy spots on our skin. Talk to a doctor if you are concerned about any skin lesions you have.
Ticks attach to the skin and drain blood from our cats. The ticks grow in size as they feed. Ticks are easiest to spot around the ears and head but can be anywhere on the body. Ticks are most commonly seen in the spring-autumn months.
When removing a tick you need to have a cat tick remover if you accidentally squeeze the tick when removing or leave the head in your cat’s skin, you risk introducing diseases. Do not use a credit card or your hands to ‘pinch’ off the tick.
A worm burden in your cat can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and a poor quality coat. Some types of worms are also transmissible to people, particularly children. By using worming tablets for cats you can prevent these signs.
Worming tablets are given every three months to adult cats, kittens need more frequent worming than this.
When trying to eliminate a cat flea, tick, or worm burden in your home, it’s important to treat all animals in your home at the same time as cats and dogs can infect each other with fleas, ticks, or worms.
If you are dealing with a flea infection, you also need to treat your home. Vacuum all the floors to get the eggs to hatch and hot wash all soft furnishings you can. Using a Flea bomb to kill the stages of the life cycle that live in your home is a key part of the process. Remove all pets and people from the home when setting off the flea bomb.
Using good quality products will help kill infections faster. Some products do not kill all types of worms, or all stages of the flea lifecycle so always read the packaging to check what the products treat for. If you are unsure about the correct product to use, remember our online vets will be happy to help you choose a product suitable for your situation and your cat’s needs.