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How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats: A Complete Guide

Fleas are a common problem for cats in Australia. These pesky parasites not only cause discomfort but can also lead to serious health issues for you and your cat! In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about recognising, treating, and preventing fleas on your feline friend.

What Are Fleas?

Fleas are tiny, wingless, blood sucking insects with incredible jumping abilities. The most common flea species infesting cats in Australia is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. These pests are more than just an annoyance; they can cause skin diseases, anemia in severe cases, and even transmit zoonotic diseases which is the spread of infectious or parasitic diseases to humans from animals. To emphasise the extent of how severe fleas can be at spreading disease, lets take a step back in history! Fleas were responsible for the spread of the Black Death (bubonic plague) in the Middle Ages.

Some (there are more out there) common zoonotic diseases caused by cats today include:

  • Cat scratch disease (CSD)
  • Parasitic infections such as toxoplasmosis
  • Ringworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Salmonellosis and Campylobacter

 

How Do Cats Get Fleas?

Cats can pick up fleas from environments where other flea-infested animals have been, such as your home, backyard, or other outdoor areas. It’s rare for fleas to jump directly from one animal to another. The flea life cycle consists of four stages: eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Only adult fleas live on your cat; the other stages are found in the environment. One female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, which fall off into the environment, developing into larvae, pupae, and eventually new adult fleas over a period ranging from three weeks to 12 months, depending on temperature and humidity.

What Do Fleas Look Like on Cats?

Fleas are small and fast-moving, making them difficult to spot. They appear as dark red or brownish ovals. If you do see a flea, it will likely disappear quickly as it jumps or crawls away.

What Does Flea Dirt Look Like?

Even if you don’t see fleas, you might notice flea dirt, which is actually flea feces. It looks like small grains of dark brown - black dirt, but you can tell the difference by placing some on a wet tissue – flea dirt will stain the tissue red.

What Do Flea Eggs Look Like on Cats?

Flea eggs are tiny, light-coloured ovals that fall off the cat into the environment. It’s unlikely you’ll see these eggs on your cat, but knowing they exist helps in understanding the flea life cycle and the importance of environmental control.

Flea Treatment for Cats

If your cat has fleas, effective treatment is crucial. NexGard SPECTRA® for Cats is an excellent option. It not only provides highly effective flea control but also protects against ticks, mites, heartworm, lungworm, and intestinal worms, including tapeworms. This all-in-one solution requires just one easy, monthly application. Simply purchase the suitable size (our staff can assist if you need help) of treatment and apply following the directions.

 

 

 

Should I treat my Cat for Fleas if they live indoors?

Yes, even cats that are kept strictly indoors are at risk! Here's why indoor cats still need to be treated:

  • Worm eggs transmitted on shoes.
  • Parasite-infested pests such as rodents, slugs or snails.
  • Heartworm-infected mosquitoes.
  • Parasites transmitted by other pets such as dogs.

Flea Prevention for Cats

Prevention is always better than cure. By the time you see fleas on your cat, they may have already laid eggs in your home. While you can’t prevent new adult fleas from jumping onto your cat, you can stop them from settling in and infesting your home.

NexGard SPECTRA® kills newly acquired adult fleas before they can lay eggs, preventing environmental contamination. It provides protection for at least five weeks, ensuring your cat is safeguarded for a full month. It also features a new and easy to apply applicator.

 

 

 

Current veterinary recommendations for the treatment and prevention of fleas on your cat

Don't wait until you see fleas on your cat. Proactive flea prevention is key to keeping your cat and home flea-free. With regular use of NexGard SPECTRA®, you can ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy. 

For more information on flea treatments and other pet care products, visit us in store today or shop online to keep your cat free of fleas and to keep your family protected!

 

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