Hello! Nigel, here. I trust everyone was well while I was out on holiday. I had a most relaxing couple of weeks, but now I have returned and I am ready to get back to blogging. I don’t want to disappoint my fans!
Today, I thought we could discuss a rather irritating subject…FLEAS. I know…yuck! Fleas are these annoying little insects that like to live on the bodies of cats and dogs. They are really quite aggravating and cause most cats to itch terribly when the fleas bite. Something that you may be surprised to know, is that even cats that live exclusively indoors can get fleas. It’s true! Many of the patients suffering with fleas that Dr. S and Dr. J see at For Cats Only, live their entire lives inside. Fleas can come in to your home on your clothing or on the clothing or accessories of your friends. They can jump very high and far and are excellent at hiding under furniture, in carpeting, in couch cushions, etc…just waiting until a beautifully furry cat walks by for them to jump on to and set up housekeeping. They are often difficult to see, but if you know what to look for, you can easily check your kitty for fleas. The best way to do this is to gently part the fur on your cat’s hind end, just in front of his tail. What you are looking for is little specks of dark dirt or dust. You may or may not see the actual fleas.
If you are unsure that what you are looking at is truly flea dirt, you can do a simple test to determine if this is the case. Pinch some of the dirt off between your fingers and place it on a plain white paper towel. Then carefully drop a single drop of water over the dirt. If the area around the dirt speck turns brown/red and smudges, then this is flea dirt! The reason that it will smudge, is that flea dirt is made up of the digested blood from your cat. The flea sucks this blood out, ingests it, digests it and then poops it out (did I mention this talk was going to be a little bit gross?).
If you find that your cat has fleas, do not panic. The good news is, that there are many excellent products for ridding your house of these pests and getting them off of your beloved cat. Not all products are the same and not all products that you see in the store are necessarily safe for your cat. Be sure that you NEVER apply a product intended to kill fleas on dogs onto your cat. These products are specific to dogs, and cats can be severely harmed and in some instances killed by these pesticides! If you need advice on what product would be right for your kitty, you should give the wonderful staff at For Cats Only a call. Not every cat or household will be best helped by the same product, so the doctors will need to help you with your specific needs.
I hope that this talk was helpful, and that you now feel better prepared to check your cat for fleas.
Until next time, this is Nigel signing off. Meow!