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OTHER ITA SITES:
Aghhh! My Cat Has Got Fleas...
So, how come my cat has got fleas?
Cats that are allowed outside pick up fleas by socializing with other cats or just by walking through territory where other cats have been.
Think that your indoor only cat is safe? Not so, fleas can travel into your home on your clothing (white garments seem particularly attractive to fleas). Once inside your home they easily transfer themselves to your cat who is a much more desirable host.
A cat that has picked up fleas may scratch vigorously around its neck and may groom the spine obsessively. Using a metal flea comb groom your cat paying attention to behind the ears, the neck and the base of the spine. Make sure that the comb reaches your cat's skin. If you find black, or deep brown gritty specks on the comb put these on a dampened tissue. If red seeps from them they are flea droppings, which are composed of dried blood.
Fleas lay their eggs in your cat's fur. These eggs fall out and hatch into larvae in your cats bedding, cracks in the floor boards, in upholstery and in your carpets. The larvae evolve into fleas that attach themselves and feed from any host that comes by, your cat being ideal. Fleas live anything from two months to two years, and can be feeding for a good deal of that time.
Many anti-flea preparations, such as shampoos, sprays and powders are available from veterinary offices and pet stores. You will want to treat both your cat and your home.. Sprays that are designed to be long lasting are the best bet for ridding your home of fleas but before using the spray, vacuum all carpeting, drapes, mattresses and upholstered furniture making sure that you vacuum underneath the furniture. Vacuum and then wash your cat's bedding in very hot water.
Before you start, pop a mothball into the cleaner bag and when you are satisfied that you have vacuumed thoroughly seal the cleaner bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it outside.
If you are opposed to the use of chemicals, fill a shallow bowl with sudsy water and stand a safety candle (night light) just above it. Alternatively use a battery light. In the dark fleas will jump at the light, fall into the water and drown. This will work but you will need at the least one for each room, and you may not get every last one of the fleas.
If your cat is allowed into your garden keep your lawn cut and free of weeds. The larvae of fleas love a humid environment and hate sunlight. Remove any piles of leaves or earth from your cat's territory.
Ask your veterinarian about treatment for your cat. One of the most effective treatments is a parasiticide that is applied to a small area at the back of the neck. There are products that control fleas by preventing them from reproducing.
Give your cat a bath once a week. If your cat simply refuses to be bathed ask your vet about alternative methods.
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