Fleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance to your pet. They can be dangerous. As per NIH, a survey in the UK found 28.1% of cats infested with fleas. Flea bites can lead to skin irritation, anemia, and other health problems, while ticks carry Lyme disease. If you have indoor cats who don’t go outside much, then you’re probably wondering what the best way is to control fleas and ticks on them.
Fortunately, there are several options available to help keep those pesky pests away. Here are some tips that will help keep your cat free of these unwanted visitors:
Use Flea and Tick Collar
You can deter fleas and ticks by using an insecticide collar. A Seresto collar for cats is available over the counter at pet stores, or you can ask your veterinarian for a prescription. The collar should be worn at all times, even when sleeping. It’s important to check that the collar is labeled for cats.
Collar efficacy varies from product to product, so it’s best to discuss the pros and cons with a professional before purchasing one. In general, however, these collars kill adult fleas upon contact. Still, they don’t prevent eggs from hatching into larvae, which means they will only eliminate some stages of the life cycle at once. The same goes for any other method.
Bathe Sensitive Cats Regularly
Bathing is a good idea if your cat is already experiencing itchy skin and hair loss. If you bathe your cat regularly, every four weeks or during the winter months if necessary, you can prevent flea infestations on their bodies, as well as any other parasites that may be present.
Bathing isn’t always fun for cats, so they might not enjoy it at first glance. But before jumping into the bathtub with your kitty, prepare yourself with these tips:
- Use pet shampoo instead of human shampoo. Most human shampoos contain chemicals that are too harsh for felines’ sensitive skin.
- Use warm water instead of hot water. Hot water will irritate their skin even more than cold would.
Use a Flea Comb on Your Cat
Many tools can help you to remove fleas from your cat. One of the most effective methods is using a flea comb, which you can find at most pet stores and often in the same aisle as other grooming supplies. A flea comb is also sometimes called a “flea brush” or “flea comb,” so if you’re having trouble finding one, keep an eye out for those terms on the packaging or ask an employee for help.
Flea combs are inexpensive and easy to use. Simply brush your cat’s fur with it every couple of days and watch for live insects as they fall into a bowl beneath the brush. This method will take longer than some others and may not be effective in all cases. But if done regularly, it can be very effective at controlling fleas on cats’ bodies without any risk of poisoning them accidentally through topical treatments like sprays or powders, which might even irritate sensitive skin.
Check Often for Signs of Fleas and Ticks
To prevent a flea infestation, regularly check your cat for signs of fleas and ticks. Look for them on his belly, back legs, and tail. These are the most common areas where he’ll pick up these bloodsuckers.
You should also check your house for things like flea eggs or droppings, which look like dark specks, in places like beds and furniture.
Keep Long-Haired Cats Groomed Regularly
According to Petfinder, 10% of cats are long-haired. Long-haired cats are more likely to get fleas and ticks than short-haired cats. This is because the long hairs of long-haired cats provide a warm and cozy place for these insects to hide. A good grooming session every week or two will make sure you’re not just keeping your cat free of pests but also looking good.
According to AZ Animals, there are an estimated 220 million pet cats in the world. In the U.S., 25.4% of households own a cat. As you know, many cat owners worry about fleas and ticks on their cats. These parasites can cause discomfort for your pet, who might be itching or scratching more than usual. It will be worth your while to take measures against these unwelcome guests before they come calling your door.