How to Protect Your Cat from Fleas and Why It’s Important
Are you a cat owner? Has your cat ever had fleas? Do you know how to protect your cat from having fleas in the future? And how necessary is it, really, to put your cat on a flea preventative routine if they live indoors only?
In the article below, we’ll help you find answers to any questions you may have about flea control for cats. Whether you have an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, or a cat who spends time between both, you can find the right solution for all of your flea prevention needs listed below.
Methods of Flea Protection
There are many different options for protecting your cat from fleas. Talk with your veterinarian to choose the one that best fits your cat’s needs.
Oral Flea Medication
Oral medication is given once per month as a pill to your cat. It is usually strong enough to work for both fleas and ticks, although there are different types available to choose from. This type of flea prevention must be prescribed by your vet.
Topical Flea Medication
Topical flea medication comes as a gel in a tube. Every month, the gel should be placed on your cat’s skin between the shoulder blades where they cannot lick it off. This medication is available over the counter, so you don’t have to get a vet prescription for it.
Medicated Flea Collars
Medicated flea collars may work well for some cats. These collars contain flea preventative medication that works much like topical flea medication does, except that it is not placed directly onto the cat’s skin. Flea collars should be replaced every few months or so, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
All-Natural Flea Collars
All-natural flea collars contain natural flea and tick prevention substances instead of chemicals. They are usually made with citronella, although they may be made with other natural ingredients instead. They work well for some cats but may not be appropriate for every cat, so talk to your vet for more information about this option.
Flea baths can be given for cats who already have fleas. However, it is not typically recommended to give your cat a flea bath if they don’t have a flea infestation already. This is simply because flea baths can be harsh, and they may cause more harm than good for your cat’s skin unless they are needed.
Why Flea Protection is Important
There are many benefits to keeping your cat up to date on their flea protection.
Flea Protection Keeps your Cat from Discomfort
Fleas and their bites cause a lot of discomfort and sometimes pain for cats. Cats may become very itchy when dealing with fleas, which can lead to excessive scratching, licking, and chewing of the skin. When this happens, cats become more prone to lacerations, abscesses, and infections of the skin as well. Cats may also be at an increased risk of hair loss when dealing with flea infestations, especially those that last a long time. To prevent these issues, keep your cat up to date on flea prevention.
Flea Protection for your Cat Keeps Fleas Away from your Family
When you take care of flea problems for your pets, you don’t have to worry about dealing with fleas on your human family members. Fleas from cats can quickly spread to other pets in the household, including dogs and ferrets, and they can also spread to humans if they start to get out of control. You may find fleas in your carpet, on your bedding, or even on yourself if the problem worsens. To prevent the risk of flea infestations for your cat as well as everyone else in your home, be sure to choose the right flea prevention solution and stick to it year-round.
Flea Protection Reduces the Risk of Diseases Spread by Fleas and Ticks
Fleas themselves do not spread many diseases, but a cat’s immune system can be weakened by the presence of too many fleas. This problem, in turn, can lead to new or worsening secondary problems. Additionally, most flea preventatives also work on ticks, which can carry tickborne diseases and cause long-term health problems for some cats. You can protect your cat from these risks by keeping them on flea preventative medication or by using a flea collar at all times. Your cat will be healthier overall when you help them take care of any flea issues before it gets out of hand.
Your Heart + Paw Veterinarian is Here to Help
As you can see, flea protection and prevention are crucial parts of cat ownership. Whether your feline friend is an indoor cat or an outdoor one, it’s important to pay attention to their overall health and wellness, especially when it comes to the prevention of parasites like fleas and ticks.
With the help of the information in this guide, you should be able to choose the right method of flea protection for your cat. If you have any further questions or concerns about fleas on cats be sure to talk to your Heart + Paw vet by booking an appointment online at any of our locations.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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