The danger of fleas & ticks
While fleas & ticks are usually more annoying than deadly, some have been known to harbor diseases and cause other health-related issues. Anemia, tapeworms, Lyme disease and Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) are all conditions that can stem from flea infestations. So while an infestation may seem harmless, it does deserve some attention.
Allergies to flea saliva
If the itching bite of a flea wasn’t bad enough, some pets can develop an allergy to flea saliva known as Flea Allergy Dermatitis. FAD is known to cause extreme irritation, itchiness or aggravation and is usually visible through small scabs and redness at the bite site. Excessive scratching (to the point of hair loss) is also a common indicator for FAD, and this is particularly dangerous because it can lead to secondary infection.
The primary treatment for FAD starts with washing your cat's bedding. A veterinary dermatologist can help with medications and even provide an allergy test and treatment for the hypersensitivity to fleas. Another important thing to note is that if your pet already has other allergies, they are especially at risk for FAD.
Flea & tick prevention products
The best defense is a good offense, and when it comes to flea & tick prevention that's especially true. There are several brands of flea treatments and repellents available to keep your pet flea and tick-free.
Remember, when using these products, follow directions closely and avoid contact with your pet's eyes, ears and mouth.
Guard your home
If fleas have found their way onto your cat, they have found their way into your home as well. Environmental outdoor treatments should never be used directly on your pet.
Adult fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day on your cat. These eggs end up in carpets, beds, and furniture. If you neglect to treat your home, you could miss more than 90% of the fleas. Treat areas where most flea eggs and larvae are concentrated.
Treat your yard
By controlling the outdoor environment your cat is exposed to, you can greatly reduce their exposure to fleas & ticks. Keep your cat in a fenced in area to prevent wandering and exploring in brushy areas filled with pests. You can also take further steps in prevention, such as treating outdoor areas with yard sprays.
The safest bet you can make when treating your pet's environment is to use a professional exterminator. Although this option is a little more costly, it also involves no labor on your end, and is usually backed by a guarantee.