Fleas and ticks are quite common in Ontario. If you have a cat that goes outside it is at risk of picking up both of these external parasites.
What are fleas?
Fleas are very small, dark brown external parasites. They are typically more active in warm weather but can be present any time of the year. They live in the environment but jump on cats to take a blood meal so that they can complete their life cycle.
How do fleas harm cats?
Fleas bite and take a blood meal. Severe infestations can actually lead to anemia (low red blood cell count) especially in the very young or very old. Typically, we see itching and hair loss but if severe can lead to self-trauma which can result in scabs and open wounds.
Why is treating and preventing fleas so important?
Treatment is strongly recommended because of the discomfort they cause, the role they play in contracting tapeworms by being injected and because they can cause zoonotic diseases such as Bartonellosis or cat scratch fever. Due to the life cycle of the flea once fleas enter your home it usually takes 90 days to complete the treatment to get rid of them.
What are some simple steps for treating fleas in your senior cat?
We stock several topical treatments that are easy to apply that will treat your cat as well as the environment. Please call the clinic for details on these products.