External parasites live on the skin of your cat and feed on both his skin and blood, causing discomfort and, in some cases, sickness. They are a common problem for cats, particularly those that go outdoors, but your cat is easily treated and will recover quickly.
Many cats are highly sensitive to fleas. Some cats will react to the presence of a single flea not only by scratching vigorously but also by losing great patches of hair. Fleas tend to be more prevalent around the eyes, ears and anus, and a cat will scratch, suffer hair loss and be thoroughly miserable.
When combating fleas and it is combat, you will need to treat your cat repeatedly as well as ridding his quarters and/or your living quarters of fleas. You must fumigate the area again within 10 to 14 days after the first treatment as that is when the eggs hatch and a new crop of fleas emerges.
Some of the newer flea remedies include monthly pills or skin drops that are available only through your veterinarian. Other remedies include flea collars, powders, sprays and baths. Always ask your veterinarian about the advisability of combining flea remedies, or you might poison your cat.
If you have indoor cats and a dog that goes outdoors into an enclosed yard, you can either hire a professional flea exterminator to spray your yard monthly, or you can purchase the equipment and do it yourself. If there are no fleas in the yard, the dog cannot bring them into the house.
While it is difficult to rid your indoor pet and your house of fleas, it may be impossible to rid and outdoor cat of them. Fleas not only carry tapeworms but may give your cat feline infectious anemia (FIA), a disease that can result in anemia and a very sick cat.
Symptoms include pale gums and a high temperature, but your veterinarian will take a blood test to make a definite diagnosis, and will then prescribe the necessary treatment for your cat.
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