Fleas are the most common parasites in pets. They are insects that need a blood supply to reproduce. From the flea eggs in the cat’s environment, larvae emerge, which mainly live off flea feces (undigested blood). The larvae also eat other organic material, such as tapeworm eggs, making fleas the source of infection for tapeworm. Flea larvae are slightly shy and prefer to live in a warm, somewhat humid environment. There they pupate in a cocoon (pupa), which can remain in a resting stage for up to twelve months. Due to vibrations in the environment (usually the passing of a human or animal), the pupa emerges and will jump on a suitable host animal. In exceptional cases, such as a plague of fleas and/or a shortage of host animals, humans are also jumped and bitten.
Fleas can cause a lot of trouble, especially for kittens. Over time, a kitten can develop life-threatening anemia because fleas absorb blood. Fleas also cause a lot of itching and agitation. Animals that have been bitten by fleas in their youth also have an increased risk of flea hypersensitivity. Each new flea bite can then trigger an itch reaction from all the previously acquired stings.
In the market, there are various remedies against fleas. Some even in combination with the control of worms. The most effective treatment at the moment is used in the preparations of Stronghold and Advocate. According to our own experience, Exil (because of allergic reactions) and Frontline (because fleas have built up resistance to these) are not recommended.
Your cat’s continuous nibbling and licking may lead to noticeable bits of hair loss, tiny crusts (pronounced miliary dermatitis by your veterinarian), and reddened irritated skin. Fleas may also cause skin allergies and can transmit other parasites, such as tapeworms, to your cat.