Having a healthy and happy pet cat calls for you, the pet parent, to be proactive when dealing with a potential flea infestation, so that the problem can be prevented well in time. If not treated timely, fleas and flea larvae can cause a number of health problems for your cat.
Before we discuss tips to deal with flea infestation in your furry friends, let’s first understand the common health complications that can result from fleas if nothing is done to stop them growing.
Common health problems associated with flea infestation
Fleas can give your cat bacterial infections, aside from tremendous discomfort from constant itching and scratching. Your pet’s coat loses its luster and bounce and the hair loss can be heartbreaking to watch. Additionally, as fleas feed on blood, they have been known to cause anemia in pets, which may lead to further health complications.
Tarek Johanson from Advecta3.com says that understanding the health risks for your cat if it has fleas is extremely important.
There are some telltale signs that your cat is struggling with a flea infection. These are: excessive scratching, hair loss, skin rash, and blackish-brown specks on the pet’s coat (these are actually made up of the blood sucked from your pet’s skin and flea waste). The good news is that because flea infestation is so common, most pet parents are experienced to spot fleas at the first signs of excessive scratching or chewing.
While the focus must be on prevention of fleas, here are 5 natural ways to remove fleas from your cat’s fur.
Use a flea comb soaked in lemon juice
Squeeze a few lemons into a bowl, add three cups of water, and boil the concoction for 10 minutes. Let it cool and keep aside for a couple hours, dip the comb in the liquid and comb your feline friend’s fur to get the fleas out. It is believed that fleas find the smell of lemon extremely repulsive. You can also fill the liquid into a spray bottle and spray on the pet’s bedding, if you’re sure they won’t find the scent unbearable.
Use this tried-and-tested home remedy twice daily and see if it works in reducing the intensity of flea infestation.
Give your cat an ACV bath
ACV, or apple cider vinegar, is known for its antiseptic properties. A soothing soak in water to which ACV has been added or a gentle spray all over helps remove fleas with minimum fuss. After bath or spray, simply comb out the fleas using a fine-toothed comb.
Use a quality flea treatment product
Cats are very sensitive when it comes to certain scents and they can get irate if they don’t like the home treatment you’re giving them. In such cases, ready-to-use pest prevention and treatment products can prove useful.
These products are made with pet-safe ingredients and make easy the cumbersome task of dealing with pest infestations. They not only work to remove fleas, the composition is created to work equally well on flea larvae and eggs.
If natural remedies are not working or are too slow in showing results, opting for a flea treatment solution may be a good idea, particularly if you want to get rid of the problem quickly.
Maintain proper hygiene
Your pet’s bedding can be a haven for fleas, so regular washing and vacuuming must be done to keep flea growth in check. Add white vinegar to the final rinse when washing the cat’s bedding and jacket. If you suspect a flea infestation, vacuum your carpet rigorously and regularly to get rid of flea eggs. If you can catch them at this stage, you will have fewer adult fleas to deal with.
Use a flea trap
Place a dish filled with soapy water near a light at night. Fleas are apparently attracted to light, so this works like a trap to drown adult fleas in the water. The chemicals in the soap ensure the fleas won’t survive.
This is a good measure to reduce the number of fleas, but of course what we need is to wipe out the infestation. If you feel that you aren’t able to manage the infestation with these natural solutions, consider visiting the vet or buying a trusted flea treatment product that will do the job for you.
For pets living in warm climates, fleas and other pests can strike at any time of the year, and watchful parents need to be prepared to prevent the problem altogether rather than spend time and resources curing it.