Flea and Tick Control for Cats

The harmful effects of fleas and ticks can reach far beyond severe discomfort. In fact, both fleas and ticks can carry serious diseases that are dangerous to both cats and their owners. Thankfully, today there are products available for prescription through the Animal Hospital of Waynesville, which can help ensure safety from these pesky parasites.

Facts about Fleas

Fleas
  • Fleas can cause numerous health problems to a cat.
  • Fleas can carry tapeworm larvae, which a cat can ingest and pass in their feces.
  • Fleas can also carry the organism Bartonella henselae, which is one of the causes of “cat-scratch” disease in humans.
  • Many cats are allergic to flea bites causing a single bite to initiate an intense allergic reaction, or flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). From this allergic reaction, the cat’s skin can become infected with bacteria and other pathogens.
  • When fleas reach an overwhelming number, they can cause the cat to become anemic (inadequate number of red blood cells).
  • A female flea can eat as much as 15 times her body weight in one day.
  • It only takes 72 female fleas to drink a total of 1 milliliter in a day.
  • Male fleas feed less but more frequently.
  • In just 30 days, 25 female fleas can multiply to over a million.

 

Ticks
  • Ticks can be harmful in small or large numbers.
  • They can transmit serious diseases to both cats and humans.
  • Ticks transmit diseases by attaching to the skin and feeding on blood, allowing disease causing organisms to move out of the tick and into either the cat or a person.
  • Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are all transmitted by tick bites.
  • They can also present specific problems when they attach to a sensitive location, such as the ear or eye.
  • The geographic distribution of ticks in the US, and the length of the tick season are both on the rise.
  • Ticks and the diseases they carry can be found in EVERY state in the US.

 

Signs of Infestation
  • Even if an owner has never physically seen a flea or tick on their cat, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. In darker colored cats it can be especially hard to see fleas and/or ticks. Cats are also such meticulous groomers that they eat the flea or tick before we see them.
  • Other signs of flea and tick infestation are scratching, irritated skin, or pepper-like debris (flea feces) in the cat’s fur.
  • An indicator that there is a tick problem is if the owner finds a tick or small bites on his/her self.

 

Fleas and Ticks – Cats vs. Dogs
  • Ticks are more commonly found on dogs than cats.
  • Dogs are more prone to flea allergy dermatitis.
  • A cat’s display of discomfort from fleas and ticks can be similar to that of normal grooming habits.
  • Fleas and ticks are often found on a cat’s face neck and back while on the rear, thighs and abdominal area of dogs.

 

Flea and Tick Preventative
  • Frontline, Revolution and Capstar are available through prescription from your veterinarian and come in either topical or oral form.
  • It is crucial that products designed for dogs are not applied to cats and vice versa.
  • The use of over-the-counter products on your cat is not recommended. These products have been known to cause allergic reactions, muscle tremors, seizures and in some severe cases, death.
  • It may also be beneficial to use environmental control products to treat beds, floors, blankets, etc. These products can be found at your veterinarian.

Recommended Flea and Tick Preventative Medications for Cats

Frontline

Fleas and Ticks
Topical product (goes between shoulder blades)
Applied once every 30 days
Dose based on weight
Can buy 1 month, 3 month, and 6 month supply

Revolution

Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworms, Roundworms and Ear Mites
Topical product (goes between shoulder blades)
Applied once every 30 days
Dose based on weight
Can buy 1 month, 3 month, and 6 month supply