(PET CARE) The cat flea is one of the most abundant and widespread species of flea on Earth. Not only do fleas cause incessant scratching, but they can also lead to tapeworms. Read on to learn how you can control and treat fleas in cats. — Global Animal

Don't let fleas be a pest for you an your pet. Photo Credit: Johanna Goodyear
Don’t let fleas be a pest for you an your pet. Photo Credit: Johanna Goodyear

Cats acquire fleas easily and frequently. Every cat guardian has seen the routine before. The cat goes outside a couple of times during a week, then by the weekend the poor cat is scratching itself, making noises constantly to get your attention, and rolling around on the floor to alleviate an itch on its backside. More often than not, the problem is coming from flea bites. Most people who own cats are familiar with their cats acquiring fleas and start to feel helpless because they do not feel they can help their cats. However, just because flea bites are a common occurrence for cats does not mean your cat has to live with these types of struggles. There are easy ways to keep your cat from acquiring flea problems in the first place.

Many cat guardians want to test their cats first to be sure they have fleas before they do anything else. If you would like to test your cat for fleas, there are a couple of ways to do it. The best way is to first try bringing your cat outside. Then, brush his or her hair with a comb as the cat stands on a bright white piece of paper. As you brush, you will notice little brown insects fall onto the sheet if your cat has fleas. If you find these brown insects, then you know it is time to get treatment immediately. However, even if you do not find the fleas, it is difficult to be sure; some cat guardians become frustrated when they cannot find the fleas but the cat continues to scratch itself as though something is bothersome. Another way to find if your cat has fleas is to brush your cat and put any flea ‘dirt’ on a wet paper towel. If any of it turns red with blood, your cat has fleas.

The only way to be absolutely certain that your cat is flea free is to purchase and apply some kind of topical treatment for fleas. These treatments are effective not only in treating a current itch or flea problem, but also preventing future infections. Treatments like this are usually in some kind of ointment or lotion form, so the cat feels better as soon as the treatment is applied. Application is easy. Simply rub the ointment over the cat’s backside, taking care to reach the infected area. Once you have rubbed your cat, you will notice your cat will instantly stop scratching itself because the itching has gone away.

The fleas will also disappear within days, and your cat will be back to living a happy, normal life. Be sure to continue to apply the treatment roughly once a month, especially if your cat goes outdoors on a regular basis. See your veterinarian for your cat’s specific needs or if you have any questions about the treatment you are using. Overall, your cat will appreciate you for your help and will love that he or she can finally start living flea free.