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How fleas can affect your feline
Cats are good at grooming themselves and generally taking care of themselves, but fleas are one issue they may need some help with. Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in all pets, causing about one in five visits to the vet to be about skin conditions. In addition, fleas cause more dermatitis than any other insect on your pets. Your cat will always groom and scratch itself, but if it seems to be scratching more than usual, you might want to investigate for a flea infestation.
About 95 percent of the flea population exists as eggs, larvae or pupae in the carpet or grass, and if your cat has fleas, chances are they are also affecting the other pets in your house and will be breeding in your home and yard. The first step you should take is to get your cat and other pets on flea and tick preventative medications. You can use Comfortis on any dogs in your household – these pet drugs will start killing fleas within 30 minutes. Because it is an oral medication, you might want to feed it to your dog with its pet food or disguised in Greenies Pill Pockets. To kill fleas on your cat, apply Frontline Plus. Topical pet products like this one will kill all existing fleas on your cat within 12 hours, and will keep protecting the pet for a full month, until you apply it again.
If your cat is already suffering an allergic skin reaction from a flea bite, you will want to relieve any pain and itching. A bath with pet shampoo like Allermyl Shampoo may soothe your cat's skin, but not all cats will tolerate a bath. If your cat falls into this latter category, you might want to opt for a spray like Excel Hydrocortisone Spray.
If your cat's skin has been severely damaged by an allergic reaction to fleas, try giving it a whole foods supplement like Be Well Cat, which offers plenty of fatty acids and fiber. Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil is another good source of fatty acids to support healthy skin. Not only can these products heal your cat's skin after an infection – they can help a topical flea and tick preventative work better. Soft, flexible and healthy skin transmits the medication better than dry, thick and unhealthy skin.