Fleas

Is it really a problem if my cat has fleas?

Fleas are very itchy for your pet, and severe infestations can lead to hair loss and skin damage. It is possible for them to cause anaemia especially in young animals, and they can transmit diseases including tapeworms and various blood-borne infections. Some cats are allergic to flea dirt or saliva, and can get very severe dermatitis from just a few fleas. They may also feed temporarily on humans causing small red bites often around the ankle.

Flea lifecycle

Fleas spend most of their life as larvae off-host, hidden in dark warm places such as under carpets. After a pupation stage they emerge as adults, find a host and start feeding on its blood. Fleas will begin breeding within a day or two, laying 40-50 eggs per day. The egg falls off the host and the larvae will hatch out within a few days, and the cycle begins once more.

How do I prevent my cat getting fleas?

Regular use of effective flea treatment will prevent your cat getting fleas. We recommend a prescription spot-on which kills the adult flea as soon as it starts to feed and so before it begins to breed. This treatment is effective for approximately one month, if the interval between applications is greater there is a risk adults will be able to breed and then it becomes much harder to eradicate the fleas off host. The product we prescribe also contains ingredients to kill fleas and other parasites including roundworms.

How do I get rid of a flea infestation?

  • Use flea treatment on your cat.
  • Vacuum thoroughly and wash your pet’s bedding at 60°C.
  • Use a household insecticide on your carpets and furniture to prevent the development of flea eggs and larvae. We recommend products which contain insect growth regulators with a long duration of action.
  • Treat all your pets – fleas are able to feed on dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets.
  • Keep treating! Heavy infestations can take as much as three months to clear even when environmental treatment is used.