Cats Health

Can Fleas Kill a Cat? The Dangers of Fleas to Felines

cat head peaking out of blanket pile

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cat head peaking out of blanket pile

Fleas are a nuisance, and an inevitability of cat parenting. However left untreated, fleas might be greater than a minor irritation. A extreme flea infestation can kill a cat or kitten.

However don’t fear, when you simply see a couple of little beasts in your cat’s again, you’re going to be okay. Simply deal with them with both an over-the-counter or pure flea remedy.

A extreme flea infestation can kill a cat or kitten. Fleas may cause illnesses and circumstances similar to anemia, Feline Homotrophic Mycoplasmosis (FHM), and plague, which, when left untreated, may cause dying. Nevertheless, demise from fleas could be very uncommon.

Flea-Born Illnesses That Can Kill or Trigger Sickness in Cats

Fleas grow to be a much bigger drawback than itchy pores and skin when the infestation results in anemia, or one among these lethal flea-transmitted illnesses.

Anemia

Fleas stay off the blood provide from their host. When your cat is carrying too many fleas, it loses loads of blood and suffers from anemia – a deficiency of white blood cells or hemoglobin within the blood. Anemia from flea bites may be lethal.

Signs of flea chew anemia in cats: weak spot, lethargy, and pale gums.

In case your cat is affected by these signs, along with the itching and scratching, a flea remedy alone just isn’t sufficient. Get them to the vet. They could want iron dietary supplements and probably a blood transfusion. Even then, in case you have a small kitten or a really previous cat, they could not make it by means of.

Feline Hemotrophic Mycoplasmosis (FHM)

Previously referred to as haemobartonellosis, FHM is a parasite that may be transmitted by fleas. This parasite destroys your cat’s purple blood cells and causes extreme anemia.

Signs of FHM: pale, white, or yellow linings of the eyes and/or gums; fatigue, lethargy, drastic weight reduction, elevated coronary heart price, speedy respiration, enlarged spleen, enlarged lymph nodes, anemia.

In case your cat is experiencing a number of of those signs, make an appointment together with your veterinarian. They’ll run a PCR assay and certain a FeLV/FIV check. If discovered constructive for FHM, your cat might be handled with a course of antibiotics along with a flea remedy.

When you have multiple cat and there’s a flea infestation, be sure to deal with all of your cats for fleas and get them checked by a veterinarian. FHM parasite just isn’t unfold instantly from cat to cat, however it’s unfold by the switch of contaminated fleas.

The Plague

Sure, the plague. Opposite to widespread perception, this flea-transmitted lethal illness didn’t disappear after the Darkish Ages.

The plague is mostly lively within the southwest (in the USA) between the late spring and early fall, so be particularly cautious of your outside cats throughout that point.

Plague is carried by contaminated fleas by means of rodents, and your cat can get it both from a type of flea bites or by ingesting an contaminated mouse, mole, rat, or squirrel.

There are three kinds of plague that current with assorted signs.

Signs of Bubonic Plague and Septicemic in cats: speedy weight reduction, fever, vomiting, dry mouth and dehydration, swollen head and neck, mouth ulcers, eye discharge, diarrhea, swollen tonsils, swollen lymph nodes that would abscess. If the cat survives, untreated it might find yourself in a coma. With Septicemic Plague, a blood an infection may even current.

Pneumonic Plague signs in cats: lung an infection.

In case your cat has a number of of those signs, take them to a vet instantly. Early intervention and remedy are crucial for a cat contaminated with plague to outlive. Your cat can be remoted in a veterinary hospital and handled with antibiotics and probably rehydration, in addition to a flea remedy.

To make sure the security of your different cats, pets, and sure, even people, in your house, get each pet and individual examined. You might need to do a business flea remedy at this level, and maintain your surroundings away from rubbish, muddle like lifeless branches and wooden, and anything which may appeal to infected-flea-carrying rodents.

It is very important notify public well being officers instantly when a cat is suspected of getting or recognized with the plague. They’ll help you in securing the world for prevention of additional an infection.

Vet hands holding cat on table

Tapeworms (Not Lethal, however “Ick”)

In case your cat swallows a flea carrying tapeworms inside it, your cat will find yourself with tapeworms in its intestines. Tapeworms are usually not lethal. Nevertheless, they’ll trigger your cat to vomit and have diarrhea. This might begin to trigger malnourishment and fatigue.

You possibly can determine tapeworms by wanting round your cat’s anus. It’s going to appear to be bits of white rice caught to their backsides. These are tapeworm larvae, which can hatch and proceed the cycle of reinfestation.

It would be best to first, deal with the fleas both with an over-the-counter, skilled, or pure flea treatment. And second, deworm your cat both professionally by your vet or with an at-home product like Bayer Tapeworm Cat Dewormer.

cat dewormer bayer

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Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Once more, that is an uncomfortable symptom of fleas in cats, nevertheless it’s not lethal. Flea allergy dermatitis is a situation the place your cat turns into allergic to the flea’s saliva.

When the flea bites your cat, only one chew may cause critical itching and ache. This could result in hair loss and scabs from the cat scratching at biting on the irritated pores and skin.

Signs of Flea Allergy Dermatitis: scratching and chewing at one spot on the cat’s physique (often on the base of the tail), scabbing and localized baldness.

Your greatest guess is to deal with your cat with an over-the-counter or pure flea remedy.

The Most At-Danger Cats to Flea-Transmitted Illness

Cat Mouth Open With Eyes Closed

Kittens, aged cats, and cats with compromised immune techniques are most prone to illnesses from flea bites turning into life-threatening. It’s necessary that you simply take correct precautions to guard these weak cats from fleas.

Think about maintaining these cats and kittens indoors and remoted from different pets, wash their bedding commonly, and sustain with their flea prevention protocol.

Cats who’re allowed to roam outdoor are at a better danger for contracting fleas and flea-transmitted illnesses than indoor cats. It’s because the fleas are carried on wildlife, corresponding to rodents, in addition to different cats and canine.

Stopping and Treating a Widespread Flea Infestation

Rescued deserted and misplaced casts are probably the most generally in want of remedy for flea-related lethal illness or main flea infestation. These cats have higher publicity and go longer with out remedy. However, a nasty case of the fleas can sometimes descend upon your indoor or outside household pet.

For those who’re paying shut, every day consideration to your cat, it’s unlikely that flea bites will turn out to be lethal. When you’re involved about fleas, step one is to take some flea prevention measures, like an oral or topical flea prevention plan or flea collar.

Subsequent, ensure your cat’s setting is free from meals and trash, the flooring and carpeting are clear, and fabric is vacuumed often. Wash your cat’s bedding in cleaning soap and scorching water as soon as every week.

How one can Verify for Fleas on Your Cat

Examine for fleas in your cat periodically. You’re in search of a small, brownish, flat insect that’s super-quick and an professional jumper, so look quick otherwise you may miss it.

Fleas like to hang around in heat, protected areas just like the groin and armpits. Flip your cat on its again and half its hair together with your thumb and forefinger to examine the pores and skin.

Subsequent, verify your cat’s ears and the bottom of its tail for pink, bumpy pores and skin or bits of dried blood referred to as the place the fleas have bitten and your cat has scratched.

Should you suspect fleas however you possibly can’t fairly see them, attempt utilizing a flea comb. Place your cat on prime of white paper towels and have a bowl of soapy heat water able to douse any fleas that you simply extract. Comb via your cat’s fur rigorously.

In the event you catch fleas within the comb, douse it instantly within the soapy water to kill it. When you’re not seeing fleas, however you observed an infestation, examine the white paper towels. You may even see “flea dust” falling onto the towels.

In the event you’re unsure concerning the dust, sprinkle it in a bit heat water. Flea filth is the flea’s excrement. If the dust turns the paper towel purple, it’s the dried blood rehydrating– meaning it’s flea dust!

Lastly – verify your self for bites! When you’re noticing itchy patches of purple dots, particularly in your ft and ankles, you could have a flea infestation in your carpet, rug, or yard. Whereas fleas don’t connect themselves to human hosts, they will reside in your carpet for as much as 100 days and may be very troublesome to eliminate.

At this level, you could need to contemplate knowledgeable flea removing service. Or, you’ll be able to clear your carpet and deal with it with a carpet powder or spray.

In the event you discover fleas, flea dust, or flea bites in your cat, it would be best to deal with them to take away the fleas and eggs instantly. You need to use an over-the-counter flea remedy or attempt one of many pure flea cures for cats outlined within the article, Pure Flea Cures for Cats. 

Final Up to date on July sixth, 2019

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