In most cases, fleas in cats belong to one of the most common types of fleas in general - the cat flea or Latin Ctenocephalides felis. This type of insect actively parasitizes not only on cats, but also on other animals - dogs, rats, rabbits - and just as easily and freely eats, if possible, with human blood.
At the same time, other types of fleas can be found on cats - canine, rat, human, rabbit. However, for the average owner of a mustache pet, all these fleas of a cat are the same person - the difference between the species can only be viewed under a microscope. But these bloodsuckers differ quite strongly from other parasitic insects, therefore there should be no doubt that the cat is being bothered by fleas.
It is interesting
In choosing a host, fleas are generally unpretentious. One species can parasitize dozens or even hundreds of different animal species. The main thing is to keep the blood warm. Of the more than 2,000 species of these parasites, there are only about 30 such that are very tied to one type of host and cannot exchange it even for fairly close relatives. As a rule, these species are parasitic in bats and are very highly specialized in habitats and breeding grounds.
Fleas in cats: appearance and photo
Externally, fleas in cats resemble very small, smooth and shiny grains of plants. If it were not for their mobility, many cat owners would not even suspect insects at such points.
In the photo below you can see several parasites on the skin of an animal in the middle of wool: even with a slight increase, it is difficult for them to see the legs and head:
Regular flea in a cat, regardless of the species, has a body length of about 2-3 mm. Different types of fleas differ from each other in the structure of the head and the number of setae on the legs.
It is possible to examine in detail how fleas look like in cats, one can only take an insect in one's hands or put it under a microscope. In the photo you can examine in detail what a flea looks like in a cat, and study the characteristic features of the body structure of this parasite:
- lack of wings - it is precisely because of this that the insect is very difficult to catch, hold between the fingers and crush
- elongated and flattened laterally little body, providing ease of movement between the hair of the host animal
- very long hind legs, allowing you to make giant for the size of the insect itself jumping
- the color of the integuments: all fleas found on cats have a dark brown or black color.
It is the jumping ability of fleas that became the talk of the town. An insect can jump more than 150 times its body. If a person possessed such abilities, he could jump a distance of up to 300 meters.
Jumping on their own are good signs for identifying fleas. If the tiny creature found on the body of an animal simply disappears from the place where it was just that - this is definitely a flea. The human eye is not able to see the insect leap itself: we can only detect the parasite within a radius of 20-30 centimeters from the last place of its location.
A flea in a cat is well distinguished from other possible parasites by the following symptoms:
- small size - ordinary ticks are several times larger
- dark coloration and mobility - fleas and lice in cats are practically the same, but the louse has a light colored body and is extremely inactive. Dodging distinguishes fleas and from eaters.
On a note
An additional difference between fleas and lice will be the placement of parasites on the fur itself: fleas move along the skin without climbing hairs, and lice, on the contrary, sit mostly on the hairs of the animal.
Cat Flea Biology
All fleas in domestic cats have a generally similar biology. All of them are obligate parasites that can feed only on the blood of their hosts.
Reproduction of fleas occurs with complete transformation: the female lays a portion of eggs, from which, after a few days, wormlike, larvae that are not similar to adult insects hatch. They feed on either organic decaying remains or the blood of adult insects remaining in the excrement.
It is interesting:
The word “lay” does not quite correctly describe the way a flea spread eggs. Rather, it shoots them: eggs scatter from the body of the insect in different directions at high speed. This ensures that no eggs are spread over a sufficient area, one larva is removed from another, and the competition between them for food resources is reduced.
Photograph of cat flea eggs:
Photos of flea larvae :
The fleas of the domestic cat are constantly present on her body. They jump on the animal in order to feed, and leave it, being full. Larvae develop in the litter of the animal's nest or simply in piles of garbage. It is impossible to find larvae on the cat itself.
Options from which come fleas in cats, many:
- Infection from street animals.
- The attack of parasites living in places of rest or walking an animal: the cat can simply lie down near the mouse hole, from which insects will jump onto it.
- The presence of parasites in the house. As a rule, in this case, the parasites bite and people.
- Accidental drift into the house of insects by a person - on clothes or with household objects.
Already these reasons are enough to understand that not a single animal, not even completely domesticated, is immune from infestation by parasites.
“My Sonya never went outside on the street. Once two years ago she was brought down at home with a cat. I was shocked when I saw fleas on it. Where does a cat have fleas if it does not communicate with other animals? A veterinarian arrived, looked, and said that we have the whole loggia in fleas. I could not believe: it is unheated. But nevertheless, the doctor himself began to sweep out the corners from the corners and showed us the larvae of these filth. ”
Fleas as carriers of dangerous diseases of cats
The most dangerous thing in flea biology is their association with other parasites and pathogens of various diseases.
So, fleas and worms in cats always exist side by side: eggs of worms are transferred by jumping parasites on their paws. And in the body of the tiny parasite pathogens move from one host to another:
- the plague
... and about 200 different diseases, among which are deadly for both the cats themselves and for the people who keep them. Therefore, the state of the pet should always be carefully monitored, and at the first signs of the presence of parasites in it, begin to fight with them.
Signs that there are fleas on the pet
Finding out if a cat has a flea is easy. Even with a small number of them on the body of animals, they already cause unequivocal symptoms:
- itching - the cat starts to worry and itches constantly
- skin rash between hairs as red dots
- dermatitis on the ground is especially strong bites. This symptom develops quite rarely and with prolonged parasitism of insects
- severe anemia
- insect excrement in the form of tiny black dots between hairs
- and finally, fleas themselves, elusive, but constantly seen visually in wool.
Usually, the mere itching and constant anxiety of the animal makes it clear that the cat has fleas. A veterinarian can uniquely identify a flea in a cat after examining a pet.
On a note:
An indirect way to find out that a cat has a flea is to detect helminth infections. Among the feline worms, there are those whose eggs are carried only by fleas, and therefore the identification of these parasites clearly indicates pulyosis in the animal.
Immediately after identifying the fleas in the cat, it is necessary to start fighting with small bloodsuckers.
If a domestic cat has fleas, you must first choose the right means for their breeding and treat them to the animal. And after it should be cleaned of parasites room.
Today there are many effective anti-flea drugs. All of them can be divided into several basic types:
- flea collars are most effective for preventing cat infection. It is convenient to wear such a collar on a cat that only occasionally goes outside for a while. In this case, the remedy will effectively deter the parasites. The disadvantages of collars are that they can cause irritation to the neck of the animal. The most famous collars Hartz, Beaphar, Bolfo.
- Insecticide drops on the withers are an effective remedy for both killing and scaring fleas. Very easy to apply - they just need to rub into the skin of the animal to protect it from parasites for several weeks - but can be toxic. Very effective drops Advantiks, Stronghold, Hartz.
- Flea shampoos - the best tool for cats. They have a very mild action, non-toxic, effectively destroy parasites already present on the coat. Fleas in a pregnant cat are almost always excreted with shampoo. Quite popular are Shampoo, Phytoelite, Meadow shampoos .
- Flea sprays are the most radical and fairly toxic products. Used when the fleas on the animal is too much and they need to be etched quickly and immediately. They require very strict compliance with the instructions and have many contraindications. For example, fleas in a nursing cat or kitten should not be eliminated by any of these agents.
- Mechanical ways to remove fleas: combing and catching fleas manually. Very time consuming and time consuming method. But, for example, in kittens under the age of one month only with its help one can get rid of parasites.
Generally, if a cat first has fleas, it can be difficult to choose a remedy, because it is not always possible to predict whether it will cause allergies or not. It is not desirable to act by trial and error, but it is better to consult with a veterinarian immediately.
How to deal with fleas in cats
It is important to understand that if a cat has fleas, it will not be limited to breeding it alone. The fight against these parasites involves a whole sequence of actions:
- You need to choose the right tool, focusing primarily on the safety of his pet.
- The tool itself must be applied in full accordance with the instructions.
- After that, it is necessary to carry out activities for the removal of insects from the premises. For this, special aerosol insecticides are usually used.
- Provide prevention of infection with fleas and the pet, and the entire premises in which it lives: lay out wormwood branches in the room or use insecticidal dusts, put a collar on the animal, keep the house clean.
In any case, when detecting fleas in cats, it is necessary either to change it or to thoroughly wash its couch, toilet and bedding. It is in these places that parasites are likely to reproduce, and they will also become the site of secondary infection after insects are destroyed only on the animal.