Think your cat has cat fleas?
There are over 2,000 species of fleas, but they are all so similar that we divide them into only three main types: sedentary, mobile and stick tight.
Obviously, the sedentary flea spends most of its life in the nest. It will stay on its host wherever it goes. The mobile flea switches hosts often. The stick tight variety, found in Asia, South America and Africa, is the most deadly because it buries itself deep within the host's skin, mates, lays eggs there, and becomes increasingly larger within the host's body. The cat flea is your typical mobile variety.
We also classify fleas by cat and dog types. In actuality, the cat flea is the most common type we run into in our homes and even on our dogs. The canine flea species is mostly found in Europe. The differences between the two are very slight but let it be known that most every dog flea is, technically, a cat flea.
The reason cat fleas are more of a problem than dogs is that a cat runs the risk of ingesting fleas during grooming. Fleas can be carrying a number of infectious diseases. Cats are prone to Tapeworm and Cat Scratch Disease when they swallow fleas. The fleas are usually ingested during the larval stage and continue to grow within the cat. Cat Scratch Disease usually goes undetected within the cat but can be transmitted to a human through a bite or scratch. This will cause swelling in the lymph nodes. Although the symptoms are normally fairly mild, it is still an uncomfortable experience.
Anaemia is another symptom prevalent in cats and kittens caused by fleas. Since the insect thrives upon blood, if they suck too much, it can cause weakness in the animal. It appears that cat fleas have a more profound effect on cats but there are, just as in dogs, many ways to prevent and get rid of fleas. Of course, you will want to keep your cat's bedding clean and your cat groomed. A day at the vet that includes a good combing and flea bath will take care of most problems.
Of course, Frontline and Advantage come in cat doses and are most effective for ridding your cat of fleas. Catch them early in cats to avoid the ingestible diseases that fleas can cause in your pet's body.