How do i know if my cat has FLEAS?! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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How do i know if my cat has FLEAS?!

Althoiugh we always had cats 'someone else' (aka my mum) always took care of them. We only ever did the fun stuff like playing with them and giving treats

Now i have my own, a 6month old and i don't know my Please dont swear- zalensia from my elbow. I've heard horros stories about flea infestations and i'm keen to avoid one.

He's an indoor/outdoor cat and he's been scratching his neck recenlty. I thought it may his collar but he lost that a week ago yet he's still scratching. I've been told i shouldnt get a flea collar (can't remember why) and i don't want to take him to the vet unnecessarily.

How do i spot the signs early and how would i treat them?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 01:26 PM
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If your kitten has never been treated and it goes outdoors it is more than likely it has fleas.
I expect you were told not to use flea collars because 1)they arent very good and 2) they can damage your cat. I use to put flea collars on pebbles before I came here- she has a bald neck now from the collar.

Go to your vet and ask for either frontline, stronghold or I think in england you can get advantage. Also she may have worms, if she hasnt been de flead she prob will. Just go to your vet, tell them the age of that cat and you want to de flea her and de worm her for ALL types of worms.

You can buy flea and worm treatment in pet shops, but its not really any good. It doesnt have the strength vet products do.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 02:02 PM
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Ditto all the above. And you can check for fleas at home without using a flea comb this way: Lay out a white sheet or several square feet of white paper. Put your cat on top of this white background and brush vigorously. If you find a bunch of little black dots have fallen off your cat on to the white sheet then your cat has fleas. The black dots actually aren't the fleas...they're the flea poop.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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Sorry

Oh my goodness. I had him wormed last in May when he had his second vaccination shot. How often do i need to do this?

Also, he wwas neutered maybe 3 or so weeks ago, would they have spotted the fleas then?

Do i need to go with him when i go to ask for flea treatment? Is it harmful to use treatments if i am not certain he has fleas (or if indeed he doesn't)?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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several brushstrokes and one agitated cat later....

I counted maybe 3 -5 black dots....
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 04:41 PM
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I had him wormed last in May....How often do i need to do this?
When it's necessary (when the cat has worms.)

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Originally Posted by Murasaki
Also, he wwas neutered maybe 3 or so weeks ago, would they have spotted the fleas then?
No, not necessarily.

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Originally Posted by Murasaki
Is it harmful to use treatments if i am not certain he has fleas (or if indeed he doesn't)?
Not if you use a "safe" treatment, i.e. one of the products Zalensia recommended, or something recommended by the vet. The type of dewormer used should be based on the type of worm a cat has. There is no one dewormer that kills all worms, and most are better on one kind of a worm than another. So the best way to deal with worms is to find out what kind a cat has. This means analysis of a stool sample.

Zalensia made a good point about a cat most likely also having worms if it has fleas, as tapeworms are transmitted through ingestion of fleas, and a cat with fleas would ingest fleas by grooming, or by eating prey if it goes outside.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 04:42 PM
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You would think they would have told you, if the kitten had fleas. However, push the hair near his tail toward his head and look for black specks. That's another way to find flea dirt.

If you put a drop of flea meds. on the back of the kitten's neck, it will not harm him. I also think it's wise to take in a stool sample to check for worms.

Your vet should tell you when to come back for booster shots. Vets sometimes disagree on whether more are needed, and when.




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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 09:12 PM
 
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I had a vet tell me an improvement to timskitties white paper trick. It works great.

Wet the white paper before you start. If the black specs are really flea poop, they will leave a red mark on the wet white paper. Flea poop contains blood that turns red when wet and stands out easliy on the white paper. Black specs that are not flea poop stay black.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 09:32 PM
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Great tip!!
And a plant mister will do quite nicely for wetting the paper.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 10:13 PM
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I always check my girls by looking on the lower belly, near the hind legs. That's where they tend to gather if they've got fleas, and I noticed my vet doing the same thing when he looked them over last. Vet-approved!
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