Nothing can be further from contentment than having fleas creeping over your skin and sucking blood out of you.
In fact, fleas can cause severe stress to your cat and even result in illness, disrupting a happy lifestyle and interfering with cuddling time. To keep your kitty content, it is important to know what to watch out for, and how to eliminate fleas from your pet and your home.
Three things to watch out for an unhappy cat :
1) Excessive scratching or grooming: The tell-tale sign that cats could have fleas is usually persistent scratching, biting at their sides and licking their hair coats constantly. Cats that shake their heads often and scratch at their ears may also be suffering from fleas.
2) Flea allergies: As if fleas weren’t already pesky enough, itchiness of your cat’s skin could indicate a flea allergy. Flea bites can lead to some cats developing Flea-Allergic Dermatitis, caused by cat allergies to flea saliva. The side effects of this allergy may include red sore areas on their skin and scabs.
3) Anemia: As a result of a loss of blood from flea bites, your cat may become lethargic or listless. A pale nose and pale gums could indicate that a cat is anemic. Kittens are more likely to contract anemia than adult cats, so keep a regular watch.
Marianna Rossouw, Business Unit Head: PETS, Merial South Africa - the specialists in safe tick and flea products, recommends these three simple steps to keep your cat, and your home, flea-free.
1) Groom your cat regularly: Being the excellent groomers that they are, cats usually groom the fleas out of their hair coats before you can check. But don’t be fooled, a flea infestation may have begun. Groom your cat often whilst checking for fleas around the base of the tail, lower back, between the legs, under the arms and around the belly.
2) Vacuum and wash bedding: Only 5% of fleas in a home live on pets, the other 95% - in the form of eggs, larvae and pupae - live in the house and garden. To prevent an infestation, eradicate fleas in all stages of the flea lifecycle by washing your pets’ bedding regularly and vacuuming carpets, nooks and crannies in your home frequently.
3) Ensure all pets are protected monthly: There are several options when it comes to protecting your cat against fleas. Be careful not to give cats tick and flea products intended for dogs as they could get very sick. Choosing a spot-on product such as FRONTLINE® Plus can be effective when used year round as a preventative treatment. For kittens, use the FRONTLINE® Spray rather than a spot on treatment. To prevent a flea infestation, make sure that all your pets are treated monthly.
For more information about animal health and advice, please visit www.merial.com or call our friendly helpline 0860 MERIAL (0860 637 425).
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,500 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over €2 billion of sales in 2014.
Merial is a Sanofi company.
More info on merial.com.
MERIAL HELPLINE: 0860 MERIAL 0860 637425
FRONTLINE ® PLUS CATS Reg. No. G3000 Act 36/1947
Composition: Fipronil 10 g; (S)-methoprene 12 g/100 ml.
FRONTLINE ® Spray Reg No. G2017 Act 36/1947
Composition: Fipronil 0.25g/100ml
Merial South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (Reg. No. 1997/022402/07)
PO Box 5924, Halfway House, 1685, Republic of South Africa.
Tel: (011) 256 3700 Fax: (011) 256 3731