Cat and fleas
Cat and fleas
9 lives, 9 stories, 1 cat struggling with fleas
If only we could understand our cats and their mysterious inner lives. Are they trying to tell us something or, on the contrary, do they prefer to keep their secrets?
Cats hold no secrets for the veterinarians of the Passionimo family including Dr. Maude Imbeault, veterinarian and owner of Frontenac Veterinary Clinic and Office in Quebec City. It is with humour that she shares the story of a patient whose flea infestation had gone undetected for a while:
"And here I thought I was an indoor cat; the king of the castle reigning over the most comfortable section of the couch... Alas, I learned at my expense that occasional outings on the terrace were enough to invite fleas into my kingdom. It must be the neighbourhood tomcat that contaminated my realm."
"Majestically perched on the windowsill, I watched outdoor cats from the comfort of my living room. I was jealous but, knowing that fleas are difficult for humans to detect and that the only way to find relief is to lick and bite oneself frantically, I was reassured that here I was at least safe from infestation. How wrong I was; the fleas were watching me too!"
"Since I’ve had fleas, a compulsive urge to lick and bite myself has ruined my beautiful coat, once worthy of the Lion King. I have dandruff and constantly lose the hair on my back and at the base of my tail. The worst part? My back is covered with black dots that are (shudder!) flea excrements. Yuck!"
"Did you know that fleas lay eggs that survive for a long time in the environment? They can live up to 6 months under certain conditions, such as in an uninhabited cottage. The couch, beds, carpet fibers, and floor cracks are some of their favourite hiding places. Fleas are incredibly resilient!"
"I guess I was lucky in spite of everything. I could’ve caught worse: fleas can transmit solitary worms. I also could’ve caught mites, which look like coffee beans and cause terrible itching, or even ticks, horrible creatures that stick to the skin and gorge on blood for days. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps, as my human would say."
"Unlike lice, fleas can attack other species if they are hungry. Some humans are even allergic to flea bites. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone...not even the neighbourhood tomcat!"
"Flea control products like Zodiac® are available over-the-counter at pet shops and big box stores. But don’t use them on me or other cats. These products are toxic and can even cause convulsions."
"I really would’ve liked to tell my lovely humans that the preconception that a cat scratches when it has fleas is false. We don’t scratch; we lick ourselves…incessantly. That's why fleas are so difficult to detect."
"Now that my family knows I have fleas, it's madness at home! Everyone is frenziedly washing cushions, sheets, and carpets. But rest assured, they are taking good care of me, thanks to the precious advice provided by my vet, Dr. Maude!"
Dr. Maude of the Passionnino family of veterinarians is always there to listen to her patients and their families. She lent a sympathetic ear to this story and offered simple and very effective solutions.
There are now drugs on the market that kill fleas quickly and efficiently, in addition to helping decontaminate the house or apartment. They are simple to administer and perfectly safe for both cats and dogs.
Do you want to know more? Do not hesitate to contact one of our member clinics