Cats are usually calm and composed. But do cats act weird when they have fleas? Fleas can make them go berserk or even crazy. They might start acting very weird at one moment and then do nothing at all at another.
Cats have been domesticated for a long time. It is said that the ancient Egyptians used to worship cats as their guardian deity. Cats are small in size and smaller species of tigers and lions. Cats belong to the Felis genus.
Keeping these furry creatures is always fun. But it takes a lot of care and maintenance to prevent fleas and make them disappear if the cat catches some.
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What are Cat Fleas?
A cat flea is a parasite that feeds on the nutrients from a cat’s body. Cat fleas are extremely common throughout the world. A huge percentage of cat fleas also attack dogs. As these parasites make the cat their host, they suck out a lot of nutrients from the cat’s body for survival.
Cat fleas originated in Africa. They became more and more available worldwide as more and more people started domesticating cats. An adult flea jumps on a cat and lays its eggs on the cat’s body. The flea also sucks out nutrients from the host’s body.
The eggs hatch into larvae and then transform into a pupa. The final stage is the birth of a new adult flea, which must find a new host.
Do cats act weird when they have fleas?
Flea irritation is one of the biggest reasons cats act weird. They might feel immensely uncomfortable due to the fleas.
Many symptoms can be observed in such a case, like constant growling, jumping around in pain, excessive grooming, and even red bumps on the skin surface. Symptoms due to internal reasons include weakness, weight loss, anxiety, etc.
Fleas that make a cat its host are not only harmful to the physical nature of the cat but also to its mental fortitude. Fleas are parasites, so they depend on their host for survival. Their dependence is rather harmful to the host, that is, the cat has to suffer quite ominously.
Flea Bites on Cats
Fleas bite on a cat to consume nutrients from the cat’s blood. The flea directly sucks out nutrients from the cat’s bloodstream. This activity by the fleas can cause many changes in the day-to-day life of a cat.
Some symptoms that indicate that there are fleas on the cat
1.The Cat Grooms Excessively
A change in the cat’s grooming habits may indicate the presence of fleas. Excessive grooming is one of the first noticeable symptoms. The grooming becomes rough and extreme rather than soft and relaxing.
Restless behavior while grooming, such as chewing, scratching, biting, and licking, along with excessive loss in fur and even bald spots.
The owner should take a closer look at the cat’s skin to detect the presence of any fleas.
2. The Cat Develops Some Red Skin Bumps
The cat develops red skin bumps or lesions due to an allergic reaction. This reaction is caused by the fleas when they bite the cat. The flea bites the cat by piercing the skin like a needle and feeding on the fresh blood.
It is not always guaranteed that the bumps will form, as, in some cats, the reaction is not that severe. If the owner notices such red, inflamed bumps, it is always advised to seek a professional for help and to prevent infection.
3. The Cat Suffers from Weakness
As mentioned earlier, fleas live on the nutrients sucked out from the blood of their hosts. In certain rare cases, the severity of flea infestation might increase and can make the cat anemic. In such cases, the cat suffers from excessive weakness. The cat also suffers from lethargy and has a low appetite.
The owners are advised to check for any such disorders and to contact the vet immediately if their cat starts to become pale. Immediate veterinary care is prescribed.
4. The Cat Avoids Certain Spots at Home
The infestation of fleas takes place under their optimal preferred temperatures. They prefer temperatures of around 18-26 degrees Celsius. They also prefer humidity levels between 70-80 percent. That makes the insides of our homes prone to flea infestations.
Fleas can be found in many places around the house, like under the carpets, behind curtains, or even in certain corners. As the fleas tend to thrive at room temperature, they can be readily available anywhere around the house if left unattended.
The owners should pay attention to the movement and behavior of their cats while moving around the house. They might avoid certain places even if the places were once their favorite playgrounds. This abnormal behavior might indicate the presence of fleas.
The owners should vacuum such places regularly and thoroughly. Emptying the vacuum cleaner after cleaning such areas is another important step that the owners ought not to miss.
Fleas can also be found in the cat’s bedding. In such cases, we should wash it thoroughly with disinfectant and hot water. The owner should get the assistance of flea control as soon as possible if such a situation arises.
5. The Cat Gets Anxious and Flustered Easily.
Fleas can change the total disposition of a cat. Cats are known for their calm and composed nature. But the presence of fleas can demolish that image. The cat becomes excessively aggressive and flustered. The constant biting and itching cause the cat to behave obnoxiously at any key point.
If the owner notices any such abnormal feature, they are advised to take a look at their cat’s fur and identify the presence of any fleas. In such cases, it is again advised to seek help from the vet.
6. Detection of Small Dark Specks in the Cat’s Bedding
The presence of such particles indicates flea dirt. The presence of flea dirt is a massive sign that the cat has fleas. The fleas feed on the cat’s blood, and the feces from the digested blood will come out on the bedding or even the grooming areas.
If the owner notices such particles on the cat’s bedding, they should consult a professional and seek advice for the next steps to be taken.
How to Protect Your Cat From Fleas?
We, as pet owners, love our pets. We always try to give them the best environment possible for their daily lives. Taking care of our beloved pets, be it cats or dogs, is our primary objective once we own one.
Cats are very vulnerable to the infestation of such fleas. We must take many care precautions and take care of our cats. Once infested, we must take steps to get rid of it.
Fleas can be pretty dangerous guests as they do not settle for just the cats. They can be set up under carpets or other housekeeping objects and might even be the cat’s owner. Their parasitic nature proves to be very harmful to their hosts.
So they must be dealt with accordingly. We have a few steps to take to ensure that these parasites are banished from the home.
Steps to Take for Flea Prevention
We can treat the cat with anti-flea treatments such as powders, sprays, flea collars, etc. This treatment kills any flea that takes refuge on a cat’s body. This treatment also prevents future infestation of fleas on the cat. The owner should be aware that they should not treat their cat with dog anti-flea products.
b. Cleaning of Areas Visited by the Cat
Regular cleaning and vacuuming of the corners and the areas of the cat’s visit are very important, especially during the warmer months. Hosing down the areas, vacuuming them, and emptying the vacuum cleaner proves to be very beneficial in such cases.
c. Add a Flea Collar to the Vacuum-Cleaner Bag
A flea collar attached to the vacuum cleaner bag kills any living fleas inside the vacuum cleaner. It also exterminates any hatching eggs or larvae in the vacuum cleaner bag.
d. Watch out for signs of fleas
The owner should always be attentive to signs of fleas, such as flea dirt, eggs, and symptoms shown in the cat’s behavior. Whenever this is observed, the owner should seek help from a vet as soon as possible.
What to Do if the Fleas have Infested the Cat?
There are several things to consider if the fleas have already infested the cat. The most common option is the anti-flea shampoo treatment. It is done by bathing the cat with an anti-flea shampoo. Anti-flea shampoos work pretty well and can successfully kill most fleas if used correctly.
The owner should also clean the cat’s bedding, toys, blankets, and other accessories. The cleaning process should be done thoroughly with a disinfectant or detergent and hot water.
In certain severe and persistent cases, an anti-flea spray is necessary. The owner should spray all around the house, especially where the cat makes frequent visits.
These sprays contain flea-killing chemicals like methoprene, so the owner must use them with caution. The cat should not be left in the immediate vicinity of the area being treated at any key point.
We all love our pets and always want the best for them. So taking the utmost care of our beloved pet should be a very big priority in our lives. When a person opts to have a pet, they take responsibility for feeding them regularly, keeping them happy, and taking responsibility for a new life that is to be taken care of.
There are a lot of steps to consider while taking care of a pet, like their medical conditions and their timely checkups and treatments. Fleas are extremely common and are a menace to our furry friends. Thus, a health checkup for them becomes even more necessary. We should always have our pets checked up and keep them medically fit.
Infestation of fleas has always been a problem since the domestication of cats and other furry animals. This problem has become extremely common now, and the cats now have to be under even more care.
Fleas can make our cats go crazy and inflict a lot of pain upon them. We have to relieve our very important friends from this delirious situation as responsible pet owners.