Cat fleas are dark brown, small insects, but the color can range between brown and black. They have hardened bodies and when you view them from the side, they appear to be compressed. They do not fly even though they have very strong hind legs, they use to jump. These parasites have sharp mouthparts they use in piercing through the host's skin so they can suck blood. They are oval shaped and apart from infesting your cat, they can also infest your dog and outdoor animals like skunks, foxes, raccoons and opossums.
The most important thing to remember is that even though cats and dogs make popular hosts for cat fleas, they can end up feasting on human blood when they drop from the cats and infest your home. The worst thing about these parasites is that they can transmit diseases through their bites. The most common diseases that are flea borne include:
Murine typhus – it is transmitted by bacteria in feces from infected cat fleas. The bacteria find its way into the body during the biting or when you scratch the bitten areas.
Bartonellosis – It is also referred to the cat scratch disease and is transmitted to humans from the flea bites.
Flea tapeworm – The tapeworm occurs usually in children after they accidentally end up eating fleas that are infected or ingesting flea feces that are infected.
The same diseases also affect pets but they additionally can suffer from rickettsia felis, acanthocheilonimal reconditum and dipetalonema reconditum.
Protecting your cat
The warm furry coat of your cat offers good home for the cat fleas and the blood supply keeps them nourished. It would be best to use flea barrier so that you reduce the chances of the fleas freeloading on the cat. There are very good products that you can put on your cat’s coat to get rid of the fleas and to keep them protected from potential infestations. Spot-on products can be more effective than flea collars, shampoos and sprays and they are readily available in the market.
It is also a good idea to give cat medicines that can be added to food or injected to manage and control reproduction. You can get professional advice if not very sure what products are best.
Protecting your home
It cannot be ignored that cat flea eggs can roll off the cats and onto your carpet and other home areas and still hatch leading to full blown infestations. You therefore want to take measures to eliminate potential or existing flea infestations. Some of the best measures you can take include:
• Vacuum your carpets, furniture, crevices and cracks so you can suck up eggs and get rid of fleas
• Wash your sofa covers and beddings and other fabrics where your cat frequents weekly and use hot water so the bugs do not survive
• For stubborn fleas, use professional pest control services from reputable, experienced companies like Toro Pest Management. They will assess the infestations and select the most suitable treatment program for your home.