Flea myths busted!

Preconceptions about the flea…

Your house is beautifully clean and your cat is cared for, so there’s no risk of fleas, right? Wrong. Many cat owners believe there’s no need for flea treatments… right up until their cat comes down with an infestation.

Myth: “My cat won’t get fleas because I keep my home clean.”

Reality: Even the most spotless home can get fleas, because cleaning alone isn’t enough to keep them away – or get rid of them once they appear. Reality is if your cat goes outside then the chances of it bringing in fleas is high. They can be caught from other cats, small animals they hunt or, if the weather is warm, from fleas living in the grass etc. Once fleas get in your house they breed in the carpet and other soft furnishings.

Myth: “A healthy cat won’t get fleas.”

Reality: Fleas are not fussy; one cat’s blood is as good as another’s. A healthy cat will explore more and so more likely to come into contact with these unwanted guests. Some cats get itchy with fleas but some can live with large numbers and no symptoms. Sometimes the first you know about it is if the fleas start biting you! Another common issue is dogs, cat fleas can live on your cat with no issues but on your dog they causes itching. It is a fact that most fleas found on dogs are actually cat fleas!

Myth: “Indoor cats can’t get fleas.”

Reality: Indoor cats are indeed less likely to get fleas as long as they truly are indoors 24 7. However, a quick stretch outside, or some visiting pet – can allow fleas to sneak in. You’re more likely to bring the fleas in yourself, either through contact with an affected animal or by picking up flea eggs on shoes or clothing. Once in your home the fleas are very clever at finding your cat for a meal!

Myth: “Cats can’t get fleas in winter.”

Reality: This might be true in the wild as fleas are dormant when it is really cold, but most pet cats in the UK spend a significant chunk of their day snoozing in a warm house. Central heating gives fleas the perfect environment to breed all through the winter. Unfortunately, some pet owners don’t realise this, which is why the winter months see a real drop in the amount of flea treatments dispensed. This is great news for fleas as they can keep on reproducing unhindered all winter. Also, as we experience warmer winters, the ability to pick up fleas outside also increases.

Remember, if you are struggling to control a flea infestation, or you want to stop your pet getting them in the first place, then have a chat with us.

(much of the above article reproduced from Zoetis Animal Health)

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