You spend hours shampooing, combing, stroking your beloved cats coat only for some pesky unwanted visitors to ruin it.
That's right, not only are fleas unpleasant and uncomfortable for your feline, but they also leave a lasting impression that you will want to dispose of. So, you think you have noticed flea dirt on cats, how to get rid is easier than you think.
What is Flea Dirt on Cats?
Firstly, they look like little dots of pepper, but they are in fact the faeces of fleas. Sounds gross, is a little, but do not worry.
This is an easy way of discovering that your beloved pet is covered in fleas before you actually find them for yourself. You can see the dirt clearly on the coat in little specs.
How To Find Flea Dirt
The little round dots are often found in the fur but can reach the surface making them easier to spot. It is advisable to take a flea comb or your own hand and move it along your pets fur to reveal the dirt for inspection, often discovering the fleas as well.
Usually you won't find them around the head of your cat, with flea dirt being more prominent around the tail and the middle of your cat. Other choice areas for a flea are at the back of their hind legs but realistically they could be anywhere.
Fleas prefer to spend time in your carpet or around your house so it is likely they have jumped off to find somewhere else to live.
If they are going to be anywhere but not on your cat then they will be residing around your pets favourite areas in the house.
How Much of a Problem is Flea Dirt on Cats?
Flea dirt is a sign that your house could soon be infested with fleas so yes it can be a problem. It could also be a sign that your cat is in discomfort and itching like crazy when you are not around.
The constant bites from fleas can make them uncomfortable and your cat could also be allergic resulting in hair loss as well as a rash.
Therefore, if you have noticed flea dirt on your cat it is a sign that you need to take action.
How To Get Rid of Flea Dirt on Cats
The simple way of ridding your pet and house of flea dirt, is to get rid of the fleas.
The treatment varies on the age of your cat. If it is still a kitten then you will want to act with care and consult your vet to ensure you are acting in the appropriate way.
A trip to the vet might be the best course of action if the infestation is severe. Otherwise there are treatments available that you can administer orally, one such treatment is Capstar which acts fast and lasts for around 24 hours, killing any live fleas.
It is also a good idea to wash your pet to get rid of the existing flea dirt. Some cats are not used to this and might put up a fight but it is in their best interest that you do this. There are specific flea shampoos but they may be a little harsh on your cats fur.
A normal cat shampoo will help to remove the flea dirt, then you can use whatever treatment your vet advises to get rid of the fleas.
This is also the time where you should be tackling any potential flea problem in your home. Keep your cat in a safe area whilst you administer whatever flea killer you choose but read the instructions - some are particularly harmful for pets so act with care.
How To Prevent Flea Dirt
If you are worried about flea dirt of have just managed to rid your cat of it, prevention is your next course of action.
Keeping your cat up to date with their flea and worm treatments is essential for feline health and should be taken seriously. It is distressing for a cat to deal with fleas and not to mention the havoc it will cause in your home if they keep returning.
There are other things you can do around the house to help such as vacuum regularly. Fleas love hair so if you have a lot of it in your carpets they will thrive. Vacuuming will rid your home of flea eggs that have not yet hatched.
Keep it clean - that goes for your pet and their bedding. By washing their bed and blankets on a hot wash you can ensure your pets frequently visited areas remain flea free.
Keeping your garden neat is another method, since fleas thrive in longer and unkempt grasses you can stop them from wanting to visit.