Fleas might be tiny, but they can present a big nuisance for cats and their owners. Cat owners sometimes assume that their cat can only contract fleas if they go outside, but this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes people bring fleas indoors on their shoes or clothing, and those fleas then take up residence on an indoor cat.
There are over-the-counter flea products you can use, but often, if your cat has fleas, it is a good idea to take them to the vet. Here's why.
The vet can check for secondary skin infections.
Fleas make cats itchy. Cats respond by scratching at and biting at their skin. In doing so, they can break the skin and introduce bacteria to it, leading to a secondary skin infection. If your cat's skin looks at all red, irritated, or puffy, this is probably why. Taking your cat to the vet gives the vet a chance to look for these signs of a skin infection and prescribe medications to treat them. Antibiotics will help your cat's body clear the bacteria. Anti-itch medications will help keep your cat from continuing to scratch and make the problem worse. Your cat can be treated for tapeworms.
Unfortunately, fleas and tapeworms often go hand-in-hand with cats. Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs on their bodies. It is not unusual for a cat to ingest some of these eggs if they swallow a flea, which they often do when grooming themselves. Then, the tapeworm egg hatches in its intestines, and it grows into an adult tapeworm. Tapeworms can rob your cat of nutrients, so it is important to get rid of them ASAP. A vet can administer deworming medication to get rid of any tapeworms.
The vet can recommend a good follow-up preventative.
After the vet gives your cat a topical treatment to kill the current fleas, they can prescribe a follow-up remedy for you. There are a lot of topical and oral options out there, and some are only available by prescription from your vet. The vet can ensure the preventative you're using is best suited to your cat's unique health needs.
Cats do get fleas from time to time. If you think your cat may have fleas, it's a smart idea to take them to the vet. A vet can not only treat the fleas but take steps to manage any other flea-related conditions.
For more info about animal health services, contact a local company.