Flea Bite Allergy Makes Life Miserable for Cats: Feline Flea Control Needed to Prevent Constant Scratching, Hair Loss
Flea bite allergy in cats is a great motivation to get rid of fleas. Although cats and fleas seem to go together, a single flea bite can become a serious source of torment for any feline with a cat flea allergy.
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Why Would a Feline Develop a Cat Flea Allergy?
When a flea bites a cat, it injects a little bit of saliva into the skin to keep the blood flowing, so the flea can feed easily.
Unfortunately, flea saliva contains at least 15 different antigens. With that many antigens present, it’s no wonder that some unlucky kitties develop a flea bite allergy.
If a feline becomes sensitized to flea saliva, each and every flea bite will result in constant, intense itching for the unfortunate cat.
This leads to the poor kitty continually scratching and biting at herself, especially at the base of her tail, in an effort to end the itching.
Flea bite allergy is most often seen during late summer and early fall, which is when the flea population is at its largest.
What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
This condition is characterized by incessant itching, skin irritation, and redness. A severe cat flea allergy may lead to feline miliary dermatitis. The kitty’s skin will be covered with crusty red scabs. She may also suffer from feline hair loss on both sides of her body, especially on her hindquarters, and the base of her tail.
How is Flea Allergy Dermatitis Treated?
The vet may treat the kitty with steroids to make her more comfortable, and to stop the constant scratching, so her skin can heal .
If she has developed skin infections from the constant scratching, antibiotic treatment may be necessary, too.
It’s extremely important to get the fleas off the cat, and remove them from her environment. The easiest way to do this is with spot-on flea treatments, including Advantage flea treatment for cats, or Frontline Plus for cats.
Most pet owners use these products without any problems, but there have been reports of adverse reactions, so some people turn to natural flea control instead.
In the case of a severe flea infestation, it may be necessary to treat the house, too, to kill fleas, eggs, and larva.
Natural Flea Control
A great non-toxic flea control method is to steam-clean the carpet. This will kill any fleas present in any part of their life cycle. Vacuuming every day is another way to reduce the flea population.
Don’t forget to vacuum upholstered furniture daily, too, paying careful attention to any place the kitty likes to lie down.
Replace the bag and seal it after vacuuming, or the fleas will just escape back into the carpet.
Shampooing a cat with a flea infestation will remove most of the fleas. Flea shampoo isn’t necessary, as any kind of lather will kill fleas.
Wash pet bedding in hot soapy water. Replace the bedding if a severe flea infestation is present. It may be necessary to wash bedspreads on beds where the kitty likes to sleep.
Use a flea comb daily to remove adult fleas from the kitty. Flea powder that contains pyrethrin, a natural insecticide, is also helpful.
Natural flea control methods aren’t as convenient to use as the spot-on products, but they are quite effective. Remember that the best way to prevent a cat flea allergy is to keep the fleas off the kitty in the first place.
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