PEST ALERT: PET OWNERS BEWARE!
With summer comes the arrival of two bothersome pests: fleas and ticks. For each flea found on your cat, there may be scores developing from unseen eggs within your own home. Besides being itchy, flea bites can cause your cat medical problems including flea-allergic dermatitis, tapeworms, hair loss due to excessive scratching, and secondary skin irritations.
A tick is a fairly common parasite known for embedding itself in the skin of pets and people alike. When bitten, the skin of some cats may become red and irritated around the site, while others may not even notice the parasite. It is imperative then, that, whether you own an outdoors or an indoors cat, you inspect yours thoroughly anytime you return from an area known for ticks.
Should you find a tick, remove it very carefully, making certain that the mouthparts are removed as well. Kill the tick by placing it in a zip-lock bag and pouring rubbing alcohol over it. For the hesitant owner, there are special tick removal devices available, while the squeamish can have their vet remove the tick instead.
For both these pests, there are numerous products on the market including spot-on liquids, oral medications, shampoos, collars, etc. But, as always, conscientious cat owners should consult their vets about the safest and most effective product to use.
Since controlling and eliminating an existing flea or tick problem is, all too often, too little, too late, the only truly effective solution is PREVENTION.