There are different products for fleas and ticks for the cat. You can choose from various methods of administration, such as a collar, spray or drops (spot-on pipette). Keep in mind the age of your cat when choosing an anti-flea and/or anti-tick medicine.
Ticks and fleas are spread throughout all of Europe, so a cat always runs the risk of being bitten by fleas or ticks, small (ecto) parasites that can cause various problems. The tick bite itself is usually not painful, but diseases can be transmitted through a tick bite with possibly nasty consequences. Fleas, on the other hand, can cause skin problems in the cat. Fortunately ticks and fleas are easy to fight and prevent with the right means.
Fleas are small blood-sucking insects that remain on the cat once they are on it. In cats the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) can cause an infection. These fleas can also bite people, creating small red bumps, but they immediately fall off again. They are creatures that like to nestle in warm, sheltered places. Not surprising that cat hair is so loved by the fleas. A cat can be infected with tapeworms after eating an infected flea and kittens may even suffer from anemia by the blood sucking. That is why it is important to treat your cat against fleas as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of a fleas infection
Red, fiery spots (often located on the belly or inside of the hind legs)
Crusts on the skin
In addition to these symptoms, it is also possible that cats get a considerable inflammation of the skin, due to the many scratches. In addition, it is also possible that cats become allergic to the saliva of the fleas, which increases the severity of the symptoms. Consult a veterinarian in case of very severe itching, scaly skin and baldness.
Fleas can transmit the following diseases to cats:
Cat Crab Disease by Bartonella
Bartonella does get into the red blood cells of cats, but it does not destroy the blood cells. Bartonella therefore usually does not cause any symptoms of disease in the cat. Cats usually do not get anemia from it. Flea poops contain a lot of cat blood, and can therefore be infected with Bartonella. People get infected with Bartonella from dirty cat nails (cat crab disease)
Mycoplasma (gives anemia)
Cats with anemia due to hemolysis (blood degradation) are often infected with Mycoplasma (there are 3 types of haemotrophic Mycoplasmas, of which Mycoplasma hemofelis is the most important).
Rickettsia felis, this is primarily a danger for humans, it is uncertain whether cats will get sick.
The tick is a small dangerous parasite that sticks to the skin of humans and mammals to indulge in blood. Over time, the tick releases again filled with blood. This cycle does not seem to be a problem in itself, but in the meantime the tick can transmit serious diseases.
Consequences of a tick bite
The best known disease that ticks can transmit in Europe is Lyme disease. A tick bite causes an infection with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium. Other common diseases include Babesiosis (Tick fever - Piroplasmosis), Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichia.
With cats we see the sheep tick or forest tick (Ixodes ricinus) just like with the dog. But cats also often have ticks of hedgehogs (Ixodes hexagonus) and rodents. These ticks are only in 1 to 2% infected with Babesia or Borrelia.
Ticks can infect cats with:
Babesiosis, or tick fever, is a protozoal infection that is transmitted by ticks that occur in southern Europe. Cats with Babesia usually show no symptoms. Cats that are infected can sometimes be listless, do not eat, are weak and have diarrhea. Fever and jaundice are rare, but the symptoms may remain unremarkable until a later stage of disease. Often these cats are FIV or FeLV positive and also have mycoplasma.
Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis
Cats with Anaplasma can develop joint inflammation, similar to the dog, but most cats don't get sick from an Anaplasma infection.
Cats with Ehrlichia can get the same symptoms as dogs with Ehrlichia.
Ehrlichiosis is caused by bacteria that get into the white blood cells of cats. Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by ticks found in Southern Europe. During the acute phase we see fever, general sickness, vomiting and anemia. During the chronic phase enlarged lymph nodes, bleeding and bruising, pale mucous membranes, thickened hind legs, red urine, eye and nose depletion, kidney damage, lameness and neurological symptoms are seen. It can take weeks to years before the chronic phase starts. Your cat appears healthy between the acute and chronic phase. The treatment of Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis consists of a long-term antibiotic treatment with Doxycycline.
Furthermore can ticks trans mitBorrelia (Lyme disease), Cytauxzone, Hepatozoon andFrancisiella tularensis (tularaemia, hare plague). However it is very uncertain whether cats will get sick from those infections.
Removing a tick
It is important to regularly check your cat for ticks, for example after a walk in the woods. If you find a tick, it is best to remove it immediately with a tick hook or tweezers to prevent transmission of infections as much as possible. The faster the tick is removed, the smaller the chance of disease transmission. Are you in doubt? Then contact your veterinarian.
FLEA & TICK CONTROL
Fighting fleas is not only about killing adult fleas, but also about removing eggs, larvae and pupae in the environment, since the life cycle of the flea takes place on both the cat and the environment. That is why there are various flea control agents available.
It is recommended that you read the package leaflet carefully before you administer the treatment.