Whether your cat goes outside or not, responsible cat parents regularly treat their cats to kill and repel fleas. However, if you stop at simply applying the medication or putting on a flea collar, you might not be doing enough for your cat. Read on to learn how fleas can still pose a threat to your cat's health, even after applying these anti-flea treatments.
How Anti-Flea Medication Works
Whether you're using a topical medication or a collar, anti-flea treatments are intended to repel new fleas from landing on your cat and to kill existing fleas. Some anti-flea treatments also destroy eggs, preventing new fleas from hatching on your cat. However, there's one problem with all anti-flea treatments: they don't physically remove dead fleas and eggs from your cat's body.
Why You Still Need To Remove Fleas
Other than being gross, dead fleas and eggs can still pose a hazard to your cat. Since cats are very effective self-groomers, they will eventually consume the remaining fleas and eggs on their body without help from you. This can not only cause stomach upset, but it could potentially spread other problems, like tapeworms.
Fleas sometimes carry other parasites within them, like tapeworms. When they're simply on your cat, your cat's health isn't at risk from the tapeworm larvae. However, once consumed, the larvae will hatch in your cat's stomach, giving birth to tapeworms that can harm your cat's health. Even dead fleas can still pose this hazard for a period of time, so it's necessary to remove any fleas or eggs from your cat after the treatment has taken effect.
How to Remove Fleas and Eggs Safely
Since you've already applied an anti-flea treatment to your cat, giving your cat isn't a very good option. Doing so could remove the anti-flea treatment and prevent it from working effectively.
Instead, use a flea comb and carefully groom your cat. Remove any dead fleas you find to prevent your cat from consuming them. In addition, if you find what looks like tiny specks of black dirt, get rid of those as well. That black dirt is actually flea excrement, which can carry health hazards as well for your cat.
Fleas are unwanted and disgusting pests that can keep hurting your cat even once they're dead. If you don't feel confident in your ability to remove your cat's remaining fleas yourself, visit a professional pet groomer for assistance.