Cats Fleas & Ticks

What are Fleas?

Fleas are small jumping insects that bite through skin and feed on blood. They are about 3mm long and are brown and shiny. There are hundreds of types of fleas, affecting many different animals, (and people!). The most common flea in the UK is the cat flea which also infests dogs.

Will I know if my pet has fleas?

No! Not always, fleas are a very common problem. If you have cats or dogs the chances are they’ll experience a flea infestation at sometime in their life unless on regular treatment.

Does it matter if my pet has fleas?

Yes! Although some animals carry large numbers of fleas without any signs of discomfort, fleas can cause irritation and skin problems in pets.  This will cause your pet to itch, scratch or bite their coat. Newly-hatched fleas will often jump on to pet owners causing diseases that affect people as well as pets.

  • Some pets develop Flea Allergy Dermatitis, an allergy to fleas where they can suffer a nasty skin reaction.
  • Fleas can carry tapeworm, which infect cats and dogs. Ask us about worming, especially if you’re seeing any fleas.
  • Fleas can also spread certain diseases.

Is your home harbouring a problem?

Did you know that if your pet has fleas it is actually your home that is harbouring most of the flea problem? Adult fleas on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg, they are in fact only 5% of the whole infestation. The other 95% consists of flea eggs, larvae and pupae that can be spread throughout your home and develop into new adult fleas in only a few weeks. A warm house provides the perfect breeding environment so central heating makes fleas a problem all year round.

What should I do?

The best prevention for flea and tick bourne disease is year-round prevention of flea and tick infestation. We recommend regular parasite control using the products listed in the table below.

What flea product should I use on my cat?

Our preferred product for cats over 7 weeks is Broadline Spot-on as this gives good control on the cat and in your home.

 

Product From what age How often Also treats/Prevents Household Infestation
Broadline 7 weeks

(600g bodyweight)

Every month Ticks and worms

Prevents household infestation

Frontline Combo

Spot-on

8 weeks

(1kg body weight+)

Every month Ticks – use monthly. Controls Flea eggs and larvae in the house for up to 6 weeks

Prevents household infestation

Frontline Spray 2 days Every 2 months Ticks – use monthly. Lice – single treatment
Stronghold 6 weeks Monthly Ear mites, Scabies, Biting lice, Heartworm & Roundworm
Program Injection 8 weeks 6 monthly Does not kill adult fleas.

Stops the lifecycle

What Are Ticks And Where Do They Come From?

Ticks belong to the spider family. A tick is an insect that burrows its head beneath the skin and sucks blood, becoming engorged as it feeds. They are common on animals with access to fields and areas grazed by sheep and cattle, the ticks’ main host. Pets can also pick up ticks in gardens, parks, kennels and the forest.

What do they look like?

The first sign you will see of a tick on your pet is a small grey dot which has attached itself to your pet’s skin. As the tick feeds on the blood of the animal it gets longer and can be mistaken for a wart or lump that has suddenly appeared on your pet. When the tick has fed it can be as big as a pea or a bean, making it fairly noticeable. They are commonly found during grooming.

I’ve found a tick, what should I do?

The tick can be removed by rotating it through 360⁰ and a gentle pulling. This is most easily achieved using a ‘tick hook’. If you have any doubts we will remove any ticks for you as you must take great care not to leave the mouth parts of the tick behind.