Summer is the itchy season for cats!

Summer is the best time to get out and have fun with your favorite furry friends, but with the warm weather comes an increased risk for contracting parasites. But just because there are more pesky pet parasites waiting to cause problems, doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and miss out on the seasonal fun with your cat. You just need to know what summer pet parasites to look out for so that you can take care of them quickly and effectively.

Fleas:

Adult fleas are small (averages 2mm in size) wingless insects, with flattened and red-brown, with backwardly directed spines and legs designed for jumping. Female Fleas can live up to two years, during which time they can lay up to 1000 eggs.

Signs of a Flea infestation:

Scratching

Cats constantly scratching may be the first sign, which can be confirmed either by seeing fleas or flea droppings in their coat. These signs are easily spotted in light coloured cats by brushing back the hair. In dark coated breeds it may be better to comb the animal over a sheet of paper to highlight any flea droppings as they fall. The identity of the black specks may be confirmed by adding a few drops of water, if they turn red, your cat has fleas.

Bites

Bites on you or family members usually around ankles and legs. In humans, flea bites can produce an irritating and allergic reaction. The typical symptom of a flea bite is a small red spot about 5mm in diameter.

You will se them

If you have an active infestation, you may see Fleas jumping in your carpet and furniture.

Ticks

Most ticks in nymph stage are about the same size as a poppy seed (1.5mm) while the newly-hatched (larvae) measure about 0.5mm and look just like a grain of sand. An adult female tick is about 3mm (about the same size as a sesame seed), flat and oval in shape but could grow to almost 11mm after feeding and could swell like a miniature balloon.

If you notice any of these 5 signs, your cat might have ticks

Unexplained Scabs

An embedded tick may cause a cat to excessively nip or lick at the bite site. If you notice this behavior or find scabs on your cat’s body, make sure to conduct a closer examination.

A Lot of Head Shaking

If you notice your cat constantly shaking his head, a tick may be burrowed in his ear canal. Ticks like to hide in warm, damp places and will crawl from the ground up to areas including a cat’s ears, groin or under his front legs.

You Feel a Small Bump

While it might seem like a no-brainer, feeling a bump on your cat while you’re petting him might be the firs telltale sign of a tick bite. If you do feel a bump, don’t ignore it. Part the cat’s fur to get a closer look

Ear Mites

Ear mites are well known as the major cause of otitis externa (ear inflammation) in young cats and in breeding colonies.

What Are the General Symptoms of Ear Mites in Cats?

Excessive scratching and rubbing of ears

  • Head shaking
  • Hair loss and dermatitis
  • Black or brown waxy secretion
  • Strong odor
  • Inflammation of the ear
  • Obstruction of ear canal with coffee ground-like debris
  • Scratches or scabs near ear

What can cause cats to itch other than parasites?

  • Food intolerance/allergy
  • Atopy (housedust and pollen allergy)
  • Bacterial infections
  • other mites

Freeing your cat and your home of parasites is really a matter of diligence and persistence, regardless of whether you take the chemical or natural approach. The key is to act early, and put the well-being of your pet first.

If your cat gets itchy this summer, don't wait, call us at 01 822 7270 and ask for advice!

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