If you have a cat, you need to watch out for fleas, ticks and mites that may infect your pet. These will affect its health as it sucks blood and nutrients from your cat as well as cause irritations to its skin. This can also cause its fur to fall. A veterinarian can help you determine if your cat is infected by fleas, ticks or mites and can give medicine that will remove these from your cat. It’s also important that you know the symptoms so you can immediately give medication to your cat if you already have this ready at home or take it to the vet for immediate care.
Here are the steps on how to tell the difference between fleas, ticks and mites.
- Mites. These are commonly seen in the ear area of the cat. The color of these mites is brown. These will usually be clumping in the cat’s ear canal making the cat’s ear feel itchy and irritated. These can cause allergy to your cat and even to humans. If you see your cat trying to scratch its ear and it keeps on moving its head like it’s trying to remove something, check its ear immediately because there’s a big chance that he’s infected with mites. The good thing is that there are several medicines that you can buy over the counter that will help treat mites on your cat. These usually need to be dropped to your cat’s ear and need to penetrate the inside part. Make sure to be ready by covering your cat’s ear as it will surely move his head and may cause the medicine not to reach the inner part of its ear.
- Fleas. Cat fleas are the most common type of flea in the world. These are external parasites that suck the blood of its host with its piercing mouth parts. The female flea lays eggs on the cat and once hatched, the baby fleas will use the cat’s fur as its shelter and will feed on its blood. If the cat gets allergic to the saliva of the fleas, this can result to a disease on skin that is called flea allergy dermatitis. Your cat may also suffer dehydration because of the blood and fluid sucked by fleas. If you see your cat is suffering from hair loss, has red spots on its skin and it keeps on licking or scratching its fur, it’s possible that it has fleas on his body. Get a white paper and rub this on your cat’s back to check if it really has fleas. If you see a reddish or brownish stain on the paper, it means that your cat is infected by fleas. The reddish or brownish color is the flea dirt. Go to your vet immediately to have your cat treated.
- Ticks. These are like fleas that also suck blood from its host. These usually stay on tall grasses where they wait for their host. Once a host passes by, these will transfer to the host’s body and start feeding on its blood. Your cat can get different diseases from ticks such as Q-fever, Lyme disease and tularemia. If your cat went outside the house, it’s best to always check for ticks by brushing its hair with a comb that has fine tooth. If you find some, immediately remove these. Make sure to put your gloves on when you do this.
It’s best to have your pet regularly checked by a vet to make sure that it’s healthy and free from fleas, ticks and mites.