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Cat Forum: Fleas and Indoor Cats

Snoops: Mom has been feeling like a bad cat mom recently. In all of her years of living with cats (including her first cat who went outside regularly), she had never experienced fleas. So when I started scratching, Mom assumed it was my usual winter dry skin. After a bit, Mom was horrified to discover fleas!

Kommando: Of course, fleas are nasty little things, and by that time, they were all over poor Snoops. She had to get bathed and treated.

Snoops: And combed and combed and combed.

Kommando: I got treated too. It was pretty unfair, all things considered.

Snoops: So we thought that we would share a couple of things about indoor cats and fleas.

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Generally speaking, there are four ways indoor cats can get fleas:

  • Neighbors – You know those noisy humans living in the next apartment? Their pets might have fleas. Or maybe the humans do.
  • Fur Siblings – If you live with a dog that goes outside, they might bring in fleas. Or any other critter that comes in from the great outdoors.
  • Used Furniture – That great new chair from the thrift shop might have some unwanted guests. It might even happen if there are fleas in the carpet when your family moves into a new place.
  • Wild Animals – Any warm-blooded animal that is outside is susceptible to fleas. If they have fleas, the fleas will eventually have eggs that may be dropped off somewhere outside the house. When the fleas grow up, they can jump on your humans and get a ride into the house.

Snoops: As near as Mom can tell, I got my fleas from one (or more) of the mice I caught. They come in from outside and set up shop. I get rid of them when I find them, but I guess one got even with me.

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The signs of flea infestation:

  • non-stop scratching
  • spots of hair/fur loss
  • skin irritation
  • excessive grooming
  • loss of energy and pale gums from anemia
  • black specks in the fur or bedding

Snoops: The worst part was that I lost a lot of my thick fur around my throat. I could have frozen to death this winter.

Kommando: Yeah. By the time it grew back, you were getting spring fur.

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Once a cat has fleas, both the cat and the house need to be treated. Fleas love to hide and lay their eggs in the carpet or any soft surface. Your vet can tell you which treatment is best for you. Treatments include:

  • flea powders
  • flea sprays
  • flea collars
  • spot flea treatments
  • oral medication
  • injections

Kommando: And lots of grooming with a flea comb. Flea combs get out the fleas, their eggs, their dirt, and the extra dead skin they cause on kitties.

Snoops: All that grooming actually feels pretty good.

Kommando: It took a while, but Snoops is back to looking pretty spiffy.

Snoops: Why, thank you!

Kommando: So remember: If you see any of the signs of fleas, make sure your human helps you groom with a flea comb. Better to be over-cautious than let the little monsters take over.

Snoops: It’s a lot easier to get rid of them before they’ve had a chance to spread.

 

4

Breaking News; Film at 11

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It’s been a pretty exciting day in Cheeseland, and we’re here to bring you the latest on the following stories:

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Cat Burglars Break into Another Animal Mart 

The stealthy felines are at it again. Early this morning, security cameras captured two cats running away from the store with what appeared to be a trout apiece. Unfortunately the video is rather fuzzy, so it’s unclear what they actually look like. A passerby said that one was a tabby and the other a calico. Police are requesting the public’s assistance. If you have any information, you can call 555-HELP.

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Iguanas in Need of New Home

Two young iguanas have left their humans after an extended dispute over the reptiles’ diet. It appears that the humans insisted on sharing their own tastes for arugula and bean sprouts, while the iguanas wanted collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens.  They all agreed on kale and beans, but the iguanas were feeling more lethargic than normal for their species. Animal Aid is hoping to find a reptile family that can foster them. Please note that the two have not reached their full size and could potentially grow another foot in length.

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Dry Weather Affecting Berry Crops

The unusually dry spring and early summer has resulted in a markedly smaller berry crop this year, particularly strawberries and raspberries. As a result, animals that rely on these fruits as a staple in their diets are having a hard time finding them. The berries that are available are extremely expensive. Some bears have been seen foraging in human orchards. We recommend that you go to our website to find the best prices and alternative food sources.

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Protection Against Fleas and Ticks

As you are probably aware, July 21 – 28 is Flea and Tick Awareness Week this year. Unfortunately, the more appropriate dates in May were taken over by the Cicada Welcome Celebration. You can get a free exam at the Health Center all week, as well as information on non-chemical treatment and prevention options.

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Rabies Hospice Center Needs Your Help

Since there still is no cure for rabies, the best that we can do is try to help these animals in their suffering. Since each patient must be kept in isolation, it can be an expensive undertaking. Any financial donation is welcome. The Hospice says that they are well-stocked in poison for those who wish to end their own suffering. Please visit our website for more information on how you can help.

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Preparation for Winter

If you are an animal who hibernates or goes into torpor, it’s not to early to start thinking about your needs for this winter. The Center for Seasonal Studies at the College of Animal Wellness is offering a free seminar on the necessities for survival.It is open to anyone interested in the subject, The seminar is free, but space is limited. Registration is required. Contact the Center for further information.

These are just the highlights of the stories. Join Biff and Buffy tonight at 11 for these stories and more, plus the weather and sports.

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(all pictures courtesy of Google Images)