Living With Cat Fleas

Cat With Flea Dermititis

Cat With Flea Dermititis

Cat fleas are a frequent problem for pet owners. Severe flea infestations can lead to flea allergy and dermatitis. Less severe flea infestations can lead to other health problems in cats including increased problems with fur balls. Most cat owners report issues with fur balls. Long hair cats have more problems than short hair cats. Fur balls result when a cat ingests large amounts of fur that are beyond the capacity of the digestive system to process. Cats will respond to flea infestation by increases in grooming. The increase in grooming will increase the amounts of fur ingested and can lead to more problems with fur balls. Management of fleas will not eliminate fur balls entirely, but can reduce fur ball problems in cats.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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2 Responses to Living With Cat Fleas

  1. Rob says:

    I once had a dark haired cat that kept having fur ball problems. Being a black cat, it was hard to spot any flea activity and she really didn’t seem bothered. One day I noticed a flea in her ear(which was light colored). Gave her a good flea bath and that resolved the problem. Definitely look for repeated hairballs to be a sign that your cat may have fleas, that you can’t see.

  2. Robert says:

    I’ve never heard the connection between fleas and fur balls before, but that makes a lot of sense. Anything that can lead to hair loss can cause fur balls, I suppose. Good tips.

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