The drought that has plagued the northwest for four years has many unforeseen consequences. We all think more about washing the car or not, watering the lawn or not, and how long our showers last. These are the obvious things to think about.
One that I had not thought about appeared today in the local newspaper. The number of fleas expected as the spring warms will be enormous. Rain and cold in the winter months knocks down the number of fleas on wildlife harboring them. For the last several years the warm and dry winters haven’t had this effect.
There has been a large increase in small wildlife as well. Mice, raccoons, foxes, and others that harbor the flea population have dramatically increased their numbers. More can be seen around homes and in yards than seen in recent memory.
With another dry year looming, we can only conclude that the flea ”Bloom” as temperatures increase will once again be more than substantial. Fleas are a nuisance; it’s true. They are also carriers of significant disease.
One of the most well known of these is called “Cat Scratch Fever”. It isn’t named appropriately because it comes from the flea debris that lives under cat nails and in cats’ mouths in only those cats who are or were infested with fleas. People who contract cat scratch fever can become very ill and sometimes must be hospitalized. Cats are unaffected.
Regular effective flea control administered on the appropriate schedule will prevent this and other diseases carried by fleas. These products not only protect your cat from fleas but also protect your home from infestation. There are many effective products and many ineffective ones. Most notably, fleas who are alive now are resistant to older products. Just as bacteria developed resistance to older antibiotics, fleas develop strategies of survival. We often see cats whose owners purchase what they thought was good flea control with cats who are heavily infested.
We are always reviewing the products we recommend here at Chico Hospital for Cats to insure that they are the most effective ones available. As time goes by, new products must replace the old ones as resistance occurs.
Prevention is always easier then addressing an infestation. You should feel that your cat’s lifestyle will not affect your health or your home. Call for advice. We will help you make a good choice, solve an existing problem or plan for a new cat in your life.