Ask a Cat Lady with Sarah Donner: How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Fleas?

Apr 19th 2012  |   8 Contributions

Catster reader Catlover asks, “How can I tell if my cat has fleas?”

Sarah Says: My cat Shosha likes to sit on the toilet. I think she just enjoys the cool ceramic seat on her plump kitty bum. There was a time when I noticed flecks of what I thought were dandruff or dirt that often collected around the hinge of the toilet seat. Whenever I would wipe them off with a paper towel, they would smear and turn red. It was kinda cool and mostly gross. I quickly realized that we had a flea problem and sought immediate attention. Fleas poop out dried blood, which appears to be dirt at first glance.

I recommend procuring treatment from your vet. We learned the hard way that over-the-counter flea drops do not work. Our kitties got chemical burns on their necks from that stuff! They had crusty scabs for weeks, which garnered them much respect from the local hoodlums.

Finally, kittens with fleas also should see a vet because they may be too young to treat with medication. You can comb them with special fine-toothed combs from the pet store. They do a decent job grabbing those suckers, but you have to catch them fast before they jump off. Now go get popping!

The Lyrics:

Cuz You’re a Flea 

by Sarah Donner

A flea can be a bit of a pest / A flea can swiftly infest your kitty / It can feel a bit gritty

One way to tell is the scratch and scritch / The persistence of an itch/ Or red skin, in the worst case lesions

When you are a parasite, you can’t love / Cuz you live the life of your host / You can’t break free, you just suck

Cuz you’re a flea

Also try a fine-toothed comb / Evict those suckers from their home / Pop them in a napkin

Rub your cat with a moist towel / See if there is “dirt” that falls / And turns red -- fleas poop out cat blood

When you are a parasite, you can’t love / Cuz you live the life of your host / You can’t break free, you just suck

Cuz you’re a flea

Don’t wait to take care of it / Or you’ll have a colony on your pet

When you are a parasite, you can’t love / Cuz you live the life of your host /You can’t break free, you just suck

Cuz you’re a flea

Sources: ASPCA, Fleafree.co.uk

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