More Cat Care Information:
I have reviewed studies on getting rid of fleas from sources such as the University of Kentucky, Texas A&M, and the Humane Society. I have condensed the information in a three part article:Fleas, Protecting Your Home, and Protecting Your Pet. If you want to know how to rid fleas from your home and improve dog and cat health, you must first understand how they live.
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Here are the key details about adult fleas, your most effective killer against them is an insecticide, and they despise the heat so spray moist shaded areas and around your dog or cat enclosures. Interesting fact number one, that the tiny “dirt” you see on your pet it is not dirt; it is flea droppings-dried blood to be exact. Adults feed on fresh blood, so contaminating its food source, your pet's blood, may not be an exciting prospect for you. After taking their fill, they excrete the blood, which dries and eaten by the larvae, lovely.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
Ironically, the flea pupa stage is like the butterfly. The larva forms a cocoon and inside of that a pupa is formed. Five months later an adult emerges, were in can stay alive for two weeks without a host. Interesting fact number two, an adult flea can break out of its cocoon in seconds if a host passes by, before fully maturing. Due to the cocoon protective layer, the pupa stage is the hardest to kill. Even after controlling the environment and pet you may see fleas, which are probably hatching adults.
Larvae are ¼ inch long white worm-shaped insects, and they are more likely found in your pets bedding, they do not live in pet fur. Why? After adults have fed they excrete dried blood, which usually falls to the bedding or floor, where the awaiting larvae feed. In desperate times they will also feed on organic material like dead skin or food particles to sustain themselves. Contaminating its food source is an effective way to kill larvae, simply by poisoning the dry blood. Interesting fact number three, temperatures hotter than 95 degree Fahrenheit kill larvae.
Interesting fact number four, the average number of eggs laid per day by fleas, twenty-seven. That means in one average lifespan, around 8 days (longer on long-haired pets), a staggering 216 eggs can be laid. Once birthed, eggs drop off your pet and usually land on bedding or in your dog and cat enclosures. Basically, wherever your pet sleeps you can expect a heavy concentration of flea eggs.
All three chapters are available
-Chapter I: Getting rid of Fleas – Cat Fleas & Dog Fleas
-Chapter II: Getting rid of Fleas- Fleas in House & Yard
-Chapter III: Getting rid of Fleas- Dog & Cat Health
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|