Cats typically do a good job of keeping themselves clean, so it may be upsetting to run your hand through a cat's fur only to find it gritty. If you've already tried grooming your cat and giving them baths to no avail, there's a good chance that the grittiness in their fur is due to fleas. This guide will explain what this grit is and how it can be harmful to your cat.
Many pet parents discover that their cats have gritty fur only to discover that they have fleas. What you are feeling may actually be flea dirt, a byproduct left behind by fleas after they've bitten your cat.
When fleas bite, they consume some of your cat's blood. Like most living creatures, eventually the flea's body will produce waste that needs to be excreted. This is what's described as flea dirt. Cats who have even only a few fleas can find themselves covered in flea dirt.
The Problems Flea Dirt Can Cause
In addition to being gross and gritty-feeling, flea dirt can potentially be hazardous to a cat's health. Flea dirt is essentially digested blood, which doesn't all necessarily belong to your cat. If the flea bit anything else, whether it's a human or another animal, it could be leaving behind dangerous blood matter on your cat. When your cat grooms itself, it could digest this byproduct and end up with an upset stomach.
To make matters worse, if your cat has flea dirt, they most likely have fleas. In addition to causing anemia, fleas can carry tapeworm larvae that can infect cats when cats groom themselves.
What To Do
A simple visit to a veterinarian or groomer's office can easily let you know if your cat has fleas or flea dirt. Alternatively, you can get a flea comb and carefully go through your cat's fur yourself. If you discover living or dead fleas and little reddish or black specks in your cat's fur, you'll know that there's a problem.
If your cat has fleas, the best thing to do is to work with a vet to treat your cat for fleas. Your veterinarian will know which medication is the most effective for your cat and in your area.
Flea dirt is unpleasant for cats and their owners to put up with. If your cat has fleas, do the right thing and get your cat treated before their health suffers from them. For more information, contact establishments like Cats Only Veterinary Hospital.
A few months back, I realized that our kids were really lonely. We knew that we wouldn't be able to have any other children, so we started focusing on what we could do to make a difference. We started exploring the possibility of adopting an animal, and before we knew it, we were bringing home a pet that we knew our kids would love. They were incredibly receptive to the idea of having the little puppy, and after a few days together, I knew that he would become a treasured member of our family. Read more about pet ownership on this blog.