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Dr. Geri Katz

Fleas and ticks and mosquitoes..oh my!

Even though there is a nice layer of snow on the ground, it’s not too early to start planning for spring. The bugs are coming…and some may have never left! People don’t generally think of fleas and mosquitoes in the winter but ticks never left. They are hiding under leaves and any warm spots they can find! Plus, if any fleas got in the house before the icy temperatures hit, they were living large in your house all winter! Fleas and ticks on cats should always be at the forefront of your mind.

There are two fabulous products that I highly recommend for preventing fleas and ticks on cats. The first one is called Revolution. It is a once-a- month topically applied medical preventative for heartworm disease (which can be fatal in cats) and is also fantastic at killing fleas and many ticks. It also treats ear mites and the most common intestinal parasites that affect cats. This product is a must for any cat, indoor or out. Heartworm disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, cannot be treated in cats like it can be in dogs. This means that if your cat contracts it, their bodies must fight the disease off themselves or else they may die. This is why prevention is key. Though outdoor cats will see more mosquitoes, there will be mosquitoes that will make their way into your house and can infect indoor cats. Also, last summer I saw many cats that were infested with fleas that were strictly indoor! A flea is small enough to get through the mesh of a screen window, so if that is where your cat likes to be, you may find yourself with a bit of a flea problem if your cat is not protected by an effective product such as Revolution.

Another great product for cats is the Seresto collar. This is a flea and tick collar that stays on safely for 8 months killing fleas and ticks. What sets this collar apart from store bought collars is that with the Seresto collar, the medication that kills the fleas and ticks is released over time, not in one full blast, which is what a lot of the other collars do. I have seen cats succumb to liver failure from a one time blast of chemical release from some of the over the counter collars. The Seresto collar, however, does not protect against heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, or ear mites like Revolution does, and you can safely use these in conjunction with each other.

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