|The pain in the arse cat flea. Image in public domain.|
Some cats have a lot of them but put up with them and have no ill health because of them. Whereas white or light colored cats can have severe itching even with one flea. Fleas obtain their food by biting the skin which naturally can irritate the cat, but it is an allergic reaction to the saliva that can be worse than the bite. The adult flea jumps on and off the cat - and can they jump! They are very athletic and for their size jump massive distances. When you comb through fur to flush 'em out they sometimes jump back onto the cat and this happens so fast it is as if they are disappearing. They jump back on to feed. They live in carpet and such places when they are off the cat (see Cat Flea Life Cycle) . The flea larva matures off the cat.
When adult (after several months) they jump on the passing cat. I recommend combing as the least dangerous and unsettling method to de-flea. If there are too many I recommend the dropper treatment (e.g. Frontline) that you place between the shoulder blades and on the spine which gets absorbed by the skin and then ingested by the flea when they feed. This is efficient and lasts about a month but it makes my cat sleepy and I am little worried about this drug in relation to its negative side effects. Cat and Dog Parasite Pictures -2 - The Ear Mite The medical name is Otodectes cynotis. This is the most common cat mite and is found in the external auditory canal (the bit of the ear you can see). It transfers from cat to cat with ease. Being a very small creature its presence can give the impression of dirty ears. They attach to the mucous membrane and cause damage to it which can lead to secondary infection. Cat and Dog Parasite Pictures -3- The Tick These are common and quite gross to look at. I have discussed these in some depth on the main website. Click here to see the page. In outline they clamp on to the cat's skin and feed on the blood of the cat becoming massively swollen in the process.
They are therefore quite large (5mm or more in length). They look slightly blue due to the blood you can see under the surface. As you might know the important thing is to remove them carefully ensuring that the mouth parts are not left in the cat's skin where they will irritate and cause infection. You shouldn't just pull them off. You might like to get professional help to do this. These are the most common parasites in my experience. The others are: Maggots, Ringworm, Roundworm, Lungworm, Tapeworm and Coccidia. Photo credits: Top copyright honeybeararmy Middle 1st copyright aisack Middle 2nd copyright akeg Bottom copyright Thejaswi Source: Veterinary Notes for Cat Owners From Cat and Dog Parasite Pictures to Home page Can cat fleas bite humans Tapeworm in Felines (fleas are part of the lifecycle)