It's that time of the year when it gets warmer in the South and those nasty critters come out that can bite us and cause problems. Even though we are indoor kitties, we receive a monthly topical treatment for fleas, ticks, and heart worms. Truffle hates getting this treatment and Mom Paula has to sneak up on her to apply the treatment.
|Truffle hates this monthly treatment|
Mom Paula: When I got my first cat over 40 years ago, I thought that if she was an indoor only cat that she wouldn't get fleas. Little did I realize how wrong I was. Somehow, we got an infestation of fleas in our house one year with Muff. The fleas were so bad that we could see them hopping on our legs when we'd walk through the house. We had to get her out of the house so the exterminator could fumigate the house. Muff was taken to the vet and given a "dip" so we could get rid of the fleas on her. We didn't let her wear a flea collar (which was the standard then) because she was known for getting her foot stuck in the collar and we were afraid she'd get in trouble with a collar while we were at work during the day.
|Mom Paula's first cat, Muff|
I want to share a humorous (at least it is now) story about the several hours we had to get Muff out of the house. My ex-husband was a band director, so we took Muff to the band room and put her in one of the practice rooms while Randy and I did some school work. We stayed there for several hours to allow time for the extermination to be safe to go back home. When we went to get Muff to take her home, she was no where to be found. We knew we hadn't opened the door and we were becoming frantic. There were shelves in the practice room where school instruments were located. We looked on every shelf and still couldn't find Muff. Finally, we noticed a slight hole in the ceiling and wondered if Muff had gotten in the ceiling. Randy climbed up into the ceiling and finally found Muff. As Randy was climbing around in the ceiling to get Muff, he stepped through the ceiling and almost fell through. Luckily, he was okay and we were able to retrieve Muff. We took her home and slowly, the flea infestation was gone. I can't believe that when I was giving Truffle and Brulee their monthly treatment last night, I remembered this story since it occurred in the 80s.
I had another flea infestation with Praline. I came home after a business trip and I could see the fleas crawling on Praline's belly and I was getting bitten. Praline was also an inside kitty and I couldn't figure out how the fleas came inside. I honesty think the pet sitter brought some fleas indoors from some of the animals she was looking after that week. Praline got sick shortly after this infestation and the vet thought she had something called flea fever. She was already a senior kitty at this point and the vet recommended she be put on a monthly topical treatment of Advantage. Honestly, I only gave it to her during the warm spring and summer months because of her age. I never found anymore critters on her.
|Brulee and Truffle|
When I was talking to the breeder about bringing Truffle and Brulee home, we discussed the flea treatment. I told her I'd given Praline the Advantage and she recommended I give the girls something like Revolution because of the danger of heart worms. I knew dogs had heartworms, but I'd never heard of cats getting them. Terri (a vet tech) explained that heartworms came from mosquitoes and if one got in the house and stung the girls, they could develop heartworm disease. Heartworm disease if a very scary situation for our pets and can potentially be fatal. The disease is caused by worms that can grow to a foot and live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels. Heartworms can be transmitted by the bite of a mosquito who has bitten an infected animal. We have a lot of mosquitoes in South Carolina with our warm moist climate and they do get indoors. Cats are an atypical host for heartworms and the heartworms don't usually survive to the adult stage in cats. Even though cats don't usually have adult heartworms, the immature worms can cause a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). The medication used to treat heartworm infections for dogs cannot be used for cats, so prevention is the only way to protect them. When I found out this information and knew how frequently mosquitoes flew into my house, I chose to begin Truffle and Brulee on Revolution. At first, I only gave it to them during the warm months, but their veterinarian recommended year-round since we have more warm days than cold days in SC. Truffle really does hate the medication and realizes what it is before I even get near her. The vet say it could burn a little bit since there is some alcohol in the medication and the smell is pretty strong. I don't have anyone living with me to assist with the application, so I have to put the applicator in my pocket and sneak up on the girls. Truffle is first because she'll take off running as soon as she smells it.
So far, there have been no pesky critters on the girls, so I'll continue to treat them monthly.