Fleas are terrible pests that can easily get hold of your kitten, even if they're not allowed to go outside. Fleas can come indoors on your clothes, shoes, or other pets that are allowed to come and go as they please. Fleas can potentially be lethal for kittens, so it's extremely important to protect your kitten from fleas. If you're not sure if you have a flea problem, check your kitten for these three signs that fleas can cause.
Fleas don't just bite your pets: they lay eggs and breed on your cat's body, too. As a result, even if you don't see fleas (which can be a problem with kittens who have dark coats) you might be able to spot larvae.
Flea larvae can be anywhere from 2 to 5 mm long, and generally resemble maggots. Flea larvae are translucent and white until they begin to feed. After they've eaten, they'll turn red due to the blood they've consumed. Flea larvae do move around a bit, but even if you see one that appears to be holding completely still, it's reason for concern.
The presence of flea larvae not only means that your kitten has fleas, but that those fleas have eaten well enough and are surviving long enough to reproduce.
Flea dirt is often mistaken for simple dirt in a cat's fur, but in reality, it's excrement that fleas leave behind. After a flea gorges itself on blood, it defecates a small black piece of "flea dirt" that is left behind in your cat's fur. In addition to being disgusting, this flea dirt serves as the initial food for flea larvae that have freshly hatched. If your kitten has flea dirt, it can help flea larvae to survive until they're developed enough to begin biting your cat.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, fleas can be fatal for kittens. This is not only because fleas can spread deadly diseases but because kittens have limited blood volume and with enough fleas, they can essentially be drained of their blood.
Kittens with anemia generally seem to be lethargic and lose their energetic urge to play. In some cases, appetite may be reduced. However, the best way to check if your kitten is anemic is to look at their gums and tongue. If it's not properly pink or red, your kitten may not have enough blood. If you discover this symptom, get to a veterinarian immediately.
Fleas are disgusting and can be extraordinarily dangerous for kittens. If you need to find a way to protect your kitten from fleas, talk to your vet for tips on what flea preventatives are safest and most effective for kittens. Veterinary offices like Northside Emergency Pet Clinic can help.