Bugged By Fleas
Flea Allergy Dermatitis In Cats Is On The Rise

Category: Fleas, Cat Healthcare
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Flea allergy dermatitis in cats is on the rise. Keep reading to find out how to prevent fleas naturally and soothe an itchy cat.


Do you have an itchy cat? Flea allergy dermatitis in cats is on the rise.

Flea allergy dermatitis can cause cats to scratch nonstop.

Blame it on climate change. Cats are getting more fleas, and flea allergy dermatitis in cats is becoming more common, according to Banfield Pet Hospitals’ 2018 State of Pet Health Report.

The report says there’s been an astonishing 67 percent increase in flea allergy dermatitis in cats since 2008. In 2017, 170 of every 10,000 cats seen at Banfield hospitals had the allergic reaction to fleas. In 2008, just 102 of every 10,000 cats developed flea allergy dermatitis. 

Some cats are so sensitive to fleas, just one bite can cause an allergic reaction, or dermatitis.

Is Climate Change Causing More Flea Allergy Dermatitis In Cats?

Emi Saito, Banfield’s senior manager of veterinary research programs, suggests that climate change could be at least part of the reason vets are seeing more flea allergy dermatitis in cats.

With warmer weather, fleas are thriving. And the more fleas there are, the more cats are likely to have an allergic reaction.

How will you know if your cat has flea allergy dermatitis? Frantic scratching and scabs on her back, especially close to her neck and the base of her tail, are two signs


Soothing Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Some cats are so sensitive to flea bites, the dermatitis can linger long after the fleas are gone. Your vet would probably recommend an antibiotic or even steroids. But if you prefer natural treatments as I do, put some witch hazel on a cotton ball and dab it on the itchy areas. It will relieve the itchiness and promote healing. Putting vitamin E oil or olive oil on the affected areas will also soothe the itching. 



Preventing Fleas The Natural Way

One of the best ways to keep your cats from getting fleas is to give them a healthy all-wet-food diet. Fleas like old, debilitated cats and don’t have much interest in the healthy ones.
Here are some more natural ways to prevent fleas.
  • Sprinkle beneficial nematodes around your yard. Most garden stores sell them. 
  • Use a flea comb to comb your cat with a mixture of half apple cider vinegar and half water. 
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast to your cat’s wet food.
  • Rub the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon or orange on your cat’s fur. Use fresh fruit, not essential oils, which can be toxic to cats. And beware: Many cats hate the smell of citrus. Put some juice on a leg to see how your cat reacts to this new scent before doing the whole cat.
  • Use a flea comb and comb your cat often. This will remove any lurking fleas. Get rid of the fur you comb off outside.
  • If your cat has fleas, wash her bedding in the hottest water possible and sprinkle food grade diatomaceious earth on it. You can also put it in corners and on the floor along the walls. It often kills the fleas on cats, too. Dip a flea comb in a bag of food grade diatomaceous earth, shake off the excess and comb it into the cat’s fur, being careful to keep it away from her eyes and nose. 


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