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James
February 9th 09, 08:52 AM
Other than blood sucking pests, why would a cat do a lot of
scratching? My pussy was sleeping and suddenly had a scratching and
licking fit. She then jumped out of bed. Several minutes later she
came back and curled up to sleep. I hope it's not fleas as she
infected the house with fleas last summer. I can't tell if I have
flea bites or if the itch is from food allegies. Last summer I knew
it was fleas because I saw them jumping around.

February 9th 09, 01:44 PM
On Feb 9, 2:52*am, James > wrote:
> Other than blood sucking pests, why would a cat do a lot of
> scratching? *My pussy was sleeping and suddenly had a scratching and
> licking fit. *She then jumped out of bed. *Several minutes later she
> came back and curled up to sleep. *I hope it's not fleas as she
> infected the house with fleas last summer. *I can't tell if I have
> flea bites or if the itch is from food allegies. *Last summer I knew
> it was fleas because I saw them jumping around.

Other than parasites, scratching is most commonly caused by dry skin
or allergies. We keep our cats on a systemic (such as Frontline or
Advantage) all year round as in this region days in the 50s and 60s
occur occasionally during any month of the year - and that is all that
is necessary for parasites to become active. And such parasites can
get into your living area by your dog (if you have one) or on you -
whether you live in a mansion in the country or a 20th floor
efficiency apartment in the heart of a city. And mosquitoes
(heartworm), or rodents (source of fleas, worms and other parasites)
go anywhere, any time.

So, get a flea-comb and past it through your cat's fur three or four
times from the neck to the base of the tail. You will either see flea-
scat (little black pepper-like flakes that smear red/brown on a damp
surface) or perhaps a flea itself. Or you won't. If you see no scat or
insects, no fleas. Otherwise, a visit to the vet for an allergy check,
or try Linatone or any of its several clones for dry skin.

http://www.westcoastpetsupply.com/2/Linatone-for-Cats-8-fl.-oz. is
only one of many sources for one of many similar products.

Note that fleas can go through a full generation and live over two (2)
years without a blood meal. So once they are in your residence, it is
pretty much a fact that they will persist until removed or killed.
Removal is difficult, and killing seldom 100% effective (and typically
very toxic) - leaving systemics (which can deal with multiple
parasites including mites, ticks and heartworm) as the most effective
way of dealing with the fleas on a long-term basis.

NOTE ON SYSTEMICS: DO NOT GIVE YOUR ANIMAL, Cat or Dog, A SYSTEMIC
WITHOUT DISCUSSING IT DIRECTLY WITH YOUR VET AND WITHOUT HAVING YOUR
PET EXAMINED DIRECTLY BY THE VET. An ethical vet will typically also
request a CBC and perhaps a liver-function blood test (same sample)
before prescribing such drugs. A small percentage of animals will
react badly, even fatally to systemics. Also, your vet may request
repeats of the above tests every 1-3 years or so, depending on the age
and general health of your pet.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA