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Flea allergy dermatitis as the name implies is an allergy
which affects both cats and dogs. It is a skin condition which
occurs when a flea bites a cat and the cat is hypersensitive to
the flea's saliva. Flea saliva contains many antigens which some
cats and dogs are very susceptible to. Your cat does not have to
have many fleas because just one bite from a flea can trigger an
allergic reaction. Flea Allergy Dermatitis is a very itchy and
painful disorder and is the most common allergy in cats and
Flea Allergy Dermatitis is often seasonal with it occurring
more often in the warmer summer and fall months. It occurs in
direct relation to the period of time when fleas are most
prevalent. In warmer countries Flea Allergy Dermatitis can
persist year round as fleas tend not to die off in winter.
Cooler temperatures and low humidity tend to inhibit flea
What are the Symptoms of
Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
Symptoms include severe itching and
inflammation of the skin. The cat will groom itself for hours and scratch,
bite and lick at affected
areas often causing damage to the skin. Cats can develop small
crusts or scabs on the body (miliary
Hair loss may occur mainly on the rump and extending up the back.
Damage done to the skin is a direct
result of self mutilation by the cat itself because of
the severe itchiness.
Secondary bacterial and yeast infections are common in chronic cases
of flea allergy dermatitis and you may notice an unpleasant odor coming
from your cat because of this.
What is the Treatment for Flea Allergy
Dermatitis in Cats?
It is probably quite obvious that you need to get rid of fleas from
your cat. Just one single flea can cause terrible symptoms. Fleas must not only be removed from your
cat but also from your
house and environment so that the cat is not re-infested. Top spot flea
treatments such as Advantage, Revolution. Advocate, Advantage Multi or Front Line can kill fleas
Using flea collars and insecticide shampoos is generally a
waste of time and money.
Recommended Top Spot Flea Treatments
Tablets for Flea Control in Cats
Comfortis tablets may be a little
expensive but work 100%.
Well worth the extra cost.
is the first FDA-approved, chewable, beef-flavored
tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations
on dogs and cats for a full month.
Comfortis for Cats
* Convenient. Easy to give, with no messy applications
* Fast. Starts to kill fleas in 30 minutes — before they
can lay eggs
* Effective. Provides full flea protection for a full
Comfortis has been demonstrated to be safe for CATS 2
pounds or greater, and kittens 14 weeks and older.
Comfortis for Cats has not yet been approved in
Australia although Comfortis for dogs has been approved.
Antibiotics and antifungal medication my be prescribed by your vet to
treat the secondary bacterial or yeast infections. Your vet may put your
cat on a short course of prednisone to relieve the inflammation.
Sometimes antihistamines are prescribed. However, the only long term treatment for flea allergy dermatitis is
total flea control and not allowing one single flea to come in contact
with your cat.
Desensitizing shots tend not to work well with Flea Allergy
You must be absolutely dedicated to the task of removing all fleas
from your cat and the cat's environment.
It is important to treat all of your pets
and your home on the same day.