The Mosquitoes They are insects that most people like little or nothing. When they bite, they really sting and it makes us have a terrible urge to scratch ourselves, which is counterproductive since this only makes the situation worse. But what about our furry ones? Do they itch too?
The reality is that yes. In fact, they can transmit very serious diseases, such as filaria. Let's see how to protect the cat of these unwanted insects.
Mosquitoes breed in still water, such as pools, ponds, buckets, etc. during all warm months, especially if the temperature is 20º or higher. They reproduce so rapidly and in such quantity that can become quite a worrying problem both for us and, especially, for our furry ones, since they are only protected by the layer of hair they may have.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to protect the cat from mosquitoes?
- 2 Mosquito-borne Diseases in Cats
- 3 Mosquito Bites and Your Cat
- 4 Cat hypersensitivity to mosquito bite
- 5 Mosquito control
- 6 What NOT to do to prevent mosquito bites on your cat
How to protect the cat from mosquitoes?
At present, several things can be done to prevent our friend from being a victim of these insects:
- Pipettes: Pipettes not only help repel and eliminate fleas and ticks, but they also repel mosquitoes. Ask your vet which one to put on your cat.
- Lemongrass: If you prefer to opt for natural remedies, there is nothing like Citronella, in spray. Spray all over the animal's body, avoiding contact with the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
- Put mosquito nets: To protect your furry and, incidentally, the whole family, put mosquito nets on the windows.
Mosquito-borne Diseases in Cats
Although there are few diseases that can be transmitted to them, they can be very serious. They are as follows:
Also called heart disease, it affects the lungs and the heart. The symptoms are as follows: cough, trouble breathing, tachycardia, pérdida peso and, in severe cases, heart attack.
La leishmaniasis It is a disease that tends to affect dogs more, but it is increasingly occurring in cats, especially those with low defenses. It mainly affects the liver and kidneys, causing the furry to have lack of appetite, show down, apathetic and with Fatigue.
West Nile virus
This is a disease native to Sub-Saharan Africa that produces symptoms such as fatigue, Fatigue, seizures, weakness, paralysis, loss of appetite and weight, high fevers.
Mosquito Bites and Your Cat
Along with the hot and humid days of summer comes the mosquito. Although cats appear to be protected against mosquitoes by their fur, they are vulnerable to ear and nose bites.
As with humans, a mosquito bite can cause anything from an annoying itch to more serious parasitic diseases. In felines, hypersensitivity to mosquito bites and heartworm disease are the main concerns.
Cat hypersensitivity to mosquito bite
This condition is the result of a reaction of the cat's immune system to a mosquito bite. In cats, this presents as raw lesions, scaling, or ulcers in the area of the bite. Hair loss and pigment changes in the affected area are also typical.
Often the pads of the feet will be thickened, swollen, tender, and red. Swollen lymph nodes and fever can also occur. Severe mosquito bite hypersensitivity is treated with oral or injected corticosteroids. Milder cases often resolve on their own, if the cat is protected from additional bites.
Feline heartworm disease
Heartworm disease is a serious parasitic disease caused by a worm, Unforgiving heartworms, which lives in the blood vessels and hearts of infected pets. The disease is transmitted from dog to cat by mosquitoes.
When a mosquito bites an infected dog, the blood that is drawn may contain descendants of heartworms. When the mosquito bites a cat, the young pass. Inside the cat, the heartworm can become a parasite of up to 1cm. Cats generally do not have a large number of worms (3-5 worms) but even this small number can kill a cat. Some symptoms of this condition in felines are the following:
- Respiratory distress
- Sudden death
These symptoms are also associated with other feline diseases, so diagnosis is difficult. A blood test is required to confirm the diagnosis, but it can be difficult to diagnose in the cat.
Both of the above conditions can be addressed in part by keeping your cat indoors and controlling the mosquito population in your local environment. The following preventive measures will help minimize bites for both you and your pets:
- Eliminate sources of standing water around the house and garden. Mosquitoes breed and thrive in standing water.
- Change the water bowls frequently.
- Place windows and doors in your home with mosquito nets to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.
- Use insect repellants with caution. Products with chemicals are not recommended for cats, and many essential oil repellants have not been tested for effectiveness or safety.
Treatment for stings
Treat mosquito bites in the ears and nose with an antibacterial cream to prevent infection. See your vet if the bites don't heal or seem to be getting worse.
You will need to speak to your vet about the need for heartworm preventive therapy. Never use canine heartworm medication for your cat. Medication dosage levels vary from species to species. Treatment should always be under the direction of your veterinarian.
Both you and your cat will benefit from controlling the mosquito population around your home. For your cat, additional prevention in the form of heartworm treatments is recommended.
What NOT to do to prevent mosquito bites on your cat
Mosquitoes have a natural affinity for skin oils, as well as carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which accumulate and expel in abundance to both pets and people. That means are attracted to all of us, including furry pets.
While the dense undercoat that most of our pets carry with them seems to prevent mosquito bites, these insects are crafty. They find the least exposed areas easily and manage to bite there more effectively than you might imagine. (The skin over the bridge of the nose, ears, and legs are most affected.)
Mosquito bite sensitivity can lead to allergic reactions to mosquito saliva, which can range from mild to severe. This is most commonly seen in cats. Dogs can also contract an impressive variety of diseases from mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, protection against mosquito bites is often worse than the risks they pose. Using the wrong product on pets is dangerous. That is why it is important to follow the recommendations of your veterinarian. These recommendations can also be taken into account that we want to add to the aforementioned. This is what you should NOT do:
- Do not use products with chemical elements in their composition.
- Do not use mosquito-killing sprays on your cat's body, this is poison for his health.
- Don't use dog products on your cats.
- Do not use any product that contains pyrethrin or permethrin on cats or, if your household includes cats, on your dogs.
- Don't use any non-branded, questionably labeled products that you can buy online, grocery store, or pet store, regardless of their claims, reviews, or other testimonials (many of these don't list all of their ingredients).
- Do not use undiluted essential oils directly on your pets, as they are much more sensitive to its toxic effects on the liver than we are. This is especially true for cats as their livers are particularly unable to handle most of these products.
Talk to your vet about additional information on mosquito prevention and what products he recommends.
Mosquitoes, as you can see, can seriously harm your cat. Protect it against these insects.