Any responsible pet parent goes out of their way to keep their cats flea-free. However, it's not unusual for pet parents to see a few fleas pop up from time to time, as no anti-flea medication will kill every single flea. If the first thing that alerts you to fleas is your cat scratching, and they don't stop scratching after they get a fresh anti-flea treatment, here's why.
When cats are given a new flea collar or anti-flea topical treatment, the medicine immediately goes to work repelling new fleas from landing. However, it doesn't force the fleas that are on your cat's body to leave. They will likely die while still on your cat.
Unfortunately, these dead fleas can irritate a cat's skin and leave them feeling itchy. When your cat scratches, it helps to not only reduce the itch but will also rid your cat of some of their unwanted dead fleas.
Flea dirt is another big problem that fleas, living or dead, leave behind. Even if every flea jumped off your cat before dying after an anti-flea treatment, they'll likely leave behind flea dirt.
Flea dirt is just a nice way of saying flea excrement, or flea poop. After fleas bite and consume blood, they produce excrement, like anything else. This flea dirt can leave your cat feeling itchy, but it can also trigger problems, like flea dermatitis. While this condition is treatable, it could leave your cat feeling miserably itchy until they manage to groom the flea dirt away.
Finally, it's not out of the question that your cat has developed a mild infection after having fleas. Since fleas make cats itch, they'll vigorously scratch themselves and can potentially tear at their own skin. If an opening to the skin develops, any kind of bacteria can get in there, where it could cause a skin infection.
Skin infections can be a serious problem and can potentially spread to other parts of the body. If your cat continues to scratch days after you've applied the treatment, or you see any lesions, swelling, or wounds, get in touch with a veterinarian right away.
Fleas can be a serious problem for kitties, even when their owners are doing everything they can for them. If you have problems with your cat scratching after being treated, visit a vet to get an examination and thorough cleaning to get rid of any dead fleas and flea dirt left behind. Companies like Berlin Township Animal Hospital can answer your other questions for you.