Maine coons are one of the largest breeds of cats which are kept as pets.As you know there is a state, Maine, in North America, this cat has the honor of being named after it. These cats have some very different physical characteristics or features because of which they can be easily differentiated from other cats. These cats are huge and broad unlike other petite cats and have a very unique body structure which is often rectangular. It is also recognized by its long bushy tail and silky coat to protect it from the snowy area it originally came from. Taking care of these expensive and unique cats is not only a must done task but you have to maintain their lifestyle to make sure they love you back as much.
These cats are generally very social and have a very playful personality. They are very intelligent when it comes to tackling with humans and that is why they are very good at hunting as well. Being very playful their owners usually agree that their personality traits are closer to those of dogs rather than cats. There are some very common diseases among Maine Coons which are feline hypertrophic, cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia. Although owners usually take effective measures to cure these diseases in their pet Maine Coons, however, some problems like fleas sustain. These, in cats often, are recurring problems and can worry breeders a lot. When it comes to Maine coons specially their owners are very careful about their silky coat which they want to make sure does not get destroyed. Flee sprays, like front line etc, although are the only solutions, but still can damage your pets health. Fleas mostly attack your pets in summers and although Maine Coons are indoor pet fleas can travel inside your house from the outer environment. The easiest and most effective drugs for removing fleas include Revolution. Milder drugs like Permethrin are only effective at times because sometimes fleas are used to these pesticides and hence might not be affected. However before using any medicine on your cat you must always look at the ingredients or consult your vet because sometimes these medicines have harmful chemicals in them. Also before you fumigate your house you have to make sure of any chemicals in the material you are using and keep your cat away from the specific rooms because they may be hazardous for their health.
At first we will go through why it is important for you to make sure your Maine Coon is “flea-free”. After that we will tell you some simple and easy steps to get them away in case your cat has been attacked by these already. Fleas are not only insects which annoy your Maine Coon but can also be dangerous for their health. These parasites can lead to many health conditions which include:
- Bites: these cause a lot of pain and irritation which eventually lead to red skin which becomes inflamed. If there are a lot of fleas biting your pet it can lead to an allergic reaction which leads to a disease called dermatitis.
- Flea allergy dermatitis: this disease is most common in cats and can become worse if not treated immediately. The main cause of this reaction includes the saliva of the fleas which causes the irritation. Pet owners usually do not know about the flea allergy at the correct time so to help them some of the first and obvious signs ware discussed. These include extreme itching, loss of hair and scabs on your cat’s skin. The hind part of the Maine Coon is affected the most during the flea attack and comes to the front side very rarely. However, there will be marks of a disease such as an ulcer everywhere on the body. Since fleas are very hard to see with the naked eye and camouflage themselves easily inside the cat’s fur hence owners sometimes mistake them for other insects. Flea dirt is also not easily visible. Some of the symptoms include your cat chewing, licking or scratching particular areas which means that there is some problem. Constant scratching leads to hair loss and at times open sores or infection in that area. The open sores can also cause a bacterial infection if not treated immediately. Further signs include; severe itching; hair loss around the tail and the head area. Primarily you should use a flea comb to make yourself sure about the presence of these fleas. Sometimes you might notice small black particles which are flea dirt. If you cannot catch the fleas with the flea comb and the itching still persists then you should start the treatment
- Anemia: this is when the blood cells in circulation reduce significantly. This happens in only severe cases and rarely happens in either kittens or older cats. This is mainly because fleas suck a lot of blood from your cats body when they bite.
- Infection transmission: since fleas carry dirt with them, hence, sometimes transfer infectious diseases to your Maine Coon, for example, flea tapeworm.
It is because of all these causes that taking care of your Maine Coon is a must to make sure their silky thick cover does not get destroyed. If you find even one flea on your Maine Coon you can be certain that you will find a lot more. It is necessary to get rid of these fleas in a short time otherwise the life of your pet can be in danger. Since fleas suck a lot of blood hence they can make your pet weak in a very short time. If your Maine Coon spends even a little time outdoor then it is important you make a flea check at least once a week especially in this breed because they show very little signs of the existence of such fleas. Since these pets can become lethargic and dehydrated due to flea bites hence they can be very dangerous for the cat’s health. Your cat looses all interest in playing and eating. It just spends time sleeping and lying around. If your Maine Coon is a baby then the chances of survival become very less as they can get weak very easily. The steps / treatments mentioned below are mostly for Maine Coon cats who are 8 months or below but can also be applied to those who are older since the medicines are almost the same.
- Prepare a bath tub with warm water. Place your cat in the tub and keep the cats face out of the water. Use a flea shampoo which is especially for cats. Lather the whole coat with the shampoo starting from the head all the way to the tail. Also rub the kittens belly and feet. The water might become red because that is actually the color of the fleas dirt when mixed with water. Since fleas do not like water after some time you will see them coming to the cats face to escape the water. You should then push them back into the water to make sure they die.
- After taking out your kitten from the bath you should dry it properly to make sure it does not catch a cold.
- After drying them you need to apply flea drops. The drops differ with age so if you have a bigger cat the drops will be different. You should follow the directions mentioned on the container.
- Apply a flea collar on your cat. There are two types one that emits a gas which repels the fleas coming on the body of your cat and the other has a medication. The medication seeps on the layer of your cat’s skin and spreads throughout the body using the cats own oils in the body. This one kills the flea when they come in contact with the skin because the ingredients present are active.
- Even after you are sure that your cat is free from the fleas you need to keep checking your cat to make sure that the fleas do not attack again. You can also go under a flea therapy for cats which are under 8 months old. You can also fumigate the whole house to make sure that there are no fleas in the house. if you do this once your cat is free from fleas there are minute chances that you will have to go through this whole procedure again.
You can take your cat to a vet to make sure you get the proper medicines needed for your cat since the condition may vary. Furthermore, these medicines are available online at different websites and also at any vet shop near your house. You should make sure that at all times you are aware of any fleas present in the fur of your cat because sometimes they might go unnoticed and may affect the health of your Maine Coon. Since these cats are special and not easily available, hence, taking good care of them to make sure their health is maintained becomes very important.
Dreamcoon.com. (n.d.). 5 easy steps of getting rid of Maine Coon�s fleas – Maine Coon Cattery DreamCoon. [online] Available at: http://www.dreamcoon.com/5-easy-steps-of-getting-rid-of-maine-coon-s-fleas [Accessed 14 Jan. 2017].
En.wikipedia.org. (n.d.). Maine Coon. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_Coon [Accessed 14 Jan. 2017].
Smoky Mountain Maine Coon Cattery. (n.d.). Maine Coon Cat Fleas – A Serious Problem. [online] Available at: http://www.mainecoonconnection.com/Maine-Coon-Cat-Fleas.html [Accessed 14 Jan. 2017].