Cats are notorious. They are “experts” in hiding that they have fleas.
Guess what even the indoor cats can have it.
Surprisingly, cats can pick up fleas easily. And these parasites tend to spread more quickly around your house. In just 30 days, 10 fleas can multiply and become 250,000 on your pet and in your home. To prevent such infestation and to get rid of fleas on cats, you need to act quickly.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Fleas from Cat
How to Know If Your Cat Has Fleas
Cat fleas are very small – only about 1/12 – 1/16” long. They are dark brown and aren’t that easy to spot. Their reddish-brown color perfectly blends in with your cat’s fur. Rather than looking for the fleas with naked eyes, look out for the following common signs that your cat can be suffering from a flea infestation.
- Persistent scratching
- Over-grooming which results in bald patches
- Red bumps, scabs, and sore areas over the skin
- Reckless behavior
- Shaking head frequently
- Losing fur
- Brown parasites crawling in fur
Is Flea Bite Dangerous for Cats?
Along with pain and itching, flea bites can lead to a range of additional problems such as:
- Flea Allergic Dermatitis (FAD) – It is an allergy caused by flea saliva. It leads to severe reaction and intense itching just after a few bites. If the skin of your cat looks sore and crusty, it can be FAD.
- Anemia – If the cats and the kittens are prone to too many bites, it can lead to blood loss, making them anemic.
- Tapeworm – While grooming, if the cat swallows the fleas infected with tapeworm, your cat can suffer from tapeworm infection.
- Spreading Infections and Diseases – Cat fleas can result in infectious diseases, namely – Bartonella, Rickettsia, and a serious human disease known as typhus.
But, How Do Cats Get Fleas?
You think your feline friend’s indoor lifestyle protects them from those parasites – you might be wrong, and you can run into troubles in the future. Here are some common ways cats can catch fleas:
- Another Pet – Do you own one furrier friend? Even if it’s another indoor cat, the chances of one of your animals getting infected likely go up if the other animal living in the house is infected.
But how does this happen?
Every time the pet goes outside or close or opens the door themselves – they are at a high risk of picking up a flea hitchhiker. A single pregnant flea quickly lays up to 50 eggs, and the cycle goes on. Once they have made their way in your cat’s body like tiny, heat-seeking missiles – they attack.
- A Visit to a Vet – Now, you must say that your cat lives most of the time indoors? They leave the house only for grooming visits or for a veterinary appointment. When you go out of town, you might also leave them with pet sitters. He might also like playing with neighborhood cats.
These outdoor trips are another major cause of getting infected by fleas. No matter how clean the vet clinics, pet sitters, and neighborhood cats are, fleas are good at playing hide and seek. From all these places, your pet eventually carries home the flea infection.
- The New House – Congrats, you have moved into a new home!! But be cautious and extra careful with pets. The pre-existing fleas live for many months. So, if you’re planning to move to a new place or have just moved in, check the house’s nook and corner. Or as soon as your cat moves in, fleas will treat her as a tasty snack.
Usually, the hall carpeting in a communal building or if your neighbor also has a pet, it automatically becomes the breeding ground for fleas. All-in-all, prevention is better than cure.
- Window Stragglers – Every pet likes to sit by the window and enjoy the outdoor world. They also like sitting on a porch near the screen door – and these are the breeding places for fleas. They are the strongest jumpers in the animal kingdom.
Hence, in all the above-mentioned places, your cat is exposing herself to the everlasting threat of fleas. You cannot stop your cat from sitting at these places, but the best thing you can do is to keep your cat’s prevention medication up-to-date. Work with professionals to ensure that your yard is free of fleas.
- You Yourself Can Bring – You must be thinking now about how you can bring in fleas? Well, every time you go out, fleas are watching you. They can jump into your socks, lash on to your pants, and enjoy a joyride with you while resting on your clothes or other personal possessions.
Lastly, bring those fleas home. Now you are the full-fledged flea infestation owner, and your cat is the first one to be infected. The worse side is you cannot do anything to prevent picking up fleas, especially during the flea season. However, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your cat does not welcome them.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats at Home
When you have proposed to get rid of fleas on cats, at the same time, you will have to ensure that your house is free of fleas.
- Treat Your Cat – If you doubt that your cat has fleas, speak to your vet, and know about the suitable cat flea treatments. Your first task is to bathe and comb your cat. Once these tiny nuisances are gone, further prevent the infestations by using the vet recommended products.
It is recommended to cross-check the over the counter products before using them. Never use a dog flea product on your cat as they are extremely toxic in nature and vice versa applies to the dog. If your cat suffers a bad reaction to the cat flea product, inform it immediately to the veterinary specialist.
Create an Ongoing Plan to Treat & Prevent Fleas
The small and mighty fleas can reproduce very quickly and hop on & hop off on pets easily. Therefore, ongoing vigilance perfectly combined with flea protection & prevention can lead to success. It takes a month or two to get rid of the flea infestation completely. Remember to use a flea preventive for at least a year regularly.
Follow these steps to get rid of fleas on cats with the house remedies scrupulously, and soon fleas will be a void memory in your home and on your pets. Your kitties will be thankful to you for freeing them from unwanted fleas and following up diseases thus saving their lives. Our cats tend to be quiet sufferers, don’t let them be.