Cat fleas are very normal and they’re the most common reason for a cat to develop a skin problem. On outdoor cats, fleas hop aboard for a free meal when they roam the yard, but can indoor cats get fleas, too?
1.What Are Cat Fleas?
Fleas are a type of external parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. There are different species of fleas, such as dog fleas, cat fleas, rabbit fleas and human fleas. Cat fleas are the most common domestic flea. They are found throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Adult fleas land on a cat and promptly start feeding on their blood. Adult female fleas then begin laying eggs, up to 40 to 50 per day!
2.Signs Your Cat Might Have Fleas
Fleas are tiny and difficult to find on your cat. But they can irritate a cat’s skin and cause serious discomfort. The following are common signs and symptoms of a cat flea infestation:
- Patches of hair loss
- Excessive grooming
- Constant itching and scratching
- Red, scabbed skin from scratching
- Black particulate matter on the skin
3.How Do Indoor Cats Get Fleas?
There are several ways that these pests can travel into your home and onto your indoor cat:
- Hitching a ride on a human
You can collect fleas by walking through an infected field or yard. Visitors with pets may also unknowingly bring fleas into your home.
- Latching onto pups
Giving pets spend time outside may bring in buggy pests on their fur. The immature life stages of fleas infest pet beds, carpets, floors, and furniture. That means cats may get fleas.
- Coming home from vacation with you
Cats prefer to stay home in their familiar environment. They may travel now and then if only to visit the veterinarian or groomer. Unfortunately, fleas can even hide from professionals. Shared bedding at the boarding shelter might transfer parasites, too.
- Stowing away in a new house
Fleas stay dormant for months at a time without a pet to bite. If pets lived in the house before, fleas could still infest the premises. Used furniture could also carry fleas.
4.How to Get Rid of Cat Fleas?
- Step 1: Brush your pet with a flea comb
Dip the comb into hot, soapy water after each pass to remove and trap the parasites. Comb in the direction of hair growth. Repeat several times daily for best results.
- Step 2: Give your pet a flea bath
Bathing your pet is one of the most effective ways to eradicate fleas. Your vet will prescribe a flea shampoo and advise you on proper dosage and additional precautions. Lather up your pet before putting them in the tub to prevent fleas from migrating around the body. Then you can put your cat or dog in a tub of lukewarm water. Scoop up water with your hand to gently rinse away the suds.
- Step 3: Disinfect the house
Wash blankets, bed linen, cushion covers sofa covers, and pet beds even if you haven’t seen fleas in those areas. Hoover all carpets and sofas thoroughly, but be sure to empty it away from the house as the fleas may still be alive. Wash all floors with antibacterial cleaner. Use a flea spray around your home, taking particular care in areas you pet spends most of their time and those you have seen fleas. Make sure you also treat your pets so they don’t bring the fleas back in.
Persistence is key when it comes to fleas, but by taking all of the necessary steps, it is possible to stop an infestation and protect your cat from these nasty bloodsuckers.