How Does My Cat Get Fleas?

PET CHECK BLOG - Cat scratching due to fleas,

\\\ Cat Fleas

\\\ updated 8 October 2021

What Are Fleas?

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Fleas On Cats

Your cat can succumb to fleas at any time of the year and they cause much annoyance to your pet. They scratch and scratch themselves repeatedly, around their ears, neck scruffs and back area and likewise you can get bitten by these nasty tiny creatures.

Prompt action is required to eradicate as quickly as possible as they can infect the rest of your pet family and home. (Magnified image of a flea).

How To Flea Cats

Cat Flea Frequently Asked Questions

What is a flea? A tiny insect that lives off of the blood of a host, such as a cat. They jump on them and continue to live on them, in their fur, whilst feeding off their blood. Indoor cats can get fleas just as outdoor cats.

How do I know my cat has fleas?
Signs are that your cat is constantly scratching itself, particularly around the back of the neck, scruff, and ears. These areas can start showing hair loss, creating bald patches, areas of redness and irritation, thickened skin around ears in particularly, spotting the tiny dark insects scurrying in the cat fur, and as an owner, you may have recently been bitten. 

Do I need to go to the vet?
No, regular treatments can be done at home. 

How do I get rid of them?
Vets advise against buying kitten or cat flea collars but to use ‘spot-on’ products, regularly applying products and to also worm your cat frequently. A range of products can be in liquid form, spray or powder. Follow application details on the product packaging carefully. Products are available from all good pet shops, stores, vets and pet treatment specialists. Read the firm’s product reviews left by customers, this can be helpful and some firms operate customer help lines.

Am I insured? Most insurance companies will not cover you for your kitten or cats routine treatments such as flea treatments and worming and dental care. Nor will they cover you if your pet develops other associated health conditions which could have been prevented by regular routine treatments. So it is important to regularly organise these treatments for a healthy and happy cat.  

How long do fleas live? A flea can live from 14 days to one year and a female can lay up to 50 eggs in one day. Fleas can stay with the host pet for many months.

How do I clean my home? It’s important to clean your cats bedding and blankets regularly, washing them at high temperatures where possible. It’s very important to vacuum around the home throwing away the dust bags after use, cleaning all furniture, worksurfaces, cleaning floors and skirtings to help destroy the fleas. 

There are specially recommended commercial spray products safely designed by pet companies to use on interior furnishings, carpets, curtains, sofas.

Without cleaning the home environment you are not helping to alleviate the problem, and the fleas simply jump back onto your cat’s coat.

Will my other pets get fleas? Fleas can easily jump between the host pet to other animals including dogs and rabbits, so it is recommended to use flea treatments on all pets at the same time to prevent further infestations but never use a dog product that’s advertised for dog use only on a cat and vice versa. Products are specially formulated and can cause other health conditions.

How often should I buy flea products? Each product will provide an estimated timescale of when you should be treating your cat. They do differ between products starting with every month.

Are there other treatments I should give? One should try and prevent worms developing during the flea infestation period by providing treatments at the same time. Killing tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, all types of worms is important. Similar treatments are available and recommended to be used in conjunction with your flea treatment programme.

3 Flea Treatment Steps

  1. Eliminate fleas and ticks on your cat
  2. Treat and protect your home
  3. Further prevent and treat for worms

How do I know treatments work? Some treatments claim they start working within minutes, some longer and you’ll know it’s working when you see your cat shortly stop vigorously scratching. However, you have piece of mind that following all advice and the 3 treatment steps will prevent further infestations for a period of time.

Best Cat Flea Tips
  • With so many flea preventative treatments available to control these nasty parasites, take time to select the right treatment for your cat. There are quite a number of factors to consider like weight, potential exposure and other pets within the family.
  • Part of the large pet business market that claims to be larger than 440 million pounds a year, with new firms offering ranges of preventative products, such as monthly subscription services tailored to your pets delivered to your door are handy. These sorts of plans mean you always have the right treatment to hand.
  • Always double check what ever treatment you choose before administering and if in any doubt, contact a veterinarian, an online 24/7 registered vet service is always a good starting point.

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