Do indoor cats get fleas?

You couldn’t be more wrong if you think that your indoor only cat is totally free from flea infestations. Fleas are one of the most common parasites of cats. Pet parents must learn about the symptoms and treatments for flea infestation as even indoor cats can get fleas.

Cats are fastidious groomers. Cats are always seen licking the coat. As such flea infestation is not as common in cats as it is in dogs. This is the reason why a cat parent will be very surprised to learn that the pet has fleas especially if it is an indoor denizen. Cats though, even indoor only pets are not totally free from these pesky parasites.

How would an indoor cat get fleas? Fleas have the ability to jump about eight to nine inches, a height that is about 200 times its body length. At the back of the fleas’ hind legs are spines that dig into the ground. At takeoff the joints of the hind legs would appear like uncoiled spring that will hurl the flea upwards. A flea can jump into the clothes of the cat owner when he/she passes a flea infested animal. A flea on the ground can jump into the shoes and carried inside the house. Human and animal visitors can be the carriers of the flea that will infest the cat. Once inside the house, it would be an easy matter for the flea to find a blood meal. The flea can bite humans but it will favor furry animals more because of the covering the fur offers. A flea’s life span is from 30 to 75 days. You might think that one flea would not cause too much trouble as it would not be able to survive too long on the pet’s body. However, one flea can lay 16 to 20 eggs in one day. These eggs will soon be little blood-hungry freeloaders that would feed on the cat’s blood.

Fleas can make the life of the pet immensely uncomfortable. Flea bites would cause severe itching. In an attempt to alleviate the itch the cat would lick and bite the affected area. Excessive licking can result to unsightly bald spots on the cat’s fur. Fleas would not only mar the appearance of the cat. Flea infestation can lead to some health concerns too. Some cats are allergic to flea saliva. For some cats, flea infestation can result to flea allergy dermatitis. Healthy cats can easily weather the discomfort associated with flea infestation. Aside from the scratching and the constant licking, the cat would not show any other signs of infestation. Cat owners will only notice a flea infestation that has gotten too severe because it is most possible that they too are being bitten by these buggers. However, young kittens and elderly cats may not fare well. It is possible that these cats cannot groom themselves properly thus they would be heavily affected. Because fleas are not removed by the licking and the scratching of the infested cat, these pests would have a hey-day feasting on the blood of the cat. Severe cases of infestation can result to anemia where blood transfusions along with other medical treatments are necessary to save the life of the pet.

Thankfully, controlling flea infestation is no longer difficult these days. Years ago, pet parents have to be cautious with flea eradication methods as the toxic chemicals that will kill the parasites can also have dangerous effects on the cat. Today, safer and less toxic flea treatments are available. Many cat owners have attested to the efficacy of oatmeal baths in eradicating the pet’s flea infestation. Aside from treating the pet, the pet’s environment must be treated as well. Using the vacuum more often especially in spots frequented by the pet would help eliminate fleas from the cat’s environment.