How do cats get fleas?

Fleas are one of the most common parasites of cats. Ctenocephalides felis is the type of flea that cats get. A flea infestation can give rise to a host of health concerns. Fortunately, with various flea treatment products, eradication of these parasites is no longer considered to be a difficult concern. Prevention though as always would be better than cure. By knowing how the cat can get fleas and by avoiding these situations, the owner may be able to save the pet from the immense discomfort caused by these pesky parasites. Fleas are wingless insects but they have long legs that are adapted for jumping. Fleas can detect heat, movement and sound of a potential host. When an animal passes by the flea would jump into the host and start an infestation. Outdoor cats can easily get fleas from the environment, from other cats and from other animals. As fleas would also infest rodents, rabbits and birds, a cat can get infested by eating these preys. Once infested, the cat would bring home the flea. After a blood meal, a female flea would lay 45 to 50 eggs a day. Other pets in the household as well as the human would now be infested by fleas.

Severe infestation can cause anemia that may lead to the death of the pet. These tiny buggers would bite the pet and feed on its blood. Flea infestation can result to flea allergic dermatitis if the pet is allergic to flea saliva. Fleas are not really choosy on the source of sustenance. Fleas would not only bite animals but humans as well. It will certainly be an embarrassing situation if your guests would begin scratching because the home is being besieged by these pesky parasites. Getting rid of the pet to get rid of the pesky fleas would never be the option of an animal lover. While there are many flea treatments that would resolve the infestation it would still be necessary to understand how the pet can get infested by fleas.

An outdoor cat can easily get fleas because of their inclination to wander. A flea infested animals would carry the eggs of the parasite on its fur or on its body. The eggs will fall off on the soil, on plants and would go through the larval and cocoon stage until it develops into a fully grown flea. Once the heat and the motion of a possible host are detected, the flea would jump into the host and begin its blood meal. The flea would stay into the host until it is eradicated when the pet is groomed or by a flea treatment if the infestation is already severe. In a multi-cat household, the pets would be seen sleeping together. Cats also have the inclination to groom each other. Passing the parasite from one pet to another would be very easy. Flea eggs, pupae and larvae are very durable. An adult flea can live for months even without a host. Fleas that remained on the floor, carpet and beddings of an unoccupied house would be “revived” once the house is occupied by possible hosts.

Indoor cats are not safe from fleas. Humans can unwittingly bring in the fleas that would infest the cats. Because these are great jumpers, a flea can jump into the clothes of humans that come in contact with flea infested animals or jump into humans that pass where adult fleas are lurking. Cats can also get fleas from its preys. Fleas infest rodents, rabbits, birds as well as other small animals. A cat that hunts and eats a mouse or a bird can get infected by the fleas that infest the prey.

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