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Like dogs, cats can get fleas. Even those who never step foot outside are susceptible. Understanding where cat fleas come from and what they can do to prevent them can help pet parents keep their cats happy, healthy, and pest-free.
Fleas are tiny parasites that feed on the blood of animals. While many pet parents associate them with dogs, they can also affect cats, even if they’re strictly indoor pets.
These tiny pests have four life stages that can last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the environment. Adult female fleas lay eggs after feeding on a cat’s blood. They can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which they can do for several weeks if they remain on their host.
The eggs fall off where the cat spends most of its time, such as its tower or bed. While heat encourages the eggs to hatch, they can lay dormant for months if it’s too cold or dry. Larvae hatch and build cocoons after a few weeks. Then, adult fleas emerge, and the cycle begins again.
Fleas typically come from outside. As such, cats that spend any amount of time outdoors have the greatest risk of picking them up. These parasites are jumpers. Thus, they can leap into a cat’s fur with ease and hitch a ride indoors.
Indoor cats are at risk, too. If a pet parent also has a dog, the dog can bring fleas inside. In some instances, a flea might be latched to a pet parent’s pants or coat. Once they’re inside, they can begin causing trouble.
Since fleas are tiny, it can be difficult for a pet parent to notice one or two of them. Yet, there are a few signs that can indicate their presence:
Patches of hair loss
Red, irritated skin
Black specks on a cat’s bed or favorite sleeping spot
If a pet parent does discover these parasites, they need to begin treatment right away with a flea medication such as Capstar. Treating the cat is only one step of the process, though. The pet parent will also need to take measures to eliminate fleas and their eggs from their home.
Fleas and other parasites like ticks on cats are problematic, but pet parents can protect their cats with a preventative flea and tick treatment for cats like Effipro Plus to keep unwanted pests away.
Cat fleas are frustrating. Yet, pet parents should know that there are ways to eliminate them if they discover them. In addition to flea medicine for cats like Capstar, cleaning resting areas, vacuuming, and other measures can help remove them quickly. Plus, a monthly topical medication like Effipro can keep these (and other pests) from attacking again.
For more advice on how to eliminate and prevent fleas and ticks on cats, pet parents can consult with their primary vet. They can also get professional advice along with all of their flea and tick medications and more from the online vets at Fuzzy. Members get discounts on monthly subscriptions and have access to the 24/7 Live Vet Chat. Sign up to become a Fuzzy member today!