Do Indoor Cats Get Fleas?

As a pet parent you may be asking “do indoor cats get fleas?” This is a question often asked especially during the summer months.

This is because fleas love a nice warm environment to lay their eggs and breed. In fact, your pet provides the perfect place for food and warmth.

These tiny insects feed on our furry friend’s blood. They can also mate and lay eggs within 24 hours. The shocking fact is, these tiny creatures can lay 50 eggs a day for up to 3 months!

Keep reading as I explain how and why indoor cats get fleas and what you need to do. Don’t despair though, as even the cleanest homes are prone to infestations.

Other pets coming into your home

woman sitting on sofa with dog and cat

If you have friends with dogs you’ve probably invited both into your home. After all, you can’t deny your friend’s dogs to enter your house, and certainly can’t ask if they’ve got fleas!

Even if your friends regularly use a spot on treatment to kill fleas, there’s always the chance a few of these little mites can hitch a lift! Fleas may not be able to fly but they can jump incredible distances. In fact, the average height a flea can jump is 30cm!

If you’d compare this to a human, this would be the equivalent of jumping over 480ft! So you can imagine how easy it is for fleas to hitch a ride into your home.

Neither spot on or flea collars work immediately, and it can take up to 24 hours for fleas to start dying. Also, fleas can still survive on a pet’s coat once the effect of the treatment start to wear off.

Unless you want to closely inspect every animal that comes into your home, it’s best to treat your indoor cat for fleas as a preventative. That way you’ve less chance of an infestation.

You or your family bring fleas into the home

While it’s rare for people to get fleas, they can still jump onto clothing. In addition, it’s also possible for larvae or eggs to attach onto soles of shoes.

Even if your guests leave their dogs at home, fleas can jump on their clothes and hitch a ride all the way to your house! So you see it’s impossible to keep these little insects out unless you have no friends.

Other pets in your home get an infestation.

dogs and grey cat on sofa

If you have other pets that go outside, you must ensure they’re regularly treated. Whether you have a dog or other house cats, it’s important to keep up the treatments.

Your dog can easily pick up fleas or ticks on her daily walk and bring them home. Also, if your other cats go outside it’s highly probable they’ll socialize with other felines.

You can’t follow your cats everywhere or ask if they’ve met up with friends! Also, if you have rabbits, it’s important to treat them for fleas as well.

Rodents that enter your home

white mouse and mouse hole

While it’s unlikely to find mice or other rodents in your home with a cat on patrol, it can happen. Usually though, the mere scent of a healthy feline is enough to deter them.

However, you can still take extra precautions to avoid attracting mice. This includes never leaving food scraps lying around. Plus, always clean the floor and table should any crumbs fall off your plate.

If you suspect you have mice, never use poison. It’s inhumane and could also harm your cat. Always use humane traps and set any mice free, and well away from your house!

Keep food containers tightly closed, and be aware that mice can jump 24cms! Keep downstairs windows closed at night as this is when rodents are most active. Also, mice hate the smell of cayenne pepper, so a light sprinkle outside your window will deter even the hardiest of rodents.

A visit to the vet

vet holding black cat

Even the cleanest of veterinary clinics can be a great place for your cat to pick up fleas. There’s every chance you’ll leave with more than you went in with!

Other pets in the waiting area may be host to the odd flea or two. In addition, fleas are so tiny and masters at hiding. A routine vaccination or health check is the perfect opportunity for a flea to find a cosy home on your cat’s fur.

Don’t forget, your car may be home to a few fleas as well. Even though you regularly hoover the inside of your car, and meticulously dust the dashboard, it won’t keep these tiny pests away.

Driving your cat too and from the veterinary surgery can result in a few extra passengers. However, the best way to avoid a flea infestation in your car is by using a flea killer spray.

Using a flea spray is also a good idea before your appointment. Just allow enough time for it to work. This is normally 24 hours after which all fleas, larvae, and eggs should be eliminated.

Flea eggs can easily be sucked up using a powerful vacuum cleaner. You won’t be able to see them clearly though, but they can become embedded in car seats and carpet.


dog jumping with vacuum in background

While you’ll never be able to stop fleas jumping onto your cat, you can make it very difficult for them to survive. As mentioned previously, a female can lay up to 50 eggs a day, so you can imagine how fast an infestation can develop.

There are several ways you can help banish fleas from your home and your cat. Firstly, get yourself a good quality pet vacuum. This can make picking up cat hairs a breeze, as well as suck up flea eggs and larvae.

It’s worth investing in the best you can afford and look for pet vacuums with easy to clean filters. Some can be fiddly and get clogged very quickly.

Secondly, it’s important to wash your cat’s bedding regularly, as well as yours, especially if she sleeps on your bed. If you apply flea treatment on your cat and fail to clean your home as well, it could be a waste of time.

There are several types of products for killing fleas on your cat. Spot on liquid is very popular as it’s quick and easy to apply. Spot on is also very effective and starts to work within 24 hours.

The only downside in using spot on flea treatments is they only work for around 30 days. This means you have to reapply each month to keep your cat free from fleas.

Another popular choice are flea collars. Many old style collars lack safety features putting your cat at risk. However, more modern ones come with safety release, giving you peace of mind. You can discover some of the best flea collars for cats in a previous post.

Whether your cat has long or short fur, regular grooming not only keeps her coat in good condition, but also allows you to check for any fleas or ticks. Using a flea comb removes any eggs on your cat’s fur.

They appear as tiny black dots which can easily be mistaken for dirt. A good tip is to soak fur containing black dots in water. If they turn red you’ll know they’re flea eggs.

Lastly, you can give your cat pills. I’m not a great fan of pills unless you really need to medicate. Not only are pills harder to administer but I don’t like the idea of chemicals being ingested this way.

Whenever possible, using natural alternatives are always my preferred choice as you’ll discover in my post about flea collars. Unless an infestation is really bad, natural solutions can work quite well.

In conclusion

tabby cat scratching itself

So now if a pet parent friend asks “do indoor cats get fleas?” you’ll know the answer! Keeping your cat indoors won’t always protect her from disease or infestations.

It’s easy for fleas to enter your home as you’ve found out. Inspecting every friend and their dog who come and visit is impractical. It’s also a good way to lose friends!

Taking the precautions I’ve shared with you here can help deter even the most determined flea. Once an infestation has taken hold it can be hard to get rid of.

Tell tale signs can be patches of thin or missing fur, and a cat that keeps scratching. All is not lost though, as you can treat your feline friend.

You’ll need patience though as it could take a while to get rid of all fleas and eggs. I may have mentioned before in another article, but colloidal silver can be effective in healing sore or itchy skin.

Most cats including mine hate being sprayed with liquid, so I always advise using a small piece of cotton wool to gently dab any affected areas on your cat’s skin.

Pet O Cera is a topical ointment for itchy or sore skin that may also help ease your cat’s itchy skin. Treating your cat’s skin is as important as ridding her of fleas.

Any lost hair will grow back within a few months providing your cat doesn’t get re-infested. Her skin should heal from any bites as well.

If you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful please share. Feel free to share this pin on your “pets” board.

Also, if you have any questions or would like to add your thoughts, please leave a comment below:)

Wishing you a purrfect day:)


14 thoughts on “Do Indoor Cats Get Fleas?”

  1. I couldn’t get past “50 eggs a day”!! Damn, that is some crazy level infestation! Fleas really do spread super fast!

    I found your article super useful and will be sharing with friends and family who do have pets. I worry about all the pets I see out in the park, especially at the dog park. They are always playing with each other and all it takes is one infested pet!! Yikes!

    My friend owns a cat and I am always curious to know how she cares for it. She dislikes using a pet collar on her cat as well and prefers natural methods where possible.

    Thank you for sharing this useful article!


    • Hi Sasha, thank you for your comment:) Yes, fleas certainly do spread at an amazing rate!! I agree, some collars are undesirable, but many newer ones have safety release features, and use natural ingredients. Glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by:)

  2. Definitely indoor cats get fleas if other pets come into the house, if they are infested with fleas they will definitely give your indoor cat fleas. These indoor cats go out so, one way or the other they are definitely going to pick up things unknowingly. As we go out and come in , we pick up things too and we transfer them to the indoor pets.
    One of the easiest way to prevent your cat from getting fleas is to get a flea collar, it will definitely do the job.
    Great article Kathy

    • Hi Femi, thank you for your comment and glad you enjoyed this post:) It never ceases to amaze me how fast a flea infestation can take hold. Either flea collars or spot on treatments provide an effective solution to the problem. Thanks for stopping by:)

  3. Hello,
    We just recently got our fist cat that we adopted. We haven’t been letting her hardly at all, only when she escapes for a few reasons, we don’t want her to run off and we don’t want her to get fleas.
    Thank you for all of this information in your article sounds like we should maybe invest in some flea treatments for our cat just to be safe.

    • Hi Brandon, you’re doing the right thing by keeping her inside for a while. It’s usually recommended to keep a new inside for a few weeks to allow time for getting used to new surroundings. I kept my present cat inside for 4 weeks before opening the window to let him out. Cats have an amazing ability to navigate their way home, and unless you live near a busy road you should be ok. Providing you treat her regularly for fleas using either spot on, or a flea collar it’s unlikely she’ll get infested from other cats. Always check her coat when you’re grooming her and check for tiny black dots as these would be flea eggs.

  4. It is really nice to read pets articles because I also have a dog. He also gets fleas even all the time at home. Same as Cats also, because we also go out or maybe our friends also have pets, they bring them with their pets. This is how our pets get fleas even they all the time at home.

    Thank you



    • Hi Manu, glad you enjoyed this post and it’s helped you understand how easily fleas can spread. Yes, any of our furry pets are susceptible. Make sure you treat your dog regularly using either a spot on treatment, or flea collar. Thanks for stopping by:)

  5. Hi Kathy,

    It’s terrible that a female flea can lay 50 eggs a day up for three months, making the situation harsh. It’s good to get your advice for almost every scenario of why indoor cats get flea since there are many possibilities that people ignore and cannot imagine.

    I am also not a pill type of pet owner, so this is definitely not the route I will go to help my cats. I will prefer to use a flea collar made from all-natural ingredients to fight flea.

    Thanks for sharing today. You’ve helped me so much.


    • Hi Matt, thank you for your comment and glad you found this post useful:) Yes, it’s incredible that one tiny female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day! Natural flea collars are definitely a good solution though you may need to combine with other treatments. Glad I’ve been of help and thanks for stopping by:)

  6. We have two dogs and a cat living together. Though I haven’t yet seen a flea on the cat, but I will be careful going forward.

    I had a question Kathy. Cats lick themselves after every meal, and I just wondered if that saliva is dangerous? I mean, every time I touch my cat, I’m sure I get some dried saliva on my hands! Not a good thought, really.

    • Hi Aparna, even though you may not see any fleas on your dogs and cat it’s still important to treat them regularly using either a spot on or flea collar. This is because they multiply extremely fast. With regards to your question about cat saliva, it’s not dangerous unless you have an allergy. It’s always important to wash your hands after petting a cat though, especially if you’re preparing food.


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