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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)