9 Signs Your Cat has Fleas and What to Do

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signs your cat has fleas
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Cat fleas are extremely common. They can be very widespread and awfully troublesome for both the pet and the owner when they somehow find their way into a household. Known scientifically as Ctenocephalides felis, this parasitic insect is difficult to get rid of and can be dangerous if it goes undetected. Fleas can transmit diseases. Not only for affecting the pet, but also for people, too. The insects also spend most of their time living on the environment. They jump onto their host only to feed before climbing off again, which can make detection difficult. What do the fleas look like? How can I tell when my cat has been infected? In this article, we examine common signs your cat has fleas.

Top Signs Your Cat has Fleas

There are two major signs we want to watch out for: the way our pet behaves and any physical signs on their body.

Behavioral changes:

Excessive grooming. A cat licking of their fur coat can be an indication of irritation or itchiness. Grooming more than usual is one of the ways a pet would work to get rid of this first of the signs your cat has fleas.

Intense scratching. When a cat scratches themselves severely, there might be a problem. Some common places for scratching include behind the legs, at the base of the tail, underneath on the belly, behind the ear, or underneath the chin.

Agitation, irritation, and restlessness. If our pet is having difficulty sitting still, is no longer calm to be picked up or played with, they may be focused on the irritation and itchiness of flea bites.

Lethargy and tired.Although fleas consume a tiny amount of blood, dehydration and anemia can set in if enough fleas do every day.

cat has fleas
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Physical changes:

Visible fleas! The insects have a flat body, with dark brown almost black color. As they ingest blood, they become lighter in color. The fleas may be difficult to find as most only climb onto their host to eat before hopping off.

Red skin lesions or scab-like bumps. Bites from a flea can be visible when we push hair aside to see the skin. They may need to be treated to prevent complicated skin infections.

Tiny black pepper-like specks on your cat’s fur. Known as flea dirt, the black specks that appear to be grains are feces excreted by the insects. Yes, it’s another of the typical signs your cat has fleas.

Hair loss. Excessive grooming and scratching can remove a significant amount of hair. We may find our pets to have missing patches of fur over time as they try to get rid of the fleas the best way they know how.

Muscle loss and pale gums. Over time as blood loss reaches dangerous levels, the body of our pets may not receive enough nutrition. This can cause the loss of muscles and pale gums; both are signs of anemia.

What to do if You Suspect Your Cat has Fleas?

Bringing your pet to the vet can be important. They will ask you a few questions of any changes to the pet’s behavior as they check for physical signs of fleas. A special kind of cream and medication can be prescribed by the vet to help ease the skin irritation and kill the fleas.

Flea control and elimination from the environment is necessary. Most fleas will spend most of their time not on their host. So, we need to thoroughly clean the places where our pet can access. It also may be that the fleas are in other parts of the home. They can travel by climbing onto our clothes. A full home disinfection may be necessary if you see the this is as one of the signs your cat has fleas.

We want to also prevent any future fleas from visiting. Practice good hygiene and clean the home. Especially where your pet rests to help eliminate infestations. Do this before they become problematic. There are chemical pesticides and chemical-free products that can be used to help.

For more information on cat fleas, you can visit:

About Today’s Writer

Brian Ferret is a sleep enthusiast who enjoys a good bedtime story. He is on a mission to create awareness on the best practices for sleep. His goal is to educate others on how they can sleep better so they can live happier, healthier, and better lives. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to learn how you can improve on your sleep. You can also visit his website at MySleepyFerret.com.