Cat Health

How To Stop Your Cat & Home From Getting A Flea Infestation

A flea infestation is any pet owner’s worst nightmare. Not only is this painful and uncomfortable for your cat, but it’s also a very difficult situation for youas a pet owner, to handle

So it’s important to prepare yourself and learn the signs of a flea infestation so you can spot it early.

What Are The Signs Your Cat Has A Flea Infestation?

Naturally, the most obvious sign of a flea infestation is that your furry friend will be itching more than usual. They may be restless and even irascible, and their skin may show red, inflamed scabs.

When your cat itches a lot it could be a sign of fleas

You may also be able to see the fleas bouncing around in their fur with the naked eye, though that won’t always be the case. 

Simply not seeing the fleas with your own eyes doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not there.

If you’re unsure, we recommend looking for “flea dirt”, which looks like tiny pepper granules. This will usually be found on your pet’s skin/fur, in their bedding, on the carpet, or in other areas of the home where your cat spends a lot of time

We recommend scheduling an immediate vet appointment if you discover or suspect your pet might have fleas.

This is what the CDC thinks a flea looks like under the microscope

What Can You Do To Prevent Fleas? Here Are 6 Simple Steps

Ideally, you’ll never want your pet to get fleas and will take active measures to prevent such a situation. While no flea-proof method is 100% effective, the more steps you take, the less likely a flea infestation becomes.

1. Try to avoid contact with wild animals

First, we need to consider where your pet might get fleas in the first place. Since fleas are common for wild or stray animals, limiting the contact, your pet has with them can reduce their risk of getting fleas.

Aside from flea infestations, there are other reasons why you might not want your pet to play with stray or wild animals, as these may be carriers of serious diseases or even be rabid. So don’t expose your pet to potential altercations.

2. Limit time spent outside

Now, that doesn’t sound ideal for any pet, obviously. But the simple truth of the matter is, that the less time your cat spends outside, the less likely he is to get fleas. So make sure you clean up and look after your yard before you allow your cat to play there, and try to keep them away from wild vegetation areas that you have no control over.

Keep your cat away from long grass where there may be fleas

This is also a good idea, since wild areas with tall grass can also be hiding snakes or other dangerous predators.

3. Brush your cat regularly to stop fleas

This should go without saying, but an excellent way to maintain proper pet hygiene and avoid fleas is by regularly brushing your cat.

If you can bathe your cat then that’s even better, but most cats don’t enjoy that experience and with their sharp claws on hand you might not either.

This will create an unfriendly environment for fleas, and reduce the risk of your cat getting them.

Also, try to give your cat regular trims and haircuts to keep their fur short and less inviting for fleas and other creepy crawlies.

4. Check your cat for fleas on a regular basis

If you’re worried about fleas on your cat, we also recommend checking for them regularly. How do you check for fleas? Easy.

  • Run your comb through your cat’s fur, along the back or belly, making sure the teeth of the comb come into direct contact with your pet’s skin.
  • Next, hold up the comb in the light, and examine it for small black specks (which may be flea dirt, or even fleas).

Be careful when handling flea dirt, as this is essentially flea feces that contains digested blood

Avoid contact with the nose, mouth, and eyes after handling. If you do discover fleas, check with your vet on how to get rid of them.

5. Reduce flea breading grounds by cleaning your house

One of the best things you can do, in order to minimize the risk of a flea infestation, is to keep your home super-tidy. It might seem like your home is clean already, but if you’re still worried about fleas (or encountering roaches or other insects), then it might not be as clean as you suspect.

What you want to do is clean up on a weekly basis, with a particular focus on your cat’s belongings

Regularly vacuuming your cat’s bed, cage, and toys can drastically increase your chances of avoiding a flea infestation.

Make sure you vacuum thoroughly, insisting over the nooks and crannies.

Hovver your house often to prevent fleas

These hard-to-reach spots make ideal flea bedding (or a great place to deposit their eggs).

You’ll also want to regularly wash your cat’s bedding with warm water and soap.

6. Treat your cat against fleas

If you’ve dealt with fleas in the past or live in a flea-heavy area, it might be a good idea to use year-round flea treatment. Check with your vet for the best pet dermatology treatments to determine the best flea control method for you. These are usually effective flea deterrents that will prevent an infestation and save you the trouble of treating your dog for fleas.

go to your vet for the best cat health advice

Many pet owners find success by investing in a flea collar

This can be an efficient and easy-to-use barrier against fleas that yields fast results and requires minimal upkeep on your part. 

Not only that, but most flea collars are also equipped to protect your cat against other bothersome insects, so you’re getting a great deal, all while protecting them from fleas. 

Of course, consult with your vet before actually purchasing anything, as they’ll be able to give you a fuller picture.

Can you get a 100% guarantee against fleas?

Unfortunately, as long as you have a pet in your house, there will always be a risk of them attracting fleas. So you can’t be 100% sure they’ll never get fleas. However, by following the above suggestions, you can dramatically improve your chances of maintaining a flea-free home and, even more importantly, safeguarding your furry friend from those nasty pests. 

Johni Barresto

Johni Barresto Is a father and animal lover. With a range of expertise in animal health, he decided to start Animal Heed. His passion is to share his knowledge to help animal owners worldwide. When not in front of his computer, he's out with his kids, teaching them the importance of animal care.

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