How To Get Rid of Fleas On Cats

Have you noticed your cat scratching more than usual? There’s a good chance it’s fleas, which means you need to act fast. Although they’re tiny, measuring between 1.5 to 3.2 millimetres, they can wreak absolute havoc on your pet, your home and your family’s health.

So how can you be sure it is, in fact, fleas? And what’s the best way to get rid of them? We’re talking about all things fleas in this article. Ready? One, two flea, let’s go!

How To Tell If Your Cat Has Fleas

Hell hath no fury like a flea infestation, which is why you need to take action as soon as possible. Signs your cat’s space has been invaded by these tiny critters include:

Excessive scratching or biting

If you notice your cat scratching or biting at their skin, especially around the neck, back legs, lower back and tail, there’s a good chance fleas are to blame. Because flea bites are extremely itchy, you might also notice your cat grooming itself more than usual.

Sores or scabs

Not only are flea bites itchy, but some cats are also allergic to their spit. Red sores and scabs on your cat’s skin, along with bald patches, is a common sign of a flea infestation. If left untreated, this can lead to a secondary bacterial infection known as pyoderma.

Eggs

The problem with spotting a flea infestation in its early stages, other than their size, is the life cycle. The eggs look like tiny grains of salt. Once they are laid, it can be between six to eight weeks before they hatch. This means you might only notice the infestation once they’re moving around.

Flea poo

Another tell-tale sign is flea poo. These dark clumps of ‘dirt’ are partly made up of your pet’s dried blood and can be seen on your cat’s skin and coat.

Lethargy

Prolonged flea infestations can lead to anaemia, which can leave your cat feeling lethargic and listless. If your cat has pale gums, isn’t as active as usual and has lost its appetite, it’s worth checking for fleas.

Agitation

Let’s face it, any cat worth its weight can be moody, but a cat with fleas is next level grumpy. If your cat is restless, irritable or more agitated than usual, it’s worth a visit to the vet.

Poor condition

If your cat is losing weight, and its coat looks lacklustre, it could very well be because of fleas. It’s worth talking to your vet about the best flea treatment for cats.

How To Get Rid of Fleas

Unfortunately, finding fleas on your cat is only half the battle won. Not only are these tiny terrors fast breeders, but they’re also invasive. And that’s not all. It’s estimated that the fleas you see on your cat only represent 5% of the problem. The other 95% are in your home in the form of eggs, larvae or pupae. Gives you the heebie-jeebies, doesn’t it?

That’s the bad news. The good news is there are effective ways to get rid of fleas and prevent them from coming back. Follow our easy steps to make your home a flea-free zone.

Use a preventative treatment

When it comes to fleas, prevention is definitely better than the cure. Spot-on treatments are especially effective in preventing and getting rid of infestations. They’re quick and easy to use, and only need to be applied every 28 to 30 days. Ask your vet how best to use the treatment, where to apply it, how much needs to be applied, and how regularly.

Other treatments include shampoos, sprays, dusts and collars. Before using a product, check that it’s safe to use on your cat and isn’t harmful to other pets and family members. Ask your vet to recommend the most effective solution for your cat.

Treat your home

Unfortunately, flea infestations aren’t confined to your cat. Chances are highly likely there are flea larvae, pupae and eggs in its bedding, as well as your couches and carpets.

To rid your home of fleas, you need to:

  • Vacuum daily – Vacuuming every day will get rid of flea eggs before they have time to hatch. Remember to vacuum everywhere; carpets, cushions, couches, under curtains, as well as in nooks and crannies. And don’t forget to throw the vacuum bag away or wash the dust canister with soapy water. Fleas are feisty and will find a way back into your home if you don’t dispose of them properly.
  • Do a thorough clean once a week – fleas can live up to three months, so you’re going to need to be fastidious about cleaning your home. Wash bedding (yours and your pet’s), cushion covers, and any other fabric items your cat has come into contact with once a week.
  • Call in the professionals – for more severe infestations, you might want to call in a professional. Flea bombs, foggers and fumigators are all effective in treating fleas around your home, but you need to keep children and pets away.

De-flea all your pets

To get rid of fleas, as well as their eggs, it’s essential for you to de-flea all your pets, even if they’re not showing symptoms.  Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and hedgehogs, they’re all prone to flea infestations.

Getting Rid of Fleas in Your Garden

Fleas thrive in humid conditions, which means there’s a very good chance they’re in your garden. Here’s how to get rid of them once and for all.

  • Check your garden for flea-friendly areas – To get rid of fleas, you need to know where they are. Keep an eye on your pet for a few days to see where it likes lying. These areas can become a hot-spot for fleas. Also, make a note of shady and humid places in your garden as these are ideal hiding (and breeding) spots for fleas.
  • Mow the lawn – If you have an infestation in your garden, it’s a good idea to mow the lawn regularly. Fleas like to hide in the long grass. To get rid of them completely, however, it’s crucial that you don’t throw the cuttings on your compost pile.
  • Remove debris – Make sure you remove any debris from your garden, including the beds. Twigs and leaves create a shady spot for fleas to live and breed. Exposing as much of your garden to the sun will help get rid of these pests.
  • Sprinkle cedar chips around your garden – A good idea is to sprinkle cedar chips under bushes, in flower beds and around your pet’s favourite lounging spot. Because fleas dislike the smell, the chips act as a natural repellent.

Although summer is considered flea season in the UK, they can affect your pet throughout the year. Hopefully, our handy tips will help you stop these pests in their tracks.

Did you find this article useful? Let us know in the comments below.

SHARE ON

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. It included a couple of facts I didn’t know and I like the Cedar chips suggestion; will try it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guinea Pigs

Stressed Guinea Pig? How to Spot the Signs | 9 Ways to Calm Your Cavy

As prey animals, cavies are natural worriers. After all, being on high alert is how they survive. Having said that, in the wild, guinea pigs can escape from stressful situations. But this isn’t the case for pet piggies. Exposed to constant stressors in their hutch, guinea pigs are prone to long term health issues. They are also at risk of hurting themselves in an attempt to get away from the perceived danger.

Read More Now »
Guinea Pigs

Vitamin C and Your Guinea Pig | Everything you Need To Know To Keep a Healthy Cavy

Did you know that just like humans, your guinea pig can’t make its own vitamin C? This means that in the same way, we need to get this essential vitamin from fruits, vegetables or a daily supplement, so can cavies. In this article, we’re talking about vitamin C and your guinea pig, from what problems a lack of vitamin C can cause, to ways you can include it in your piggy’s diet and everything in between.

Read More Now »
Cats

Do Cats Get Hay Fever? Spot the Signs and Stop the Sniffles and Suffering

Ah, summertime, it’s the season we all look forward to, isn’t it? But for the almost 16 million hay fever sufferers in the UK, the warmer weather, drier conditions and higher pollen counts can be a nightmare. For them, allergic rhinitis is definitely more a case of ah-ah-choo! But if you’ve noticed your feline friend suffering along with you, maybe you’ve wondered: do cats get hay fever too?

Read More Now »
Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig First Aid Kit | Why You Need One and Essentials To Keep In It

We all know how important it is to have a first aid kit in your home, especially if you have smaller children that are accident-prone. But what about your pets? Do you have a guinea pig first aid kit? Having a well-stocked first-aid kit with all the essential supplies on hand can buy you extra time in an emergency: time to get your furry friend to the vet. It could save your guinea pig’s life.

Read More Now »
Guinea Pigs

How Much Exercise Does a Guinea Pig Need? How Best To Keep Your Cavy fit and Healthy

Thanks to their cuddlesome appearance, affectionate personality and animated ways, guinea pigs are fast becoming a popular choice of pet for families all across the UK. But these cuddly little critters need a lot of care, and that includes plenty of exercise. You see, in the wild, cavies spend a large part of their day running around while foraging for food. As pets, however, they are more often than not kept in a hutch or indoor cage, with limited space to roam freely.

Read More Now »

Want The Most Awesome Cat Articles Delivered Every Week?

Plus special offers, Discounts & News?