How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats

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Is your cat unusually restless and scratching excessively? Chances are she has fleas. This is mainly the case if it’s happening during warm seasons.

It may be easier to prevent a flea infestation than to get rid of them. However, that does not mean it is impossible, but you must act fast because the more you delay, the more the problem intensifies.

If you do not get rid of fleas, they will multiply quickly, and you will soon have a huge infestation in your home.

In that case, how do you get rid of fleas on cats? Find out below.

How Do Indoor Cats Get Fleas?

how to get rid of fleas on cats

So, your cats stay indoors, and so you naturally think they are safe from fleas, but they get them anyway. Flea infestation in indoor cats is undoubtedly less common than in outdoor cats, but it happens. However, how does that happen?

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Here’s how indoor cats get fleas.

1) Hitchhiking

The reason your indoor cats have fleas could be that you brought these pesky bugs with you on your clothing, shoes, or other items. From there, they can then jump onto your indoor cat.

2) Infested Visitors

Do you have friends who own pets? If yes, they can unknowingly bring fleas into your home when they visit. These fleas can then find their way to your indoor cat.

3) Other Infested Animals

If you have other pets in your home, such as dogs, that go outside and interact with infested animals, they can bring fleas indoors.

4) Infested Indoor Environments

Fleas can survive in indoor environments, particularly in areas previously infested animals have been present. Fleas can hide in carpets, furniture, or bedding and emerge to bite your cat.

Therefore, if you have dealt with fleas before, some may have survived and are now on your indoor cats.

Related Post: How to tell how bad a flea infestation is

How to Know if Your Cat Has Fleas

Do you suspect your cats have fleas? Watch out for these signs.

a) Frequent Scratching

Fleas will make your cats scratch excessively, particularly around the neck, head, and base of the tail. Therefore, if you notice your cat scratching more than normal, it might be a sign of fleas.

b) Restlessness and Agitation

It should not be a surprise that fleas make cats uncomfortable and irritable. When fleas bite, they inject saliva into the cat’s skin, causing itching, irritation, and discomfort, and the constant itching sensation can make cats feel restless, irritable, and anxious.

Also, since fleas are nocturnal, they can disrupt a cat’s sleep, causing them to feel restless and agitated. If your cat seems restless, constantly grooming, or exhibiting unusual behavior, it could be a response to flea bites.

c) Visible Fleas or Flea Dirt

Fleas are small, dark-brown insects that move quickly, so check your cat’s fur for any signs of live fleas crawling on the skin or fur if you suspect an infestation. Additionally, you may notice tiny black specks on the cat’s skin or bedding, known as flea dirt.

Flea dirt is flea feces consisting of digested blood and is a common sign of flea infestation.

d) Hair Loss and Skin Irritation

As your cat scratches or bites excessively due to flea bites, they may experience hair loss, especially around the tail base and back.

e) Pale Gums

In severe flea infestations, especially in young or small cats, fleas can cause anemia due to blood loss. If you notice that the inside parts of your cat’s ear and gums are pale, they may suffer from anemia caused by blood loss from flea bites. Consider visiting the vet with your furry friend for proper evaluation.

Other signs of fleas in cats are:

  • Scabby bumps
  • Lethargy
  • Pepper-like black specks

Related Post: Does Hot Water Kill Fleas And Their Eggs?

How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats

how to get rid of fleas on cats

It is best to consult your veterinarian before starting any flea treatment. They can recommend safe and effective flea control products suitable for your cat’s needs and health conditions.

However, on top of that, here’s what you can do to eliminate fleas on your cats.

1. Flea Bath

Get rid of the fleas on your cat’s fur by bathing your furry friend. However, before your cat can go into the water, get a cat-specific flea shampoo (never use dog-specific products), towels, a non-slip mat or basin, and a gentle sprayer or pitcher for rinsing.

Also, brush your cat’s fur to remove any tangles, debris, or loose fur to make sure the shampoo reaches the skin more effectively.

Bathing your cat is easy if they love water, but what do you do if they are not keen on getting into water? First, you are not alone; secondly, don’t force them. A spray bottle might help.

2. Apply Flea Medication

Once you have removed as many fleas as possible from your cat through a bath, you can handle the remaining with a suitable flea control product. These include topical treatments, oral medications, and flea collars.

Ask your veterinarian for the most appropriate flea treatment for your cat. Also, follow the instructions carefully when applying or administering the product, and make sure to use products specifically designed for cats.

Furthermore, never use dog-specific flea products on cats, as they may contain ingredients toxic to felines.

3. Comb Your Cat Regularly

It would also be best to take some time to regularly comb the fur of your cat with a fine-toothed flea comb. After every pass, insert the comb in soapy water to drown any fleas caught in the comb. This will help remove adult fleas and reduce the flea population on your cat.

4. Treat The Environment

To fully eliminate fleas in cats, you must also handle fleas in your environment because these bugs don’t just live on cats. They also infest the environment, such as carpets, bedding, and furniture.

In that case, thoroughly vacuum your home, focusing on areas frequented most by your cat. After that, dispose of the vacuum bag immediately after vacuuming to prevent fleas from reinfesting your home.

Wash your cat’s bedding in hot water, then dry it on high heat to kill fleas and flea eggs. Consider using a flea control spray or fogger but adhere to the instructions carefully.

5. Treat Other Pets

What about the other pets in your home? Are they exempted from flea treatment? No, if you have multiple pets, check and treat all of them for fleas, as fleas can easily spread between animals.

How To Prevent Fleas On Cats

Keeping fleas from establishing residence in your home in the first place is the best way to keep your home flea-free and everyone in your home, including pets, safe. How do you achieve that, though? Do the following:

i) Use Flea Prevention Products

There are various flea prevention products, including oral medications, flea collars, and topical treatments. Find the ones that work best for your situation, and when not sure, talk to your veterinarian.

Once you get the right products, regularly apply or administer them as directed to keep fleas away.

Make sure every animal in your home regularly gets flea prevention treatment.

ii) Keep Your Cat’s Environment Clean

A clean environment is essential to flea prevention and general hygiene. How do you achieve this, though? Regularly clean and vacuum your home to remove flea eggs, larvae, and pupae from the environment.

Moreover, wash your cat’s bedding, blankets, and any fabric items they frequently use using hot water and mild detergent.

Also, clutter provides fleas with excellent hiding spots, so clear away items that are not necessary and minimize areas where fleas can hide and thrive. Additionally, do not forget to clean and disinfect your pet’s furniture and accessories, like scratching posts, beds, or toys.

iii) Regular Cat Grooming And Inspection

This part can be quite enjoyable and less of a chore. So, regularly pick that fine-toothed flea comb and groom your cat. It can be relaxing for you and the cat, and the best part is it helps remove adult fleas and flea dirt from their fur.

While combing, inspect your cat’s skin for any signs of fleas, such as tiny black specks or redness. Also, watch out for excessive scratching, biting, licking, and hair loss.

iv) Avoid Contact With Infested Animals

Does your cat interact with other animals in your neighborhood? That is all great, but keep in mind that fleas can easily transfer from one animal to another.

Therefore, take precautions to prevent flea transmission if your cat interacts with other animals known to have fleas. In addition, keep your cat away from infested animals and environments until the infestation is under control.

v) Outdoor Control

After ensuring your indoor areas are free of fleas, you must also work on your outdoor spaces because your cats can pick fleas when or if they spend time outdoors.

Therefore, trim tall grass and bushes in your yard because fleas thrive in shady areas with high humidity.

In addition, remove any debris or organic material where fleas may hide.


Watching your cat struggle with fleas can be disheartening, so it would be best to prevent an infestation. However, knowing how to get rid of fleas on your cats is also important just in case these annoying bugs find their way to your house and on your cats.

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