All it takes is a single flea to start up a cycle of infestation that will cause your cat discomfort. The cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis, has adapted so that it can leap onto a new host, and its body has evolved into the perfect shape for living in fur, enabling it to cling to moving kitties no matter how much they run, itch, or shake.
Despite their diminutive size, these fleas cover so much ground that even indoor cats are at risk of getting them. So what are the most common ways cats come in contact with these pests in the first place? Learn where cats and fleas will most likely commingle.
Where Cats Contract Fleas: Other Animals
Cat fleas are more abundant than any other type of flea, and they do not just take up residence on felines. In fact, this parasite is also the primary flea infesting most dogs. Cat fleas can also be found on rodents, birds, ferrets, squirrels, opossum, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, and bovine. If your cat comes in contact with other infested animals, their fleas can jump onto them and start a new colony. Flea swapping can happen between all the domesticated animals in your home, and also the wild animals your cat encounters on your property and beyond.
Where Cats Contract Fleas: Outdoors
If you have outdoor cats, there are a number of places for them to pick up fleas. Especially during humid months, fleas survive and breed outdoors in moist, shady conditions. Your cat can run into them while roaming in yards, gardens, parks, sheds, barns, wood piles, dog houses, and underneath the porch.
Where Cats Contract Fleas: Infested Interiors
A common question pet owners have is how their indoor cat contracted fleas. There are a number of ways these pesky parasites can make it into your home, and you are one of them. Fleas jump onto human hosts, even though we are not their ideal environment.
We bring fleas into our homes via our clothes and shoes, so if you are around other pets, volunteer at an animal shelter, or stumble upon a flea-infested area, you could be a carrier. Flea-ridden bedding, carpet, and plush toys are also sources of infestation. If you purchase them second-hand, do a thorough check for flea eggs. And when moving into a new home, look out for evidence of fleas so you can eradicate them before move-in day.
And of course, indoor mice that carry fleas will spread them to your cats, especially if your kitties are good at catching them.
Along with your indoor environment, other places your pet visits such as the groomer or cat boarding can have fleas left behind by other animals. Check online reviews to see if others have run into this problem, and always feel free to ask about outbreaks before you book your appointment. Keeping your pet healthy is very important so use this information to lower the risk that they have to deal with fleas.
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