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How Do Cats Get Fleas?

Updated: August 8, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Fleas, those sneaky super-long-distance jumping tiny parasites can cause a lot of unwanted inconveniences to our little purring feline friends, and sometimes even to us. But how do cats get fleas in the first place?

Most people would think that if their cat is living indoors only, that should be enough to keep them safe from the little pesky insect and their way of living that makes cats scratch, itch and shake like crazy in the attempt to get rid of them. The truth is that even indoor cats get fleas.

How Cats Get Fleas

First things first. A flea can jump up to 100 times its height, which means that it can sneak in uninvited almost anywhere, and has adapted its body to cling, hide and live in the fur of an animal no matter how much the victim would try to get rid of it. So the flea has a good advantage.

The cat flea, also known as Ctenocephalides felis, has evolved to live not only on cats, but dogs too, squirrels, birds, rodents, ferrets, rabbits, foxes and other animals as well. Now and then even on humans. Which means that cats get fleas from anywhere, even from their owners, when they become carriers.

Anything, or anyone can bring a flea inside the house without being aware of that, because they’re so tiny and hard to spot and they cling as easily on pieces of clothing as on an animal’s fur.

Besides that, being so small, fleas can get into your house even by themselves, using their super ability of jumping through every open window, door, or whatever opportunity they get. And once indoor, they’re just a leap away from your cat.

From One to An Invasion

After the first flea has gotten onto your feline friend, there’s a short way to an infestation with more of them. The now satiated flea, gets off your little tail chasing friend and finds a good spot to lay hundreds of eggs, which will soon become larvae.

The larvae will turn into adult fleas in a short time, and they will be more than happy to jump on your friend again and start doing what they do best. Another cycle of intensive scratching and itching for your poor little cat.

This is yet another way for cats to get fleas. Through an infestation in your home. And if you’ve been there, you know it’s hard to get rid of them, and you know that no matter how much your feline friend grooms and scratches, he will not manage to make them go away.

If you ever find yourself in such a situation, remember that the good old method of water and soap can kill the fleas. If that doesn’t work, the best bet would be a talk with the veterinarian to come up with the right treatment.

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