Fleas and Your Indoor Cat

Kitten scratchingIndoor cats cannot get fleas; a common misconception among pet owners.  Fleas are probably the most common ectoparasite (external parasite) of cats worldwide. In addition to just being a nuisance, fleas are responsible for flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in cats, which is estimated to account for over 50 percent of all the dermatological cases reported to veterinarians. Fleas can also transmit nasty diseases such as Bartonella (cat scratch fever), tapeworm infections, flea anemia and even the plague. Indoor cats contract fleas through fomites, such as a family member’s pants leg, or another pet in the household that goes outside. The best prevention against a flea infestation is to treat all pets in the household before fleas become an issue. Adult fleas can live in a household environment for up to 3 months, mating and feeding constantly until they eventually die. The average flea can lay up to 40 eggs daily and larvae can lie dormant for up to a year’s time. Keep your pet protected year-round with flea and tick products from your veterinarian, and keep your pets and home safe from fleas.

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