What to Do If Your Cat Has Fleas

Veterinarians are often asked one common question, “What do I do if my cat has fleas?” Controlling a flea infestation is a difficult task and involves controlling the flea population on your cat and in your cat’s environment.


Apart from outdoor cats, indoor cats also get afflicted by these tiny, brown, persistent insects that have the ability to survive on the host’s body. Fleas can transmit diseases and cause tapeworm infections in your pet. Since they suck the cat’s blood, they cause anemia and, in severe cases, even death. This is why they need to be eliminated at the earliest.

Symptoms of Fleas

Ways to Remove Fleas from the Cat

Pet owners can get rid of fleas from pets in various ways. Flea collars are generally fastened around the cat’s neck to control flea infections. These collars release a pesticide that kills the fleas around the neck area but not those present in the cat’s environment.

The pesticide that’s present in flea collars often causes respiratory problems, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea. Due to this, long term use of flea collars isn’t ideal. Instead, pet owners are encouraged to use flea combs. Flea combs are fine-toothed combs that can reduce the number of fleas present in the cat’s coat.

Flea Medication

Care takers could also use flea shampoos since they kill adult fleas on the cat’s coat and wash away flea larvae and feces. Shampoos are effective only for a day or two and they aren’t recommended for long term control of fleas. Pet owners could also use flea medication to control active infections.

Flea medications should be applied to the cat’s body on a monthly basis, to rid the cat of fleas. Some medications can be taken orally while other may be injected. These medications kill adult fleas and also hamper their ability to reproduce. They prevent the development of the larvae and also prevent ear mites and heartworm infections and are thus very beneficial.

Ways to Remove Fleas from the Environment

To remove fleas from your home, you should vacuum the entire house frequently and dispose of the vacuumed dirt immediately. The cat’s bedding should be washed weekly and all carpets and upholstery in the house should be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. As a pet owner, keep your yard clean and free of any trash or sources of food and mow the lawn regularly.

Flea Bombs

After the house and yard have been thoroughly cleaned, you should use a flea bomb or fogger to kill adult fleas and prevent the development of flea eggs and larvae. The flea bomb or fogger should be reused after a period of 2 weeks to remove the fleas completely. You should continue to keep an eye open for renewed flea infestations and be ready to use regular flea preventive treatment to avoid this.

Seek medical help as soon as you observe fleas or flea droppings on your cat’s coat. The medication and other products prescribed by your vet should be used as instructed, in order to find a permanent solution to this problem.