You may feel that keeping your cat indoors makes them impervious to flea infestation, but that just isn’t true. Can indoor cats get fleas? Absolutely!
Fleas don't just affect outdoor and stray cats, your precious pet is also at risk. While keeping your cat indoors makes it less likely to occur, indoor cats are still very much at risk for contracting fleas.
But don’t you fret, I’m going to give you all the information you need to help prevent, assess and treat your indoor cat for fleas.
How do indoor cats get fleas?
Despite your best efforts, fleas can still enter the home and latch on to your cat. After all, your home is not airtight. Anytime you leave your home or open the doors or windows, you run the risk of unknowingly inviting those little critters in.
Fleas can attach themselves to your hair, clothing or shoes, hop off of you and right on to your cat. Other possible methods of transmission include:
- Other pets- Your cat could be infected by other animals that you may have in the home.
- Rodents- If you have rats or mice in the home, your cat is at a higher risk.
- Contact with outside animals- Have you ever been out and about, and you innocently reached out to pet someone’s dog? Don’t. Fun fact: A flea can jump vertically up to 18cm and horizontally up to 33cm, so they’d have no problem hitching a ride back to your place to feast on your feline.
- Guests in your home- You may have unwittingly invited someone over that has fleas in their home.
- From someone else's home- You could also be unaware that you are walking into a flea-infested home.
- Trips to the veterinarian or groomers- Places where cats and dogs frequent can be a breeding ground for transmission of fleas.
- Recently adopted pets- Animals from shelters most likely have been exposed to fleas, as well as a variety of other critters, so be sure to confirm with them that the cat has been treated for fleas prior to bringing them home.
Should I treat my indoor cat for fleas?
So, should you treat your indoor cat for fleas? Of course, you should!
You just read an entire list explaining all of the ways your furry little angel could be infected. So why not protect them?
If you love to snuggle up with your cat as I do, I’m sure you'd prefer to not hold a potentially flea-infested feline, right? Or, imagine them walking across your bed and lounging on your couch with fleas.
Fleas aren't just a nuisance for your cat. They bite humans as well. So if not for your cat, do it for yourself! Get them treated. Given all of the different ways they can be infected, some of which you probably hadn't even thought of, you should seek out a treatment sooner than later.
It’s much easier to be proactive and have your cat treated than it is to contain an existing flea problem. Even if your cat has been lucky enough to not have gotten fleas thus far, their luck may soon run out.
Removing an infestation can include such inconveniences as having to clean all of the upholstery and carpets in your home, spraying all cracks and crevices such as outlets, baseboards and door and window frames.
In extreme cases, it can take up to 3 months to eradicate an infestation. The use of a flea fogger may also be necessary, which releases a pesticide-infused spray that covers every surface of the room.
How often should I treat my indoor cat for fleas?
Proper use of a spot treatment is the most effective way to both protect, as well as rid your cat of those pesky critters. It is recommended that you give your cat, aged 8 weeks and up, a flea treatment every four weeks.
It’s also wise to know the age of the kitten or cat that you intend to treat because some of the treatments could be toxic to them given the strong concentration of the medication.
Be sure to take note of when you’ve administered the initial dose to avoid overtreatment. Flea control medications should not be used on kittens younger than 4 weeks old, where tweezers or a flea comb are a good alternative.
For kittens with biting fleas that are at least 4 weeks old and 0.90kg, there is medication available, but it is only used to treat, not as a preventative measure.
Despite them being an indoor cat, they are still at risk for fleas. And now that you know more about the fun and interesting ways even your inside only furbaby can contract fleas - get them treated!
There are many different treatments to choose from, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly before choosing the product that best suits your needs. Note the age and in some cases, the weight of your cat, as treatment type may vary based on these factors.