Common signs of fleas in cats

April 14, 2024

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There is an old saying that is easier to move house than to get rid of a flea infestation! This may sound rather dramatic but fleas are a highly successful parasite that breed quickly and survive dormant in the environment for a very long time, so once a serious infestation arises it can be very hard to manage. Prevention therefore is very important so we thought we would share our top tips on preventing, spotting and treating fleas in your cat.

Common indicators of cat fleas:

  1. Increased grooming & scratching: Your cat’s behaviour can be an important clue when it comes to detecting a flea problem. Excessive scratching, biting, or licking, especially around their neck, head, or the base of their tail, may indicate the presence of fleas.
  2. Irritated and red skin: Flea bites can cause irritation and sometimes an allergic reactions in cats. If you notice redness and inflammation of your cat’s skin, and in severe cases hair loss, fleas are a likely candidate.
  3. Restlessness and irritability: Felines experiencing a flea infestation might display signs of restlessness, irritability, or discomfort, particularly when the infestation is severe. They may exhibit heightened agitation and struggle to settle, making it challenging for them to relax or enjoy restful sleep.
  4. You can see fleas or flea dirt: Fleas are tiny, dark brown, fast-moving insects that can be challenging to spot, especially if your cat has dense fur. However, if you part your cat’s fur in several places, you may be able to see them crawling close to the skin. You may also notice small dark specks, known as flea dirt, on your cat’s fur or bedding. Flea dirt (or flea poo) is made up of dried blood, and if dropped on to a damp tissue should dissolve a little and turn a reddish brown. Flea dirt is a sure indicator of the presence of fleas.
  5. Tapeworms are present: Worryingly, fleas can transmit tapeworm eggs to cats, leading to the development of tapeworm infections. If you notice small, rice-like segments around your cat’s bottom or in their faeces, it could indicate a tapeworm infestation secondary to flea exposure.

Order flea treatment from us

Patrick advises that if you suspect your cat has fleas, swift action is important to alleviate their discomfort. Flea treatments are available over the counter at pet shops, but the ingredients of such products is not always strong enough to tackle the infestation. We advise a prescription only treatment to effectively eliminate fleas from your cat’s environment and prevent future infestations. We need to have seen your cat in the last 12 months to prescribe these medications, but once seen we can issue repeat prescriptions for the rest of the year on request. We offer a variety of safe and effective feline flea treatments, some of which also treat concurrent worm infestations, and are happy to advise on what may best suit your cat.

Alongside treatment, a flea comb can be a fantastic tool for spotting any fleas in the first instance or to help get a heavy infestation under control.

Spring and early is a great time to start preventative treatment if you do not already have a regime in place, as parasites tent to thrive in warmer weather. However, they do also enjoy the warm conditions inside our houses once the heating comes on, so we usually recommend year round preventative treatment.

Contact us to order your cat’s flea treatment

We hope the above information is helpful. Please do get in touch if you have any questions about cats and fleas or any other cat care queries.

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