Bannock Animal Medical Center

The Truth about Fleas and Cats

If you are a cat owner, then you have probably seen a flea before at least once or twice. They are small brown insects that can cause major skin irritations on cats, and any other warm blooded animals. They feed off of the blood of the animals and can be difficult to control if left unchecked. The consequences of not keeping your cat flea-free can be disastrous. Fleas are capable of causing disease, among other things.

Dangers of Fleas on Cats

Fleas can be more than just a small problem.  Some of the problems they have been known to cause include:

  • Red, itchy welts
  • Tapeworms
  • Anemia
  • Fur loss

Signs Your Cat has Fleas

You should look for the warning signs of fleas before your pet catches a deadly disease or parasite. If you catch an infestation early, it can be easily treated. Here are some of the signs that your cat has fleas:

Itchy, Red Welts

Look for red itchy welts on your cat’s skin. These are usually flea bites, and the first sign that you have an infestation. You may also notice some on you. Flea bites can be treated with ointments made for cats’ sensitive skin. The biggest problem with all the itching is that your cat can start losing hair.

Hair Loss

Once your cat starts scratching because of the bites, it can have an effect on the physical body. You should look to see if yours is losing more hair than usual. Once your cat’s hair comes out, your furry friend will start digging the skin open, resulting in open sores. This is the sign that the infestation is getting severe.


Your cat can get a wide range of parasites from flea bites. One of the most common parasites is the tapeworm. When the flea bites the cat, the parasite enters the skin and insides. It burrows to the stomach where it grows into an adult. Look to see if your cat is eating more than usual, while still looking skinny and over all unhealthy. This may be a sign of tapeworms.


Anemia can happen if the flea infestation gets severe. All of the flea bites will cause your cat to lose a lot of blood, making him or her anemic. This can be deadly for a cat if it is not taken care of soon after it sets in. You should be especially wary of smaller cats and kittens becoming anemic.

Flea Prevention for Cats

The best way to ensure your cat lives a long healthy life is to keep fleas at bay. Some of the most common methods for flea reduction and prevention are constant cleaning, medicines and an exterminator if necessary.

Be sure to wash all of your cloths, bed sheets, pet beds and anything that can contain fleas. This will put a big dent in the number that lives around your house. You should also vacuum everything really good and often. This includes all of those little hiding spots that can contain hidden fleas or flea eggs.

Preventive Work Gets Rid of Fleas

Fleas can be major problems for cats and their owners. With a little preventive work and attention to detail, you can ensure that you will never have fleas and cats in the same house again!