• April 20th, 2021
    Written by: Kimberly

    Fleas are a risk for any furry animal, and your cat is no exception. When a cat gets fleas, they can hide deep within her fur, making them easy to miss. Meanwhile, fleas will be biting. The most common result of flea bites is itching, sometimes excessively, but fleas can also spread tapeworms and cause anemia if they stay on your cat for too long.

    Any cat is at risk for fleas. Even if your cat never goes outside, a flea could hitch a ride into your home on another pet, your clothing, or a rodent that has also moved in. Knowing how to remove fleas from your cat will help keep her healthy and comfortable if biting pests strike.

    How to Remove Feline Fleas

    The first step to removal is realizing that your cat has fleas. Because of a cat’s thick fur, it might be difficult to see the bugs. Instead, look for signs like excessive scratching or hair loss. You can also use a flea comb - a fine-tooth comb designed to pull out fleas and their excrement that appears as tiny black dots. Finding either of these is a sure sign of fleas.

    Even if you don’t see pests or droppings, fleas might still be present. You can consult with your vet if you are unsure, or treat your cat for fleas anyway as the removal process is harmless for your cat. To get rid of fleas, you should:

    • Comb the Fur - Go over your cat’s fur with the flea comb, which will get as many of the fleas as possible. A few separate sessions with the comb, especially if your cat won’t sit still long enough for you to comb all of her at once.
    • Bathe Your Cat - A bath with some mild shampoo - such as a cat shampoo, baby shampoo, or just mild dish soap - can help remove fleas and the dirt they leave behind. If getting your cat into a bath is an impossible task, you can safely skip this step.
    • Apply a Topical Flea Preventative - Speak with your veterinarian about what flea medicine you can apply to your cat’s skin and fur. These medications kill any remaining fleas not eliminated by combing and the bath, and will also keep fleas from coming back.

    Never treat your cat with a flea removal product made for dogs. These have different formulations that can be harmful to felines.

    Left long enough, fleas can cause anemia because of the blood they consume. Anemia in cats often shows up in symptoms of lightly colored gums and low energy. This condition can be fatal if not treated, so you should seek immediate veterinary care if you notice the signs.