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To successfully kill fleas on cats, you’ll need a good quality cat flea treatment as well as an insecticidal home flea spray. It’s also essential to protect your cat with regular monthly treatments.

Use a good quality cat flea treatment and an insecticidal home flea spray. It’s also essential to protect your cat with regular monthly treatments.

How do you know if your cat has fleas?

It can be difficult to spot the signs of fleas on your cat as there are various symptoms – some of which can seem like ‘normal cat behaviour’. For example, they may relieve excessive itching caused by fleas, by overgrooming or rubbing themselves against furniture or carpet, rather than appearing to be giving themselves a good scratch.
Common signs of fleas on cats include:

  • Dark specks or movement in their fur
  • Scratching, chewing or biting at themselves 
  • Loss of fur or bald patches 
  • Skin irritation, redness or a change in texture
  • Swellings on their bodies or lips (known as eosinophilic plaques) 
  • Irritability or restlessness

Try our 3-step flea check

  1. Check for any movement in your cat’s fur. You can sometimes spot fleas jumping on your cat’s coat!
  2. Use a flea comb. Fleas are small and like to hide, making them difficult to spot. Any dark specks that appear on your comb could be fleas, or ‘flea dirt’ (flea faeces).
  3. To confirm dark specks are flea dirt, place them onto a damp white tissue. If a red ring appears around the edges, this is digested blood and you can be sure your cat has fleas.

What do fleas look like on cats?

Fleas are reddish or dark brown in colour, so they’re easier to spot on cats with lighter-coloured fur, particularly because they’re only 1.5-3mm long. Look for tiny darkish specks, also known as ’flea dirt’. That’s a slightly nicer way of saying ‘flea faeces’ which is actually digested blood.

What’s the best flea treatment for your cat?

You’ll find a range of cat flea treatments available to you online designed to kill fleas on cats and keep them at bay with continued use. However not all flea treatments should be considered ‘the same’ and they won’t all suit your cat. Choosing the right flea treatment for your cat is essential to supporting their ongoing health.

It’s wise to look into the cat flea treatment manufacturers, product reputation and price. These are all good indicators of quality. Bear in mind, the most expensive options won’t necessarily be the best. Similarly, the cheapest options aren’t likely to be, either.

At Protect My Pet we recommend spot-on treatments for cats simply because it’s fuss-free and easy to apply. Flea tablets are also available, but generally much harder and more time consuming to dose as most cats won’t take them willingly.

Frontline Plus is the UK’s most trusted brand to kill fleas on cats and Advantage is another market-leader you may know well. Other more cost-effective and highly effective options that we recommend are Imidaflea Spot-On Solution and Fleascreen Combo.

How do you kill fleas in the house?

  1. Use a really good quality home insecticidal flea spray like Indorex and follow the instructions.
  2. Wash your pet’s bedding, blankets and soft toys above 60 degrees. You can also vacuum pet bedding, but a hot wash is recommended if possible.
  3. Wash everything else in your home (bedding, cushion covers, your own clothing and anything that may have been exposed to your pet). Tumble-drying on a hot temperature will also help.
  4. Vacuum carpets, flooring and sofas, paying extra attention to cracks and crevices. Do this every other day for at least 3 weeks.
  5. Clean your vacuum cleaner! Believe it or not, flea eggs can survive inside a hoover bag or cylinder too. If you’re using a bagless vacuum, clean washable parts with hot water.

It’s important to note, washing and hoovering alone won’t be enough to get rid of fleas in your house. To kill cat fleas completely, you’ll need to use an anti-flea household spray in every room. A can of Indorex will treat the average 79 square metre, 3-bedroom house and lasts up to 12 months.

How do you get rid of fleas permanently?

The only way to keep your cat, home and family flea-free forever is to treat pets regularly. Cats that are given a good-quality flea treatment each month will prevent fleas from reproducing and multiplying. The best treatments will kill fleas on cats on contact so your cat doesn’t need to be bitten for the fleas to die. Cat flea treatments break the flea life cycle and stop the risk of infestation in your home.

There’s a common misconception that if your cat lives in a clean environment and rarely goes out, they’re not at risk. However, fleas can jump onto your cat in all sorts of places as they lay in wait for an unsuspecting host. This could be in your own garden, when they’re out and about or mixing with other animals.

Flea treatments for cats and the home

Our team of veterinary professionals only use cat flea treatments that we know to be the best non-prescription products in the industry for quality, efficacy and value for money. Find out how we can help you get rid of fleas on your cat and in your house – and prevent the problem from coming back with regular treatments.

How long does it take to get rid of fleas?

It takes up to three months to completely eradicate an established flea infestation. A spot-on cat flea treatment will kill fleas on your cat within 24 hours. A home spray will instantly kill all eggs, larvae and adult fleas hiding in your home. However, there is no treatment that can kill a flea in its pupae stage. These fleas must first hatch to be exposed to either the home spray, or jump onto your pet to be killed by the spot-on cat flea treatment. The vibrations from frequent vacuuming will help to encourage these pupae to hatch.

Are fleas dangerous for cats?

Fleas are only life threatening to heavily infested young kittens. However, fleas are of course very unpleasant for any cat and will negatively impact their quality of life.
Flea allergies can develop with repeated exposure to flea bites. These can cause intense itchiness, hair loss, swellings and distress. In addition, fleas can carry tapeworms which can further impact a cat’s wellbeing. Cat fleas can also carry other diseases which can impact humans too, such as Cat Scratch Fever.

Can you get rid of fleas naturally?

Once your cat has fleas, no natural method is effective enough to eradicate them. Spraying apple cider vinegar and baking soda onto your pet will not kill fleas on cats and will likely be unpleasant for your pet. You can reduce flea numbers through daily flea combing, however a single female flea can lay 50 eggs per day. They multiply rapidly and can survive the majority of their lifecycle in your home environment. You can only get rid of fleas on cats and in your house by combining your cat’s flea treatment with a home insecticidal flea spray.

Can you get rid of fleas without bathing your cat?

Yes. In fact, treating your cat for fleas shouldn’t involve bathing them at all.
It is advised not to bathe cats after a topical spot-on flea treatment application as this will dilute the product, making it less effective and putting insecticides into the waterways. Flea shampoos are not recommended either.

How do you treat a kitten for fleas?

Kittens must be treated with a product that is suitable for their age and weight. It’s therefore important to weigh your kitten regularly to ensure they receive the correct dose of treatment as they grow. If your kitten is younger than 3 months, we recommend you take them to the vet to be treated. From 3 months old, they can join Protect My Pet to receive their regular treatments in the post.

Can humans catch cat fleas?

Cat fleas will bite humans, but they cannot live or breed on them. If you have fleas in your home, you may discover red bites on your skin – particularly on ankles or wrists – which often occur in sets of three.

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