How do cats get fleas indoors?

Fleas are the nightmare of any pet’s existence. However, if you think the cat only lives inside the house, so you have nothing to worry about, think again.

Indoor cats can get parasitic fleas and other pests, like ticks, just like outdoor cats. A house is not a controlled environment; people come and go with doors and windows that open and close. Even window screens are not complete warranties. Despite pet parents best efforts, fleas and ticks can still enter your home and affect your cats.

Here are some ideas and tips that can help you protect your felines from scratches, discomfort, and diseases caused by Fleas.

How do cats get fleas indoors?

If you find fleas on your indoor cat, you are probably wondering how they got there. Unfortunately, there are many ways fleas get into your home:

  • Dogs are the prominent way fleas enter a home. So even if your cat remains indoors, fleas can mount your dog and get inside. You have other fleas that jump from small rodents such as mouse which brings them inside to your cats. People may also bring them in from off shoes or clothing.
  • Your cat may also go out in your absence and get affected with Fleas

Other options may include

  • A neighbor: If you live in an apartment complex or other living space, your cat may find fleas simply from neighbors living in the vicinity.
  • Wild Animals: Fleas are widespread pests on animals that live around our homes, such as rabbits, raccoons, or possums. As any wild animal infested with Flea move around your deck or yard, they may drop flea eggs into the environment. These eggs eventually develop into adults that can jump on you or your pet.
  • Used Furniture: If you buy used furniture or used rugs from someone whose pet has fleas, you could bring the bugs into your home without realizing it. Or if you move to a new home, there may already be fleas from previous pets. Clean everything thoroughly to avoid accidental flea transfer.
  • Another pet: If you have any other pet that goes outside, they may bring fleas home.

How to check if my cat has fleas or not?

If your cat scratches and chews on its fur frequently, it likely has fleas. You want to make sure it’s fleas and not just allergies by checking the skin. Fleas usually camp behind the cat’s head, along the back and belly area. Even if you don’t see fleas, you may find “flea dirt”, which is the pit of fleas, poop. That is a sure sign that there are fleas.

Flea treatment in cats

It will help if you take your cat to the vet-doc in case of flea infestation. Your vet-doc will be able to prescribe the best topical or oral flea medication/ointments to treat the problem.

  • Nitenpyram (known by its trade name Capstar) kills fleas very quickly.
  • Spinosad (known by its trade name Comfortis) is also very effective in killing fleas and ticks up to one month.
  • Lufenuron is another wonder drug that prevents flea eggs from surviving. When fleas feed on lufenuron-treated blood, the eggs do not hatch, i.e., this drug breaks the Fleas cycle and avoids their infestation.
  • If you are looking for the most effective treatments for preventing and killing fleas on cats, here’s a list of the top 5 Flea Products you should look into.

Most vet-docs don’t recommend sprays, powders, or collars. These products have minimal effect, and the chemicals they contain can do more harm than good to your cat’s health.

Fleas can be a big problem for furry members of your family, even those who stay indoors. Some cats have allergic reactions to fleas in addition to discomfort and itching. Fleas can also transmit harmful parasites, such as tapeworms, flukes or roundworms, to humans. Looking for fleas and taking steps to prevent them are essential practices to ensure the health of your cats, your family members, and yourself.

Some FAQ about Flea infestation in pets (cats & dogs)

What should i do if my cat has fleas?

If your cat has fleas, it is best to act quickly. Contact your vet-doc for treatment options as soon as possible or check out the list of the top 5 flea products. Use a metal or plastic flea comb to remove as many fleas as possible, and vacuum your carpets and floors frequently to remove fleas and their eggs from your house.

Can fleas be prevented on indoor cats?

To prevent flea infestations among indoor cats, be sure to keep up with your regular Flea preventative. Your vet can advise which topical, oral, or collar flea is best for your cat. Also, check your cat’s coat regularly (especially while grooming it) for fleas or signs of fleas, such as “flea dirt,” flea droppings that resemble black pepper. If you notice that your cat is rubbing or scratching a lot, check it carefully with a flea comb, which has much more delicate teeth than a regular grooming tool.


Fleas can cling to shoes or clothing, and when you return from the outdoors, you can bring fleas into your home without knowing it. The same can happen if you have other pets, including dogs. Dogs are the prominent way fleas enter a home. So even if your kitty lives strictly indoors, fleas can mount your dog and get inside.

Fleas are not only attracted to cats and dogs; they also live and feed on many mammals. If your home has a rodent problem, they can also bring fleas. Those fleas then jump from the rodents to your cats or dogs and affect them.

Your pet cat may be an indoor cat, but there are times when she has to get out of the house. For example, you may have recently taken your cat to the vet or the groomer. Maybe you even had your cat hoisted up while you went on vacation. Any place where other cats and dogs gather can be a haven for flea eggs and larvae. These can stick to your clothes or your cat’s fur, and then when you return home, it will lead to an infestation.

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