Does My Cat Have Fleas?

No one likes the thought of them, but the fact is that fleas are a big problem in cats. Causing irritation and even allergies, they are actually the most common cause of skin complaints. And they can affect you too!

Let’s take a look at the warning signs, as well as what you can do both to treat a flea problem, and to prevent one in the first place.

Signs that your cat might have fleas

  • Your cat is over-grooming – this happens because the fleas will be a source of irritation for your cat
  • You see ‘flea dirt’ on your cat – this looks like black specks on your cat’s coat, but if placed on a wet tissue they will dissolve to stain the paper red or pink
  • You can see fleas – fleas tend to gather around the neck, lower back, back legs and tail

More often than not, fleas aren’t visible. So if you do actually see a flea then it’s a definite sign that you’ve got an infestation.


The reality is it might be impossible to remove all chance of your cat getting fleas – particularly if they are an outdoor cat. However, there are steps you can take to protect your cat as much as possible.

There are a large number of flea prevention treatments for cats available. If you’re trying to work out which is the best flea prevention treatment for your cat, we’d advise you ask your vet – your vet is likely to ask you about which flea treatment you’re using when you take your cat for check-ups or vaccinations, so this is the perfect opportunity to ensure you’re using the right one.

What to do if your cat has fleas

You must treat all cats and dogs in the house at the same time. You also need to wash any bedding your pets use on a hot cycle. Ensure you follow a strict treatment regime, as this will deal with any further adult fleas that emerge in the aftermath.

Use a recommended household insecticide spray to manage the flea problem in the carpets and throughout the house.  Vacuum thoroughly first – this should encourage any adult fleas to emerge.

Beyond this, speak to your vet. They should be able to advise if other steps need to be taken.


Recommended by vets, the most effective flea treatments for cats available typically include an adulticide that kills adult fleas, alongside an insect growth regulator that helps to prevent the earlier stages of development fleas go through.

A strict, regular regime of treatment for all cats and dogs in the home will kill any adult fleas that your pets pick up, and in turn reduce the number of eggs laid. This helps to prevent you having a flea problem to deal with in the first place!


Please make sure that the flea treatments you use are intended for the correct species. You also need to follow any instructions carefully.

For example, if you use certain canine flea preparations on your cat then this can result in potentially life-threatening toxicity.

If you need more information about how to keep your cat flea-free, and manage problems when they develop, please speak to your vet.


Hopefully, this has helped to answer your question about if your cat has fleas. If you have any other questions about fleas, your cat’s health, or other facts about your feline friend then we’d like to help – sign up to our newsletter below.


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