Do Cats Need Flea Protection If They Don't Go Outside?

Protecting your pet from fleas when they regularly go outside is commonplace, but if your cat stays indoors 24/7, you might be wondering if you can skip this step. If your cat isn't coming into contact with strays or walking around outside where fleas can hop on them, you might think that flea protection is unnecessary. The reality is, flea protection should still be used even if your cat has never stepped outside before in its life. Read on to learn why it's such a big deal for your home and your pet.

How Fleas Get Indoors

When pet parents think about fleas getting on their pets, they tend to think about animals coming directly into contact with fleas outdoors. However, fleas can hitch a ride on nearly anything to get inside. Fleas may be in your yard and hop in when you open a door, or even a window if there's no screen. Fleas can also come in on other pets that are allowed to go outside and hop off onto your cat.

You might also be horrified to know that you yourself could bring fleas into your household. While most fleas can't survive on humans the way that they can animals, they can still temporarily latch onto a shoe or pant leg and come inside. If your cat isn't protected and just one flea comes into contact with them, you could end up with a full-fledged infestation.

Household Problems

One flea is bad enough, but a single female flea can potentially lay up to 50 eggs per day in your home. If you aren't quick about it, just one flea coming in with you that finds a meal in your cat could create an entire colony of fleas in a very short amount of time. Fleas can lay eggs on your cat, your carpet, and even your furniture, meaning that you and your cat will both shortly be covered in itchy bite marks. By this point, you'll have to not only take steps to protect your cat from the fleas but to kill the infestation in your home, which is a much bigger headache.

Pet Problems

Fleas don't just cause itchy bites for pets. They can actually cause serious health problems that could potentially put a kitty's life in danger.

Kittens are at risk of death due to fleas because they don't have as much blood in their bodies as adult cats. As a result, a family of fleas can potentially drain a kitten to the point where without medical treatment, the kitten will die.

Adult cats aren't safe from the threat of fleas, either. Fleas can not only cause mild to moderate anemia in adult cats but they can also infect them with diseases or parasites. For example, cats can contract a form of infectious anemia from fleas that breaks down their living blood cells faster than they can replenish them. Just one infected flea can carry the bacteria responsible for this disease, making it extremely important to protect your cat from fleas.

Cats who stay indoors may be at a lower risk of coming into contact with fleas, but it can still happen. With just one flea making it into your home and latching on to your cat, you could have a myriad of problems that leave you, your cat, and your household in a terrible state. Always take steps to protect your cat from fleas, even if they're never allowed outdoors. Check with a vet like those at Center-Sinai Animal Hospital for more information.