Today, November 1st, two cats came into the animal hospital for skin infections and itchiness. Both cats live 100% indoors and both pet owners were very surprised to find out their cats were itching from fleas. Both owners asked, “How did my indoor cat get fleas?’ This question inspired today’s blog post.
The most common answer is hitchhikers. The fleas hitched a ride on someone or something else that entered their homes. Usually the hitchhiker flea comes inside on other pets that go outside. Any visitor, both human and animal, can bring fleas to your home.
However, that is not the only way these critters can sneak inside. The cats that came in today are only pet-children, but live in neighborhoods with many other outdoor and stray animals. Believe it or not, the pet owners likely picked up an outside flea and carried it in.
Indoor pets can also get fleas from moving to a home where fleas are already present. Fleas can live dormant in an environment for a long time. Once new activity occurs, the fleas sense the movement of animals and people, emerge, and start to look for a meal.
Once a flea is in your home, it doesn’t take long for a “flea explosion” After biting, a flea can lay 250,000 eggs in as little as six weeks. So very quickly, you can have a lot of fleas.
To get rid of the fleas in your home you need to (1) treat the environment and (2) treat all animals in who live there. The easiest way to prevent fleas is to keep all pets on flea prevention all year round