Cats are one of the most attractive and intelligent animals to pet. Many people opt for petting cats rather than other animals since they are tiny and easily manageable. However, as a responsible cat owner, one has to make sure that they try their best to provide their cat with the best healthy lifestyle. If you also possess a cat, we believe you will do anything for the comfort of your little fellow.
Providing your cat with a hygienic environment is one of your essential duties, to protect it from germs that may cause diseases. However, unfortunately, it is not always an easy job! No matter what you do, your cat still gets involved in activities that lead to catching germs and consequently unwanted outcomes. Fleas are one such outcome! Let’s say your cat goes out for an evening walk and comes back fleas on it, and it is a pretty much common scenario, no?
If you have no idea that what do cat fleas look like to human eyes, fear not! This article provides you with a brief discussion on fleas, their visualization to human eyes, and their infestation on pets and humans. So, without any further delay, let’s get started!
What are cat fleas?
Fleas are external parasites that reside on a host, be it animals or humans, from which they obtain their nourishment. You can also refer to them as blood-sucking parasites since whether they are present on humans, cats, or dogs, these little creatures survive by consuming blood. Fleas that attach to cats also possess the potential to bother humans.
Cat fleas are minute creatures, varying in length from 2 to 4mm. However, you may be able to witness them while they attempt to stick to humans. On the contrary, visualizing fleas on cats is quite a tough job since they are exceptionally furry that fleas get lost in their furs.
Under a microscope, a single cat flea possesses two forelegs and four hind legs. Besides, these creatures can jump as high as 30 cm, which is their remarkable characteristic and helps them vanish within a blink of an eye! Furthermore, a female cat flea reproduces faster than anything! It can give rise to 2000 eggs per day that can make your cat’s life miserable, along with yours, for sure!
From where can cats catch fleas?
The foremost important question is where your cat can catch fleas, and secondly, what are the main seasons in which cats are prone to fleas. Well, cat fleas love to grow in a hot and humid atmosphere. Therefore, you may see them in abundant quantities in warm and moist body areas on your cat, like neck flexure. Though summer is the favored season, this does not exclude the survival of fleas in winters.
Your cat is vulnerable to fleas all year round. Besides, previously many vets used to think that only outdoor cats had to deal with fleas, but, over time, we see that fleas affect both the indoor and outdoor cats equally. So, understandably, you cannot confine your cat to home only due to the fear that it would catch fleas. Besides, your little furry friend doesn’t need to get fleas only when it goes outside.
Several domestic cats get fleas no matter if they recently visited outside or not. Fleas are creatures that can transmit easily. Maybe some other flea-infected pet stays your place and leaves many fleas when it leaves; you never know! In the rest of the cases, you might be the carrier of fleas yourself when you come back from visiting a friend’s place which had a flea-infected pet.
Female fleas can lay eggs each day which develops into new fleas, and the cycle does not stop! Mostly, you can see these eggs or larvae on your carpets, rugs, furniture, or literally, any other area of your house your pet passes through.
What do cat fleas look like to the human eye?
As mentioned earlier, cat fleas are microscopic-sized blood-sucking parasites, and the chances are that you may not be able to see them in one go. They appear to be dark brown or reddish. You might visualize them while they crawl through your cat’s furry body, but their jumping patterns are usually too tough to catch.
To trap these fleas, you can comb your cat’s furs and see if minute creatures stick to the bristles of the comb. Besides, after running the comb several times through your cat’s body, you can place it in water and see if there are black or dark brown specks, which are usually indicative of fleas. Furthermore, parting your cat’s furs also helps you to visualize its skin. If your cat has fleas, you will witness many fleas attached to your cat’s skin.
Can fleas live on humans? – is it possible?
It is a misconception to think that cat fleas are only present in cats. These parasites attach to any host that can provide them with blood and has a favorable environment. The most important habitat for fleas is a furry and hairy body because they attach themselves to the host through suckers. Fleas specific to cats can also get attached to humans, rabbits, dogs, and birds.
It is a possibility that you may not have a pet cat or dog at your place, yet you end up in a miserable situation with an infestation of fleas in your home. As mentioned, fleas attach to many hosts, and humans are one of them. Unfortunately, though, a human body is not a favored habitat for fleas to breed secondary to hairless bodies. However, these external parasites can live for a while on humans by sucking blood.
Understandably, humans are very social. Even if you do not own a pet cat, your friend’s infected cat may transfer fleas to you while you caress it. No doubt, it is a situation that is uncontrollable!
Check out our detailed article where we have explained can humans get cat fleas.
How to tell if my cat has fleas?
There are several signs of infestation of fleas on your cat. Therefore, all you have to do is be a little more vigilant towards your little fellow’s behavioral activities. Unfortunately, fleas tend to make your cat’s life miserable, affecting its mood and other aspects of mental health. Besides, your cat that has caught fleas will not do very great physically as well.
Let’s have a light on signs of fleas’ infestation in your cat;
As mentioned earlier, there is a trick to trap cat fleas and visualize them. By now, you have learned that cat fleas that are adult appear dark brown or reddish. However, their eggs might appear whitish. Therefore, you must know how to differentiate between these two. If you see whitish spots present at the bedding of your cat, these are probably flea eggs.
Besides, when you comb your cat’s furry body, the bristles catch adult fleas which will appear brown or black specks on a white cloth; you can also refer to them as ‘flea dirt.’ Moreover, when you have pets infected with fleas, you will see both black and white specks in different areas of your house.
Itch and scratch
Fleas put your cat in a miserable condition by irritating its skin to the extent that it ends up scratching all parts of the body. Multiple fleas attach to your furry friend’s body and irritate its skin. The irritation will result in itching, which is a standard reaction. Consequently, cats do not have much self-control, so your kitty will scratch all the flea-bitten areas on its body.
The repeated scratching may lead to the formation of wounds that tend to get infected with bacteria, and the overall situation worsens if left ignored!
Signs of anemia – due to blood loss
Since fleas are blood-sucking parasites, your cat will end up being anemic. For the signs of anemia, you can see if your cat has pale gums. Understandably, most cats with longer durations of fleas’ infestation tend to appear frail, which we can confirm by seeing their pale gums.
Alopecia or fur loss
Your cat’s body will not accept frequent flea bites indeed. Therefore, both inflammatory and allergic reactions will start to occur in the bitten areas of your cat’s body. Consequently, the affected body areas will experience alopecia, that is, loss of furs.
If you are a dog owner and worry about dog fleas, you can check our article on how to know if my dog has fleas.
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Without any doubt, any cat owner cannot see their pet being hopeless and painful. Unfortunately, cat fleas are among the widespread miserable scenarios that most cats have to deal with. Understandably, the process of recognizing fleas on your cat and then dealing with the whole situation is pretty hectic but not impossible.
This article tried to summarize basic information about cat fleas, what these creatures look like on humans and under a microscope, and the accurate signs of their infestation. Hopefully, it will prove helpful!