indoor cat can get fleas

9 Possible Ways an Indoor Cat can Get Fleas | How to Detect Fleas in Cat and How to Prevent it

Do you see your cat scratch itself, and you are asking yourself how possible it is for your cat to get fleas when your cat is an outdoor cat. Even if your cat is strictly an indoor cat, it is still possible that it can come in contact with fleas.

Throughout this informative article, we will discuss in full detail how fleas get in contact with indoor cats, and you, as a pet owner, will have an understanding of the preventive measures to take to prevent your cat from scratching due to the infestation of fleas.

indoor cat can get fleas

Fleas - What are they?

Fleas are tiny jumping external parasites that pose mouth parts that help them stick on skin and feed on debris and blood; their bodies are narrow, making them explore through animal hairs and fur. They require a warm body and a humid climate for safe survival and reproduction.

The flea eggs can thrive and survive in various environments; they can jump from one animal skin to another. Indoor cats do not need to contact the flea eggs before they can get infected, but when they are in touch with an infected animal.

How does my Indoor Cat Get Fleas?

Cat fleas can cause health complications that may be challenging to eliminate, but the question is; “How did your indoor cat get infested fleas?” below are the typical reasons why.

Through your Home

Fleas can thrive in an intense environment for an extended period, whether indoors or outdoors. 

However, fleas may have infested the house when the previous occupants were available and still survived in some corners of the house, enabling them to have access to your cat easily and quickly.

Not just in the bedroom or living room; there are other sections of the house where you think your cat may be safe but will end up coming in contact with fleas, these places are

Through Open Windowpanes

The window is where you may never think of guessing that your cat will get fleas. Fleas are tiny insects that can jump and land on the windowpane or glass most likely if there are gardens, bushes, and grasses were rabbits and mice that may be carrying the flea eggs and wandering around these grasses or shrubs close to the window. This is one of the places where indoor cats get infested by fleas.

Your cat may be lying close to the window and fleas will jump into its fur, because it is tiny and flat, it sticks to the cat’s skin and slips into the hairs and starts sucking blood, they are usually challenging to find. If you have a black cat, it will not be easy for fleas to see it.

Lying or Playing on the Porch

While you worry less because your cat doesn’t go outside and bring fleas back home, a flea finds itself to your cat’s fur. The flea can be found anywhere, it can be on the screen of your porch, and once it gets access to your cat, it immediately jumps into it.

Walking Past an Open Door

Home doors can be left open anytime in the house, but a flea can get into your house while the door is open. Insects tend to jump past an open door if the sense of room temperature, vibrations, heat, or breathing can sense this only if your door is open. As soon as they find themselves into your house, they quickly settle on a host and feed on it.

Laying or Playing close to a Pile of Dirty Clothes

It is not safe for your cat to play or lay close to those dirty pants you piled up there may be some fleas just hanging in there and waiting for the right skin to cling on. 

Insects look like tiny pieces of muddy dirt, so you’ve piled up clothes fit for them to hide. The poor cat may be laying there, and a flea will quickly find its way to its skin.

Through Other Pets/ Animals

If you have another pet e.g., an outdoor dog or your neighbor’s outdoor pet, then fleas can quickly jump to your cat’s skin as soon as it has close contact with the infected pet.

Through Human Beings

Due to fleas’ ability to jump quickly and high, they can easily jump from one person’s shoes or clothes to another and end up falling on the skin of your cat.


Your cat can get infested with fleas if your house is already infested with rodents like rats, fleas can transfer from these rodents to your cat.

External Visits

When you go for routine visits to the vet with your cat, it can get exposed, and fleas will have their way into your cat’s fur.

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What are the Health Complications of Flea Infestation?

This is very important as fleas can cause health issues. These are few listed health complications below.


When your cat gets infected, you may notice scratches itself, and fleas are parasites to cause itching and discomfort to your cat.

Continuous scratching will create open wounds and several injuries, these wounds, if not noticed on time, will get infected. Because the whole body is involved, there are chances of life-threatening complications to occur.

Disease vectors

If an infected flea bites your cat- a flea capable of transferring bacteria due to being infected, your cat will automatically be a disease vector. It will be capable of moving bacterial infections to even humans.

Skin Inflammation

A flea infestation can cause your cat allergic reactions; too much itching will result in red swollen burns or rashes on the skin.


When a flea starts to feed on your cat’s blood, this becomes bad for your cat, especially if it’s a kitten, and the flea eventually multiplies. Your cat/ kitten can develop anemia due to the high blood-sucking quality of fleas.

How Fast Fleas Multiply in Cat?

Fleas undergo four (4) stages of the life cycle. While an infected pet moves around with a flea, the flea will start to lay eggs; a flea can lay up to 60- 70 eggs daily. These eggs can fall from the cat’s hair to the surface.

After 1- 20 days, these eggs will hatch to a larva, then to pupae inside a cocoon. During this period, they become still and can stay that way for more than a year; they tend to remain always until they find the perfect host to cling on. The pupae’s sense of heat and warmth can take just seconds to find a host to attach itself on.

How can you Detect Fleas on your Cat?

  • If you notice your cat scratching, it is reasonable to suspect that the cat has contact with a flea. The first thing you have to do is contact your vet to book a time for consultation and examination.
  • The vet will use a special flea comb remover on the cat’s skin to inspect for black – flea dots.
  • The black dots found are the waste and excrements that the flea has left on your cat’s fur or hairs.
  • Sometimes, if you carefully observe your cat’s skin, you may see the flea droppings and think it is a flea when it is not.
  • You can find dirt-like dots on your cat’s skin during bath; use a wet towel to rub the skin’s dirt. If the dirt is the flea, the black dot will turn the damp towel dirty red color.
  • The dirty red color remains from your cat’s blood, which the flea must have fed on, digested, and left as droppings on your cat’s skin.

In which Parts of the Cat Body Fleas live?

Fleas usually live in warm areas but you can not guess accurately where it lives on cat until your cat itself experiences the symptoms like itching.

Areas of your cat’s skin where fleas are commonly called include;

  • Behind the legs of your cat
  • Behind the tail
  • Neck area

Treatment of Indoor Cats with Fleas

The fist you should do is to get rid of the fleas with a flea comb. This will help you take off as many insects as you can.

Find the Fleas with the help of a Flea Comb

The fist you should do is to get rid of the fleas with a flea comb. This will help you take off as many insects as you can.

Recommended Product | Flea Comb

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Give your Cat a Long Bath

Not all cats will buy this idea, so take it easy on your cat and don’t force it.

Your vet can help you here by providing you with the needed techniques and equipment, so do the work well enough.

Note; the use of shampoo, flea comb, and a long bath does not take fleas effectively but will help limit the eggs’ multiplication.

Consult your Vet

If the situation seems too much for you to handle, then take your cat to see the vet and lay your complaints.

Recommended Product | Flea Prevention

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Advantage II 6-Dose Large Cat Flea Prevention
Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment
Cheristin for Cats Topical Flea Prevention

Prevention of Fleas Infestation on Indoor Cats

The overall prevention of fleas is keeping a clean environment, and preventives are very important so that fleas will not have the chance to contact your house or surroundings and end up landing on your cat’s skin. This is what you should do;

  • Vacuum clean your rugs, mattresses, carpets and dispose waste products away.
  • Clear off the lawn, garden to aid the removal of fleas in the grasses.
  • Use of pesticides and insecticides in your home often just to prevent fleas from clinging around.
  • When you steam clean your home, it will help take off the leftover eggs the vacuum may have skipped.

To prevent fleas from infesting your house again, your vet can recommend great products, you should take precautions while using these products because they may cause your cat illness. Fleas are challenging to eliminate, but the combination of suitable treatments will help.

Recommended Product | Flea Home Spray

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Natural Oils Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats
Adams Flea and Tick Home Spray
Hartz UltraGuard Flea Spray for Cats

Which Period of the year do Fleas Thrive the Most?

Fleas thrive most during the warm seasons of the year; they love warm environments, mostly during the heat.

However, fleas can survive in all seasons of the year; during winter, as long as they are in your home, your house’s warmth is the right condition for them to survive in.


I am sure you must have gained tons of information on how your outdoor cat would get infested with fleas. Do you think your cat has fleas? ; take up the treatment measures and try to get rid of them from all developmental stages; this cleaning process can last up to four months.

It is important to note that using dog treatments on your products is not advisable, as they may cause great harm to your cat.

Vacuum cleaning the house will also help you prevent fleas from multiplying; your vet will always help you if you need help by taking them to for routine check. Ensure you practice flea infestation preventives and also check your cat’s skin more often for flea eggs.

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