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How Do Indoor Cats Get Fleas?

by Sam Salvati - 07/21/20

You may be wondering, "how did my indoor cat get fleas?" Despite evading dirty outdoor interactions, indoor cats are capable of getting fleas.

Indoor cat fleas can spread rapidly, cause health problems, and be difficult to eradicate. But how do they infest your cat in the first place? Here are 5 potential causes.

Other Pets

If you have an outdoorsy dog, fleas on your dog can hop on to your cat once your pooch returns inside. This can occur whether or not your dog is on a flea preventative.


Fleas can jump from anyone's clothes or shoelaces on to your cat.


If your house is infested with rodents, your cat can become infested with fleas. Rodents can drop fleas throughout your house that can eventually reach your cat.

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External Visits

Taking your cat to routine destinations, like the vet, the groomer, or a boarding facility, can expose your cat to fleas.

Your home

Fleas are capable of living in typical indoor conditions for long periods of time. Theoretically, fleas could've infested the previous dwellers of your house and survived to infest your cat.

Treatment and Prevention

Your cat will always be scratching and biting herself to the point of skin irritation. Thorough flea treatment will involve treating both your cat and your home.

Start treatment by taking your cat to your veterinarian, so your vet can prescribe treatment medication for your feline. You must then treat your home, which should include these steps:

  • Vacuum every corner, crevice and couch cushion
  • Wash each of your pet's bedding in hot water and then place them in the dryer
  • Either personally or with an exterminator, use an insecticide to treat the inside of your house
  • Mow your lawn to eradicate flea larvae in your grass

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Practice flea prevention to avoid another flea infestation. In your meeting with your vet, ask for the best flea treatment for indoor cats. Your vet will be able to prescribe the ideal medication for your cat. Avoid flea collars, sprays, powders, and dog preventative because they can be toxic for your cat.

Pasadena native Sam Salvati is the adoring dog dad to Pablo, Ester and Farris. He enjoys keeping abreast of and writing about the latest developments in pet care.