Cat fleas, scientifically known as Ctenocephalides felis, are the most common fleas found in house cats or domestic cats. A cat flea is not exclusive to cats however. These can likewise infest your dogs and they can thrive in other carnivorous animals.
The upside is that these cannot infest humans. They can however bite humans and the result is usually itching or developing other allergic reactions.
How Big is a Cat Flea?
There are four stages in the life cycle of a cat flea: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. An egg of a cat flea measures approximately 0.5 millimeters in size and is oval-shaped. They are white and they usually fall off from the host.
Nevertheless, they can stay on carpets, bedroom linens and your lawn until they develop into larvae.
The larvae look like worms once they hatch from the eggs. They are about 1.5 millimeters up to 5 millimeters long and the larvae phase normally lasts between 5 to 15 days. They feed on the dried feces of adult cat fleas.
Before they develop into mature cat fleas, they spin a cocoon and stay there until they have developed into an adult flea.
The size of a mature cat flea is approximately 2.5 millimeters, still considerably small so these are not immediately visible unless close inspection is undertaken.
Effects of Cat Fleas
If the fleas are not immediately eliminated from their host, in this instance your cat, it can die from dehydration since it could be losing too much fluid from flea infestation.
An allergic reaction can also occur particularly if your cat develops an allergy to the saliva of the cat flea. This condition is called flea allergy dermatitis, a type of skin disease on cats and dogs.
The symptoms of this condition include redness of the affected area, itching, bumps that have pus and scabs. In severe cases, hair loss may also occur.
Eliminating Cat Fleas
To completely eradicate the fleas, you need to get rid of the eggs that could be lying around on your carpet or beddings and you need to get rid of the adult fleas.
To get rid of the eggs, wash all your beddings and vacuum your carpet. If you can, it is best to clean the entire house, concentrating on your couches, beds and beddings.
For the adult fleas, you may use a fine-tooth comb on your cat to comb out the fleas. You will see that the fleas will be caught with the comb. You can also use flea control products. These will usually require you to apply a small amount around your cat’s neck. A single application may work for one full month.