The Pet Doctor

Surprising Signs That Your Cat Has Fleas

Fleas are a serious health risk for cats. Even indoor cats can get them, if fleas come in on people coming and going from the house. While most people expect to see fleas bouncing around or noticeable bites, there are often signs that come long before that which can be overlooked. Here are some signs that your cat may have fleas.


Have you ever petted your cat and noticed that their fur feels kind of grimy, as though there's dust or dirt caught in the fur? If so, you may have even taken a brush to your kitty and noticed little specks of black flecks in their fur. If that's the case, chances are your cat has fleas.

These little specks are referred to as flea dirt. They're produced by fleas and left behind to act as nutrients for newborn fleas before they can bite and drain blood on their own. This disgusting product is usually made up of your cat's own blood, drained by a flea and then effectively pooped out and left behind on your cat's coat.

Itchy Rump

Fleas often like to hide around areas that the cat can't groom effectively. One of these areas is your cat's rump.

If you've ever noticed that your cat seems to have an itchy area around their tail, that may be a bad sign. Fleas love to hang out in this area and cats will often respond by chewing frantically around their tail. You may notice your cat going about its business and then suddenly whip around to clean the base of their tail. This is likely because either a flea has just bitten them or the flea dirt left behind by the fleas is causing irritation to their skin.


Fleas do more than just bite. They can also act as carriers for disease and parasites.

Your cat can suffer from anemia due to fleas, which can happen due to an excess number of fleas draining your cat's blood. However, an infection called mycoplasma can also cause the same problem. This disease breaks down living red blood cells, destroying them.

When your cat doesn't have enough blood, they'll become lethargic and often nauseous. They might lose their appetite or vomit. This is a serious sign and something that should never be ignored. If your cat won't eat or is throwing up, get to a vet right away for treatment.

The good news is that most of these issues can be cleared up quickly with adequate flea control. If your cat isn't receiving flea control right now or it doesn't seem to be effective anymore, consult with a vet at a clinic like Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A. Many prescription flea medications are far more effective at controlling flea outbreaks.