Have you noticed fleas in your house? If you have, you are not alone.
Fleas are a common problem for cat owners.
Most households have a cat. In fact, there are about 100 million pet cats in the United States alone. That is a pretty large number of furry friends that need to use the litter box. This is why it’s so important to understand how fleas get attracted to the litter box and learn how to keep them out.
One of the most unfortunate parts of having a cat is that it can be a magnet to fleas.
Fleas love to suck on a cat’s blood and will often find an easy meal through their furry host. This can be frustrating for cat owners because they have to live alongside bugs that bite and itch their cats.
Dealing with fleas can be a huge hassle, to say the least. And when you have to deal with a cat that has fleas you have to worry about the safety of your pet and family.
In this post, I’m going to explain how it is possible to keep fleas out of the litter box and how to get rid of them. It is a challenge but using these tips will make it much easier.
Do Fleas Live in Cat Litter?
Yes, fleas can live in cat litter and make it their dwelling place.
These blood-sucking parasites survive by finding a way into your cat’s fur. Once here, they start sucking blood after landing on a skin area that they consider to be highly appropriate. They feed by sucking the blood of their host.
They spend their entire life on your cat in a vicious cycle of eating, eliminating, and reproducing.
Fleas multiply very first. Ideally, a female flea will lay about 10 to 50 eggs every day on your cat’s coat.
The eggs fall off mainly in the litter box, carpet, or even furniture. Once drooped into the kitty’s warm litter, flea eggs will complete their incubation, hatch, and turn into adults.
In 10 days, the eggs then hatch into flea larvae that settle deep into the seat cushions and litter box. During this stage, they feed on the debris from the adult flea feces.
A week later, the flea larvae spin a cocoon and develop into the pupal stage. The adult fleas will then emerge from these cocoons.
Depending on the environmental conditions, the fleas can stay in the cocoons until favorable conditions emerge, which can take months.
Once they emerge, they begin their search for a host.
Fleas can have an incredibly long life span and multiply faster than rabbits.
The chances that your cat will frequent the litter box to eliminate are very high. Once in the litter box, the fleas get into the kitty’s fur, find the warmest area with enough blood to suck, and the lifecycle continues.
If this is what a single flea can achieve, have you tried to picture what happens to cats infested with huge populations of fleas?
This explains why your cat will remain restless each time it is attacked with these nasty chaps.
She is even more likely to swallow these blood-sucking parasites whenever it is biting. This may cause her to develop gastrointestinal problems.
This should be enough reason to keep fleas out of the cat’s litter box.
How to identify fleas in Cat Litter
To identify fleas in the cat litter box, examine your cat for fleas. While it may be slightly difficult to spot the tiny bugs by sight by simply looking at the litter box, examine your cat instead.
You may see them biting a bit and itching themselves or bearing hot spots on their skin.
Flea dirt will appear as little specks of salt and pepper.
A tick will look like a brown spot, either crawling slowly through the coat or attached to the skin, where the flea’s head won’t be visible.
Check your cat around the rump, neck, tail, and groin area of your cat for visible signs of fleas.
If your cat has dark fur, place her on a white piece of paper or white towel. Proceed to brush him with a flea comb and you may find loads of dark specs falling onto the white towel. In addition, you might see trapped fleas, dead skin cells, and debris stuck on the comb.
The fleas can also be found by looking carefully at the litter box cracks and litter.
You may assess the issue and analyze the level of flea infestations.
The fleas end up in the litter cartons because they are carried there by your cats.
Dangers of Fleas on Cats
Some cats may develop an allergic reaction due to sensitivity caused by flea saliva antigens. This can cause flea allergy dermatitis appearing as red, irritated skin and bald patches usually on the rump or near the tail base.
Flea bites are also harmful to your cat. A single flea can kick start this allergic reaction.
Did you know that fleas are the intermediate host for tapeworms? Your cat in an attempt to self-clean and lick the itch may swallow once containing a tapeworm.
Heavy flea infestation on your cat will result in significant loss of blood since fleas feed on blood. This causes anemia.
How Your Cat Catches Fleas:
In most cases, fleas will be brought from the external environment to your home.
- You may fall victim to these itchy ‘friends’ if you are fond of allowing stray pets to spend time in your home.
- Fleas could also invade your cat’s litter if you are the kind of pet enthusiast who allows their kitties to roam outside. Free-roaming cats are likely to come into contact with other fleas-infested pets or surfaces.
NB: Ticks carry all sorts of diseases that affect both your cat and human family members as well. These include Lyme disease, which, if allowed to progress, can be fatal. Ticks look for any warm-blooded individual, four legs or two, so take special care.
Watch this 2 minutes video on how to get rid of fleas on your cat:
How to get rid of fleas in the cat litter box
1. Use a flea comb:
This is one of the most effective natural methods of getting rid of fleas, their excrement, and their eggs from the coat of your cat.
Daily grooming will allow you to look for flea dirt in your coat. This will appear as little specks of salt and pepper.
You’ll only need to ensure that your cat’s fur is thoroughly combed bypassing the comb directly into her coat.
As you comb her coat, the narrowly spaced teeth of the comb trap the fleas.
Flea combing in itself is not an effective flea treatment method, but a way to check if your cat has fleas and a way to clean the fur of flea debris and some loosely latched fleas.
2. Use a bowl of soapy water:
This is also a natural flea remedy for cats. You’ll only need to use a bowl of soapy water to rinse the kitty’s fur.
The fleas will fall off as you continue rinsing while passing the fleas comb through the kitty’s fur.
Be sure to repeat this step for at least two weeks.
You may stop only when you are sure that they’re gone.
3. Cool water bath:
A cool water bath with a shampoo containing natural oils such as eucalyptus and lavender will work miracles for cats loaded with fleas.
This is a natural flea killer method for your cat.
However, you must be aware that most cats don’t like water. So, the experience could be extremely stressful.
This method will present you with an avenue to drown the fleas. Nonetheless, the scent in the essential oils is something that fleas wouldn’t withstand at all costs. So, it’ll help keep them away for long.
4. Vacuum Clean Your House:
Fleas will not spend all of their time on your cat. They live and reproduce quite well in the cat litter box, your carpets, cushion seats, furniture, and even floorboard cracks.
Using the vacuum cleaner often will remove any fleas and flea poop from the surfaces. The vacuum will suck up the fleas, pupae, and eggs from these surfaces.
Don’t forget to clean out the cat trees, pet bedding, and windowsills.
Remember to empty the vacuum cleaner bag or cup properly and securely in the outside trash can to avoid having the fleas escape back into your house. That would suck, right? A plastic bag would do the trick.
PS: Fleas, flea larvae, and their pupae can hide deep down in carpets, cushions, and sofas, so do a thorough job while vacuum cleaning.
5. Use diatomaceous earth for flea management:
If you’ve tried natural home remedies to get rid of fleas on cats, it’s time to turn up the heat by using industrially made anti-flea products.
You must think of diatomaceous earth whenever you want fleas eradicated from your home. Ideally, diatomaceous earth remains as one of the natural products in the market whose effect in flea management has been proven. You won’t regret it the next time you buy this product.
Be aware that there are two types of diatomaceous earth in the market: Food Grade and Filter Grade. You MUST ensure that you purchase the food grade type. The filter grade form of diatomaceous earth could be dangerous when used at home.
6. Over the counter treatments:
You may resort to purchasing a chemical powder to kill fleas on your cat.
Bayer Advantage II Flea Control Treatment for Cats does an exemplary job as it gets rid of fleas on your cat fast.
Bayer Advantage II Flea Control Treatment for Cats is one of the easiest chemicals to apply and works by contact.
It’ll kill fleas with little consideration of their stages of life. It will only take half a day (12 hours) to get the job done.
How do You Keep Fleas from Coming into Your House?
The secret to avoiding having a flea infestation is to simply START EARLY… before the damn fleas have an opportunity to latch on your kitty or get into your house.
Here is the list of things you will need to implement on how to keep fleas off your cats and to ensure that the fleas never reach your home at all costs.
i. Ensure kitty remains indoors:
Keeping your cats indoors could be one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your home is a no-go zone for fleas.
However, the success of this method will greatly depend on your kitty’s behavior. It may not be too easy to achieve if your cats are the free-range type.
In most cases, cats only catch fleas when they decide to have a walk outside your compound. In this case, the more they stay inside, the more they reduce the chances of contracting fleas.
This might be hard to attain if you have a natural outside roamer.
ii. Ensure that the trees and grasses in your yard are cleared:
This is a clear way of ensuring that your yard doesn’t harbor any fleas.
iii. Get the yard area sprayed:
Spraying makes you extra safe as it will prevent fleas from coming near your cat. You’ll only need to purchase a good yard flea spray to get the work done.
iv. Ensure that your cats are exposed to regular flea prevention measures regularly:
Apply flea prevention powders that’ll make cat’s skin an unbearable environment for fleas and other pests to operate. This will keep bugs out of the cat’s litter box too.
v. Treat the infestations:
This means getting rid of any fleas present on your pet promptly.
vi. Get kitty enough baths:
Ensure that your cat takes regular showers with fleas removing shampoos, essential natural oils, lemon water sprays, and natural repellants. This will prevent fleas from latching on your cat’s coat.
vii. Adopt flea repellent plants:
Most of the fragrant herbs might come in handy when you want to repel fleas out of your home. Do you have a garden? Then plant these herbs. They’ll be very useful:
- Fleabane Daisy
viii. Invest in a flea collar:
A flea collar delivers the flea repellant ingredients over the cat’s body. The ingredients may repel or kill the fleas.
How Do You Keep Fleas from Moving with You?
Please follow these steps if you want to ensure that fleas never move with you the next time you exit your house.
- Eliminate the fleas on your pets
- Rid your living spaces of fleas and their eggs
- Use an effective yard spray to eliminate them from your compound
- Apply an anti-fleas spray on your cat
- Embrace cleanliness
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do fleas lay eggs in litter boxes?
Fleas on your cat’s fur feed by sucking the blood of their host.
They proceed to lay eggs on your cat’s coat.
The eggs fall off mainly in the litter box, carpet, or even furniture.
Once drooped into the kitty’s warm litter, flea eggs will complete their incubation, hatch, and turn into adults.
Why are fleas attracted to the litter box?
It’s because it’s a warm, dark, and cozy atmosphere for fleas. Not only that, but it is brimming with moisture and your cat frequents the box where they get to suck her blood -all of which are things that fleas thrive on.
Can fleas be in cat poop?
Yes, fleas can live in cat poop in the litter box.
Once the eggs fall off your cat’s coat into the litter box, the fleas reside in the cat litter and poop.
Once into the kitty’s litter, flea eggs will complete their incubation, hatch, and turn into adults.
What kills fleas on cats instantly?
Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats is a fast-acting flea treatment product that starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and is highly recommended by cat owners.
What smells will keep fleas away?
Fragrant herbs whose smells will keep fleas away from your home include:
- Fleabane Daisy
The scratching sound you hear at night while you try to catch some sleep should get you concerned.
If you notice that your cat stops playing with his toy suddenly, sits down, and frantically scratches at his neck, then it’s time to take a closer look. It could simply be a skin problem, an uncomfortable collar, or the pesky little fleas!
Adult fleas are quite fast and jump high, making it extremely difficult to trap one in your fingers.
However, the preventive measures outlined above will ensure that you will never have to deal with these bugs.
Now, tell me, did you know that fleas are the most common parasite found on cats?