Unfortunately for owners of itchy cats, the bad news is that cat fleas can bite humans. Fortunately, you can take steps to treat the fleas and eliminating them from your home, letting both you and your kitty get a little itch-free peace.
Did Your Cat's Fleas Bite You?
Chances are, most people asking, "Can Cat Fleas Bite Humans?" have noticed a few small bright red spots running up and down their arms or legs. This seems more than coincidental because their cat has been scratching quite a bit recently. Furthermore, there's no question as to whether or not kitty has fleas because they've seen the tiny critters running through their cat's fur. Could those same pesky fleas be responsible for their own dermatological distress?
Many pets that have outdoor access from will acquire fleas time to time. Dogs can get fleas as well as cats, but interestingly enough, the flea most commonly found on dogs is actually the cat flea. Dog fleas are only responsible for about five percent of flea cases, so this makes the cat flea the largest enemy of both cat and dog owners.
Cat flea bites can become very troublesome for humans who have insect bite allergies. In such cases, the tiny red spots caused by fleas exacerbate into large red mounds that may even become infected. It goes without saying that something must be done to rectify the situation because fleas are most often a recurrent problem.
Getting Rid of Fleas
There are various approaches to battling a flea problem, but pet owners should be aware that the real flea problem is not located on your cat. Only a small percentage of the fleas that attack your arms and legs are present on your cat. Instead, your carpet, rugs, furniture and even bedding in addition to outdoor lawns are the real culprits housing these fleas. As if the very idea of such a flea populous isn't disturbing enough, fleas defecate as well. Flea excrement looks like tiny black dots or grains of sand, and you will find this "dirt" everywhere if you don't meet your flea infestation head on.
Treating Your Cat
You'll first want to treat your cat with a flea treatment whilst simultaneously treating your home and garden. This can be a bit complicated, because you don't just have to worry about live fleas, you will also need to keep watch over the eggs fleas lay on your pet. These eggs are hiding in your carpets and bedding. An easy quick fix is to call an exterminator who can spray your indoor and outdoor area, but one treatment will not be enough. It takes weeks for eggs to hatch, so you'll want to schedule several follow-up appointments.
Treating Your Home
Within your home, you'll want to vacuum thoroughly and clean your drapes and bedding. Any soft warm place that seems accommodating to fleas should be suspect and, therefore, cleaned. If you are truly a do-it-yourself sort of person, CatsofAustralia.com has published an excellent article on proper flea extermination for pet owners. This process needs to be executed with utmost care because, when done sloppily, you'll end up back to square one. It's also important to remember that flea bites on either you or your pet are not harmless. Excessive bites can cause anemia in pets, and don't forget that fleas often harbor their own parasites and can even spread tapeworms!
You will need a heavy duty vacuum cleaner to tackle the dander and flea residue that resulst from an infestation. If you can afford it, the Dyson Animal Vacuum is one of the best for inhaling everything from pet hair to persistent particulates. Vacuuming frequently with a quality machine during and in between chemical exterminations is your second line of defense.
Keep Your Pet Indoors
If this is not your first battle with cat fleas, you may also want to consider confining kitty to the indoors. Many cat breeders will not sell kittens to homes that promote free-roaming pets, so you won't be alone in your efforts.
Be prepared, whether you are bombing your house yourself or hiring an exterminator to spray down infested areas, to deal with a lot of chemicals. There are natural insecticides, but you'll need to discuss with your exterminator which options are effective against fleas. Regardless, be sure to air out your home after extermination to facilitate purifying your air supply.