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My Dog Has Cat Fleas?
There are over 2,000 species of fleas. The cat flea, known as Ctenocephalides felis, is the most common species in the United States. There is also a type of dog flea, known as Ctenocephalides canis; however, the dog flea is not as common as the cat flea. Dog fleas are more widespread in Europe. In fact, most of the fleas found on dogs are actually cat fleas. The primary host of the cat flea is the domestic cat and dog. Humans can get bitten by a cat flea, although cat fleas do not actually live on humans.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Has Cat Fleas?
The most common sign that your dog or cat has cat fleas is scratching. To confirm cat fleas on your pet, look closely for “flea dirt” which resembles grains of pepper. These small black specks are actually feces from the cat flea, and are comprised of digested blood after the cat flea feeds on your pet. To confirm cat fleas, use a flea comb to comb some of the black specks from your dog or cat onto a white paper towel or piece of paper, and add a bit of water. If the specks are the feces from cat fleas, you will see a reddish-brown color when you add water.
What Are The Stages Of The Cat Flea?
Only the adult cat flea actually lives on your pet, and feeds upon your pet’s blood. The female cat flea lays 25 to 40 eggs per day on your pet. Once dry, the eggs from the cat flea fall off of your pet and remain in your carpet or your pet’s bedding. The cat flea eggs hatch into larvae after about two days, and they remain in this stage for around 5 to 15 days. During this time, the cat flea larvae feed on the cat flea feces that drop from your pet’s fur. Next, the cat flea larvae spin cocoons, and they remain in this pupae stage until the adult cat flea is ready to emerge.
How Did My Pet Get Cat Fleas?
Cat fleas are carried by other cats, dogs, rodents and wild animals. Those animals leave cat fleas behind when visiting your yard or other places your pet frequents. Your own pet picks up cat fleas from your environment, or from contact with other pets carrying cat fleas. Even dogs and cats that spend most or all of their time indoors can get cat fleas, which you can carry into your home on your shoes, socks or pants legs.