The Life of a Cat Flea and Its Negative Effects

The cat flea which is also known as Ctenocephalides felis is the name of the type of flea that likes to hang out on cats and dogs. There is an abundance of these nasty little insects worldwide. They also like to jump on opossum, rodents, rabbits and even humans to live their entire life cycle.

Female cat fleas will lay their eggs on the pet and once the eggs dry they will fall off the pet and into your cats place of shelter or their favorite resting area. The eggs then hatch into larvae and begin feeding on dried blood which has been provided to them by the adult fleas fecal matter that is in the pets shedded hair. This way the adult flea lives on the pet but can still feed the larvae in your pets environment. The larvae will go through four different stages before it spins a cocoon and enters the pupal stage. The pupal will stay in this stage until it senses a host to live on by either feeling your pets vibration or by his warmth. He then jumps on the cat and begins his blood sucking feast almost immediately.

If your cat has a few fleas this shouldn’t cause him any harm unless he is allergic to the flea saliva. This condition is called flea allergy dermatitis. If your cat or kitten gets infested with fleas it’s another story since this can be dangerous to your pet. Many fleas living on your pet can leave your cat anemic causing dehydration. This is a serious condition that must be treated by a veterinarian.

Cat fleas can also transmit parasites and infections to your cat and to people. Bartonella is a genus of gram negative bacteria which can infect humans and cause what is better known as cat scratch fever. Tapeworms are also a result of fleas being swallowed by pets or people. Cat fleas have also been found to carry the etiologic agent of Lyme disease but it is still unclear of their ability to transmit the disease.