Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can Indoor Cats Get Fleas?

Simple logic would suggest that house cats are immune from fleas, as long as they are strictly indoors and never step outside.  There’s nothing wrong with this theory, except that it’s completely wrong. Unfortunately, even house cats are susceptible to fleas (and the other risks of being outdoors,) the only difference being there is a little more you can do about it. Here are a few of the things to help explain why:

How are cat fleas different? 

To understand what the fleas are capable of, it’s first important to understand why they are different to other kinds of fleas. Firstly, they have massive jumping capabilities. They can cover up to seven inches vertically and thirteen horizontally, that would be the equivalent of 250 feet up and 450 feet across for humans – a pretty long way. Indoors they tend to live and hatch in carpets, floor cracks and in the creases of furniture. While they need to eat (you/your cat) to breed and lay eggs, they can survive in a dormant state for any time up to a year.

How do they get inside? 

Excluding the instance of your indoor cat making its way outside, in which case the cause is obvious, the cause comes from the fleas’ ability to jump those huge distances. Outdoors they tend to live in muddy and sandy areas, as well as long grass, so fleas can jump on to humans or other animal residents in your house. They can also get in via windows. If you regularly leave your window open, fleas can jump onto your cat either from another cat coming up to the window or by long grass near the window giving them a close enough area to jump from.

Highrise condo cats are still susceptible.  Let's say your neighbors have cats or dogs that regularly go outside.  Fleas travel! If you feed or manage a colony of community cats, then you are a carrier for fleas.  Outdoor neighborhood cats carry many fleas and those pesky fleas will jump onto your clothes and food bags and thus get inside your home. 

How to get rid of them? 

While the contractions of fleas may be different for indoor cats, getting rid of them is always the same. There are plenty of different kinds of medication to help remove fleas from the cat. Solutions like Advantage or Revolution are applied on the top of their back on the shoulder blades where they can’t reach with their mouths and tend to be really effective. If you’re house is infected with fleas it can be a little more difficult. Flea powders are effective if applied thoroughly throughout the house, but they really do need to be applied to all areas rigidly if you’re to avoid any return of the fleas.


While cat fleas may be slightly different biologically to other fleas, the main point of this is to highlight how flea prevention should not be avoided or treated any differently when you have indoor cats. Prevention is much easier to handle than removal, so being pro-active is always the answer.


  1. We hate fleas in our house and do our best by being proactive to combat them. The cats are combed regularly with a flea comb and we give them Revolution which is the most effective brand we have found for our household.