How To Tell If A Stray Cat Has Fleas

Stray cats often have fleas. Fleas are tiny parasites that live on the fur of animals and feed on their blood. They can cause itching and irritate the skin, especially in cats who groom themselves excessively. If you see fleas on a stray cat’s body or fur, it’s likely that they will also be in its home environment, so if you want to find out if a stray has fleas, look for fleas around its house or any nearby locations where it spends most of its time.

It’s also important to remember that many stray cats have been abandoned by their owners and left without food or water for days or weeks at a time before being rescued by animal control agencies so if one approaches you for food or attention, be sure to give them both.

How Do You Get Rid of Fleas on a Stray Cat?

The best way to get rid of fleas on a stray cat is to bathe the animal and then apply flea shampoo. This can be done at home, but if you are worried about hurting the animal, or if it is very large, you may want to hire an expert. A veterinarian will be able to give you the proper shampoo and tell you how often it should be used.

If you are washing the cat yourself, make sure that it is completely dry before applying any medication. Make sure that all of the soap has been rinsed off before applying a topical ointment or spray. If you do not rinse thoroughly enough, then your pet could become sick from ingesting some of the soap residue or chemicals in the shampoo or spray.

Once your cat has been properly bathed and dried off, put some topical treatment on its fur once every few weeks until all signs of fleas have disappeared from its coat. You can also give your pet oral medications that are made specifically for treating fleas on cats; however, these medications should only be given under strict supervision by a veterinarian because they may cause side effects such as nausea or vomiting if taken improperly by an owner who does not know how to properly administer them using instructions provided by their vet.

What Kills Fleas Instantly?

There are several products that will kill fleas on your cat, but the fastest options for killing fleas with prescription medication are Comfortis or Trifexis, which also work as effective preventative medications. “Both products contain the active ingredient spinosad, which will begin killing fleas within 30 minutes of ingesting the tablet,” according to Veterinary Partner. Both drugs can be taken orally once a month and have an extremely high success rate in eliminating adult flea infestations from cats — although they may take some time to reach full effectiveness (3-4 weeks), so it’s best to start using them immediately after noticing symptoms of an infestation in your cat.

Comfortis for Dogs: How It Works While Comfortis is only approved for use in dogs at this time, it could potentially be used off-label on felines as well (with your vet’s approval). According to Animal Pharm: Comfortis works by attacking nerve cells located near the brain stem known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors–which inhibit or decrease nerve impulses sent throughout our bodies when activated by certain neurotransmitters such as glutamate then preventing any further stimuli from reaching these receptors until they’ve been completely destroyed by its active ingredients mebendazole or spinosad

How Quickly Can Fleas Infest a Cat?

If you suspect your cat has fleas, it’s best to get it checked out by a vet as soon as possible. The sooner you take care of this, the better off your cat will be.

Fleas can cause anemia in cats, tapeworms in cats, and even allergies for humans who come into contact with them. Fleas are also known to spread tapeworms to humans if they’re not treated quickly enough.

How to Tell if Your Cat Has Fleas or Lice

If you’ve found a stray cat, and you want to help them out, but you’re worried about the fleas, here’s how to tell. First of all, look at their fur. If it’s thick and fluffed up, that could be a sign of fleas. Fleas like to bite cats in areas where there are lots of hair follicles (like on their back), so if your cat has a lot of fluff on their back or around their neck and shoulders, that would be a good place to look for signs.

Another way is to place a white sheet or towel over the cat (without scaring them) and gently pet them with your hands while they’re lying down on the sheet or towel. You may see fleas moving around in between the hairs on their body if they have them.

If you think the cat has fleas but aren’t sure what to do about it yet, we recommend taking them to an animal shelter or veterinarian’s office as soon as possible so they can treat them before they start biting other people (and spreading diseases).

How Do I Know if My Cat has Fleas?

Behavioral Signs

In severe infestations, it’s easy to spot fleas jumping and moving on and off your cat’s body. In less obvious situations, you may notice that your cat is restless and doing more scratching or chewing on certain areas of his body. Shaking the head often and scratching at the ears is another indication of a possible flea infestation in your cat.

Excessive and constant licking at the haircoat is another sign of potential fleas, especially in cats. Many cats will even groom the fleas out of the haircoat before you get a chance to see the evidence.

Check the Skin and Haircoat

In order to see actual fleas on your pet, you may have to look fast. Fleas can jump very fast and very high. Fleas are very small (1/16-1/8 in.), flat-bodied insects that are a dark brown, almost black, color. The more blood they ingest the lighter in color they may appear.

Turn your cat on his back and check areas that allow fleas to hide. The armpits and groin are two areas that are warm and protected; favored spots for fleas to hide out. Check your cat’s ears carefully for signs of scratching, redness, blood, or dirt. These can all be signs of fleas. The skin on the belly, groin, or base of the tail may appear red and bumpy, especially if your cat is doing a lot of scratching. Hair loss may occur in certain areas that are being scratched excessively, and there may be black spots on the skin along with scabbing.

Get a flea comb (a specially made comb with closely set teeth) and run it through the hair on your cat’s back and legs. The comb’s teeth are designed to catch and pull fleas out from under the haircoat where they are hiding. Make sure you get close to the skin when running the comb through the hair so you have a greater chance of getting to where the fleas are hiding out. Have a bowl of soapy water on hand to douse any live fleas into as you find them while combing.

One trick that may help you if the fleas are hard to see is to place a white piece of paper or paper towel on the floor next to your pet while coming through his hair. Flea dirt (i.e., flea feces) will fall off of the cat’s skin and land on the paper. One way to differentiate between regular dirt and flea “dirt” is to wet any black specks that fall off the cat onto the white paper towel (using regular water sprinkled on the specks). If they turn a dark reddish-brown color, you are seeing the digested blood that the flea has passed through its body and excreted.

Check the Environment

Fleas don’t just stay on your cat. They can also be found throughout the house and in areas where your cat spends a lot of his time. Closely examine your cat’s feeding area, bedding, and other favorite locations for signs of flea dirt (black specks), or for the fleas themselves. As you know, cats like to sleep on top of things like the window sills, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator, so be sure to get up high when examining their favorite haunts.

Another method to search for flea dirt in the house is to wear white socks and walk through areas frequented by your pet. Fleas and/or flea dirt may be picked up by the fibers of the socks and will stand out on the white background.

A “light trap” may also help detect the presence of fleas in the household. At night, before turning off all the lights for the night, set a small bowl of water with dishwashing soap near a nightlight on the floor. Fleas will tend to jump toward the light and will fall into the bowl, where they will drown. In the morning, you may find several floating in the water.

Get a Veterinarian’s Advice

If you can’t find any signs of actual fleas on your cat or in the environment, or if you have done the full flea eradication treatment on your cat and home but your cat is still scratching, it’s time to get advice from your veterinarian. He or she will help you determine the cause of your cat’s discomfort and suggest treatment options.

List of Products To Get Rid Of Fleas

Getting rid of fleas is no joke. It’s not just about the itchy bites, either; fleas can transmit diseases to humans and animals. If you’ve got a flea infestation, we’re going to help you get rid of them quickly and easily.

Here are the top products to use:


Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray | Flea Treatment for Dogs and Home | Plant-Based Formula | 32 Ounces

Price: $9.97

Features :

  • GENTLE PROTECTION: Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Home Spray uses certified natural ingredients to kill fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact.
  • PROVEN EFFECTIVE: Whether facing an active infestation or applying for routine prevention, our spray is scientifically proven effective against pests but gentle enough to use around the whole family.
  • CERTIFIED NATURAL OILS: Each steam-distilled essential oil is selected for its potent pest-fighting properties and is 100% Certified Natural.
  • TOTAL HOME DEFENSE: Applies easily on surfaces, indoors and out, including dog bedding, crates, furniture, blankets, upholstery, carpets, outdoor surfaces, and more. Also gentle enough to be applied directly on dogs and puppies 12 weeks or older.
  • MADE IN THE USA: Our products are proudly manufactured in the USA with quality domestic and internationally sourced ingredients.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions 
Height0.81 Inches
Width3.38 Inches
Length3.38 Inches
Weight2 Pounds

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Liquid Fence HG-71296 Dog & Cat Repellent Ready-to-Use, 32-Ounce, 32 oz

Liquid Fence HG-71296 Dog & Cat Repellent Ready-to-Use, 32-Ounce, 32 oz

Price: $12.98 ($0.41 / Fl Oz)

Features :

  • REPELS PETS AND STRAYS: Masks familiar animal odors dogs and cats habitually seek out, deterring them from marking their territory.
  • WHERE TO USE: Spray on lawns, trees, shrubs, flower beds, garden areas and trash cans, and other areas where pets and/or strays are not wanted.
  • READY TO USE: No mixing; just spray as directed and repeat applications as needed.
  • MASKS ANIMAL SCENTS: Harmless to plants and animals when used and stored as directed.
  • COVERAGE: 32-ounce spray covers up to 500 square feet.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions 
Height12 Inches
Width4.5 Inches
Length2.5 Inches
Weight0.9752237 Pounds

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SENTRY Fiproguard for Cats, Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats (1.5 Pounds and Over), Includes 6 Month Supply of Topical Flea Treatments

SENTRY Fiproguard for Cats, Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats (1.5 Pounds and Over), Includes 6 Month Supply of Topical Flea Treatments

Price: $13.54

Features :

  • CAT FLEA AND TICK CONTROL: SENTRY Fiproguard topical flea and tick prevention for cats kills fleas, ticks, and chewing lice for up to 30 days.
  • VET QUALITY FORMULA: SENTRY Fiproguard is a vet-quality formula flea treatment that contains the active ingredient fipronil.
  • FOR KITTENS AND CATS: Flea and tick control can be used on cats and kittens 8 weeks and older, and 1.5 pounds and older.
  • TICK PREVENTION: Fiproguard for cats also kills deer ticks that may transmit Lyme disease.
  • INCLUDES Six (6) 0.017 fl. oz. applicators, a six-month supply of waterproof topical applications for cat flea and tick control. For best results, apply flea & tick treatment for cats directly to dry skin on your cat’s back between the shoulder blades on a monthly basis.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions 
Height6.63 Inches
Width2.5 Inches
Length1.5 Inches
Weight0.09 Pounds

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PETARMOR Home Carpet Powder for Fleas and Ticks, Protect Your Home From Fleas and Deodorizes Carpets, 16 Ounce

PETARMOR Home Carpet Powder for Fleas and Ticks, Protect Your Home From Fleas and Deodorizes Carpets, 16 Ounce

Price: $7.58

Features :

  • LONG-LASTING CONTROL: PetArmor Home & Carpet Spray kills all stages of fleas and protects against reinfestation for up to 7 months. Kills fleas, dust mites, and lice.
  • PET ODOR: PetArmor Flea and Tick Home and Carpet Spray freshens and deodorizes carpets, has a clean fresh scent, and is available in a 16 oz. ounce size.
  • EFFECTIVE AGAINST PESTS: PetArmor Home Powder kills brown dog ticks, fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, and flea pupae.
  • PROTECT YOUR HOME: Find fleas or ticks on your pet. They are probably in your home. Fleas lay up to 50 eggs a day. PetArmor Home Carpet Power helps you in the fight against fleas and ticks.
  • PETS ARE FAMILY: PetArmor flea and tick home products help you confidently protect your furry family member from fleas and ticks at home without a visit to the vet.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions 
Height3.05 Inches
Width3.05 Inches
Length7.13 Inches
Weight1 Pound

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CAPSTAR Oral Flea Treatment for Cats 2-25 lbs, Fast Acting Tablets Start Killing Fleas in 30 Minutes, 12 Doses

CAPSTAR Oral Flea Treatment for Cats 2-25 lbs, Fast Acting Tablets Start Killing Fleas in 30 Minutes, 12 Doses

Price: $62.99

Features :

  • FAST-ACTING FLEA TREATMENT: CAPSTAR (nitenpyram) starts killing adult fleas in just 30 minutes.
  • TACKLE FLEA INFESTATIONS FAST: With one dose of CAPSTAR, you can watch the dead fleas fall off your pet.
  • TREAT REINFESTATIONS FAST: If your pet gets reinfested with fleas, simply give another dose as often as once a day.
  • NO PRESCRIPTION NEEDED: Fast, effective flea treatment that’s available over the counter.
  • INTENDED USE: CAPSTAR Oral Flea Treatment for Cats (11.4 mg) is safe for cats and kittens 4 weeks and older that weigh 2-25 pounds.

Additional Info :

Item Dimensions 
Height4.938 Inches
Width3 Inches
Length0.813 Inches
Weight2.508E-5 Pounds

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In Conclusion,

You can tell if a stray cat has fleas by looking for signs of infestation. If you notice that the cat is scratching itself or rubbing its head against your legs, it may have fleas. You can also check for flea dirt, which looks like black dots on the fur, or adult fleas, which are small and brown. If you find any of these things, then you know that your cat has fleas and you should take it to the vet.

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