We all know that there are fleas, and we all know that they love to bite our furry friends – no matter their type or breed. But did you know that there are different kinds of fleas that prefer different hosts?
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between cat fleas and dog fleas.
Are there really any major differences, or are they just minor variations of the same pesky creature? Read on to find out!
- What is a flea?
- How do I know if my pet has fleas?
- Dog fleas vs cat fleas: Is there a difference?
- What are the various health problems fleas might cause?
- How do you treat a flea problem?
What is a flea?
Fleas are small parasitic insects that feed off of the blood of mammals and birds. They have a hard outer shell which makes them difficult to crush, even if you try with your fingernails! Under this shell, fleas have little tube-like mouth parts that pierce a hole through your cat or dog’s skin and then start to suck out blood.
How do I know if my pet has fleas?
Left untreated, a real bad case of flea infestation can end up killing your cat or dog as the parasites deplete them of their blood supply. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell if your pet caught fleas on its last walk about town – just look for the following signs:
- You can see fleas with the naked eye, either hopping around or crawling on your pet.
- Your pet might be suffering from severe itching (they will bite and scratch excessively)
- The bites left behind by the fleas are usually red in color and they often get infected. This is especially true if there are a lot of fleas on your pet, as they will bite and suck out so much blood that it can cause them to scratch hard enough to draw blood.
- Your house might be invaded by fleas as well! If you see small dark spots which look like tiny specks of dirt all over the floor, that’s usually a good indication that your house is full of fleas as well (you’ll usually find more on light-colored surfaces where they can easily blend in).
Dog fleas vs cat fleas: Is there a difference?
Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are two distinct kinds of parasites. Their distinctions may, however, be most clearly determined using a microscope.
How do dogs get fleas?
Dog fleas are larger than cat fleas. This is largely because dog fleas are more efficient at sucking blood from their host. Dog fleas can also jump higher and further than most adult cats, making them better able to escape your pet’s reach when it tries to scratch or swat at annoying parasites.
Despite their name, cat fleas can infest dogs and a wide range of other animals, as well as people. Cat flea infestations are the most common form of flea problem in North America. If your dog has indications of a flea problem, it’s probable that they’re hosting cat fleas. Dog fleas are generally not found in North America.
Cat fleas can also infect humans, but they generally don’t like the taste of human blood and will jump to another host when one is readily available.
Well, as outlined above, there are both similarities and differences in cat vs. dog fleas.
Both can cause allergies in pets and people, both may carry parasites from animal to animal, and neither prefer human blood.
The larger size of dog fleas allows them to take more blood from a larger host. This has the unfortunate side effect of making their bites more noticeable on cats or humans. Fleas on dogs can jump higher than cat fleas.
What are the various health problems fleas might cause?
Fleas can cause a number of different health problems in animals and people. The most common problem associated with flea infestation is an allergic reaction that pets experience after the flea has bitten them repeatedly.
Other problems include:
Tick-borne diseases (such as Lyme disease), Parasitism (in which immature forms feed on animal blood while the mature form feeds on human blood, causing anemia and even death), Tapeworms, and Flea allergy dermatitis.
Unfortunately, fleas can transmit a number of parasites between animals. This is particularly true with cats, where the ingestion of one cat’s fleas by another may result in tapeworm infection. Dogs that chase or play roughly with infested animals can also get intestinal parasites from them.
How do you treat a flea problem?
The best way to get rid of the fleas and stop them from coming back is with a combination of both topical and oral medications. You can buy both types of medication from the same veterinary store.
Topical medications will kill off most of the fleas on your pet, while oral medication will kill off any remaining fleas in its system. Remember that these medications usually take a few days to work, so it’s important to be patient and give them enough time before you decide to give up.
Another thing you should try when treating fleas, is to use natural essential oil sprays like X-14 .
The easy-to-use application method is great for hard-to-reach places, and the fast acting formula kills fleas in a matter of hours. The combination of diatomaceous earth and natural essential oils will leave your home feeling clean and smelling fresh!
Lastly, don’t forget to vacuum your house regularly. Vacuuming will pick up both the adult fleas and their eggs, preventing them from reproducing further. This is an excellent way of stopping the problem before it gets out of control!
So, as you can see, a clean and healthy dog is a flea-free dog!
Now that you are armed with the knowledge of how to identify cat fleas vs dog fleas, it is time for us to part ways. I hope this article has been informative and entertaining! Until next time!