Taiwanese scientists investigated this question by using their bare hands to catch more than three thousand fleas from the bodies of stray cats. Celia Haddon explains more...
Q) Do fleas prefer to live on certain areas of a cat? Or are they happy to settle down and bite anywhere on the feline body? - Your Cat reader.
Taiwanese scientists investigated this question by using their bare hands to catch more than three thousand fleas from the bodies of stray cats which they trapped and then defleaed, counting each flea.
Most of the fleas were found on the cats’ heads and necks, quite a few were on their backs, and far fewer on the belly or legs. This may be because cats find it easier to groom them off of the belly or legs, but they must twist right round to reach fleas on their back, which can be difficult for older cats.
They can use their back paws to scratch their heads and necks, but they can’t use their tongues and teeth to nibble away and eat the fleas in that area. So, more fleas survive there without being groomed off.
Incidentally, these were all common cat fleas. However, cats can also pick up rabbit fleas if they hunt and kill rabbits. These only stay on the cat for a little while and a different study reported that they tend to be found in clusters round and inside the ears.