How can I protect my cat from fleas?


Editor's Picks
We look at the various ways to eliminate these fleas from your cat, and how to prevent them from returning.

Don't let your cat become a victim of fleas. We take a look at a range of products designed to eliminate these pesky insects and prevent them from returning.

Chances are your cat will be exposed to fleas and the diseases these insects carry at some time in his life.

Not only can fleas be extremely irritating for both you and your pet, but bites can lead to the serious skin condition flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), and blood loss and anaemia in kittens. Fleas can also carry tapeworm, an intestinal parasite.

Once these irritating insects have found their way onto your pet they will take a bite and mate. Within 36 to 48 hours, the female will start to lay her eggs which will then fall off and develop into larvae, pupae and finally into adult fleas on the sofa, in the carpet and even in your bed!

Treating your pet with a product that stops fleas laying viable eggs will mean you won't end up trying to chase possibly hundreds of larvae around the house.

Prevention is always better than cure and by preventing a flea infestation in the first place, it means healthier pets and less stress for both pet and owner. Regular preventative flea treatments, coupled with good basic hygiene, will help ensure that the whole family remains healthy and happy all year long.

However, if your pet has an existing heavy flea infestation, it will be necessary to treat him with a product to kill them. Discovering fleas on a pet is unpleasant but adult fleas on a host may represent only five per cent of the whole infestation. The other 95 percent consists of eggs and larvae which can be spread throughout the house. It is therefore essential to also treat your house. If the home isn't treated, fleas will jump back onto the cat and re-infest it.


Contain insect growth regulators but make sure they have a safety release buckle in case your cat gets the collar caught up in something. They contain an insecticide that kills fleas on cats and prevents their return.

Content continues after advertisements

Prescription only

A number of prescription-only parasite treatments are also available from your vet. These include flea-only treatments as well as specialist products such as a combination spot-on treatment for fleas, roundworms and mites. To find out more talk to your local vet.

Flea facts in numbers

  • 30 to 40 is the number of eggs a female flea can lay in one day.
  • 200 is the number of eggs there may be around the house for every flea you can see on your cat.
  • 400 is the number of days a flea's natural life cycle from egg to death can last.
  • 10,000 is the amount of times animal fleas have been known to jump without stopping when trying to find a host.
  • 20 is the distance in feet that larvae can crawl up to.