Can cats get fleas in the winter?

Yes, cats can quite definitely get fleas in the winter and I have first hand experience of it. My cat is, today, an indoor/outdoor cat. He can gow wherever he wants to and he likes to visit a shed a few houses down from me where there are mice. For a domestic cat like mine there are less mice to be hunted and killed during the winter months but they are there nonetheless. When a domestic cat attacks a mouse they may acquire a flea just as my cat did the other day.

Combing includes flea combing. They should be combined

Combing includes flea combing. They should be combined. Photo in the public domain. Note: this is not my cat.

He is almost flea-free all the time. I’ve only caught about two or three fleas on him during his entire six years of life. But last week, in the middle of winter, there was one on him which I combed out of his fur. In that single act the question in the title is answered categorically. It’s almost freezing outside so it’s definitely winter!

So fleas are aound during the winter months but perhaps less so than in hot weather. A lot of cats are full-time indoor cats in any case so if there are fleas in the home during the summer and if nothing is done about them then they will be there under the same ambient conditions during the winter. Nothing has changed. In these homes the population of fleas will be the same no matter what the seasons.

The fact of the matter is that fleas thrive in warmer and more humid conditions and therefore a cat has a greater chance to be infested with them. However, even though flea activity slows down during cold winter months they don’t disappear. You have to be as vigilant as usual.

For me, the key is to eradicate fleas from home and cat(s) and then manage cat fleas through constant and vigilant combing of your cat to pick up an infestation rapidly before it gets worse. The best action is proactive action rather than fighting a rearguard action; playing catch up in a badly infested home. It is very hard to get on top of it under those circumstances. My home or cat have never had fleas except for three over the years. I take pleasure in combing them out and killing them. I am a proud expert.

There are a lot of pages on cat flea treatments on this site….

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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