Can I cuddle my cat if she has fleas?

Well, sigh. Someone asked the question in the title and it is slightly strange because common sense applies. I think the answer is that you don’t want to cuddle your cat if they have a lot of visible fleas. The best thing to do is to remove the fleas first or asap. It isn’t hard. But if you want to cuddle a cat that you’ve just rescued (understandable) and she has fleas which is almost certain then I think it is okay to do this briefly but deal with the fleas as a matter of urgency which means immediately after you’ve cuddled her. Get rid of those damned fleas! Cats fleas are probably the biggest or more prevalent health risk to kittens and cats.

Kitten with bad flea infestation
Kitten with bad flea infestation. Picture in the public domain.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It isn’t just that they are ectoparasites feeding on the kitten, their saliva can cause an allergic reaction in a cat which results in miliary dermatitis. An unpleasant and painful disease. And fleas are vectors for the tapeworm. They inject the blasted tapeworm eggs into the cat when feeding. You have to get rid of them holistically meaning from the cat and the environment. If they’re present in the home it’ll have to be a war against them, I believe as they are resilient.

Depending on how bad the flea infestation is you can comb them out (slight infestation) or bathe her and then comb her. Then apply a spot-on flea treatment but please read the instruction carefully and make sure through online research that the product is safe. Some flea treatments have bad reputations. I’d research this first as these are toxic treatments that can kill cats and particularly vulnerable rescue cats and even more vulnerable rescue kittens.

RELATED: DON’T use Seresto cat and dog flea and tick collars

Personally, I would not treat any rescue kitten with a flea treatment. I’d do it all by physical removal to play safe. I don’t believe in these insecticide flea treatments as they’re so damned toxic.

Cat fleas on humans

Can fleas jump onto you and bite you? Yes, you’ll see photos of cat flea bites on people on the internet. But cat fleas don’t like to take up residence on a human as there isn’t enough body hair for humans to be a suitable habitat for them. So don’t be worried about that. You won’t catch fleas from your cat but as mentioned, depending on the level of flea infestation, you may get a flea bite.

How do indoor cats get fleas?
Cat fleas bite humans too

Do it outside?

To be honest, if you have rescued a cat from the street, I think you should check for fleas by combing immediately and perhaps even outside the home because if you bring the cat inside the home which is flea-free you may start a home infestation as the parasite jumps off the cat into the carpet. If the cat is badly infested, I’d keep them outside and de-flea them there by bathing and combing.

Just a personal view. The point is that you need to wage a war against this pesky parasite who’s a great survivor. Don’t underestimate the flea. They are probably better survivors than humans.

One monthly imidacloprid cat or dog flea treatment could kill up to 25 million bees

Cat fleas and treatments – comprehensive page

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