Peppers a.k.a. Mr. Cry Baby loves wandering out in the open. He comes home looking like a vagabond, all messy and smelly. His white fur has turned gray due to dirt and dust. For the past few days, he is busy scratching himself a lot and tends to lick his tail like crazy. I thought of giving him a bath and got a surprise of my life. The wet white fur of Peppers had something tiny, black crawling over it. On closer observation, I was sure it was a flea. No, not a flea, but many fleas! This was quite startling as I do take a lot of care about his grooming requirements. That evening I found myself scratching my legs and suffering from a burning sensation on my skin. Maybe I was just being paranoid, but this made me curious as to whether cat fleas bite humans.
Cat fleas are no doubt pests who cause a lot of trouble for our pets. Imagine fleas biting and savoring your blood, who would like that? These pests can also cause a lot of trouble to humans. This makes cat owners worry about catching cat fleas, especially fearing an infestation like lice on their children. In this Buzzle article, I shall cover some information related to transfer of cat fleas to humans and even answer your question whether cat fleas bite humans or not.
Do Cat Fleas Bite Humans?
Cat fleas or Ctenocephalides felis are one of the most common flea species after dog fleas. Cat fleas can bite humans, just as they would bite a cat. But if you are wondering whether cat fleas live on humans, the answer is 'no'. They do bite us but cannot dwell on our bodies. This is because they cannot complete their life cycle on our bodies and tend to die off.
Can Cat Fleas Get Transferred to Humans?
Cat fleas can be transferred to humans who handle flea infested cats. Flea bites on humans appear, once these pests jump over from the cat's body to human body. But as mentioned earlier, they cannot dwell on human body for a long time.
Can Cat Fleas Affect Humans?
One is often inquisitive if cat fleas harm humans. Cat fleas are carriers of a disease 'murine typhus'. However, they do not transmit these diseases to the human hosts. Cat fleas are also carriers of tapeworm eggs in their guts. Thus, there is a small possibility that a person may swallow an infected flea and get infected with tapeworm. Cat flea bite causes a lot of swelling and redness. This is due to the enzymes in the cat flea saliva. They irritate the skin and lead to itchiness. The enzymes prevent the blood from coagulating and can feed on blood without any problem. People, especially children, who are hypersensitive can develop an allergic reaction to flea bite. You will mostly spot flea bites on the legs, ankles and feet. They appear like red bumps that are very small and itchy. However, you can spot these itchy flea bites on other parts of the body as well.
How Can One Get Rid of Cat Flea Bites on Humans?
If you get bitten by a cat flea, the best thing to do is apply hydrocortisone cream and topical anti-itch cream. You can even take over the counter oral antihistamine medications that reduce the itchiness. You can apply calamine lotion to reduce the swelling and inflammation. Do not scratch the bumps as it will give an opportunity to bacteria to cause skin infections.
Apart from that, you need to apply a 'spot-on flea product' on your cat. It is very useful in getting rid of adult fleas. The eggs and larvae around the house can be done away with by using flea bombs or by steam cleaning your carpets. Calling up a professional pest control expert to clean up the pests in the house will also prove to be very useful. Wash all the upholstery and bed sheets in hot water with soap.
These were some methods that will help prevent flea bite on humans. Fleas are not good friends for your cat as well. They can cause tapeworm infections in your cat and even lead to severe anemia. You need to prevent cat flea infestation as far as possible. The best way to prevent fleas is keeping your cat indoors. However, if your cat is like my Mr. Peppers, it will be very difficult to hold him in.