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Video:Learn the Signs of Fleas in Cats

with Holly Deambrosi

Learn the signs of fleas in cats so that you can determine if your pet needs treatment. Here are some tips on the signs of fleas in cats.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn the Signs of Fleas in Cats

Hi, I'm Holly Deambrosi for About.com. If your cat seems more stressed than usual or starts scratching more than usual, it's time to check for fleas.

How to Check for Signs of Fleas in Cats

Although fleas are tiny, these dark, reddish-brown insects are visible to the human eye. On your cat, you might find the fleas themselves, or you might find flea dirt, which is the fleas' feces. The first impulse that cat owners have for checking fleas is to part the cat's fur. But with this method, fleas can escape your probing eye, especially if your cat's fur is dark.

Although this method can work, there is a better method. Place some white material under the cat -- perhaps a rag, some paper towels, or some white paper -- this will contrast well with the dark color of the fleas and the flea dirt. Now, stroke the cat's fur.

Tips for Checking the Signs of Fleas in Cats

Fleas can be anywhere on the cat but tend to hang out on the back, just in front of the tail. Pet the cat's fur or use a fine-toothed comb, such as a flea comb, to see whether fleas or flea dirt falls onto the white material. Because fleas consume blood, moistening the gathered flea dirt and wiping it will reveal red streaks.

How to Check if Fleas Are Still Around

Even if you treat your cat for fleas, you want to know whether fleas are still around. To check an area for fleas, you can use a light trap. Place a bowl of soapy water near a lamp on the floor. Because fleas jump toward the light, check the bowl the following morning to see whether any fleas drowned in the soapy water. Finding out whether the fleas are present is the first step toward getting rid of them.

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