Getting Rid of Fleas - For Cats Only! - Cat Info Detective

Getting Rid of Fleas – For Cats Only!

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Hi there, Skye Blake here with some ideas for getting rid of fleas. Don’t ya just hate those things!?

They bite, and it’s really itchy, those pesky little nuisances!

paw prints coming in from a distance

If your cat has fleas, don’t panic.  They’re just part of life with us animals.

Getting rid of fleas isn’t always easy, so I’ve snooped out ways to deal with them.

tabby cat scratching; getting rid of fleas

If you routinely check your cat, use preventives, and clean your house, you should be able to keep them under control.

The information here is for general knowledge… always see your vet with questions about your cat’s individual needs. 

Who Is Skye Blake?

Skye Blake-updated, white background

Skye Blake, Cat Info Detective, is a curious cat researcher (not a veterinarian) who sniffs out expert, reliable sources about cats, studies their information, then passes it on to you! 

Sometimes there’s not enough evidence for easy answers, so Skye gives you all sides, explains the situation as thoroughly and clearly as possible, and links you to experts on each page.

All sources are given at the bottom of each page so you can do more snooping. 

Fleas Are a Problem Because…

Tabby/white cat outside scratching chin; getting rid of fleas
  • the saliva causes itchy, bumpy skin problems like dermatitis and allergies… ugh
  • they can sicken young, small or immune compromised cats much worse than healthy ones
  • can cause anemia in cats from sucking blood… nasty little vampires!
flea dirt
  • cat flea tapeworms (dipylidium caninum) can get into a cat by swallowing an infected flea, such as when we groom our wonderful coats. 
  • Tapeworms can cause intestinal blockage and vomiting… yuck!
  • they’re a nuisance to get rid of… “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” sure is true here!

Signs of a Kitty With Fleas

Black & White Cat Scratching - fleas

Signs your cat might have fleas and needs your help…

  • constant, obsessive grooming… poor thing can lick herself bald
  • scratching terribly, which can lead to infected cuts requiring antibiotics… how miserable!

Tell Me About Getting Rid of Fleas on My Cat

person with question mark; how to get rid of fleas

Start by Answering Some Important Questions

Yes, there are more than a few questions, BUT... they’ll really help you find the best way for getting rid of fleas in your household.

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, so you’ll be glad you took a few minutes to answer the questions below.

cat in street

After that, you’ll have a better understanding of your true situation and will be clearer on what you need to do. Your beloved kitty is worth it!

If it’s really urgent, there are a couple things you can do right away to get started.

Check them out at “Ways to Get Rid of Fleas on Healthy Cats!

There’s more to it though, so be sure you get back here to see what types of treatments are available for getting rid of fleas on your furry friend!

sphynx cat looking stern

Your answers make a big difference in getting rid of fleas!

Your lifestyle is important, among other things, but above all, knowing the age, size, and health of your precious one is critical in keeping them safe.

There are all sorts of options available and it can be quite confusing, so, let’s get started…

Do You Know What a Flea Is?

Photo of a flea under magnifying glass

Do you understand the life cycle of fleas? Do you know you have to treat for more than just the ones you see?1 

There are flea eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults… gross!

They lay their eggs in carpets, bedding and all the places we love too.

If you don’t get rid of all of these, new ones will hatch, and we’ll never get rid of them…horrors!

For more details about fleas, check “What Is a Flea? What Does It Look Like?

How’s Your Cat’s Health?

Cartoon injured cat

How Well Do You Know Your Cat’s Health?  

A healthy cat with a strong immune system doesn’t attract many fleas… we need to be in fightin’ shape!

Does Your Cat Have a Weak Immune System? Liver or Kidney Problems?

A sick cat can easily get a life-threatening infestation of fleas.

sick cat holding thermometer and pills

Parasites are attracted to sick animals and, as a result, make them even sicker and kill them.

We’ve got to watch out for our weaker fur babies!

Check “How to Kill Fleas on Kittens, Senior & Sick Cats” for more…

Does Your Kitty Have Allergies?

ginger cat in a blanket

This includes allergies to medications, flea dermatitis, food… who needs more reasons to itch?

Discover more about food allergies at “Cat Food Allergies & Sensitivities

How Old Is Your Cat?

old senior cat

You have to be extra careful with kittens and senior cats.

They have weaker immune systems and we sure don’t want to hurt them with flea killers.

Keep my kitty buddies safe!

Check “How to Kill Fleas on Kittens, Senior & Sick Cats” for more…

Is Your Cat Hairless, Shorthaired, Longhaired?

Sphynx cat after flea spray

This will affect what products, if any, are appropriate for your little buddy.

Is She Pregnant?  

ginger tabby-pregnant

Certain chemicals and “natural” oils can’t be used on pregnant cats…they can hurt the babies.

What’s Your Cat’s Attitude?

Wet kitten

Does he or she explore outside or stay indoors?  Prefer lazing in the sunshine all day or zooming up and down your curtains?

Will Your Cat Tolerate a Bath or Collar?

tabby cat being bathed, groomed; flea treatment

 If yes, you have more options.  If he’ll claw your face and arms to shreds, forget shampoos and collars!

What Scents Does Your Cat Like, Tolerate, or Hate?

Essential oil, lime, mint, wintergreen - oils, fleas

No matter what the scent, if it’s too strong, no cat will tolerate it in a shampoo, collar or anything else.

Would you want to walk around smelling like something that makes you gag?

Other Pets

 Are there other pets in the house (dogs, birds, reptiles, etc.)?

doberman dog, kitten looking at each other; getting rid of fleas on all animals in household

All animals in the household must be treated for fleas or you’ll never get rid of them. 

They all will be affected by any products you use, so you must find the best method for each pet. 

Cats can become sick from dog flea products, even from licking it off the dog…  NEVER PUT DOG PRODUCTS ON OR NEAR A CAT!

What’s Your Lifestyle & Attitude?

office worker

What’s your lifestyle?

Are you home frequently or constantly working/traveling?

Do you want to deal with this yourself or pay somebody else to do it (vet, groomer, house cleaning service)?

Where do you live?

thermometer-heat; temperature affects fleas

Do you have hot summers & cold winters?  Warm to hot tropical climate year-round? 

Fleas love hot weather, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant in warm climates.

Any allergies or sensitivities in your family?

woman sneezing - allergies - litter; fleas

You don’t want to make the situation worse for anyone.

What kind of budget do you have?

dollars bills with gold $; money is factor when getting rid of fleas

You can find things to fit what you can afford to spend because treatments range from practically nothing (vacuuming) to very expensive (topical).

Have You Partnered with a Good Vet?

veterinarian getting rid of fleas on a kitten

Do you have a good veterinarian to partner with to deal with any problems?

You should already have one if you have any pet.  If not, get one now! 

A good vet, whether traditional or holistic, is your best support system.

Discover more about vets at “What Does a Veterinarian Do?

Do you follow instructions well?

girl reading directions to get rid of fleas

If not, you should get somebody to help you do any flea treatment on your buddy, such as a groomer or vet technician.

Use Your Answers to Find What Will Work Best for Getting Rid of Fleas

Grey & white adolescent cat

Now that you’ve answered the questions, you’re prepared to find what works best for you, so it’s important to open your mind to a few things…

Don’t assume that “chemical” is bad and “natural” is good!

Set aside any thought that using one or the other makes you a good or bad person.

siberian cat in grass

Being a responsible person means making the best informed decisions you can in your situation.  

Therefore, whatever you decide, be confident in it and own it.

Most people think a “natural” product is better and safer than a “chemical” one, or a homemade remedy is safe to use when treating a cat for fleas. 

2 tuxedo cats looking up at person

As a result, they casually misuse these products and end up at the vet’s office with a sick cat.

Instead of getting rid of just the fleas, they’ve gotten rid of their kitty, too!

Think about it… arsenic and lead are natural and, like everything else, useful if handled carefully with proper knowledge, but deadly when misused. 

comfy orange tabby cat; getting rid of fleas

Similarly, “chemical” or “synthetic (man made)” products are safe to use when handled properly, but dangerous when improperly or carelessly applied.

So, keeping that in mind, let’s check “Ways to Get Rid of Fleas on Healthy Cats!” next to see what’s good for getting rid of fleas on your favorite feline.

Discover more about fleas, ticks, and treatments at “Cat Health“.


Sources used on this website are either primary or secondary. 

Primary sources are always preferable and have the most reliable information because they’re original and directly referenced.

Scientific abstracts and data are good examples of primary sources.

Secondary sources are weaker because they usually consist of opinions or articles that give no sources of their own, although sometimes they refer to primary sources.

When I use secondary sources, most are those with some authority, such as veterinarian or cat behaviorist books and articles.

List of Sources

“Die Fleas! Die!…Freaky Cheap Flea Control”, by Paul Wheaton, Paul Wheaton Permaculture

“Fleas” by David J. Shetlar and Jennifer E. Andon, Ohio State University Extension, Department of Entomology, January 5, 2012, HYG208

“How to Choose the Safest Flea Treatment for Your Cat”, by Jennifer Coates, DVM, PetMD

“How To Get Rid Of Fleas – 7 Natural Ways to Banish Fleas on Your Pets and in Your Home”, by admin,, February 13, 2015

Updated November 15, 2023

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