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As one of the more common types of pests out there, fleas are both a nuisance and a real problem in your home. In Los Angeles, where the weather is good enough year-round to allow fleas to live most of the year, these problems can be even more prominent. Here’s how you can avoid fleas, even if you own cats.

Where do fleas come from?

Fleas come into your home in many different ways. If you have outdoor cats, your cats might bring fleas in from the outdoors. They may also come in through an infected piece of clothing or furniture. If you have other pests, like rats and mice, fleas can also come in on them.

Are fleas really a problem?

Fleas are definitely a problem, and if you’re experiencing an infestation in your home, you must fix it as soon as possible. In the same way that ticks can transmit disease, there are also plenty of flea-borne diseases, which can impact both humans and pets, including cats. Additionally, because fleas are parasites that feed on blood, especially severe infestations can even cause anemia.

Signs to look out for

Fleas can be a big problem in Los Angeles, but because they’re so small, your first sign of a flea infestation usually won’t be seeing a flea. Here are a few signs that your cat may have fleas:

  • Itching and biting

By far the most common symptom to notice first is that your cat is itching and biting at specific points on their skin. Flea bites are extremely itchy, even if your cat isn’t allergic, and the only recourse a cat has for that itchiness is to try and itch it with claws and teeth.

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  • Red, inflamed skin

Both the flea bite and the itching afterward can lead to red and inflamed skin. In some more severe cases, the itching can even open a wound that you would need to seek treatment for. This skin inflammation is usually more obvious in cats with shorter hair.

  • Hair falling out

In some cases, itching can lead to your cat’s hair falling out. Hair falling out can be a symptom of a variety of different conditions, and it’s always a good idea to talk to a veterinarian about it. But if you notice it along with these other symptoms, it’s probably a flea infestation.

What to do after you’ve confirmed fleas

If you know your cat has fleas, book an online virtual appointment with a veterinarian in the Los Angeles area about getting medication for your cat. This is especially important for cats, as they’re usually at a higher risk for poisoning and other negative side effects from over-the-counter flea medications. If the fleas have invaded the rest of your home, you can then also contact an exterminator.

Catch flea infestations early

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 Los Angeles’ sunny weather may make it more likely that you’ll eventually run into fleas, these tips and tricks will make it more likely that you’ll get out of it unscathed. With some basic knowledge of fleas and how they show up on your cat, you can catch the problem long before it becomes a full-blown infestation, helping you and your cat stay healthy.