Fleas are no walk in the park for anyone -- especially not for the poor animal dealing with their inconvenience. Not only can the bothersome external parasites cause your indoor cat to scratch like mad, they can even sometimes trigger noticeable behavior changes. Indoor cats can get fleas easily, whether someone brings the pests into the home or they come into contact with other pets that go outside.
Fidgety and Antsy Cat
If your cutie normally is the definition of "cool cat," and then all of a sudden becomes a fidgety, antsy mess who cannot seem to sit still for more than a second, investigate the possibility of fleas. His nonstop and frenetic movement could be happening because he doesn't know how to contain the intense discomfort that the fleas are bringing him -- poor thing.
Cranky and Irritable
Not many things can be more disconcerting than behavioral swings in your fur ball, and fleas certainly can cause them. If your cat is acting funny and seems easily irritable or grouchy, don't just chalk it up to a random bad mood. He doesn't feel 100 percent, and it's causing him to behave in a funny manner, whether it involves rapidly dashing in the other direction every time you approach or even hissing.
If your cat is usually a bundle of unbridled energy and vitality, and out of nowhere seems to prefer sleeping and lounging the day away, it could be a symptom of flea anemia. Fleas don't only lead to itchiness, they also consume blood, and sometimes even in big quantities. One medical ailment that arises due to insufficient hemoglobin or red blood cells is anemia. If you have any reason to believe that your cat is suffering from this, take him to the veterinarian immediately, as the condition can sometimes be deadly.
Staying Away From Certain Areas
If your cat flatly refuses to enter into a specific room of your house and you can't figure out why, fleas could just be the frustrating culprit. Carpeting collects the tiny nuisances, and if your cat wants to stay away from your living room in favor of the tiled kitchen, it's because he probably doesn't want to enhance the disagreeable feelings of his already itchy little body.
Other Key Symptoms
Apart from behavior and actions, other symptoms of fleas can also help you figure out what's going on. Apart from severe itching and scratching, other indications of fleas include missing patches of fur on the coat, dark blots all over your pet's coat and rash development.
- Purdue University Medical Entomology: Fleas
- Handbook of Laboratory Animals; Harry G. Herrlein
- CatChannel.com: 10 Signs of Cat Fleas
- ASPCA: Fleas
- Roblin Animal Hospital: Fleas in Cats
- The Merck Veterinary Manual: Overview of Fleas and Flea Allergy Dermatitis
- Guide to a Healthy Cat; Elaine Wexler-Mitchell
- Photo Credit George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images