- Do cats need flea treatment in winter?
- 1- Fleas do not die in winter
- 2- A single flea left alive in your home can reignite the infestation
- 3- Fleas migrate easily from one cat to another
- 4- Flea infestation can come from outside
- 5- Cats can get fleas from neighbor pets and local wildlife
- 6- Moving to a new home or buying a new used car that may also contain fleas or eggs
- 7- Fleas can become invisible on your dog and other bigger pets
- 8- Your cat is more exposed to other pets during the winter and spring
- 9- Fleas live for over 100 days and keep breeding in warm spaces
- 10- Fleas can stay alive even under the snow
- Final Thoughts
Yes, cats should have flea treatment during winter because not only fleas and their eggs can withstand very low temperatures, but also because they can stay alive without a host in your home or be carried and easily spread from another pet to your cat.
Do cats need flea treatment in winter?
Cats get fleas all year round and you should treat your cat for fleas even in the middle of winter. Indoor cats may only need to be treated once every two months during the cold season, especially if you live in the city and your cat is not exposed to other pets that could transmit fleas or ticks.
Here are 10 reasons why you should continue to treat your cat against fleas even in winter and when temperatures are very low.
1- Fleas do not die in winter
Contrary to popular belief, cats may get sick and even die from fleas during this season, and fleas do not die in winter and can survive even when exposed to very low temperatures. Adult fleas can stay alive even when exposed to temperatures between 33°F and 46° for 10 to 20 days.
Adult fleas can also survive for 5 days to a week in freezing temperatures, making infestation very likely even during winter.
On the other hand, flea eggs only die once exposed for several days to a constant temperature below 55.4°F (13°C).
This means that if there is a single flea egg hidden in your home, it can hatch during the winter and jump on your cat at any time, grow up without you noticing it, and start laying eggs as soon as it becomes an adult.
2- A single flea left alive in your home can reignite the infestation
The flea life cycle contains 4 phases, egg, larva, cocoon, and adult and it would only take one flea or egg remaining hidden in your home to start the infestation again.
3- Fleas migrate easily from one cat to another
It is very likely that you will receive a visit from a friend with his or her pet even during the winter, at Christmas for example. If this other pet has fleas or even just one adult flea or even larvae or eggs in your apartment your cat to be infested again.
4- Flea infestation can come from outside
Fleas can stay alive during the winter in places like your car, a friend’s house, or even on a pet sitter’s clothes.
You or your cat can easily bring home one or more fleas, and that’s all it takes for the infestation to return to your environment, and your cat must be treated to prevent it.
Your friends can also carry a flea or their eggs when they come to visit you.
5- Cats can get fleas from neighbor pets and local wildlife
Even if your home is flea-free, the infestation can come from your neighbor or even from wildlife, such as a bird that scurries onto your balcony or a squirrel, rat, raccoon, or wild rabbit that scratches and drops fleas or their larvae at your front door.
Your cat can also bring fleas from a visit to the veterinarian.
Fleas can come into your home and onto your cat in many ways, even during the winter, and this is reason enough to give your cat flea treatment even during the winter.
6- Moving to a new home or buying a new used car that may also contain fleas or eggs
Your previous home may have been treated for fleas, but you can’t be sure if you’re moving into a new home that may contain fleas and their larvae.
So why not protect your cat from this parasite by giving him a preventive treatment?
7- Fleas can become invisible on your dog and other bigger pets
If you also have a dog at home, you should know that it is very difficult to be sure that your dog has no fleas or a few flea eggs on him despite the treatment.
If you have another pet living with your cat, you should definitely continue the flea treatment during the winter and fall to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
8- Your cat is more exposed to other pets during the winter and spring
We all tend to think that our cat is protected from fleas during the winter, but the opposite is often true.
The reason is that we tend to have more visitors during the winter and fall and our guests often bring their pets with them.
For example, I don’t go anywhere without my dog and on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa or Christmas, I often take him with me to family gatherings and it’s the same for almost everyone because these are holidays that we share with our pet friends.
It is therefore wiser to treat your cat preventively against fleas especially during the winter because it is during this time of the year that we receive the most visits and pets from our friends or cousins who may carry these fleas or their relatives and leave them at home when they leave.
9- Fleas live for over 100 days and keep breeding in warm spaces
In reality, winter only arrives outside and our homes remain heated during this period. A single adult flea still alive in your carpet or another warm area of your home will start laying eggs as soon as it jumps on your cat and takes its first meal.
This adult flea will quickly begin laying up to 10 eggs after each meal (50 eggs/day), these eggs can fall to the ground and hatch in less than 10 days and that’s more than enough time for your cat to be infested with fleas throughout the winter.
10- Fleas can stay alive even under the snow
The other reason you should treat your cat for fleas during the cold season is that fleas can stay alive even under the snow.
Fleas can get into the ground to a depth where the temperature is still bearable and all your dog has to do is turn over the soil in your backyard to dig them up and bring them back to his paws and they will soon end up on your cat’s back.
Even if fleas are not very active or frequently breeding during the winter, they are still very likely to find their way to your cat.
It is therefore highly recommended that you continue to treat your cat against this parasite during the winter, fall, and all year round to prevent infestation and to avoid the problems that fleas can create for your cat and even for you.