Black and white cat laying on owner's laptop.

What to do when Fluffy has fleas

Get tips on how to spot fleas and what to do if you find them

Fluffy hasn’t been acting like herself in weeks. She’s stopped purring. And instead of curling up in a lap and dozing, she’s constantly scratching her ears. And she’s grooming so much so that there’s the beginning of a bald patch.

Those are just a few of the major signs of a cat with fleas. If your cat shows any of these signs1, it’s possible that fleas have taken up residence in her fur — and most likely your home as well:

Scratching around the ears

• Excessive grooming

• Small dark insects burrowed into or jumping off the pet

• Brown-black specks on the cat’s fur

• Flea eggs (tiny white grains)

• Bald spots

• Agitation

Spring and summer are prime times for flea infestations. These parasites thrive in warm, humid climates at temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees. Prolific breeders, a female flea can lay 40-50 eggs a day. When mature, half those eggs (the female half) can produce up to 20,000 new fleas in two months’ time.2

Cats and dogs aren’t the only ones who suffer once a flea hitches a ride. They can propel themselves onto us, in our hair and our bedding, carpets, and furniture cushions.

If you suspect your pet has fleas, consult your veterinarian.

Protecting your pet from fleas

The flea life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.3 The good news: With the right prevention, you can eliminate fleas from your cat. Fortunately, there are many prescription flea-prevention products available.

In the past, pet parents could only rely on traditional flea collars, shampoos, and sprays. Today’s products are safer, more convenient, and more effective.

BRAVECTO® (fluralaner topical solution) for Cats is perfectly suited to break the flea life cycle. It works for up to 12 weeks* in a single dose.2 Adult fleas lay eggs shortly after hitching a ride on your cat. The eggs then hatch into larva and infiltrate your carpets, floorboards, under furniture, etc. Larvae turn into pupae before emerging from their cocoons and turning into adult fleas3. This whole cycle takes several months, but with a long-lasting product like Bravecto, you can stop fleas dead in their tracks and break their lifecycle before they make your cat’s life miserable – killing 100% of fleas in 8 hours.2

Getting rid of fleas in your home

In case there are still fleas in the developmental life stages in your home, thorough cleaning is wise.

Do an in-depth cleaning of areas where fleas like to breed. Wash rugs, bedding, and pet bedding. Vacuum and sweep floors and carpeted areas along the baseboards. Keep up with your vacuuming and sanitation practices until you’re certain all fleas are gone.4


  1. What do fleas look like on cats? PetMD.
  2. Bravecto® (fluralaner topical solution) for Cats prescribing information. Merck Animal Health 2022.
  3. Fleas.
  4. Getting rid of fleas.


Bravecto has not been shown to be effective for 12 weeks’ duration in kittens less than 6 months of age. Bravecto Topical for Cats: The most common adverse reactions recorded in clinical trials were vomiting, itching, diarrhea, hair loss, decreased appetite, lethargy, and scabs/ulcerated lesions. For topical use only. Avoid oral ingestion. The safety of Bravecto has not been established in breeding, pregnant and lactating cats. Use with caution in cats with a history of neurologic abnormalities. Neurologic abnormalities have been reported in cats receiving Bravecto, even in cats without a history of neurologic abnormalities.

*BRAVECTO® (fluralaner topical solution) for Cats prevents flea infestations and kills fleas and ticks (Asian longhorned ticks and black-legged ticks) for 12 weeks and American dog ticks for 8 weeks.

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