Are dog and cat fleas the same?

Are dog and cat fleas the same?

The pets that we have are the most adorable and cutest creatures on Earth to us. 

We believe that only the best is good enough for your dog. There are countless articles on the internet that provide misinformation about caring for your beloved dog.

This week the dog experts from Proud Dog Parents have some tips for you to combat flea irritation in your beloved friend.

Are dog and cat fleas the same?

And no matter if you have a dog or a cat, you want to make sure that they are protected and safe at all times. And being on the point of providing protection, how can we forget the fleas that can be a significant threat to the life of animals, be it a cat or a dog. As these fleas are sucking the blood, they are also spreading deadly diseases to animals. Thus in the pursuit of removing fleas from pets, one often asks, are dog and cat fleas the same? 

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Are dog and cat fleas the same?

The short and sweet answer to ‘are dog and cat fleas the same?’ is no, they both have different fleas.

What are fleas:

Fleas attach themselves to a host and live off them by sucking their blood and while doing so, they spread diseases. Another fact about fleas is that cat fleas are more common than dog fleas. This is evident as five out of ten cats have fleas on their skin at any given time. Research conducted in the US about fleas informs that 93% of the fleas found on the dog are cat fleas. Even when one knows that these fleas are of the cat, one cannot differentiate between them as they both look alike and only under the speculation of the microscope can one know the difference between the two.

After knowing that dogs have more cat fleas than dog fleas, one question, why do the dogs have cat fleas in abundance and the dog fleas at a minuscule level? The answer to this question is, cat fleas are not host specific and can take their blood meals from any animal, while dog fleas are host specific and are only found on dogs.

Fleas also transmit tapeworms, another carrier of diseases and they prey on the host’s food. The tapeworm enters the host body when the dog/cat swallows the flea when they are grooming.

There are more than 2000 species of fleas and among them, there are only a number of fleas that are beneficial for pets.

A female flea can give birth to 50 eggs laying around the house like on carpet or other areas in a day. Then these eggs hatch in two days and they also cause problems for the humans as they also prey on the human blood.

Symptom of fleas:

So how can you identify if your pooch or cat is suffering from fleas? If your pet is suffering from fleas, you can tell if they have excessive itching, red skin, or have developed flea dermatitis.

The danger of fleas:

Now that we know that the answer to are dog and cat fleas the same? What are the dangers of fleas and what can our beloved pet incur from them? Here is a list of things that can tell you about the dangers of fleas.

The danger of fleas

1. Tapeworm infection:

When the flea is in the form of a larva, it swallows the tapeworm, which causes the tapeworm to develop inside them. This flea is then accidentally swallowed by the pet when it is being groomed and thus, this tapeworm is transferred to the pet.

2. Flea Dermatitis:

Flea saliva has a localized allergic reaction in its saliva and the bites of the fleas can cause skin damage, irritation, skin infection, itching and scratching. This is in case your pet has sensitive skin. In contrast, if your beloved pet does not have sensitive skin, it may not show any reaction to the flea biting.

3. Anemia:

Anemia happens when the host loses blood and the remaining blood does not have enough red blood cells to transmit the oxygen to the body tissue. Such a thing occurs when the amount of fleas is in abundance. Weak or sick puppies are especially at risk for amnesia.

Apart from these diseases, the flea can also transmit diseases like bartonellosis, typhus and plague.


As aforementioned, most of the solutions you find in the store have more to do with making a profit than solving your problem. Let us tell you; you can solve the issues of fleas at your house; with homemade remedies. Thus, here are some of the remedies that you can prepare at home to get your beloved pet free of any flea.

In this article on ‘are dog and cat fleas the same?’ we have come to know that dogs have 93% of the cat fleas, meaning that you can remove the majority of the fleas by removing the cat fleas. However, these remedies will remove every kind of flea, be it a dog flea or a cat flea. And so, without further ado, let's jump right into it!

1. Combing:
Combing your pet once a week with a comb dipped in a mild soap and water mixture will help filter out the fleas from the pet’s coat. You can also dip the comb in hot water to kill the fleas.

2. Defleaing your house:
As aforementioned, the fleas can lay 50 eggs in one day, and these eggs hatch in two days. The fleas’ eggs are laid around the house and thus, the most plausible solution will be defleaing your house and halting further growth of fleas.

3. Baking soda:
You can use baking soda along with the vacuum to increase the effectiveness of the vacuum. To work, you need to spread baking soda on the carpet and the furniture, then rub it onto the carpet and furniture and thoroughly vacuum. Immediately empty the content of the vacuum.

4. Citric Acid:
Citric acid is the most effective way to kill fleas and that is why lemons are famous for fighting against fleas. However, one might say that citric acid can also be bad for the pet’s skin, so how can we avoid it? Worry not, for we have a solution that will make the fleas go without hurting your pet. All you need to do is take two lemons and steep them in water for a few hours. Drain the water in a bottle and with this water, work your way through the pet’s coat.

In some cases, the pet does not like to dip in the water or does not want water to be sprayed on him. In this case, you can dip the comb in this solution and comb your pet’s coat with it.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Another easy remedy you can use to get rid of fleas is the use of apple cider vinegar. All you need to do is mix ACV in water in a ratio of 2:1 and spray the water onto the pet. Although this will not kill the flea, it will make them jump out of the skin. You need to make sure that you have a vacuum to clean the fallen fleas and you also need to clean your house to make sure that no fleas are remaining.

6. Herbal flea powder using rosemary:
Rosemary is also one of the products that can help you in removing fleas. To make a herbal powder, all you need to do is gather rosemary, fennel, peppermint,  rue and wormwood in a pestle and mortar and grind them together into a powder. You can use this powder to sprinkle it on the carpet, pet bedding and other areas that can have fleas in them.

7. Salt:
Have you ever sprinkled salt on worms? They get dehydrated and eventually die. The same can be done with fleas. All you need to do is take some finely ground salt and sprinkle it all over the carpets and sheets. You then leave the salt for two days and vacuum later. This method works great as a flea repellent.

8. Using flea-control plants:
Yes, some plants can help you get rid of fleas pestering around your pet and causing it trouble. These plants have oils, scents, compounds, and chemicals that are not favorable to fleas, so they tend to stay away. These plants are:

1. Lavender
2. Pennyroyal
3. Chrysanthemums
4. Spearmint 

What you should know about anti-flea products

As mentioned above, there are many treatments for fleas in dogs. Fortunately, most treatments are safe for your dog. However, the experts at Proud Dog Parents have also seen many products that are bad for your dog. Dogs can get sick from these products. Therefore, be careful before using any anti flea treatment.

The most common anti-flea drug is pyrethrum-based. You can find on the product label the means of the anti flea treatment. This is a safe agent that have an effective effect against fleas.

Not sure if the anti-flea treatment is toxic? Then always consult a certified veterinarian.

Recognize the signs after a toxic flea treatment

Have you used an anti flea treatment and are worried that it is toxic? Then pay close attention to your dog's signals. Is your dog suddenly very weak 1 to 10 hours after the treatment? Doesn't he want to do anything anymore, has small pupils and feels very weak? Chances are he is suffering from the toxins in the anti-flea treatment.

Natural ways to prevent fleas in your dog

As you know by now, many toxic anti-flea drugs lead to health problems for your dog. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to safely control fleas.

Use the following tips to keep fleas away naturally:

Tip 1: Prevention is better than cure
Comb your dog regularly to remove fleas from its coat.

Tip 2: Wash his sleeping area
Dogs take fleas with them, but so do children. So make sure fleas can't settle quietly in the dog bed. Vacuum his dog bed regularly so that fleas cannot reproduce.

Tip 3: Make sure larvae are kept out of the garden. In the garden center you have many natural ways to keep fleas out of the garden. After all, dogs walk through the garden a lot. So make sure fleas are banned from the garden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can cat fleas get on dogs? 

The dog experts at Proud Dog Parents often get asked if cats can transfer fleas to dogs.
Cat fleas are a different type of flea than dog fleas. Despite being a different species, cat fleas can jump to dogs.

Q2. Who gets more fleas dogs or cats? 

Recently, a study was done on flea-infected domestic animals. From the study, 812 cats and 662 dogs were examined for flea infections. The result was that 28.1% of cats and 14.4% of dogs carried fleas. 

Q3. Can fleas live in human hair? 

The majority of fleas cannot live in human hair. There are about 1900 flea species of which only a few can reproduce in human hair. 

Q4. Can dogs use cat flea treatment?

There are many wild stories on the internet that you can use an anti flea collar for cats for dogs. The experts at Proud Dog Parents do not recommend using a cat collar for a dog collar. Cats are much more sensitive than dogs, and therefore it is not recommended to exchange anti-flea collars.


In this article on ‘are dog and cat fleas the same?’ we have discovered that they are indeed different fleas, but the dog fleas are at a minuscule level and more than 93% of the dog fleas are cat fleas as they do not host-specific. We also went through the dangers that fleas can inflict on your beloved pet. Lastly, we discussed the remedies/ways to deal with fleas.

We believe that only the best is good enough for your dog. There are countless articles on the Internet that provide misinformation about caring for your beloved dog.

This week our dog experts have some tips for you to combat flea irritation in your beloved friend.

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