Bed bugs are little nuisances that not only feed on the blood of humans but on pretty much any warm-blooded animal. This includes sleeping mammals such as cats that many people like to keep in their house. When a bed bug infestation gets out of hand, your cat can get bitten several times per day.
These insects spend most of their time around your bed and also around your cat’s bed. They can’t wait until both of you lie down for a good night’s sleep so that they can feed on your blood. In this article, we are going to discuss the dangers that bed bugs pose to your cat and what to do about them.
Do Bed Bugs Bite Cats?
Bed bugs are going to feed on the blood of a cat if it is the closest target to them. Although fleas, ticks, mites and lice might choose to live on cats, bed bugs are not going to live in their fur. However, they are going to take the opportunity to feed on your cat despite the fact that your pet has a flea collar on.
As long as it is a warm-blooded animal or any sleeping mammal, a bed bug is going to bite it. Cats definitely fall into both these categories. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide that cats produce while breathing.
Do Bed Bugs Feed on Cats?
Although bed bugs prefer not to live in a cat’s fur, they are certainly going to feed on the pet. After they are done feeding on its blood, they leave and hide. Bed bugs are not only good hitchhikers but they also take it as an opportunity to feed on the carrier if possible.
This can happen repeatedly, as bed bugs might be able to find an ideal hiding place near your cat’s bed. This way, they can occasionally feed on your pet when it is sleeping or resting.
Can Cats Carry Bed Bugs?
After bed bugs get their portion of blood, they leave before being carried to another location. Therefore, your cat is not going to spread them in the house. These insects are well-known as hitchhikers, yet studies have shown that they don’t prefer living in fur.
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They also prefer lower temperatures than the warm body of a cat. Therefore, the chances of bed bugs living in your pet’s fur are very low. This is not to say that they can’t live very close to your cat’s usual resting spot.
They can quickly learn that your pet can provide them with fresh blood on a regular basis. This is when they usually settle to a spot that is as near to your cat’s bed as possible.
Can Cats Carry Bed Bug Eggs?
It is not impossible that your cat carries bed bugs in its fur but it is extremely unlikely. For them, it is not ideal at all to live in a fur of a warm animal. Since they only prefer cats when it comes to feeding, it is unlikely that they are going to lay their eggs there.
Although the chances are low, many of the unexpected things can happen during a bed bug infestation that got out of hand. If there is a large number of these insects feeding on your cat on a regular basis, then you might find a couple of eggs in its fur here and there.
This can happen while your cat is sleeping and the bugs have plenty of time to feed and stay there for a bit.
Do Cats Eat Bed Bugs?
One of the reasons why people absolutely love to keep cats in their homes is their inclination to play with a wide range of things. These are usually small things that they can move with their paws and bed bugs fall into this category.
If they spot a bed bug, cats are going to try to catch it and play with it. However, your furry pet is not going to eat these insects. Cats are rather picky as well and they are not going to eat everything that is in front of them, even if it might be considered as edible by other pets.
Although your cat might try to eat a bed bug once, he is quickly going to learn that it is not a smart thing to do. Your pet is going to realize that these insects don’t taste good neither smell good.
Can Bed Bugs Live in Cat Litter?
There is little to no chance that bed bugs are going to live in the litter of your cat. You can rest assured that you are not going to find any of those insects in the litter, except maybe dead ones. Although there are numerous types of cat litter, they share the same characteristic of being especially dry.
Also, pet owners normally clean their cat’s litter on a daily basis. Bed bugs usually do their best to stay away from dry environments and it is not something that can attract them in any way. However, they are likely to find a decent, cool spot near your cat that can be somewhere near the litter.
Can Cats Detect Bed Bugs?
Cats can detect the smallest of things around them, especially if those things are moving. You can see them playing with tiny insects outside on the lawn and many cat toys are designed to move and keep pets excited.
A bed bug can keep your pet just as excited if he spots them in the house. Your cat is going to play with the insect, trying to catch it until he loses interest. It is easy for them to detect bed bugs, although they are likely not going to eat it.
The horrible smell and taste of the bed bug make it obvious for them that it is not something they should eat.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Cats?
Bed bugs in your house are inevitably going to find a way to get close to your cat and bite it. Therefore, in order to get rid of bed bugs on your pet, you need to get rid of all of these insects in your house. Getting rid of bed bugs in only one room doesn’t work because they are really good at spreading.
First, you need to grab your cat’s bed and clean it thoroughly. Chances are that bed bugs hide either underneath the bed or somewhere around it so it is best to clean the whole area. Make sure to wash the cat’s bed and dry it on high temperature.
- Related: How to Kill Bed Bugs?
Then you can continue with cleaning the whole house including furnishings, furniture and everything textile-based. Bed bugs are likely to spend the most time around your bed. Buying box spring encasements and mattress encasements are great ways to eliminate the problem.
It will provide isolation and together with the cleaning, you can guarantee that most of the bed bugs will be gone. You can deal with the rest of them with a steam cleaner or a spray specifically made for killing bed bugs.
How do You Treat a Cat for Bed Bugs?
The best thing to do is to keep your cat’s bed and its surroundings as clean as possible. The thing about bed bugs is that they are not going to spend much time in your cat’s fur. A warm and furry animal is not an ideal place for them to stay at and they are rather going to find hiding places near it.
Bed bugs tend to spread out in the house in general. The first step is to wash your pet’s bed and then put it in the drying machine on a high setting. Meanwhile, you can clean the room your cat usually sleeps in. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution because bed bugs from other rooms are going to come in eventually.
This is why you need to get rid of them in the whole house. First, you need to deal with all the rooms where bed bugs might hang around except your bed. Your mattress is likely going to be the spot where most of these insects hide at, waiting for you to lay down at night.
You can use sprays for killing bed bugs or a steam cleaner which can kill bed bugs in the tiniest gaps and hiding places.
Will Bed Bugs Spray Hurt My Cat?
It is best to keep your cat away as you are treating the infested area using a spray. There is no need to use the spray on your cat, simply because bed bugs are very unlikely to find in cat fur. If you are not sure whether the pesticide in the spray is safe for cats or not, ask a professional exterminator.
Most of these sprays contain pyrethrin, which is not harmful to cats but should be used with caution. Keep in mind that these sprays might pose a bigger danger to your pet than the bed bugs themselves.