No, cats are not a source of shelter for Cimex Lectularius, the lesser known Latin name for the increasingly common bed bug. Nor they are a mode of transportation for bed bugs.
Bed bugs do not live on cats, or dogs, or even people; despite how much they LOVE people. Bed bugs want to be close to people, not our pets. They love to live in environment’s where people are because human blood is a bed bug’s preferred choice for nutrition. That’s why bed bugs are a problem in hotels, but not kennels. 82% of hotels in the US were treated for bed bugs in 2018. If a bed bug cannot find a human host for their daily meals but have located another warm-blooded mammal, such as a cat, they will feed on the cat to survive. So, while Jinxy may bring home a lovely feathered friend to display on your pillow, he is not bringing home or carrying, the bed bugs. Rather, people are the ones bringing home the bed bugs to our pets!
Do Bed Bugs Bite Cats?
Bed bugs will not bite cats necessarily, since a furry coating is not their first choice. Bed bugs can however, be found on a cat. Fortunately, the bugs are not fans of our furry friends and will not attack them. They will eventually crawl away after without attempting to feed on the animal. Since bed bugs do not nest or lay eggs on a host, it is unlikely you will find bed bugs in your pet cat’s fur.
How can I treat my cat for bed bugs?
Treating your four-legged feline for bed bugs means soothing symptoms affecting Jinxy’s health brought on by bed bug bites. It does not mean eliminating the bed bug problem while simultaneously alleviating your pet’s discomforts brought on by pest bites; as is expected from other treatments used for different pests, like fleas. Therefore, the use of flea collars, bath’s or flea/tick medications will not work when trying to eliminate bed bugs from your home or stop them from biting Jinxy.
If you suspect your cat has been bitten by bed bugs, talk to your veterinarian. While bed bugs are not known to transmit disease to their slumbering hosts the bites can cause an allergic reaction, potentially resulting in a secondary skin infection from excessive scratching. Treatment options could be a soothing ointment or, in the case of infection, antibiotics. Only your vet will know what the best course of treatment should be.
Can bed bugs live in cat litter?
Yes, bed bugs can live in your cat’s litter box. They can live almost anywhere, not just beds, that is close to humans. “They can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices.” , according to PestWorld. If you do suspect a colony of six-legged critters are calling your kitty’s litter box home, clean it thoroughly. And, most importantly, inspect the rest of your home for signs and symptoms of other bed bug camps.
How do I check my cat for bed bug bites?
Determining if you’re beloved Jinxy has been bitten by bed bugs is similar to checking for flea bites. Small, red bite marks that may or may not be itchy could appear on your cat’s skin. Bed bugs don’t move through thick fur very well, their wide but narrow bodies maneuver best on smooth surfaces. Therefore, check areas on your pet with less fur, such as the lower belly area and under their legs; those are the most likely spots on pets for bed bugs to dine at. If you see suspicious marks on your cat consider the following to help determine if bed bugs are the culprit.
According to Terminix, a pest control company operating globally for over 90 years, useful tips to identify bed bug bites are:
- Bed bug bites appear as raised, flat red welts due to an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and anticoagulants found in the bug’s saliva.
- Bed bug bites often appear in a straight row or line, consisting of three or four bites, though this is not always the case.
- Bed bug bites can take a few days or even a week to show up. They gradually begin to itch more as well, since the anesthetic from their saliva starts to wear off.
When treating your feline companion for bed bug bites be sure to check the two-legged family members too! Bed bugs prefer people over pets for their blood-meal requirements that they hit up a host for about once every 5 days. Eliminating bed bugs from your home is the guaranteed way to protect your furry cat from further bites.
Can my cat kill bed bugs?
Pet owners are under the assumption that their pets have the ability to kill all kinds of pests. Sometimes they can, but the most common question is: Can my cat kill bed bugs? Cats will not necessarily kill or eat your bed bugs. Bed bugs can be found on your pet cat if you take a close look. You may find them in their fur.
The cat litter, however, may get rid of your bed bugs. It is made up of fine powder of silica gel crystals. If this litter was to come into contact with bed bugs, the small crystals will shred the bed bug’s insides and exoskeletons casing it to rip off and kill them.
Even though it may seem as easy as simply using cat litter to clear your bed bug infestation it is not the most effective method because
1) You need more than just a little for it to actually work
2) The bed bugs will have to be in direct contact with the litter
3) Cat litter is harmful for human lungs so it may not be a good idea to use in the bedroom
Maybe your cat might not be able to kill bed bugs but the methods we describe in our get rid of bed bugs guide might do it. And even if you might still need for pest control, at least you will be more informed and protect yourself better moving forward. Check it out!