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Do Bed Bugs Affect Cats? Explained (2022 Updated)

Bed bugs are usually associated with people and furniture, but can these nasty critters affect your pets? They are the best hitch-hikers and expert hiders because of their small size, so it may be hard to locate exactly where they are hiding. 

Our team researched and created an in-depth guide to help you answer the question, “do bed bugs affect cats?”

How Do Bed Bugs Affect Your Cat?

bug on pet skin

There are various ways to know if your cat is affected by bed bugs, and some of them include the presence of bite marks and fecal or small red spots on their bed [1].

If your house is infested by bed bugs, then you can expect that your cats may get affected too.

These bugs may feed on your pets, especially at night when they are most active in looking for hosts to feed on. 

How to Know If Your Cat is Affected?

Existing Bite Marks

insect bite on pet skin

Bed bug bites on your pets may be visible on the stomach and limb area. These bite marks are usually small red bumps on the skin. If you often see your pets scratch, itch, and sometimes bite or lick the irritated part of their skin, then chances are, they have bed bug bites.

Live Bed Bugs On Fur

If you check your cat’s fur and notice a small bumpy insect attached directly to their skin, it may be a feeding bed bug that has made its home in your feline friend’s fur. Remove it carefully to avoid hurting your pet in the process.

Fecal or Red Spots on Their Bed

After seeing bite marks and some live bed bugs on their fur, check their bed to know if there are any signs of bed bug infestations like fecal or red spots on their bed. This is almost the same as finding fecal or red spots on your mattress or pillows. 

Is It Dangerous?

Yes, bed bug infestation in your cats or pets can lead to severe cases or reactions. Bed bugs can’t transfer any diseases to your pet, but if your pet is allergic to bites, it may not only feel discomfort but also develop some severe reaction to it.

Can Your Cat Carry Bed Bugs?

No, cats cannot carry bed bugs as these nasty critters do not live on their hosts and only feeds on them. Bed bugs live anywhere, be it under the beddings, in crevices, and in other warm and dark areas.

You may sometimes see bed bugs on your cat’s fur and feeding on their skin, but they certainly do not live there [2].

FAQs

How to kill bed bugs on cats?

You can manually pick these little bugs off your cat’s skin and apply heat treatments and pesticides to eliminate their eggs on your cat’s bedding. If the infestation in your cat’s skin is worse than expected, it would be best to bring your cat to a vet to get the medical attention it needs.

Do cat attracts bed bugs?

Yes, bed bugs may be attracted to cats since these pests are attracted to body heat and carbon dioxide. Hence, they can feed both on humans and other animals, including your feline friend. 

Summary

Cats can also get affected by bed bugs, and once your cat shows signs of bed bug bites, you should locate their hiding place and get rid of them immediately. Technically, bed bugs do not bring any diseases. 

However, if your cat is allergic to bites, your feline friend may suffer from severe reactions that pose a serious risk to their health or, worse, their lives.

Once you see signs of a bed bug infestation, it is best to contact a professional exterminator immediately to avoid making your problems any worse. 

References:

  1. https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/aspca-provides-guidance-pet-owners-during-bedbug-epidemic
  2. https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef636

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