When it comes to cats, bed bugs are not usually as much of a problem as some people might imagine. For dogs and cats, fleas and other parasites treated by veterinarians are much more of a concern than are bed bugs. That said, there are some common misconceptions about many areas concerning cats, bed bugs, and the relationship between the two. People wonder “Do cats spread bed bugs?” and “Do bedbugs harm cats?” Here we will set the record straight and provide valuable insight into how to keep your pet, and your home, as safe and clean as possible.
What do bed bugs do?
They live off the blood of warm-blooded animals. Their bites look different on different people and can itch, but they do not live on the body and they do not transmit disease. Because they do not live on the body, they like to live nearby a source of food. This is why they live in or near a bed or bedroom, or anywhere a mammal sleeps. And this is, of course, why we call them bed bugs.
Do they bite cats?
They can, but they prefer humans because we have less hair and are easier to bite. It is rare for a cat to be bitten by more than one or two bedbugs if there is a human around. If your cat is itching, take it to the vet to see if it is bed bugs or another parasite that is more harmful, uncomfortable, or even dangerous.
Do Cats Spread Bed Bugs?
The idea that cats spread them, is a common myth. But the insects (unlike cats’ fleas and other parasites) do not live on the host, so it is unlikely for the host to carry them throughout the house. If any host were to spread them, it would be more likely a human than a cat, since humans are the insect’s preferred host.
Even without cats bedbugs can spread throughout the house, though. They will prefer to stay where the food is, but they may explore if their usual host is gone for a few days. They do this by crawling. the insects do not fly.
Are There any Pet Safe Bed Bug Treatments?
The insects can be very hard to get rid of. They can live for several days without food, and can travel not only from room to room, but also between apartments or condo units. They were eradicated from the U.S. several decades ago, but since 1995 they’ve been back, especially in cities.
Chemical treatments are most effective, and some of these are pet safe bed bug treatments but others are not. The best course of action is to hire an experienced exterminator and consult your veterinarian.
Cats, Bed Bugs, the Bottom Line
If you have the pests in your home, they can bite your pet but are more likely to bite you. Whether you know you have bed bugs or not, if your pet is scratching more than usual, you should take it to see the vet. For cats, fleas and bedbugs are just two of the insects that can irritate them; or there could be a more serious problem. If you do have the pests, make sure to use a pet safe bed bug treatment and consider taking your pet out of the home for a few days while any chemicals dissipate.