Last Updated: 3 months ago
Fleas in litter boxes are something that owners of indoor and outdoor cats often search for.
After all, if you find fleas in your little box, it probably means that your cat has fleas.
These nasty little critters won’t be attracted to a litter box, so it’s likely that they fell off of your cat when she went potty.
That fact opens up an entirely new can of worms, or fleas, as the case may be.
So today, we’re talking about fleas in the litter box, what that means for your cat and your home, and how to handle the situation.
Can Fleas Live in Cat Litter?
In short, yes. Fleas can live in cat litter, but they don’t want to. Fleas need a host to survive. They need blood.
Obviously, the litter box doesn’t have anything that the fleas can eat. Except, of course, for your cat.
If you find fleas in the litter box, there’s really only one way they got there. They fell off your cat. While fleas don’t want to leave their cozy cat home, they can and do so periodically.
What’s far more common to be in the littler box if your cat has fleas is flea eggs. Adult fleas want to stick around on your cat because it’s a cushy place to crash.
Plenty of shelters and plenty of food make your kitty the ideal place to call home.
However, flea eggs fall off easily, allowing them to be deposited in various places and thus perpetuating the flea species.
If your cat has fleas, her litter box probably has eggs in it. You’ll never see them because the eggs are so small and will simply blend into the litter, but they are there.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
If you’ve discovered fleas in your litter box, that means your cat has fleas. If your cat has fleas, that means you have to get rid of them.
Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and they can do it in as little as 24 to 36 hours after a blood meal, so it’s imperative that you begin the process of ridding your cat and your home of fleas as soon as possible.
1. Flea and Tick Preventative
Ridding your cat of fleas is easy. Simply take her to the vet for a checkup, and they’ll prescribe a flea and tick preventative treatment.
Your vet will most likely prescribe Capstar for this situation, as it begins killing fleas in about 30 minutes.
After that, it’s on to the rest of the house.
After your cat is squared away, it’s on to vacuuming. Use a high-powered vacuum to vacuum all carpets, upholstery, mattresses, pillows, pet bed covers, and even your cat’s cat tree.
Vacuum hardwood floors and tile, as well. The vacuuming helps you remove any eggs that might be lurking in the home.
3. Steam Clean
Steam clean carpets, upholstery, mattresses, pillows, and any other fabric surface that can’t be put in the washing machine.
Steam cleaning will kill fleas and larvae, helping you to remove any lurking pests that vacuuming might have missed.
Launder everything you possibly can.
Sheets, curtains, and blankets that your cat sleeps on—anything that’s fabric and washable, really—should all be laundered on the highest heat setting possible.
The hot, soapy water will kill fleas and larvae and wash away any eggs that might be lurking.
If, for some reason, any fleas survive the washing process, the high heat from the dryer will kill them.
5. Wash the Litter Box
While fleas and their larvae are not attracted to your cat’s litter box, they can end up there.
To clean it as part of the flea removal process, simply dump the litter in a dumpster or outdoor garbage can—never in your home’s garbage can—and wash the litter box with hot, soapy water.
6. Continue Flea and Tick Preventative
Continuing flea and tick prevention on your indoor or outdoor cat serves two purposes at this point.
Keeping your cat on preventative medication will keep any new fleas from finding a home on your cat or in your home.
Secondly, having your cat on preventatives makes her a mobile flea-killing station in your home. If you miss any fleas, they’ll die when they hop on to your cat to have a blood meal.
How Do Cats Get Fleas?
So we know that fleas in a litter box mean fleas on your cat, but how does your cat get fleas?
If you have an exclusively indoor cat, she probably never will unless you have a dog who brought fleas into the home.
However, for indoor and outdoor cats, it’s incredibly easy to get fleas. Fleas prefer moist, shady, and cool places. They need this environment to thrive.
A good example of these kinds of environments are shrubs, leaf piles, and trees.
And where do cats like to hunt? That’s right. They stalk prey that mostly lives around shrubs, leaf piles, and trees.
All your cat has to do to get fleas on her is venture into an area like this where fleas are present.
They’ll hop onto her immediately if she spends even a little time in their area.
We’re going to hit the highlights of the most commonly asked questions about fleas in litter boxes to give you a quick reference covering most of the bases.
Does Cat Litter Kill Fleas?
Cat litter doesn’t kill fleas, but a lack of food can, so fleas won’t stay in the litter box willingly. However, whatever they do, they will hop right back on as soon as your cat comes back to do her business again.
How Do I Kill Fleas in a Litter Box?
It’s not about killing them so much as it is about getting them out of the box and out of the house. To get rid of fleas in the litter box, simply dump the litter outside.
If you live in an area where you can’t do that, throw out the litter in a dumpster. Don’t dump the litter into your own trash can. They can jump out when you open the lid of the trash can and get into other parts of the house.
What Can I Put in a Litter Box to Keep Fleas Away?
Fleas aren’t attracted to your cat’s litter box. If you find fleas in her litter box, the better question is: What can you do to keep fleas off your cat?
Do Flea Larvae Eat Poop?
Flea larvae eat flea dirt, which is a nice way of saying flea poop. However, flea larvae do not eat your cat’s poop. They also aren’t attracted to your cat’s poop, and they don’t live in it either.
In years past, it was believed that flea larvae ate pet poop in addition to flea dirt, skin cells, and other organic matter. However, it’s been proven recently that larvae need flea dirt and things like dead skin cells to survive. Pet poop is not a nutritious meal for them.
Fleas in Litter Box: A Symptom of a Bigger Issue
Fleas in the litter box mean fleas on your cat, and that could mean fleas in your home
You should take your cat to the vet immediately for an exam and an application of flea and tick preventatives.
Then, start the process of washing, vacuuming, and steam cleaning everything possible in your home to ensure that if there are any fleas lurking around, you get them out of your home as soon as possible.
Remember, prevention is the best course of action, so if you don’t have fleas in the litter box, put your cat on a monthly flea and tick preventative to ensure that you never have flea issues.
If you do find fleas, start your cat on preventative immediately and keep her on it. It’s the best way to be sure those little blood suckers never make a home on her or in your home.
Have you ever found fleas in your cat’s litter box? Share your experiences below.