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Can A Cat Carry Bed Bugs? (Vet Answer)

If you know someone who has faced with a bedbug infestation, you are aware of how irritating and frustrating it can be. Obviously, you want to prevent this from occurring to you, therefore you may question if your cat may spread bed bugs. Cats are not hosts for the insects and cannot transmit them like fleas, although the bugs might hitchhike on a cat's hair like they can on human clothing. In "Can a Cat Carry Bed Bugs? (Vet Answer)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we will discuss bedbugs, how they affect your cat, and the indicators of an infestation. We'll also discuss how to keep your cat safe if you need to treat your home for bedbugs.

What are Bedbugs?

Bed Bugs are tiny, wingless insects with a flattened body that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They do not construct nests but instead dwell in big numbers in hiding places. As you may expect from their name, mattresses and box springs are among their preferred hiding spots.

Bed bugs eat at night, which is another reason they like to reside in human beds. They multiply and develop rapidly, which contributes to the difficulty of eradicating an infestation.

Do Cats Carry Bed Bugs?

In contrast to fleas and lice, bed bugs dwell in the environment rather than on animals. Hence, cats do not technically transmit or spread the insects.

Bedbugs spread to new locations by hiding in furniture, luggage, or clothing and hitchhiking to a new area. Old mattresses and furniture have a significant role in the proliferation of pests.

Theoretically, bedbugs may lie in the fur of a cat long enough to infest a home that was previously pest-free. Nonetheless, this is not considered a major source of disease transmission.

Do Bedbugs Bite Cats?

Bed bugs feast on anything with a blood supply, even cats. Because bed bugs only feed for three to ten minutes before falling off, it is unlikely that you will notice the real bugs on your cat.

Bedbug bites are comparable in size to flea bites but lack a central red mark. Likewise, flea preventatives will have no effect on bedbugs unless they are specifically formulated to do so. Check the cat’s bedding for indications of a bedbug infection if it has suddenly developed itchy bites and no fleas are visible on its body, despite having received all prophylactic treatments.

Signs of a Bedbug Infestation

Often, unexplained insect bites are one of the first indications of a bedbug infection. According to this study, additional essential indices include:

  • Bloodstains on human and animal bedding
  • stains of bedbug feces on walls or bedding
  • Bed bug debris following molting or egg hatching near hiding places.
  • Unidentified musty odor

Be extra watchful about bed bugs if you’ve recently traveled, had visitors, or brought in secondhand furniture. Inspect your mattress, bed frame, box spring, and the walls surrounding your bed for evidence of insect infestation.

Keeping Your Cat Safe During Bed Bug Treatment

If you have bed bugs, you will require the assistance of a pest control specialist, most likely over numerous trips. To keep your cat safe, inform the pest control firm that you have pets and use only EPA-approved insecticides. Inquire whether there are any precautions you need take even while purchasing pet-safe items.

If your cat’s bed and plush toys can be safely cleaned and dried in the washing machine, you do not necessarily need to throw them. Washing in the hottest water and drying at a moderately high temperature should eliminate the bugs. If you cannot wash them, dry them on high heat for 10 to 20 minutes.

If you wish to purchase new toys and beds for your cat once bedbug treatment is complete, wrap the bedbug-infested toys and beds in a garbage bag and identify them as such before discarding them.


As can be seen in “Can a Cat Carry Bed Bugs? (Vet Answer)” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), while your cat is unlikely to bring bed bugs into your home, it is absolutely susceptible to bed bug bites.

Purchasing old furniture or clothing is a great way to save money and reduce your influence on the environment, but it may also introduce bed bugs into your home. Familiarize yourself with the discussed indicators of bedbug infestation, and thoroughly inspect your new furniture.

If you discover bedbugs in your home, you may cure them. In contrast to other parasites such as mosquitoes and fleas, bed bugs do not transmit illness, therefore you and your cat will not become ill from their bites.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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