Can Cats Get Bed Bugs?

Yes, cats can get bed bugs. These tiny insects can infest a cat’s fur and bedding.

Bed bugs are a common household pest that feed on human blood. While they primarily reside in mattresses and furniture, they can also infest areas where pets frequent. This raises the question of whether cats can get bed bugs. The answer is yes.

Due to their close proximity to humans and their tendency to sleep in beds or on furniture, cats are at risk of coming into contact with these blood-sucking pests. Bed bugs can hitch a ride on the cat’s fur and easily spread throughout the home. Understanding the implications of bed bugs on cats is crucial for pet owners to effectively address and eliminate infestations. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the risks, symptoms, and treatment options for cats affected by bed bugs.

Understanding Bed Bugs And Their Impact On Cats

Understanding bed bugs and their impact on cats is important for pet owners. Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They are often found in areas where people sleep, such as beds or couches. These pests can easily hitch a ride on clothing or personal belongings and infest a home. Unfortunately, cats are not immune to bed bug infestations.

Bed bugs pose several risks and consequences for cats. The bites from these pests can cause itching and discomfort for the feline. In some cases, cats may develop skin infections from excessive scratching or biting at the affected areas. Additionally, cats may experience allergic reactions to bed bug bites, leading to swelling and redness at the bite sites.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation in cats is crucial. Visible bites on the cat’s skin, usually in groups or a line, may indicate the presence of bed bugs. Cats may also exhibit increased restlessness or agitation. Frequent grooming or scratching at specific areas can be a sign of discomfort caused by bed bug bites. Careful examination of the cat’s bedding or resting areas may reveal the presence of bed bugs or their tiny eggs.

Can Cats Carry Bed Bugs And Spread Them?

Can cats carry bed bugs and spread them? These are common questions among pet owners. While bed bugs primarily feed on human blood, they can also infest cats, especially if there is a severe infestation in your home. Cats can act as carriers of bed bugs, unknowingly helping them spread throughout your house.

The potential for cats to carry bed bugs particularly lies in their grooming behaviors. Cats are meticulous when it comes to grooming themselves, and they can inadvertently pick up bed bugs that may be hiding in their bedding or other infested areas. When cats groom themselves, they may swallow or ingest the bed bugs, which can then survive in their digestive systems and be excreted elsewhere, further spreading the infestation.

It’s important to address bed bugs in your home promptly, not only for your own comfort but also to protect your pets. Regularly wash your cat’s bedding in hot water and vacuum your home thoroughly, paying close attention to areas where your cat likes to spend time. If you suspect that your cat or home has been infested with bed bugs, it’s recommended to consult with a professional pest control company for proper treatment.

Protecting Your Cat From Bed Bugs And Treating Infestations

Preventive measures to keep bed bugs away from your cat:

  • Regularly inspect your cat’s bedding, furniture, and resting areas for any signs of bed bugs.
  • Vacuum your home frequently, paying close attention to areas where your cat spends a lot of time.
  • Wash your cat’s bedding regularly in hot water and dry it on high heat to kill any potential bed bugs.
  • Consider using bed bug-proof covers on your cat’s bed to prevent infestation.
  • Keep your home clutter-free as bed bugs thrive in messy environments.

Steps to take if your cat has been exposed to bed bugs:

  • Isolate your cat from other pets to prevent further spread of bed bugs.
  • Thoroughly inspect your cat for any signs of bed bugs, such as bites, skin irritation, or small dark spots.
  • Contact a veterinarian to seek professional advice on how to treat your cat.
  • Consult with a professional exterminator to assess and treat your home for bed bugs.
  • Follow the recommended treatment plan provided by the veterinarian and exterminator to eliminate the infestation.

Effective treatment options for bed bug infestations in cats:

  • Topical anti-parasitic treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Prescription medications to alleviate any discomfort or itching caused by bed bug bites.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting your cat’s living areas to remove any remaining bed bugs.
  • Regularly monitoring your cat for any signs of recurring bed bug infestations.
  • Continuing preventive measures to keep your cat and home protected from future bed bug infestations.


To sum up, while cats can attract bed bugs due to their warmth and body heat, they are not the primary target for these pesky insects. However, it is crucial to be aware of the signs of bed bugs and take necessary precautions to prevent their infestation.

Regularly inspecting your home, washing bedding frequently, and seeking professional help when needed can help ensure a bed bug-free environment for both you and your feline companion. Stay diligent and keep your furry friend safe!

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Dr Harunur Rashid (Harun) is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has five years of experience in large pet animal medicine. He worked as a livestock officer for two years in an NGO, and since then he has been practicing pet animals medicine privately. He holds an MS in Pharmacology from Bangladesh Agricultural University and a DVM from the same institution.