Do cats spread bed bugs? Are cats bed bugs' favorite food? Will the treatment hurt my cats? You may have heard these and many other questions about cats and how they interact with the nasty little creatures. Here are the answers you are looking for in a simple, straightforward format.
Do cats spread bed bugs?
This is one of the most common "cats bed bugs" questions you hear. While it is possible for cats to spread the insects, it is not very common. In fact, it is one of the least likely ways for the insects to spread around the home. Here is the primary way that they spread: crawling.
Yes, crawling. these pests do not fly. They also do not actually live on their host. Rather, they live near where they have easy access to their host (which is why beds are a common place to find this type of insect). Therefore, they do not fly from room to room, and since they do not live on the host, they are illegally to be spread by the host from one place to another.
The other major reason that does not make cats bed bugs' primary mode of transportation is that even if bed bugs lived on the host, they prefer humans over cats and dogs anyway. So technically, you and your family are more likely to spread bed bugs around that your cat is.
Do they harm cats?
Because cats have more fur than humans have hair, it may be difficult to tell whether it is the cat's bed bug problem or another issue. So just because bed bugs prefer humans does not mean that bed bugs do not eat cats. If you see your pet scratching, take it to the vet. For all pet owners know, the scratching could be because something else is irritating their cats: fleas, for example. Take it to the vet to be sure.
Is there a pet safe treatment?
For cats, the insects are not as harmful as the sprays are. There are two main chemicals used for the eradication of bed bug Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most commonly used and effective products to treat infestations.Cats are the most sensitive to permethrin and the least sensitive to phenothrin. This is another reason why it is important to speak with your veterinarian to make sure you are not harming your cat when you try to get rid of the pests.
Also speak at length with any exterminator who you call in to help rid your house of the insects. A good exterminator knows about not only the insects, but the way any chemicals will affect a family. Some chemicals are not safe treatments at all. Others are all-natural and just fine. Some in the middle may affect cats at first, so it is better to keep the animal out of the house for a period of time after spraying, then reintroducing it after the chemical has gotten a chance to fade.
So now you know the answers to your questions. Do cats spread beg bugs? Probably not. For cats, bed bugs can be annoying, but scratching may be a sign of something else. Play it safe: take your pet to the vet and contact an experienced exterminator.