Skip to content
Fleas and Your Other Pets
M Duffy Jones, DVM posted:
You may be wondering if you have pets that are not cats or dogs, do you need to worry about them having fleas. The answer is yes. Fleas are a very broad classification of wingless, sucking insects. There are over 2,000 different types of fleas, particular to certain hosts such as the dog flea, cat flea, rat flea, rodent flea, bird flea, and so on. They usually prefer one type of host, but have no problem catching a ride or getting a meal on any warm creature.

In my practice, we see fleas on all different types of animals, including rodents, dogs and cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchilla, and ferrets. However, the most common type of flea that we see is the cat flea. This flea will survive on cats, dogs, and other mammals. The oriental cat flea was actually responsible for transmitting Yersinia pestis; the bacteria responsible for the Black Plague and for the death of 30% to 60% of the European population between 1348 and 1350.

There are also human fleas, sand fleas, and chicken fleas.

All these different types of fleas should help you realize that if you have flea problem you have to treat all pets and your whole home and living environment in order to get rid of it.

Do you have any pets that are not dogs or cats? What has been your method of avoiding fleas for these pets?


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

Helpful Tips

Helping Hospice Patients Keep Their PetsExpert
Pets are an extremely important part of our lives. And this is especially true when we are at the end of our days. What could be more ... More
Was this Helpful?
34 of 46 found this helpful

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Learn more about the AVMA

WebMD Special Sections