Bedbug Bites on Cats - What do they look like? Please Help(13 posts)
I got bitten by bedbugs once almost 2 months ago. I've since had two professional sprays done. I gave my cat to my friend for a whole month, because I was fearing it was being bitten. Now my cat is back, and I haven't had any bites. However I am noticing again that its belly is bright pink, and in the last couple of days it's started licking itself a lot on the tummy area. She doesn't seem to be scratching itself.
I don't think it's fleas because I can't see any in its fur, and so my other guesses are either bedbugs or allergy to what we sprayed.
I looked for bedbugs where my cat sleeps (which is right under my bed) and I can't see anything.
Please if any of you have seen bedbug bites on a cat do they look like this at all?
I do believe that cats sometimes get bitten, because our cat had already stopped sleeping on or near our bed by the time we figured out we had bedbugs. (he moved back in maybe a month after treatment.) We didn't see any reactions or bites on him, though -- just the behavioral change. IIRC, other people on the board have mentioned similar behaviors by their cats. (try searching 'cat' in the search box, and see what comes up.)
I suspect that reactions by individual cats may vary, just as reactions by individual humans do. If your cat were getting bitten, though, there's a good chance it would shift sleeping quarters, too. If you are sensitive to bedbug bites, and aren't getting any bites, your cat may have another allergy (because that does sound like an allergic reaction.)
I wonder/worry about my cat too, and have been watching his behavior closely (probably more closely than I ever did before!) Because he has all black fur, it's tough to tell what's happening with his skin, but I have noticed him frequently licking. I wonder if the redness that you are seeing isn't an allergic reaction to the pesticides. Sounds simple, but it might not be bites at all. Our cat is gluten intolerant in addition to being prone to coughing attacks - it kinda makes sense that the 2 treatments we've received might be irritating his skin.
Thank you for your thoughts. You guys both bring up a good point about behavioral changes, which has never occurred to me as an option.
Anyone that is certain their pet was bitten, can you please share your experience?
Just because you don't see any fleas doesn't mean there aren't any. It is true that your cat might be allergic to the food you're feeding him or the insecticides but there's another way to tell if your kitty may have fleas. You look on the tummy around the nipples on the bottom especially, that is, closer to the tail. If you see some tiny little black specks - that is most probably flea excrement. If you take a bit of it and put it on a sheet of white paper, then moisten it and smear it, it will possibly turn a brownish color. That for sure is excrement from fleas. Also, look into your cat's ears and if you see some brown oily looking gunk, that is most probably ear mites which are carried by fleas and which can cause a cat to be tortured if they get bad enough. And if you find ear mites - your cat probably has tape worms too because those are also carried by fleas. If you look around your cat's anus and see something that looks like a piece of white rice - it is a dead (or can be alive) tape worm segment. If you find any of this - you should not treat it yourself with over the counter worming pills as you can literally kill your cat. Besides which, those pills give the cats bad diarrhea and it isn't called for any longer because nowadays vets have a shot of ivermectin (sp?) they can give the cat which will get rid of the ear mites and the tape worms. Unfortunately, it doesn't get rid of the fleas. Oh and PLEASE do not use flea collars. They are like torture to a cat - like if you took a piece of cotton and soaked it in bleach and then hung it around your neck. It's terrible plus they don't really work because fleas only stay on the cat while they're feeding. The rest of the time they're on the floor laying eggs. The best way to get rid of fleas is with a flea bomb but that can be tricky if you've got bed bugs because flea bombs only incite bed bugs and cause them to disperse.
Besides, I would think that treating for bed bugs would kill most fleas. Also, it can be a little dangerous but then so can fleas. Those contact drops like Advantage once a month work pretty well to keep fleas off your pet. Just make sure when you put it on the back of their neck, it's not low enough for them to be able to reach with their mouths because you don't want them to lick it off. It can make them pretty nauseous etc. Good luck by the way.
NEVER EVER EVER USE OVER THE COUNTER FLEA DROPS!
They can and often kill cats. Do the right thing and get the right stuff through your vet. If you cannot afford a vet, there are pet clinics out there. Not sure if Petco is nationwide or regional but I found through them a clinic that comes every so many weeks and they gave my cats their shots, flea meds, and dewormer. It was not costly at all compared to a vet.
My cats started acting strangely in the week or so leading up to discovering we had bed bugs. They would be on the bed and stare up at my ceiling. However, I have also detected the stray mouse from time to time. Knowing now what I didn't then, though... they could have been seeing small bugs I just wasn't looking hard enough for. My big cat had been sleeping on our infested sofa like a rock constantly despite there being bugs. He was wide awake and had not noticed the nymph that was crawling beside him, I did. That is when it all began. Would give anything to have back that last moment of ignorant bliss before seeing that thing. Talk about ruining what was set to be a great weekend!
I think it is likely to be very rarely that a cat is bitten by bedbugs. Bedbugs really struggle with hair. Even the hairy arms of a person often make it difficult for them to feed. The only part of a cat that is really at risk of being bitten (assuming we're not talking about those hairless ones) would be the nose, and I suspect even a sleeping cat would usually be aware of that and brush it off. It is possible the behavioural changes people have noted are due to the smell of the bugs.
Richard_Naylor - 1 hour ago » Bedbugs really struggle with hair. Even the hairy arms of a person often make it difficult for them to feed.
I know that you're an expert and I don't doubt that what you say is true, but it's awfully hard for me to reconcile with the video I saw (you've probably seen it as well) of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of bed bugs infesting a large chicken farm. I would think that if human hair were an obstacle to feeding then chicken feathers would make it almost impossible. But that sure didn't seem to be the case in the video.
vandamme - 1 year ago »
Anyone that is certain their pet was bitten, can you please share your experience?
I have three cats. My two male cats with very thick fur don't seem to be bothered by the bugs. My sweet little female cat who sleeps with me frequently wakes up and scratches (as do I, if I can sleep at all). She has several bloody/scabby small dots above her eyes and below her ears. These are areas that many cats have that are very light in fur -- almost like little bald spots. She acts as if they itch and purrs like mad when I lightly rub them. I'm convinced they're getting to her, too.
I'm also very worried about the impact professional treatment might have on my cats. I know the PCOs say it's safe for cats after you're allowed back in but I don't think they know for sure.
It was almost two wks ago sunday morning when I noticed a bite on my cats ear and gauge on her face. That eve around 630pm or so I sat with her to watch tv. Noticed what I thought was an ant moving in a frenzy, and circling her face (on my futon in livingrm). Wasn't sure what it was. Plucked it up bc it was clearly attacking her. Ziplocked, then examined. My heart sank. It was confirmed a second third instar. Yes, a blood meal is a blood meal. We r scheduled for our second treatment this Friday. I feel like this isn't going to be over even after our third, which is scheduled three wks after. I feel guilty bc I can't isolate her in the apartment while at work and don't have the option of leaving her with someone for a month. Horrible.
Does the cat seem distressed by the bites?
Hi, Melnyc. I am in a similar situation with my cats. My mom can take them on a short-term basis, but it's not ideal and she can't keep them for longer, so I waited until this week when fumigation is scheduled for my building to send them over to her. In the meantime (because it has taken about six weeks for anything to be done about the infestation), they've been getting bitten every once in a while on their ears and paw pads.
My vet gave me a prescription ointment called Panolog, which she said has antibiotics to help prevent an infection and also helps with itching. It doesn't really make the bites go away any faster, but seems to help with itching and swelling. Maybe that would help? Here's the drugs.com link: http://www.drugs.com/vet/panolog-cream.html
Hi notarobot, thanks for the advice. I will ask my vet about this. Def. Have an appointment linedup for her. I do hope the situation for you gets better - You and the little ones find relief & results from the treatments. We just had our 3rd treatment on the 27th. I'd like to believe we're somewhat there, but I have little faith until two wks from now when either the cycle begins again, or the residue weakens after 2wks and we're not biten. I'll be speaking to mgt co. tomorrow on whether they looked into the units around me, but what I gathered from last convo. they havent.
The bites do distress her cilecto. Just as they do us.
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