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Why Do Fleas Live On Dogs And Cats?

Updated on October 22, 2011

Fleas are parasites. A parasite is a plant or animal that lives within or on another living organism. The bigger living organism is called the "host".

The flea usually lives on dogs and cats (its hosts) by sucking blood. It has a small round head and mouth parts that are adapted to sucking. It has a tiny body, no wings and three pairs of legs.

By the way, those long hind legs of the flea make it a wonderful jumper. In fact, it is the champion jumper of all creatures. This tiny insect can jump 18020 centimeters into the air, and can leap forward at least 30 centimeters. For a man that would mean being able to jump 140 meters into the air and make a broad jump of 200 meters!

There are hundreds of species of fleas. The dog and cat type of flea is found almost everywhere in the world.

Fleas don't just live in dogs and cats. They also infest rats, rabbits, squirrels, birds and nearly all other warm-blooded animals. Sometimes fleas can also live on human beings but they'll always prefer a warm-blooded host to you.

During the Middle Ages flea infested rats spread bubonic plague throughout Europe.

The flea lived on the diseased rat until the rat died. Then it jumped to a human being, carrying with it germs of the disease. Cases of bubonic plague are rare now, but they still occur.

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    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 9 years ago from United States

      Ok, now I am feeling things crawl LOL. Good hub! Another interesting fact that I have been told by several physicians is that people mostly associate fleas with dogs being the main carriers yet any of the dog's fleas were a cat's fleas first. I never knew this as cats tend to bathe so thoroughly and have their rough tongue. I was one that always assumend that the cats got them from dogs rather than the other way around. Maybe that's why I don't have a bad flea problem. I have dogs but no cats and don't allow cats to bed up around the house. I love cats, I just don't want one. Had cats for years but never made the connection but now it all makes sense.

      Bonnie

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      It funny how when you think of nits and fleas you do automatically start scratching.

      I have always said that nits can jump. So I think they would be like fleas. Some reckon they cant jump but I have seen them when serving a customer on the checkout I actually saw the nit jump onto the counter. Thanks for that.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Interesting hub. Several years ago, when I was much younger, my parent's house got raided by fleas. The outside walls were covered from what they said. Fleas are nasty. I'm glad my dogs have never really had a problem with them.

    • hassam profile image
      Author

      hassam 9 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for all the comment.Indeed the thought of fleas really makes you feel as if they are crawling on your body.I always used to wonder why a dog keeps scracthing itself,until I found out about fleas and it even was more horrifying to know that they can live on a human body....Lucky I dont have any pets......LOL

    • cloudcity9 profile image

      cloudcity9 9 years ago from Florida

      Now i know that fleas come from cats and not dogs.Thats probably what i feel when i pet my cat,little tiny insects,ugh.But they are created equally by god,no diffrent from other organisms.It's just sucking blood is their nitch.They don't purposley just go around diseasing things.

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      taha 7 years ago

      omg you r kidding that is so weird.Is that true that sometimes dogs or cats can carry flies to homans ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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      Brea 5 years ago

      I did not know that parasites could be plants.This is very infomantion like.Those are long legs that fleas have too.And there really is more than just 1 flea in the world.There a different types of fleas that live across the universe.Very useful and alot of infomation for the story you made.Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image

      tee 5 years ago

      My dog has black spots around her pee pee area wat could that be fleas maybe wat should i do

    • profile image

      Estelle 5 years ago

      This sounds like it could be flea dirt which they leave behind so give your dog a good bath, leave it 3 days before treating for fleas, use frontline once a month and no sooner as this can poison your dog if used too frequently.

    • profile image

      Brittany 5 years ago

      WOW,that is pretty amazing! Hope i don`t get fleas!

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      for me to know and you to never find out 5 years ago

      I don't think my cat has this problem but she has a lump on her stomach :( and I dont know if it's BAD or a pad. can cats get pads on their stomach?

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