Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Yes, there is always a risk for flea and tick exposure even with indoor only animals.

The reason is fleas and ticks can be carried into your household on your clothing, other animals or even certain objects (sporting equipment, blankets, towels, shopping bags, etc.).

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

It is important to regularly give your dog a preventative flea treatment, even if they are an indoor dog, because the most effective flea control is preventing an infestation before it happens.
Year-round flea prevention is recommended for all cats and dogs in your home, whether they go indoors or not. While that recommendation is year-round, the spring and summer months, when the weather is warmer, are the most important time of year for preventing fleas.
As a result, it`s smart to treat any cat—including an indoor one—with a flea and tick preventive, says Annie Harvilicz, chief medical officer at Animal Wellness Centers, in Los Angeles.
And if your cats live exclusively outside, they`re susceptible to fleas wherever they go, including garages, barns, and anyplace they interact with other animals. Basically, no matter how much time your cat spends outside, they need flea medicine for outdoor cats.
Even dogs kept exclusively indoors or away from other pets can contract fleas via rodent infestations or contact with other flea-bearing animals. Doggy daycare and boarding kennels are yet another source of fleas.
Fleas and ticks can carry and transmit diseases, which is why preventing infection is important. Preventatives are types of medication that can be safely and routinely given to deter fleas and ticks from biting your dog.
Does Your Indoor Cat Need Heartworm and Flea & Tick Protection? Yes! Over 25% of cats with proven heartworm infection are kept indoors exclusively. Owners/family members in the household as well as other pets that do go outside can bring in different parasites and fleas that can affect your indoor cat.
The good news is, the fleas in your house are most likely to be cat or dog fleas, so although they will bite humans, they don`t consider us a suitable host to live and breed on (they prefer dogs and cats). This means, eventually they`ll just die off.
There are sprays, collars and spot-on treatments. If your home is centrally heated, your cat will need his flea treatment monthly throughout the year to ensure no live fleas get into the house. NEVER USE A DOG FLEA PRODUCT ON YOUR CAT AS THESE CAN BE EXTREMELY TOXIC AND RESULT IN DEATH.
Every cat, yes, even indoor cats, needs to be on a monthly flea and tick prevention medication. Talk to your vet about the right option for your cat – you`ve got choices! – and be consistent. You`ll never be able to make your home a fortress against fleas but you can help your cat withstand the attack.
Unfortunately, many cat owners don`t realize that their cats can get ticks. Indoor cats that don`t spend any time in the grass can still get ticks because of their ability to travel. Ticks can enter your home by hitching a ride on your clothing or by sneaking in when you leave the door open.
Fleas are present in just about every outdoor environment,” she says. “Inevitably, cats who spend all their time outside are going to encounter them, and it`s normal for healthy cats to have some fleas.”
One way is through contact with other flea-infested dogs during a walk, romp at the dog park, or playdate at another pooch`s home. Fleas can also “hitchhike” their way into your house by attaching to socks, pant legs, and shoes.
In order to get rid of fleas in all stages of the life cycle, two or more follow-up treatments within 5-10 days after the first application are needed. Additionally, vacuuming and sanitation practices should be ongoing throughout this period to pick up all remaining eggs and juvenile fleas.
The Life Cycle of a Flea

When it has a host, an adult flea can live about 100 days. But how long can they live without a host? Those fleas typically live only one to two weeks. The entire lifespan of a flea, from egg to adulthood, can last a few weeks or even a few months.

In severe infestations, fleas feasting on your pet`s blood can lead to anemia and, in rare cases, death. Ticks can also harm your pet, transmitting tick-borne infections such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis, and Bartonellosis.
The answer is yes, flea and tick preventatives need to be applied year-round in order to keep your pets safe. Read on to learn more about how fleas and ticks operate, the dangers they can harbor, and how best to protect your dogs and cats.
Fleas are very small, wingless, brown-colored parasites that bite skin and suck blood to survive. But fleas can also bite you. While they won`t live on your body, you can still experience potential side effects. A flea can jump up to 13 inches, so it`s possible a pet or other animal can transfer them to you.
Without a host like a cat or a dog, fleas can live anywhere between a few days and two weeks, but they can lay eggs that make the infestation last longer. When female fleas get a source of blood to feed on, they lay eggs and can lay up to 27 eggs per day.
The first thing you may be wondering is, “Can fleas live in cat litter?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes; fleas thrive in humid environments like your cat`s litter box. The good news is, a flea family won`t just decide to set up shop in the litter box.
Ticks will bite and feed on your dog or cat for up to a few days, and drop off once they`ve had enough. During this time, it`s possible the tick could give your pet a disease. Ticks carry a serious bacterial infection called Lyme disease. Dogs, cats and humans can all get Lyme disease, although it`s uncommon in cats.
Not necessarily. If you`re wondering if dogs can get fleas in the winter, the answer is yes. Flea populations might slow down a bit, especially outdoors, but they don`t go away completely. To be safe, you`ll want to keep those flea treatments going even in the cold winter months.
Though they might jump on your pants or shirt, they won`t stay on there for more than 24 hours. The chances of spreading fleas back and forth through clothing are slim. Fleas want to stay close to a food source, so they will search for anything near them.
Can Fleas Live in Your Bed? These pests infest multiple areas in homes, especially mattresses, cushions, and carpeting. Pets transfer fleas to the beds and furniture where they sleep. From here, the insects quickly spread around the house.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Need help, we have done flea bath ,sprayed the house and used charts ultra guard pro and still have fleas .how can we get rid of them
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. Frontline is not working on my dog, what should I use?
ANSWER : A. Frontline works best if it is given either three days before or three days after bathing your pet as it is absorbed through the skin. Frontline works on pets, but you will need to continually give treatment for up to three months before the environment and your pet are fully flea-free. Your pet can continue to get fleas from the environment as the eggs hatch and attempt to jump on your pet. Making sure to clean the area your pet is in, such as washing bedding and vacuuming carpeting (especially areas with cracks such as along the wall) can also accelerate flea removal. If your pet still has fleas and you want immediate relief, your vet can provide you with an oral medication such as capstar to kill fleas depending on when the last Frontline dose was given.

Pets can continue to itch for a while even after the fleas themselves are treated. Flea bites can cause an allergy, called flea allergy dermatitis, which can cause itching, scratching and redness on the skin. While many owners think this means fleas are still there, it could just be the skin healing from bites. An allergy medication and preventing your pet from scratching can provide relief during the healing process.

Read Full Q/A … : FAQ

Q. How do I FINALLY rid all 4 of my cats of tapeworms after 2 years of dealing with it? Fleas seem to be controlled. I know they are the vector.
ANSWER : A. If your cats keep getting tapeworms, then they are picking up fleas from somewhere. Fleas will hitch a ride on your pant leg from outside.

Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

You can also use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the life cycle.

Q. My 13 year old male cat is acting lethargic & doesn’t seem to be feeling well. I don’t know what’s wrong except that he has fleas. Can too many fleas
ANSWER : A. Excessive fleas can cause anemia in cats, left untreated, this can be life-threatening. I recommend getting your cat seen by your vet right away for his illness. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Q. My dog has fleas and ticks. I’ve kept her area clean and bathed her. If I took her to the grooming salon, would they be able to help her issue?
ANSWER : A. To be honest with you, the groomer will do just about the same thing you have done for her at home, which is bathe your pet to rid all the fleas and flea eggs off of her that are currently on her.
However, the problem comes with re-infestation. Everytime your pet goes outside to potty and comes back inside, she has a potential to carry fleas in with her, even if she is only out there for a few minutes a day. In fact 40% of indoor pets has fleas, so we know that they can be extremely opportunistic.
The best and only way to protect your pet from fleas and ticks is by using a flea/tick preventative. Here are my top picks!:
1) Nexgard
2) Seresto collar
3) Advantix topical

These products are going to get the job done. Also you have to treat your home with a flea fogger (can be purchased at Home depot or Lowes) and wash all your pets bedding to help rid the flea eggs in the environment. This is key to overall flea ridding and flea control.

Q. My dogs were given Hartz ultrguard seven days ago. Can they be given frontline now because they still have fleas
ANSWER : A. In flea control, you get what you pay for. I would wait one more week before applying another product.

For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

Q. Our cat developed a flea allergy in the form of red sores above the eyes Our vet gave him an antibiotic shot and a flea collar but they remain.
ANSWER : A. I’m so sorry to hear! Flea allergies are tough to deal with! Unfortunately when a pet has an allergy to fleas, the problem lies in the flea bite. The actual allergy lies in the flea saliva, so what we really need to prevent is the flea biting our pet! I would recommend a product that can kill the flea before they even have a chance to bite your pet! A couple of really great products on the market right now are Frontline Plus and Revolution. Both are liquid topical products that you place on the skin of your pet once a month. They work by using the skins oils to spread themselves around the body and rest in the hair follicles. Each has a slightly different mechanism of use, but they both work to kill the flea before it actually has a chance to do harm to your cat. Flea collars simply are not as effective. I would also recommend treating your home environment, such as the area where the cat sleeps and the carpets inside your home. Flea eggs and larva can live for a very long time in these environments and unless we treat all of these areas, the problem will remain. I hope this was helpful! Good luck and I hope your kitty feels better!