or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What is this tiny black stuff?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is this tiny black stuff?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yuck! Yesterday, as I was making my bed, I noticed little black particles. I thought it was just remains of eraser, because I do my homework in bed, and you know how when you use an eraser it makes those little bits that you brush away? That is sort of what this looked like. Anyway, I brushed it off my quilt and didn't give it a second thought.
Until this morning. I was making my bed, and this time there was twice as much of the little black stuff, at the end of my bed, where Riley had been sleeping. It must be from him. I guess his skin, I don't know what else it could be from. Does anyone know what this is? I noticed Riley was scratching himself a bit more than usual, too.
Also, he is an indoor cat, so he can't have picked up anything foreign, could he?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galt
Yuck! Yesterday, as I was making my bed, I noticed little black particles. I thought it was just remains of eraser, because I do my homework in bed, and you know how when you use an eraser it makes those little bits that you brush away? That is sort of what this looked like. Anyway, I brushed it off my quilt and didn't give it a second thought.
Until this morning. I was making my bed, and this time there was twice as much of the little black stuff, at the end of my bed, where Riley had been sleeping. It must be from him. I guess his skin, I don't know what else it could be from. Does anyone know what this is? I noticed Riley was scratching himself a bit more than usual, too.
Also, he is an indoor cat, so he can't have picked up anything foreign, could he?


I saw something very similar to that before. If you look close, and the "easer rubs" wriggle, it is very likely that they are flea larvae. I had phantom crawlies for months. I'd wash the sheet in hot water asap.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh no, are you serious? That is horrible! I hope that isn't what they are.
I did look at them closely, but I didn't see them move. But I think they would be the right size. And, I did swipe a little bug away from arm after Riley had sat on my lap; it might have been a flea, but I didn't see it all the way.
Yuck. I am not letting Riley in my room until a week after he gets some sort of flea bath.

By the way, what is the best way to get rid of fleas and their larva in a cat, fast? A spray? A bath? Or should I just take him to the vet?
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galt
Oh no, are you serious? That is horrible! I hope that isn't what they are.
I did look at them closely, but I didn't see them move. But I think they would be the right size. And, I did swipe a little bug away from arm after Riley had sat on my lap; it might have been a flea, but I didn't see it all the way.
Yuck. I am not letting Riley in my room until a week after he gets some sort of flea bath.

By the way, what is the best way to get rid of fleas and their larva in a cat, fast? A spray? A bath? Or should I just take him to the vet?

if it jumped off when you swiped for it, it was most likely a flea. I would go to the vet's and get some Advantage to put on him, amd alo treat the area (wash the blanket). Flea eggs fall off where the animal lies, and hatch as a result of vibration.
post #5 of 21
Just look back into some of the threads here in H&N - there is a myriad of information on fleas and how to get rid of them.

Just do not use over-the-counter stuff. Go to the vet and get the proper dosage for your kitty's weight and the safe medication.

As for cleaning up the fleas in your bedding, carpets and house areas, as I said above - check the past threads.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay.
Thank you for your advice, CommonOddity042.
And thanks for your post, Yosemite.
post #7 of 21
sound like what you are finding is flea dirt (droppings) you could take some of the black stuff and put it on a wet (white) paper towel if it turns red (dried blood) it is most definately flea dirt.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did what you said, Petnurse, and it is flea dirt. Lovely.
Thanks all, for your suggestions! I love the cat forum!
post #9 of 21
If your cat has fleas, it is almost a given the cat has tapeworms as well. I would get a stool sample to your vet and get that checked out. While you are there, pick up a tube of advantage or frontline to get rid of the fleas.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
If your cat has fleas, it is almost a given the cat has tapeworms as well. I would get a stool sample to your vet and get that checked out. While you are there, pick up a tube of advantage or frontline to get rid of the fleas.
Why is that Hissy? I never knew that. I have taken cats to the vet for fleas plenty of times and the vets never mentioned anything about tapeworm. I gave my moms cat flea meds a few weeks ago. She has allergies I believe and while no fleas are seen on the other cat who is pure white and nothing in the house, she will be covered in little scabs all around her neck and down her back. As soon as she gets the flea meds it clears up fast. Should I worry about her having tapeworm too? She is indoors, spayed, healthy otherwise. She was wormed a couple years back when I adopted her from the shelter.
post #11 of 21
Fleas are intermittent carriers of tapeworms. If your cat grooms himself (and most do) they will attack and eat the fleas. Once the flea is consumed a baby tapeworm is let loose in the intestinal tract, where it hooks itself to the wall of the intestine, becoming the host worm. Cats that live outdoors (barn cats) even if de-flead, will also get tapeworms if they hunt and kill mice. They eat their kill ingesting the fleas and the flea dirt and the cycle starts all over again. I routinely worm my barn cats every six months for this reason.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Fleas are intermittent carriers of tapeworms. If your cat grooms himself (and most do) they will attack and eat the fleas. Once the flea is consumed a baby tapeworm is let loose in the intestinal tract, where it hooks itself to the wall of the intestine, becoming the host worm. Cats that live outdoors (barn cats) even if de-flead, will also get tapeworms if they hunt and kill mice. They eat their kill ingesting the fleas and the flea dirt and the cycle starts all over again. I routinely worm my barn cats every six months for this reason.
Is there a way to tell for sure? Since she is inside and uses the litterbox. Will there be worms in the poo or anything like that?
post #13 of 21
You can sometimes see tapeworm segments sticking to their bums, and in their stools, sometimes you can find a whole one, but it's not as common as round worms... it's usually best to bring in a sample.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did what you said, Petnurse, and it is flea dirt. Lovely.
post #15 of 21
Sounds like "flea dirt" to me - to see if its fleas, take some of the dirt and put it in a drop of water - if it turns red, its flea dirt - the biproduct of sucking the blood.
post #16 of 21
I've been reading through this topic because this morning I pulled a single black bug off of Leeloo... I haven't seen any fleas on any of the sheets or rugs etc... and Ziggy just had his yearly appointment last week and he had no fleas (and I am assuming if one has it than so does the other) but just to be sure (I dealt with fleas from a room mate's dog before... horrible expierence) I did that test where you shake their fur and when placing the black specks that fall out onto cotton it might turn red, I did it on both cats, took a black speck from each if their 'shed' piles and it didn't exactly turn bright red, but it was definately a bit red but after I went back to check the cotton again it is now a brown color no red at all. could that still mean it is blood and my kitties have fleas?! (I hope not our carpets are literally brand new, as in not even a month old I'd hate to think of them having fleas deep down in them!) I gave Ziggy a bath, but Leeloo just flipped out when I tried to give her one and now I have battle wounds (scratches) all over my arms from the attempt and it just simply isn't gonna happen.

I'm nervous also because a hurricane is supposed to hit tomorrow, a lot of places are closed (my school and job are closed) and I'm worried what will happen if they DO have fleas and I can't get to a vet to get them medication!
post #17 of 21
I would worry more about the hurricane, but yes it does sound as if your cats have fleas.
Take care of yourselves first! Be safe! and when the hurricane is over, you can use Revolution, which will fight fleas, ticks and other nasty insect pests with no side effects.
post #18 of 21
ok thank you! my cats are indoor so I have no idea where they came from! (I let them sit on the screened in porch sometimes probably from there) I got a over the counter flea collar for Leeloo, but it made her eyes so irritated I had to take it off! especially because I still see no bugs on her!
post #19 of 21
Whenever one of my cat has fleas, I use a tape roller for the dirt and use it in their favorite sleeping spots. If he has tapeworms you'll see little things that look like brown rice where he lays down frequently. Tapeworms don't always show up in stool, but usually you can see them near the base of kitty's tail if they have them. We've been there before, yuck.
post #20 of 21
You'll have to boil all the bedding and cloth products in the house and thoroughly clean everything.
Revolution has no side effects and is effective against fleas and ticks. And yes, the cats can certainly get fleas when sitting on the front porch. I'd not recommend the flea collars.
Revolution is not cheap but it is cheaper than vet bills.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuna View Post
ok thank you! my cats are indoor so I have no idea where they came from! (I let them sit on the screened in porch sometimes probably from there) I got a over the counter flea collar for Leeloo, but it made her eyes so irritated I had to take it off! especially because I still see no bugs on her!
You can bring fleas in on your clothing/shoes. During our summer months we treat both Bijou and Mika with Revolution just to ensure we are and remain flea-free.

Also - NEVER put a flea collar on your kitty. The only good use for a flea collar is to cut it up and put it in your vacuum bag. Flea collars can and have caused death in kittens.

As the other poster said, right now your first concern should be the hurricane - the fleas can wait until the storm and any danger has passed.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › What is this tiny black stuff?