Black dots on cat's fur, but it can't be fleas

I hope someone out there can help us out. My all white cat has these black dots at the very end of her fur. The end that was attached to her skin. My vet insists that it is fleas. In the beginning I agreed with her. But I brush her twice daily and found nothing. She does not bite at herself, she is 100% indoors. I found no fleas on me or the furniture. I wonder if it could be like a black waxy substance on the follicle. Internet is no help. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Asked by Member 1129547 on Sep 6th 2012 in Health & Wellness
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Izadore (Izzie)

When my vet tests for fleas, she combs my animals, takes the fur out of the flea comb, puts a few drops of alcohol on it, and if there is a pink tinge on the fur, it's about 99.9% certain they have fleas. Fleas are fairly easy to spot on places like her nose, behind her ears, and especially on her stomach where the fur is more thin. Even indoor kitties can have fleas as we can bring them in on our clothing, etc. It doesn't mean that you are a bad pet parent or that there's something wrong with your kitty. Even pampered show cats get fleas. If her infestation is in the beginning stages, you may not find them on yourself or the furniture yet. The most simple fix is to treat her with something like Frontline or Advantage. If she has them, the product will rid her of them, and if she doesn't, she'll still be protected just in case. If she is a fairly laid back kitty, you can visit a groomer with her for a second opinion.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 9/6/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I am fairly certain that it is not fleas. Just over the summer we had a flea problem in my house and we completely took care of it. My oldest cat has the same thing that you're describing, but they are indeed not flees nor flea dirt. It is just a black substance at the follicle of the hair. I'm thinking that possibly it could be a clogged follicle, maybe something similar to a black head? I'm still trying to figure out what exactly it is, but yeah, not fleas.

Member 1144061 answered on 12/7/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


O my god! I have the exact same problem with my cat. Black stuff at the hair root but is not fleas, is just something I can rub off. I've been lookin thru the Internet for a long time 2 I hope is nth serious since she doesn't look bothered by it. Let's see if anyone is able to solve our problems!

Member 1145861 answered on 12/19/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My cat has exactly the same thing but only on the hair of her tail where the oil glands are. The hairs come out easily there and some have the black specks which feel gritty and can be rubbed off. On wet paper it appears to be brown but whether that's blood or something else I can't say. My vet has said that with my cat being white she has solar dermatitis, so her excretions, round eyes and nose etc, have turned black. Maybe the oil glands are doing something similar and clog up at the hair roots. Other than that I have no idea what's going on but her tail at that area gets very dirty. And she definitely doesn't have fleas.

Willow answered on 12/28/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer