Three experiments were conducted on cats to evaluate precocity and duration of the first blood meal ofCtenocephalides felis felis(Bouché). Percentage of engorged fleas was calculated for fleas held on cats for 5, 15, 30, and 60 min. Duration of first blood meal was also measured for individual fleas confined on cats. When fleas are free in the hair coat, 24.9% are engorged after 5 min and 97.2% are engorged after 1 h. Fleas confined to a vial on the cats fed significantly sooner; 60% of females were engorged within 5 min. The mean delay between deposition and biting for fleas, which began feeding within 15 min, was 24 s ± 31 s for females and 23 s ± 44 s for males. The mean duration of meals was 25 ± 18 min for females and 11 ± 8 min for males.
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Vol. 37 • No. 4