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Suitability of blood basophils for in vitro diagnosis of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) or flea bite hypersensitivity was studied in cats. A functional in vitro test (FIT) for sensitized type I allergic effector cells was used to evaluate the degree and kinetics of in vivo basophil sensitization against flea antigens in cats under long-term flea exposure. FIT results were compared with intradermal (IDT) and serological testing. Before, during, and after weekly repeated exposure to Ctenocephalides felis; 14 cats were repetitively FIT-assessed for general and flea-specific sensitization. In three cats, flea-specific sensitization was seen before and throughout flea exposure. Five cats, although generally sensitized, never developed a flea-specific sensitization. Six cats initially FIT-negative became sensitized for flea antigen during flea infestation. Induction, upregulation, and binding of C. felis-specific sensitizing antibodies to basophils during flea challenge may explain the developing sensitization in these cats. Strong discrepancies between the levels of flea-specific circulating IgE and basophil sensitization contrasted comparable results for basophil and mast cell sensitization using FIT and IDT, respectively. Hence, the FIT might provide an immunological supplement to the clinical diagnosis of FAD in cats by elucidating the state of basophil-sensitization to flea antigens. And it may be a comfortable alternative to IDT.