While it’s not possible to make a home entirely impenetrable against fleas, especially during the summer, using the best flea treatment for cats can help you get your flea problem under control. By using the right products for your pets, you can significantly reduce the flea population in your home and any complications that can arise such as flea anemia, or flea dermatitis.
In this guide, I’ll go over what characteristics you need to look for in a flea treatment for your feline, so you can choose a product based on your pets weight, age, and flea sensitivity. I’ve also used several of the top selling treatments and narrowed it down to four products that have what it takes to eliminate parasites and can keep your cat feeling great and pest-free all summer long.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each product that made it onto my list, important product information, and how each treatment rated.
Flea Treatment for Cats Comparison Chart
Best Flea Treatment for Cats-Frontline Plus for Cats
Frontline Plus is a preventative treatment that consists of two active ingredients:
Fipronil kills adult ticks and fleas, while S-methoprene attacks larvae and flea eggs. These long-acting flea treatments for cats can be crucial during the summertime when fleas are very active and breeding at an increased rate. It’s often recommended by vets to kill ear mites and chewing lice in cats, which makes it one of the most versatile over the counter flea medications on the market.
This is one of the best flea treatments for cats who have flea dermatitis, or cats that are indoor/outdoor. The med is stored in the skin’s sebaceous glands, so it continues to replenish protection for a period of one month.
This product is also waterproof, so it will still continue to protect your pet, even if you give them a bath. This is a topical med that is applied to the back of the neck, which will prevent cats from licking it off. The medication is reapplied once a month and will continue to protect against fleas and ticks for a period of thirty days.
Fortunately, you can order this product on Amazon, without a prescription. This flea treatment for cats can be used on adults, seniors, and kittens one and a half pounds and over.
- Kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and larvae
- Kills ear mites and chewing lice
- Effective tick treatment
- Month-long flea control
- Easy to apply
Frontline Plus is easy to apply and offers month long protection against adult fleas, adults, larvae, chewing lice, and ear mites. It will also continue to work, even if you bathe your cat. Unlike competing products, it’s safe for use in younger kittens, and can be used in conjunction with fast-acting flea treatments. Cat owners will be impressed by how quickly Frontline Plus can eliminate a flea infestation and prevent infestations in the future.
Best Flea and Tick Collar for Cats-Seresto Flea Tick Collar for Cats
Unlike competing brands, this flea collar for cats can provide up to eight months of protection against adult fleas, ticks, and larvae. Many pet owners prefer using this type of flea collar, since they won’t have to worry about reapplying meds once a month. The collar starts working immediately, so you should see results within 24-48 hours.
According to the manufacturer, the collar works to kill and repel fleas within 24 hours, however, if your cat has a serious infestation, it can take twice as long for the collar to eliminate the entire population. The collar kills adult fleas on contact. This means that any fleas or ticks that were on your cat when you applied the collar, will die within a matter of hours. This also means that the collar will not kill eggs. The eggs must hatch before the effects of the collar can work its magic.
- Easy to apply
- Kills adult flea tick, and larvae
- Repels fleas
- Works within twenty-four hours
- Effective tick treatment
- Does not kill eggs
- Cannot be used on kittens under ten weeks of age
Seresto flea collars are available for both dogs and cats and it’s one of the best flea control options for multi-pet homes.
Using a flea collar that offers this level and length of protection against fleas and ticks will give pet owners peace of mind knowing their cats will be well-protected against parasites for several months.
Best Flea Treatments for Indoor/Outdoor Cats-Advantage II Flea Prevention
Advantage II is a pre-measured easy to apply topical that’s waterproof after twenty-four hours and easy to apply. It prevents infestations by killing adult fleas on contact, so the flea does not have to bite your pet first, in order to die. This is a huge plus to cats who are allergic to a flea’s saliva. The topical kills parasites in multiple life stages including adult fleas, eggs, and larvae, working to break the flea life cycle.
Advantage II is also available for dogs, so it’s a great choice in multi-pet homes. The topical will sink deep down into a pet’s fur within a matter of seconds. However, you’ll need to be careful where you apply the topical, since a cat will try to lick it off when grooming.
- Works for multiple flea life stages
- Easy to apply
- Kills flea eggs
- Products available for both dogs and cats
- Kills fleas within twelve hours
- Offers excellent flea control
- Cannot bathe cat for twenty-four hours
- Not an effective tick treatment
- Cannot be used in kittens or adult cats under nine pounds
Advantage II will begin working within twelve hours and must be reapplied once a month. This product works on multiple life stages, including larvae, and can provide the full protection you need during the hotter months of the year, when the pest population begins to rise dramatically.
Best Oral Flea Treatments for Cats-Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats
Capstar is an oral cat flea tick product that can begin killing fleas of all stages of life in just thirty minutes. It’s quickly replaced an older product, Spinosad, which has been discontinued, not for serious side effects, but because manufacturers soon found that fleas had built a resistance to it. As an insect growth regulator, it was also discontinued when researchers found it was killing honey bees, when used for crops. This same insecticide was used as an oral flea med, just like Capstar.
Capstar works even better, without any harsh side effects. The biggest drawback of this oral flea pill is that it must be readministered daily since it only provides pest protection for twenty-four hours. This means, if your cat went outside after that time, fleas could jump right back on them. However, if you’re dealing with a serious flea infestation, this product can immediately eliminate all life stages. This will be a great med to keep on hand if you feed strays and ferals. Additionally, this med can be lifesaving if you have a pet with flea anemia.
- Works within thirty minutes
- Pill form
- Veterinarian recommended
- Convenient tablet
- Can be given once daily
- Kills ticks
- Can be used in adults and kittens over two pounds
- Only works for twenty-four hours
If you find flea dirt on your pet, you can administer Capstar for fast-acting flea control in minutes. While the price is a little steep, if you’re dealing with a major infestation in the home, Capstar can be used for both dogs and cats and can quickly eliminate flea and tick infestations, providing your pet with instant relief.
Best Flea Treatment for Cats Buyer’s Guide
Unfortunately, not all pest products will work the same for all cats. Treatment that works for one cat may not work for another, especially if you’re dealing with flea sensitivity. There are many factors you’ll want to consider before you buy this type of pest control product. Before I dive into the buyer’s guide, let’s take a look at the different types of flea treatments available.
Types of Pest Treatments
There are many different types of flea products to choose from. Because of this, it can be difficult to choose the right product for your specific pet . Some treatments will work better than others, depending on the product itself, your cat, and whether they are indoor/outdoor. When you’re shopping for flea tick meds for your feline, you’ll come across the following options:
- Flea collars
Topical Meds for Fleas & Ticks
Also referred to as spot treatments, topical products do a great job of preventing infestations and killing existing flea tick populations. As the liquid dries on the skin on the back of the cat’s head it will evenly spread across the entire body but will not leave any residue behind.
These products are often effective for a period of 30 days and will require reapplication. Topicals are often considered one of the most effective ways to get fleas off kittens.
Oral Meds for Fleas & Ticks
Oral meds are available in tablet form and are administered by mouth. These products are often fast acting and can kill all of the fleas and ticks on dogs and cats within a period of 30 minutes. Unfortunately they are only able to kill fleas for 24 hours or less. This means that you will need to readminister the med on a daily basis if your cat is outdoors or you have both cats and dogs in the home. In most cases, this type of product is a better choice if you want to eliminate a serious infestation immediately.
If you’re dealing with a bad infestation, I recommend using an oral treatment in conjunction with a topical. Unfortunately these meds are not long-lasting, so you’ll end up dealing with an ongoing problem if you don’t continue to give the medication on a daily basis for a period of one to two weeks. When used with a topical med, you can kill adults, eggs, and larva and quickly manage your pest problem.
Obviously, collars are worn around the cat’s neck. Some collars are able to provide preventative treatment for a period of three to eight months. Typically, collars that can treat cats for a period of three to eight months are often more expensive than collars that need to be replaced after 30 days.
Shampoos are a good choice only if you need to quickly eliminate the fleas that are currently on your feline. Unfortunately, the results are not long lasting. Instead, shampoos are designed only to eliminate adult fleas on the cat’s body. In most cases, during a bath, the product will fail to get rid of many of the adult fleas that will hide and borough in the fur, around the face, and in the ears. Many shampoos also do a poor job of removing eggs.
Like in oral medication, a shampoo can be a good choice in an emergency situation when you need to quickly remove all the fleas, such as when the cat is suffering from flea anemia.
Sprays are applied directly to the coat and skin. Just like a shampoo, it’s not as effective as oral or spot treatments.
Other Important Factors
Aside from choosing what type of treatment you are going to use, there are other factors to consider such as whether to use only fast acting or monthly medications. You will also want to pay attention to the package instructions and look at the age recommendations for a product. If you are searching for medication that can treat infestations in kittens, then you will need to be extra careful and ensure that the med you choose is safe.
Additionally, you should also research the side effects associated with each specific product since some have a reputation for causing seizures, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Below, I’ll go over the different factors to consider before you hit that buy now button, such as:
- Active life
- Vet approved
- Active ingredients
- Side effects
- Treatment age
- All stages of life
When you choose a preventative treatment it will work to eliminate the current pest population, in addition to repelling any fleas that may jump on them. These products can take twenty-four to forty-eight hours to take effect. However, you can also choose a fast acting treatment, which will work to quickly kill fleas right away.
A preventative treatment is often administered once a month. Some fast-acting products can be given every twenty-four hours. Please be sure to check the instructions on the package before you administer.
These products use pesticides and insecticides. While these ingredients can be effective when it comes to killing fleas, they can also harm a cat if not used correctly or if they are administered to kittens who are too young.
Even the best flea treatment for cats can cause unwanted side effects because they contain powerful ingredients that can be fatal if not given correctly.
Some cats are more sensitive to certain active ingredients. Signs of a bad reaction to the medication can include:
- Muscle tremors
- Difficulty walking
- Abnormal behavior
If your cat is experiencing any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately. Drooling can also be a common side effect, however, if your cat starts to drool after you have given them an oral medication, don’t panic.
Cats often drool when they eat something that tastes terrible. If you’ve administered an oral medication and your cat starts drooling, offer a treat, which can help get the bad taste out of their mouth. When a cat begins to drool when you use a collar or administer a topical medication, then there’s a cause for concern.
All Stages of Life
You need a flea and tick treatment that can handle adults, larvae, and eggs. Some products will only eliminate adults, while others offer broader treatment. If you are looking for a powerful flea and tick treatment, read the product label and look for the words “treats all stages of life”. These meds will do a better job of managing your pest problem, so you won’t have to reapply the med to kill the larvae or adults once the eggs have hatched.
Powerful treatments can be fatal for kittens. When you’re shopping for flea treatments, make sure it’s safe for use in kittens and find out how many weeks old the kitten must be. In many cases, you’ll find that products are not safe for kittens under four to twelve weeks of age. Additionally, some products may be too harsh for seniors or cats with existing health issues.
Some of the best flea treatments for cats are available by prescription only. The two most commonly prescribed flea and tick products include:
- Bravecto Plus
- Revolution Plus
Both Bravecto Plus and Revolution Plus have earned a reputation for their powerful, versatile, long-lasting treatment. If other flea meds have not worked for you, speak with your veterinarian concerning these powerful prescription-only meds.
Does My Cat Have Fleas-What Does Flea Dirt Mean?
As a pet owner you want your pet to stay healthy and you want to prevent fleas from invading your home year-round, especially if you live in the country where your dogs and cats are vulnerable to both fleas and ticks. You may spend time using a flea comb or flea powders as a safer gentler flea control method, but in warmer climates, flea control can be a huge challenge. This is especially true if the local fleas have become resistant to certain types of meds.
If you comb your cat daily, but you’re still seeing a lot of cat flea dirt, then you need to use a tougher flea control method. Flea dirt is actually feces. The flea dirt looks similar to coffee grounds and can be found throughout the fur and skin of infested animals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kills Fleas on Cats Instantly?
Blue Dawn dish detergent can do wonders in terms of killing the fleas that are currently on your cat. However, you will need to comb out your pet’s coat for several days after the bath, to remove adults that hid during the bath, and the eggs. A veterinarian often recommends using a comb on pets daily to help with flea control.
How Many Fleas on a Cat is Considered an Infestation?
As little as twenty fleas can indicate an infestation in cats, however, a serious infestation can involve hundreds of fleas.
Do Fleas Eventually Go Away?
No. Fleas do die, but they also lay dozens of eggs a day, so the cycle will continue until you treat the infestation.
The best flea treatment for cats can work to immediately get rid of a serious flea infestation and can prevent fleas from infesting your home and your pet’s coat in the future. How effective a product is in terms of eliminating fleas will vary from brand to brand and will depend on the type of product you use.
As I mentioned earlier, fast-acting products can do a great job of killing all the fleas on your pet’s body, but they often don’t work to kill flea eggs in dogs and cats, so they must be given on a daily basis or a few times a week to catch those fleas that hatch. Additionally, they don’t work to prevent an infestation in the future. In most cases, topicals or collars can be a better way to manage your pest problem.
The information in this guide and the products that I’ve included can help you choose the right product to keep your cat and home pest-free. With a little research, you should have no trouble finding a product that’s affordable, easy to apply, and one that works perfectly for your feline.