Fleas And Ticks Can Result In A Whole Host Of Problems Including:
- Tapeworms: Little secret here. If your cat comes in with rice-like segments around the perineal region, we know your cat has a flea problem. Were not just trying to sell you flea medication for fun. Thats because cats typically become infected with tapeworms after they have eaten an infected flea while grooming or by eating infected flea-ridden rodents.
- Discomfort and pain from itching.
- Flea-allergic dermatitis: Thats when your cat has severe allergies from the saliva of a flea, resulting in excessive grooming, hair loss, and red, raised, crusty bumps all over the bodyits torturous to your cat, as this allergy is excruciatingly uncomfortable.
- Life-threatening anemia: This is more common in young pediatric kittens, and occurs from the fleas sucking out over ½ to ¾ of your kittens blood supply!
- Tick-transmitted diseases like Lyme disease: Yes, while rare, cats can get infected with Borrelia, but rarely get as sick as dogs from it!
- Hemobartonellosis: A bacterial parasite that attacks your cats red blood cells.
- Cytauxzoonosis : Causes severe fever, anemia, breathing difficulties, and is almost always fatal.
- Tularemia: An uncommon but deadly bacterial infection that causes enlarged lymph nodes, abscesses, fever, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
- Plague : Can cause enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, sepsis, and shock.
- And more tick-related infections like ehrlichiosis and babeseosis!
What Decisions Do You Need To Make Before Buying A Flea Treatment For Your Cat
- Method of application: Effective flea treatments usually come in oral or topical form. Theres not much difference in terms of effectiveness, so its up to you whether you think that its easier to rub oil on your cats neck or get them to eat a tablet.
- Impact on life cycle: Some treatments only kill adult fleas, while others kill adult fleas and eggs and larvae. The latter will work faster because you may see a brief recurrence of fleas if you use a treatment that only targets adult bugs, as any existing eggs will hatch a few days or weeks after application. In the end, both types will kill all the fleas on your cat, though.
- Effectiveness on other parasites: Some treatments only kill fleas, while others can take out ticks, mites, and other bugs as well. If you have an outdoor cat, youll likely want one that protects against a wide range of parasites, but if you only have a flea problem, you might be better off using a more targeted formula.
Frontline Flea Spray For Dogs And Cats
Frontline® sprays do not contain the potentially toxic insecticides found in many pet store sprays, and this one is a one-stop-shop for any household that has both cats and dogs. It is also safe to use if you have kittens or puppies in your property, and is water-resistant so it is still effective even if you like in an area with a high rainfall.
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How Does Flea Medicine Work
Fleas are treatable with various methods like spot-on treatment or oral medications to animals that got affected. In case of spot-on treatment, individuals should apply a specific therapy on their fur buddies bodies where they couldnt reach with their mouths. Insect neurotoxins are active ingredients that stop any infestation of fleas and ticks by attacking them. It poisons every insect quickly and makes them incapable of spreading. Though this chemical is harmful to insects, it is safe to use for any affected animals.
The Stages Of The Cat Flea Life Cycle
Fleas are pesky pests and in our experience can do quite a lot of damage in a short amount of time! That’s why providing effective flea treatments for felines as soon as an infestation is suspected is an absolute mustit’s the best way to kill fleas and prevent further growth. Kill adult fleas and larvae for your cat’s peace of mind.
It may be helpful to have a general idea of how fleas grow and develop. These animals have a relatively quick life cycle that can be broken down into four main stages:
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Frontline Plus Flea Tick & Lice Killer For Cats 3 Pack 0017 Fl Oz Applicators
- Model: 891962001057
- Duration of treatment: 3 months
- Safety: Refer to package for information
- Ingredients: Fipronil, S-Methoprene
When used monthly, Frontline Plus completely breaks the flea life cycle and control tick and chewing lice infestations. Do not reapply Frontline Plus for 30 days. Frontline Plus kills adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae for up to six weeks.
Frontline Plus also prevents development of all flea stages for up to six weeks. Frontline Plus can control fleas for up to six weeks, however, if there is a high risk of reinfestation or if the cat has fleas which may cause flea allergy dermatitis, a once monthly application may be needed.
Flea And Tick Treatment Methods
Topical Flea Medicine
It is also popular as a spot-on method that works well for flea and tick control. When applied in between a pets shoulder blades, this medication can get licked off by them. Moreover, these medications generally last for a month, sometimes by killing and sometimes by repelling mosquitoes.
Flea collars work in 2 ways, either they emit toxic gas, or they might get absorbed into a subcutaneous fat layer of affected animals. Toxic gas works for the area immediately, like a neck or head. Flea collars work well for adult ticks but do not give efficient results for larvae.
Chewable Flea Medicine
Chewable flea medicine for dogs and cats helps to provide prevention against insects on a complete body. To help a pet chew easily, these are soft and flavored so that a dog and cat might not refuse them. After they get ingested, when insects bite a pet, they get infected by those infused toxins and might die.
Flea pills are efficient methods to treat fleas and ticks. These tablets stop larvae, eggs, and even adults. They provide protection for an animals entire body. Besides, every dog or cat will happily feed on them. It does not need any application in a particular area or spot.
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Petarmor Plus For Dogs Flea And Tick Prevention
PetArmors flea and tick treatment is a great choice to prevent dogs from flea action. Its reliability with water makes your purchase worth it. Apart from being waterproof, it effectively kills fleas, eggs, larvae, ticks, and chewing larvae. Thus, this one eliminates parasites of all ages. Besides, it aims to work well for up to 30 days which is a great thing. Since this one contains fipronil and -methoprene, it commences its work just within 24 hours. PetArmors best flea control for dogs offers 100% results by breaking a lice life cycle as it destroys all eggs and larvae.
PetArmors flea treatment arrives with 6-waterproof topical applications that offer control over insects for 6 months. By killing all eggs and larvae helps to prevent re-infestation and keeps a canine or cat secure. This long-lasting and easy-to-use product, therefore, becomes the best flea and tick medicine for dogs. PetArmors advanced flea protection for dogs keeps your puppy safe from brown ticks, American dog ticks, Lone Star Ticks, and Deer Ticks. Furthermore, the prevention of such deadly bugs will maximize any chance for Lyme transmission.
Best Natural Flea Medicine For Dogs
- Veterinarians say natural products arent as effective as mainstream flea medicine for dogs
- Sensitive noses might find the scent a bit overpowering
Dog Flea Medicine Buying Guide
Cost and convenience are, of course, important considerations when choosing a flea medicine. Other factors like your dogs medical history and size, as well as product reliability, are critical to consider, too.
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Natural Flea Repellents For Cats
At-home methods for killing fleas naturally
The Spruce / Bailey Mariner
If your cat is scratching and itching nonstop, you see bits of what appear to be dirt in its coat or on its bed, or worst of all, you yourself are getting bitten, then chances are good that your feline has fleas. Fleas can be a natural part of life with a cat, but they are potentially harmful to your pet and to your family with their terribly itchy bites. Fortunately, you don’t automatically have to opt for strong or toxic chemicals to eliminate or discourage fleas. There are numerous natural flea repellents, including lemons, cedar, and various spices such as lavender that can help treat your cat’s flea infestation.
If youve already had a consultation with your veterinarian regarding your feline flea problem, and received the okay to try and treat the problem naturally or to use natural flea repellents in combination with stronger commercial products, here are some at-home remedies you can try that may help get rid of your cats flea problem for good.
What Is The Difference Between Prescription And Over
Some flea control products are sold over the counter, which means you can buy them without a prescription. Other flea control products require your veterinarian to write a prescription. You can purchase prescription products directly from your veterinarian or buy them from online pet pharmacies and stores like Chewy, Petco, Petsmart, and Walmart PetRx.
Most prescription flea control products also prevent heartworms and sometimes other parasites like roundworms, hookworms, mites, and ticks. Any product with a heartworm component requires a prescription. Pets must test negative for heartworms before starting one of these products because giving a heartworm-positive pet this type of medication can cause rare but potentially very serious and sometimes fatal complications. You also want to know if your pet has adult heartworms because preventive medication will not kill them it only kills the larval stages.
Prescription flea control products cost more than over-the-counter options because they protect against more parasites, most importantly, deadly heartworms. There is no treatment for cats with adult heartworms, and they will eventually die from the infection. This is why veterinarians recommend using a year-round heartworm preventive for all cats, whether they live indoors or out. They also recommend year-round intestinal parasite prevention.
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Best Flea Medicine For Dogs With Multi
Trifexis is a beef-flavored tablet that not only protects dogs from fleas but also heartworm disease and three kinds of intestinal parasites: hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. Its easy to give like a treat and only needs to be dosed once a month. As with other heartworm medications, your dog will need to be tested for an existing heartworm infection before starting this product. Talk to your veterinarian to see if Trifexis is a good fit for your canine companion.
- Monthly, beef-flavored tablet given orally
- Kills fleas on dogs and prevents infestations, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls hookworm, roundworm, and whipworm infections
- Full month of protection
- Available in a variety of strengths, according to a dogs weight
Things to Consider
- Your dog will need to be tested for an existing heartworm infection before starting this medication
- Administer with food for maximum effectiveness
- Cost varies depending on the strength of the dose and the number of doses in each box
- Not suitable for puppies under 8 weeks of age
- Dogs must weigh 5 pounds or more to use this medication
- Potential side effects may include vomiting, decreased activity, itching, decreased appetite, and diarrhea
- If vomiting occurs within one hour of administration, you will need to redose
- Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing epilepsy
Chemicals In Flea Treatment For Cats
Many modern oral flea and tick medicines on the market today use isooxazoline. The FDA has determined that isoxazoline treatments are safe and effective for most cats and dogs. However, there is a slight chance that flea medicine with isoxazoline could cause neurological disorders such as seizures or muscle tremors in pets.
Many older flea and tick treatments used either macrocyclic lactones such as ivermectin, milbemycin and selamectin, or spinosyn like Spinosad. Macrocyclic lactones are known for preventing and killing such parasites as fleas and ticks. Spinosyn is most effective at treating fleas, but in higher doses, it may kill off ticks as well.
While macrocyclic lactones and spinosyn have been around for much longer than isoxazolines, all three chemicals are considered effective at treating fleas.
Other common ingredients found in flea medicine include:
- Pyriproxyfen, effective at disrupting fleas growth cycle
- Fipronil, treats ticks, chewing lice and fleas
- S-Methoprene, interferes with and stalls the growth and development of pests
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What To Look For While Buying A Flea Medicine
Getting flea or tick medicine for your fluff companions becomes a great necessity as it might yield disastrous results if not treated timely. Checking various flea and tick prevention reviews would surely help you, but you still need to look for certain features that decide your purchase. Such features are as follows:
Primary factor that rules a purchase is a pets age. If you own a small puppy or young dog, then you should check for the age criteria labeled on a flea product. All medicines do not work well for all ages, so you need to pick up the product that fulfills your dog or cat age criteria.
Which breed your pet belongs to also helps you to decide what medicine or what type of treatment would work well. If you have a dog of any such breed who has thick coats, then taking up a topical treatment for them will not solve the issues. Ensure whatever type of treatment or product you are going to buy suits your dog or cat.
If you are feeding a pet with any other medications or supplements, then you might consider it before buying flea medicine. Also, any health disorders, previous histories, or allergies need consideration. Various drugs make use of different ingredients, and they might react in different ways in a pets body. So, it becomes necessary to take into consideration all the health histories of a pet.
Type of Parasites
Does Your Cat Currently Have Fleas
If your cat is currently struggling with a flea burden, we recommend a product that kills fleas quickly, rather than a product that interrupts the flea breeding cycle. Our top recommendations for strong flea killers include Bravecto, Revolution Plus, and Comfortis. Please also note that in order to effectively eradicate fleas, you may need to do a full flea clean of your house and bedding to eliminate pesky eggs in the environment.
Want a clear-cut recommendation? See our flowchart below. Please note that each recommendation is just one option of many. For more options, please feel free to Ask a Pet Circle Vet.
Still confused? See our Flea and Tick Quiz which interactively takes you through relevant steps and picks a combination for you!
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Sentry Fiproguard Flea & Tick Squeeze
The Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On is exceptionally inexpensive. For this reason, many people may be drawn to buying it. However, it is not the best on the market by any means. It doesnt seem to work nearly as well as other options. Many people report that it does not work at all. It may depend on your specific cat or environment. Either way, the bottom line is that this option does not work as well as other options. It may be cheap, but you dont want to pay for a treatment that doesnt work at all.
It also works on ticks. But, again, there are many cases of this flea treatment not working at all on ticks included. It seems to work on ticks when it does work, however.
In many cases, youre better off spending a bit more money and getting a flea treatment that works!
Best Flea Collar For Dogs
Seresto is the most effective flea collar for dogs on the market, veterinarians say. It kills fleas and ticks without having to expose your dog to flea bites. One collar offers protection for 8 months and you dont need a prescription from your veterinarian.
- One collar is effective for up to 8 months
- Repels and kill fleas and ticks on contact without fleas having to bite your dog
- The collar has a quick-release feature and safety reflectors
- No need for a prescription
Things to Consider
- Not all dogs like wearing collars
- Flea collars may not be as effective in large dogs
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Revolution Plus Topical Cat Solution Best Flea & Tick Treatment For Cats
If you want to be sure that youve killed every last little biter on your cat, youll need to call in the big guns, and they dont come more powerful than Revolution Plus. It will start knocking off fleas in as little as 4 hours.
A quick caveat: Revolution Plus is our top pick because its incredibly versatile. Its primary ingredient, Selamectin, kills fleas, ticks, ear mites, and various worms . Its basically a one-stop shop for parasite management, which is why we believe that its the best overall flea treatment for cats.
Theres one big thing that it doesnt do, however: kill flea eggs and larvae. As a result, you may see a huge difference in the flea population the first few days after application, only to see a few more pop up a little while later.
Thats normal, and nothing to worry about those fleas will die off before they can lay eggs, and the life cycle will be snuffed out. Still, it can be disconcerting to see a flare-up after youve applied a treatment.
Revolution Plus also requires a prescription, which is a bit of a hassle . Its easy to apply and only needs to be put on once a month, giving you hassle-free protection.
Advantage II technically sits in the number-two spot on this list, but its likely even better at killing fleas than Revolution Plus, though its not as versatile. That said, you can swap the two around depending on what qualities you prefer.