Best Flea Treatments For Cats: Stop Your Cat Scratching
ByKathryn Rosenbergpublished 3 November 21
We pick out the best flea treatments for cats for when your kitty just wont stop scratching
Included in this guide:
Flea and Tick Cat Collar
Best Flea and Tick Gentle-Mist Spray for Cats
Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats
Investing in the best flea treatments for cats is an important decision to make. If left alone, fleas and ticks can easily find a home in your cats fur. Not only will it make them itch it could leave them more open to disease.
Fleas get to cats by crawling or jumping onto them. They can jump vertically by as much as seven inches and horizontally by 13 inches about 80 times their height and 200 times their length! They also feed on their hosts blood and lay eggs on them, which in turn creates an even bigger problem.
Its fairly easy to see if your cats have fleas. They may scratch, chew, or lick more than usual, and might start to lose hair as well. You may even see flea dirt or red marks. In some cases, you might even see the fleas themselves.
Dealing with them may involve a two-pronged approach. First, youll want to consider ways of preventing fleas in the first place and, second, treat any that end up landing. Of the two, preventative methods are always preferable, like with the best flea treatment for dogs. Doing this ensures your cat is less likely to suffer damage to their skin, as well as reducing the risk of blood loss, which can lead to anemia.
Side Effects Of Flea Medicine For Cats
If a cat is not responding to flea medicine positively, then it might result in some side effects that can be harmful to its health. Certain major issues that might occur due to wrong medicine can be drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, unrest, tremors, lethargy. In some cases, it also leads to weakness, incoordination, hypothermia, hyperthermia, dyspnea , and seizures. Felines get irritated as a result of which they start losing their energy. Also, certain medications may lead to disruption of the nervous system and might result in fatal health problems.
What Does Cheristin Do For Cats
Spinetoram works on two different neurotransmitters in insects it is effective against, GABA and acetylcholine. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter while acetylcholine is responsible for many nervous system functions including muscle movement.
When spinetoram acts against both GABA and acetylcholine, this leads to overstimulation of the nervous system of the flea, followed by paralysis and death.
While monthly application of the topical solution is advised by the manufacturer for flea control, a study did show that Cheristin was effective against adult fleas for up to 6 weeks.
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How To Choose The Safest Flea Treatment For Your Cat
If youre concerned that your cat has fleas, you are probably in the market for a flea preventative medicine. However, safety is a big concern when it comes to treating pets for fleasespecially with cats.
And many flea treatments that are made for dogs can actually be extremely toxic to cats, so it is important to find one that is labeled for cats.
Heres how you can find a safe flea treatment for the cats in your home.
How Long Treatment Lasts
Fleas are very difficult to get rid of once they have settled in. There are many reasons for this which include the number of eggs one female can lay in a day , and the different life stages a flea goes through before maturity. In a flea infestation, the adult flea accounts for just about 5% of the population. The remaining 95% consists of eggs, larvae, and pupae.
If you apply a treatment that kills all the adults today, you are likely to have new adults emerging from the pupae stage by tomorrow. This is why the length of time the treatment remains active is very important.
A lot of treatments, especially topical ones, stay active for up to 30 days. Within this time, every emerging adult flea is killed. At the end of the 30 days, you re-apply the treatment and the killing continues. If it is effective for just a few days then you may find yourself having to apply a new treatment every few days which will be very stressful for both you and your pet.
Read the instructions on the product label to find out how often to reapply flea treatment on your cat. This is important, as applying treatment too often can be unhealthy for your kitty, while using it too infrequently will reduce its effectiveness. Many products are safe to reapply after a week or two.
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Why Are Flea Treatments For Cats Important
To understand why flea treatment for kittens and cats is important, you need to understand the effect of flea infestation on a cat. First, a female flea can eat about 15 times its body weight daily and thats your pets blood we are talking about. Multiply this by any number of females you like and you get a troubling result.
Lets not even talk about the serious discomfort your pet can suffer from the many bites which leave your cat acting irritably, biting and scratching herself and more. Lets focus on the more serious side effects of flea infestation.
A serious flea infestation can lead to a number of health conditions not only for your cat but also for you, the pet owner. Flea infestations can lead to feline infectious anemia and flea allergy dermatitis. Feline infectious anemia is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. It targets the red blood cells, gradually decimating them leaving the host weak and lethargic among other things. Flea allergy dermatitis, on the other hand, is an allergic reaction to flea bites that can result in a loss of fur, open sores or hot spots.
An infected cat can also infect its owner with cat scratch fever. This can be transmitted from cat to cat by fleas and from cat to humans via a cat scratch or bite.
Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical For Cats
As a moderately-priced flea treatment, Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical for Cats is only moderately-effective. This is why it lands right in the middle of our list. It works effectively in most cases but isnt the absolute best. It is designed to be used once a month. It kills fleas and prevents them from coming back. It is suitable for kittens that are eight weeks or older. However, they have to weigh 1.8 pounds, which makes it less versatile than some of the other options on this list.
It kills fleas, starting within 30 minutes of application. It kills most fleas within 12 hours and then continues working up to a month after that. Each treatment lasts for one month. The easy applicator makes it very easy to use. Perhaps best of all, this formula is completely non-greasy. It gets all the way down to your cats skin easy, which is precisely what you want it to do.
While it is advertised to last a month, we didnt find this to be true. Some cats may be reinfected longer, especially if there are many fleas in their environment. Outdoor cats may be infected sooner as well.
- Doesnt work for a full 30 days
- Only suitable for cats over 1.8 pounds
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Advantage Ii Cat Flea Treatment
Bayers veterinarian-recommended flea treatment does exactly that treat fleas. It does so very effectively. Weve never been disappointed by the well-being products they produce and this topical flea medicine is no different.
The active ingredient Imidacloprid gets to work quickly, killing fleas on contact within 12 hours of application.
Bayer claim it keeps working for 30 days , but theyre not far wrong.
Imidacloprid works in conjuction with Pyriproxyfen , to kill adult fleas and flea eggs. This breaks the life cycle of fleas and means they cant reappear when the larvae matures.
Its available in three different weight classes, 2-5 lb, 5-9 lb and Over 9 lb. Make sure you purchase the correct treatment for your cats weight. Its totally odorless and fragrance-free, waterproof and kills through contact.
Were yet to see a product reach the same levels of efficiency for the price. A must buy for owners struggling to tackle stubborn fleas.
Q: Can I Use A Dog Flea Treatment On My Cat
You should never use a dog flea treatment on your cat. Cats have different physiologies than dogs, so flea treatments affect them differently. Dog flea and tick medications typically contain pyrethroids, which cats are extremely sensitive to. Another class of chemicals usually found in dog flea treatments are organophosphates, which are toxic to cats. While there are some products that work both for dogs and cats, if you intend to use them, you should read the label carefully . Because many canine flea and tick preventative formulas can be lethal to cats, its always better to purchase the products specifically formulated for felines, or for both felines and canines, but never for dogs only.
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Advecta Ii Flea Treatment For Cats
Our final mention, Advecta II Flea Treatment for Cats, is far from the least worthy. Its waterproof, fragrance-free, and lasts up to four months per dosage. Containing the powerful active ingredients Imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen, this flea treatment begins working quickly and kills the majority of fleas on your cat within 12 hours of application.
Advecta II Flea Treatment for Cats is another of the many products designed to break the life cycle of fleas by killing off fleas of all stages eggs, adults, larvae, and pupae. This makes it even more effective at not just eliminating fleas but also at keeping them away for longer periods. The product is incredibly easy to use, comes in a convenient package, and is highly recommended online.
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.
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What You Should Know About Fleas In Cats
If your cat has fleas, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Cats that go outside are more likely to pick up fleas, but even indoor cats can get them, either from the family dog or when they go to the veterinarian or a boarding facility. Fleas can even hitchhike indoors on your clothes or shoes.
An Aside On Ticks And Cats
Fortunately, ticks are less of a nuisance in cats, compared to dogs. Cats are meticulous groomers, and they usually remove most ticks from their coat before they attach. Those that do attach rarely cause problems because cats are much less susceptible to dangerous tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. In my 29 years in practice, Ive never seen a case in a cat.
Dr. Arnold Plotnick is the founder of Manhattan Cat Specialists, a feline-exclusive veterinary practice on Manhattans upper west side. He is also an author of The Original Cat Fancy Cat Bible. Dr. Plotnick is a frequent contributor to feline publications and websites, including his own blog, Cat Man Do. He lives in New York City with his cats, Mittens and Glitter.
Read more about fleas and cats on Catster.com:
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Cheristin® for cats is a flea treatment and prevention specifically formulated for cats.
Cheristin® for Cats is a topical flea treatment designed specifically for cats. Cheristins long-lasting formula protects against fleas through 6 weeks1 and is applied using a rounded tip applicator for comfortable, easy application. Cheristin comes in one dose size for all cats and kittens , making it great for families with multiple cats. Cheristin is available without a prescription.
- Key Benefits:
- Cheristin® for cats kills fleas fast and is specifically designed for cats.
- While monthly application is recommended, a single dose of Cheristin kills adult fleas for up to 6 weeks.1
- One size fits all*, which makes Cheristin ideal for households with multiple cats.
- Easy to apply: Quick-drying, non-greasy topical solution is gently delivered by a small applicator with a rounded tip.
- Fast: Starts killing fleas within 30 minutes and killed 98-100% of fleas within 12 hours in a controlled study.2
- Convenient: Same low volume dose is gentle enough for all cats and kittens over 1.8 pounds and 8 weeks old.
- The active ingredient, spinetoram, received a 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry award for low environmental impact on the agricultural industry.3
Tips On Using Flea Medications On Cats
Knowing how to select the appropriate flea medication for cats including the different types of formulations is just part of the multi-faceted approach to effective pest control. Equally important is the knowledge of how to use these products in the correct manner. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Always talk to your veterinarian
Theres a certain tendency by pet owners to forego seeking consultation with their vet just to save a few dollars from the piece of advice that will be given to them. After all, every bit of information you need is already on the internet, right?
This line of thinking is fundamentally flawed. Just because you can access everything on the internet doesnt mean that the descriptions provided in such forum are a perfect fit to your pet cat. Just like us, cats, too, are highly individualistic. They may share the same breed characteristics such as hair color and markings but their physiology will be vaguely different. It is in these physiologic differences that your vet can help by carefully evaluating your kittys health profile so youll be given a list of possible options to give as a flea remedy.
- Make sure to get the accurate weight of your pet
- Make it a habit to read and understand the manufacturers directions
- Choose only the treatment that is appropriate for your pet feline
- Always purchase from reputable sellers
- Dont go cheap
- Be very vigilant about possible reactions
- Know how to evaluate the effectiveness of the medication
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Best Oral: Comfortis Chewable Tablet
No topical application to have to let dry
Good for cats that cannot tolerate topical products
Lasts for one month
May be difficult to get your cat to eat the tablet
Does not protect against any other parasites
Flea prevention for up to one month in cats and kittens 14 weeks and older can be found in the chewable tablet option called Comfortis. This tablet works very quickly to kill fleas in as few as 30 minutes and can be crushed and mixed in your cats wet food if necessary. Its a great option for cats that dont tolerate spot-on or other topical treatments. It requires veterinary approval but for fast-acting and long-lasting flea protection, Comfortis fits the bill.
Cheristin For Cats Caution
HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS
HAZARDS TO HUMANS
CAUTION. Harmful if swallowed. Causes moderate eye irritation. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or using the toilet. Avoid contact with eyes or clothing.
HAZARDS TO DOMESTIC ANIMALS
FOR USE ON CATS AND KITTENS ONLY. For external use only. As with any product, consult your veterinarian before using the product on medicated, debilitated, aged, pregnant or nursing animals or animals known to be sensitive to pesticides. In multiple cat households, do not allow the cats to groom each other until the product has dried.
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What Are The Health Risks To A Cat
Fleas are more than just a nuisance. These parasites can pose a threat to your cat’s health. A severe flea infestation can seriously damage a cat’s skin, induce an allergic reaction, or cause them to become anemic from blood loss. Fleas are also responsible for cats contracting parasites like tapeworms and may transmit diseases.
“Fleas can pass on diseases to cats, which can then be passed on to people,” Jeffer said. “The most common one that we see is cat scratch fever , which can cause all kinds of issues in people, but in cats, it can make them very sick.”
Best Flea Treatment For Cats
Spot-on treatments for your cat are generally safer and more effective than treatments such as shampoos or sprays. You can get spot-on treatments from your vet or an online shop that caters to pet needs. Ask your vet where to apply the product to your cat, how much to apply, and how often to use it. Read the instructions on the product label to make sure it is safe for cats. Some common active ingredients and brands include:
- A flea collar with flumethrin and imidacloprid
Topical tick and flea treatment for cats is highly effective in getting rid of fleas on cats and preventing a future reinfestation. Some highly recommended flea treatments for cats are Revolution flea treatment for cats, Bravecto, Advantage, Cheristin, and Frontline.
Some great products available on the market are:
A popular option for flea control is a monthly topical application for your cat. These products offer a full 30 days of protection with a single application, and the best ones will protect against fleas in all life stages. For a topical flea preventative that works well and is safe for cats, choose Advantage II.
Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Cats & Kittens
De Flea Shampoo Concentrate
Once you find fleas on your cat, bathe them with a flea shampoo. Afterward, apply a topical spot-on product, a flea-control product, a flea collar, or a flea spray to kill any lingering fleas and protect against reinfestation.
Jasper Flea and Tick Spray
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