Fleas are the bane of pet owners worldwide.
Not only can these critters bite your family members and cause irritation, but they're seriously upsetting for your feline friend too. Unfortunately, fleas are a pretty common occurrence.
Cats love exploring piles of leaves, rolling around in the grass, and getting into places they shouldn't. That means that they almost always have the welcome mat rolled out for fleas. Even if you have an indoor cat, they can still catch fleas from vet and groomer visits.
So, what can you do about this common issue? You need a counter flea strategy!
Who Needs to Buy Flea Drops for Cats?
Remember, A flea can complete its entire life cycle in as little as two weeks so you need to act swiftly. The most obvious reason to buy flea treatments for your cat is that you've noticed fleas on their fur, or you see other symptoms, like excessive scratching. However, you don't have to wait until the signs of a flea infestation are presenting themselves before you take action.
Even newborn kittens can get fleas from their mother, or other surrounding pets – when they haven't been outside at all. Fleas and their eggs can survive up to 6 months away from your cat, which means there's no limit to when your four-legged friend might catch them.
Fleas need treating pronto if you notice their presence. Once they take up residence on your cat, they can cause serious issues, including skin conditions and anemia. A cat exposed to fleas can also suffer from other problems, like irritation and constant scratching.
If your cat scratches too hard, it might open the skin, paving the way for an infection. At the same time, an issue with fleas can easily impact other people and animals in your family.
How to Recognize the Signs of Fleas
Fleas are a nightmare for any home. They infest carpets and furniture and can appear from almost anywhere. Some fleas can jump up to 12 inches in height! That means they have no problem getting onto your cat. While flea treatments can be expensive, they're going to be significantly cheaper than the hefty veterinarians bills that often come from an untreated infestation.
If you can't use a precautionary dose of flea treatment, keep an eye out for common symptoms. Regular signs of an infestation include:
If you're unsure about an infestation, try using a flea comb to brush through your cat. You can usually see fleas jumping to avoid the comb or the presence of flea dirt. Vets also recommend turning animals onto their back and blowing gently on the fur to see if any fleas are hiding there.
We also have this in-depth article that will really let you know if your cat has got fleas!
What Kind of Cat Flea Treatments Are There?
If you decide that you do need to give your kitty a flea treatment, the toughest task is often figuring out what kind of solution they need. These days, there are tons of options available, ranging from flea collars that are great for prevention, to drop liquids.
Here are the most common types of treatment you can consider:
There are some other treatment options out there, like foams, flea shampoos, and sprays. However, there's a lot of conflict in the market about which of these choices are the easiest to use, and which work best. You can also find products that work in a preventative manner, but it's essential to speak to your vet about which options are safest for your cat. There are some other treatment options out there, like foams, flea shampoos, and sprays.
However, there's a lot of conflict in the market about which of these choices are the easiest to use, and which work best. You can also find products that work in a preventative manner, but it's essential to speak to your vet about which options are safest for your cat.
OWNERS TOP TIP: If you suspect a flea invasion ensure that you vacuum your carpets, furniture, and all the gaps and spaces in the floor. Suck up any eggs before they can hatch.
You'll also get rid of live fleas this way. Just don’t forget to throw away the vacuum’s bag! That's important.
What to Consider when Choosing a Flea Treatment
Choosing the right flea treatment for your furry friend is just like making any significant decision as a pet parent. If you think your cat has an infestation, speak to your vet about their recommendations. Some vets can offer insights into the kind of treatments that are dangerous for cats. For instance, you should never use a product for dogs on your feline friend.
Dog products for killing fleas often cause a specific ingredient called Permethrin, which is toxic to cats. If you have dogs and cats, you'll need to avoid applying anything with this ingredient to your pup – as it will put your cat at risk.
Depending on where you are in the World, there are a number of region-specific ticks and fleas that you might need to fight off, as well as internal parasites like heartworms or roundworms.
It's also worth remembering that you'll need to treat your house when giving your kitty a flea treatment too. It's important to clean your home carefully to get rid of any residual eggs or fleas that might re-infest your furry pal. Here are a few additional points to consider:
Taking your cat to a vet when they have fleas also means that you can get a better insight into how significant the problem is. Some particularly problematic infestations may not be as susceptible to things like flea collars so could potentially need a prescription treatment.
The 9 Best Cat Flea Treatments
Flea treatments come in a variety of different styles to suit all kinds of cats. So, how do you decide which one is right for your little bundle of fluff? Don't worry; we've handled the research for you. Here are some of the top-rated choices available right now.
1. Cheristin for Cats Topical Flea Prevention - Best Overall Option
Starting with a quick and simple drop option, the Cheristin for Cats topical treatment is a huge favorite flea medicine of cat owners worldwide. Made specifically for cats by vet-approved ingredients, this topical flea treatment kills existing fleas, and prevents new infestations from emerging.
Within just 30 minutes, the fast-acting formula gets to work, reducing your cat's discomfort, and making it easier for you to brush away unwanted pests. In around 12 hours, Mr Snuffles will have full relief from his unwanted fleas, and the treatment lasts up to 6 weeks too. If you're using this medicine as a preventative solution, you'll need to apply it once a month.
One of the great things about the Cheristin product is how easy it is to apply. There's only one dosing size for kittens over a certain weight. The rounded tip applicator ensures you can get through the fur to the skin quickly. Plus, there aren't any dangerous chemicals or toxins. A potential problem with this treatment is that it does have a pretty potent smell.
2. Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Topicals for Pets - Best Budget Option
Another convenient topical treatment for kitties, the Hartz Ultraguard is an all-in-one solution for treatment and prevention. This recipe destroys flea larvae, eggs, and the fleas themselves, as well as dangerous deer ticks. The liquid also prevents flea eggs for hatching for as long as 30 days.
The best thing about this product is the patented easy-application design. The rounded edges ensure that you're not going to scratch your kitty's skin. Plus, you can easily slide the applicator through the fur for a quick skin-contact application.
The Hartz UltraGuard even repels mosquitos for up to 18 days, so your cat can have complete comfort when they're exploring the great outdoors. There's just one dosage option for kittens over the weight of 5lbs, although you can get more specifically measured versions of this treatment.
Once again, there's a significant smell with this product, but the bigger problem is that it does contain an ingredient that may make some cats itch more initially.
3. Advantage II 4-Dose Large Cat Flea Prevention - Best for Large Cat Option
I'm a big fan of the Advantage II flea treatment because it's specially designed for bigger cats – making it suitable for both of my boys. Using standard treatments on larger felines can sometimes mean that you have fleas leftover.
Another bonus of the Bayer Advantage treatment is that it comes with a four-month supply – while most competitors only cover up to 3 months. If your cat is 9 pounds or over, I'd recommend trying Advantage II yourself. Like most topical treatments, these spot-on medications come with an easy-to-apply pre-measured dose.
The liquid dries and becomes waterproof within 24 hours, which is also about the time it takes for the smell to ease too. The formula does take a little longer to work with this treatment, however. Usually, you'll need to wait for about 12 hours. Although the liquid continues to repel fleas for up to 30 days with each application.
4. Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention for Small Cats – Best for Small Cats Option
If you like the idea of the Advantage II formula, but you don't have the largest cat, then don't worry. Bayer also produces a flea prevention and topical treatment for smaller cats. Designed to suit kitties between 5lb and 9lb, this formula works just the same as the larger cat variation.
You'll be able to apply the liquid quickly and easily with the pre-measured applicators. Although the company promises a fragrance-free experience – there is something of a smell to be aware of. Once again, the Advantage II for smaller cats will begin working within 12 hours.
The fact that the mixture turns waterproof within 24 hours means that you don't have to worry too much about it being washed off by the rain. Additionally, this substance can kill fleas in all life stages – including the larvae and eggs.
Vet recommended and reliable, this is a brilliant treatment. However, you will need to watch out for the distinct odor. Remember to double-check your cat for any allergens before application too.
5. Catego Fast-Acting Flea & Tick Treatment For Cats/Kittens
When fleas are a problem in your home, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. That's why companies like Catego promise a fast-acting solution to your problems. This spot-on liquid kills fleas in a little less than 6 hours – a lot faster than some of the other leading brands.
The Catego formula tackles fleas at all stages, including eggs and larvae. The same substance can also fight back against ticks and chewing lice too. Unlike some other products, you can even use this product on cats as young as eight weeks old.
This long-lasting medicine will continue to prevent re-infestation for up to 30 days. There's also a unique combination of 3 active ingredients to explore, too, including Fipronil, Dinotefuran, and Pyriproxyfen. Make sure you check the safety of these ingredients with your vet before you get started.
The convenient applicator also makes this product easy to apply, without any discomfort or scratches for your feline friend. One slight issue is that the product is very greasy, which can annoy some cats.
6. Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Treatment for cats
Frontline is one of the better-known brands in the flea treatment environment. Trusted by vets worldwide, this quick-acting flea and tick treatment is waterproof, easy to apply, and incredibly effective. You can use the same treatment for ticks, and lice too.
Perfect for both cats and kittens, Frontline works for any cat over the weight of 1.5 pounds. There are two active and vet-approved ingredients included to eliminate existing infestations and prevent new ones. You can cover your cat's entire body with one application.
One dose of Frontline lasts for up to 30 days, and you can get packs of eight if you want to focus on some long-term prevention. Unfortunately, because Frontline is so popular, some fleas are beginning to develop a resistance to the formula.
7. PETARMOR Plus Flea & Tick Prevention
PETARMOR is another popular brand for topical flea treatments. Offering a long-lasting and waterproof performance, PETARMOR's "plus" product is a convenient solution for banishing fleas. Available in a pack of 3 or 6 doses, PETARMOR kills fleas, eggs, larvae, lice, and ticks.
Unlike other treatments that usually kill just the adult fleas, PETARMOR breaks the flea life cycle and prevents any future fleas for as long as 12 weeks. The long-lasting treatment delivers 3 to 6 months of treatment every time.
PETARMOR works with every kitten and cat over the weight of 1.5lbs. However, it's worth double-checking with your vet to ensure that your cat doesn't have any issues with Fipronil. One slight downside of this product is that it takes around 24 hours to begin working – which is a lot longer than many of the other leading brands.
8. Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
If you're looking for a flea treatment that doesn't need re-applying every month or so, you might consider a flea collar. Remember, these treatment options are more for prevention than cure, so it may be worth using a separate treatment to get rid of the initial fleas first.
This Seresto flea and tick collar is a simple and convenient way to prevent infestations for cats of all sizes. You can enjoy up to 8 months of flea protection with this collar, and it also fights back against ticks too. With vet recommendation for peace of mind, all you need to do is apply the collar and your cat is ready to go.
The Seresto collar begins to repel and kill fleas within around 24 hours from the moment you put it on. Just make sure that your cat doesn't keep accidentally kicking the collar off when they get uncomfortable.
9. TeyraPet FirstAct Plus Flea and Tick Topical for Cats
TeyraPet is a treatment remarkably similar to Frontline for flea and tick treatment – although it's often a little more affordable. The proven formula means that you can start to get rid of fleas quickly. Plus, the medication hangs around too – so it can prevent your cat from getting a secondary infestation.
Suitable for killing fleas, lice, eggs, and their larvae, the TeyraPet treatment is an all-in-one answer to common flea issues. What's more, like many of the other leading options on the market, there are three applicators in every pack for up to 3 months of protection.
Every treatment delivers up to 30 days of prevention and cure for your furry pal, which keeps your treatment maintenance down to a minimum. Unfortunately, just like Frontline, this substance does include some ingredients that certain fleas become resistant against.
This product can also be a bit tougher to apply to cats with longer hair, because it doesn't push through the fur as easily.
Finding the Best Cat Flea Treatment
Choosing the best cat flea treatment or flea medications for your cat means finding out what works best for your feline friend. Speaking to your vet will help you to ensure that you're picking the safest treatment. Plus, you can avoid any ingredients that your cat might be sensitive to.
My favorite all-around option right now is Cheristin for cats because it comes with a very efficient formula that starts working almost immediately. This is one of the quickest and easiest-to-use products that I've found on the market. Plus, it's made exclusively for cats.
Good luck finding the right treatment to banish those unwanted fleas!
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