Has your cat been itching more than usual? You might need to learn about getting rid of fleas and the best flea treatment for cats!
If you a notice little black dirt-like specks near the skin and in the fur, your cat has fleas. The fleas you see can be just the tip of the iceberg, as the flea lifecycle is quick. Fleas can reproduce and colonize rapidly.
Killing fleas and ticks on dogs and cats isn’t always easy for pet owners. Prevention is the best method, using a topical flea treatment or a veterinarian prescribed oral medication.
Cats are more sensitive to flea medications and other products than dogs, so make sure you use the best, safest products!
Cat Flea Treatment Can Prevent and Manage Those Pesky Parasites!
Adults fleas reproduce quickly, and seemingly overnight a flea infestation happens. If your cats are ever outside or if you have a dog or other pets that go outdoors, flea control is recommended to kill fleas before you have a flea problem.
You can not use the same flea prevention and control products on cats that you do for dogs. The dog medication, including over the counter products, is often a lot stronger and contains active ingredients that can be poisonous to cats.
Cat flea treatment often also prevents ticks and kills the larvae and flea eggs. Adults fleas lay eggs that turn into flea larvae, eventually hatching into adults. Fleas are easier to prevent than to get rid of, as the adult fleas can lay many hard-to-see eggs that quickly hatch.
Why Fleas on Cats are a Problem
Fleas are parasites, feeding off of your cats and kittens. The most common flea is the Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea. These fleas bite, and the bites itch and irritate your cat. Some cats are highly allergic to fleas. Just one bite can cause them to lose hair in the area.
Veterinarians recommend using a topical treatment or oral flea control year-round to protect cats that go outside or live with other pets that could have fleas. Fleas move fast and can be hard to spot, especially in furry cats. The biggest indication of a flea infestation besides itching is flea dirt.
Flea dirt can be found by using a flea comb and lets you know that fleas were on your cat and still could be. Fleas can also cause an infestation in your house or yard, adult fleas lay flea eggs in unsuspecting places. Fleas will bite humans too if given a chance.
Best Flea Treatment for Cats: There are So Many to Choose From
There are three main types of flea treatment for cats, topical products, oral flea treatments, and natural remedies. Cats are incredibly sensitive.
It’s important to only use flea treatments with active ingredients specially designed to be safe to use on cats. Some active ingredients commonly used on dogs could be fatal to cats or require different doses.
What Kills Fleas and Ticks on Cats?
Flea control products like Advantage ii and Frontline have two active ingredients, one for killing adult fleas and the other for killing flea larvae and eggs.
Common active ingredients for flea and tick medication in cats is fipronil, (s)-methoprene, imidacloprid, pyriproxyfen, and flumethrin.
Fleas can be killed on cats by using a flea comb and removing the fleas individually and putting them in a cup of water and liquid dish soap.
What to Look for in Safe Flea Medicine for Cats
When looking for a safe flea medicine for cats, it’s important only to use products that are labeled for cats and following the specific instructions.
These medicines are available through your veterinarian, local pet-store, or online through reputable pet sites. The best flea treatment for cats is a safe treatment!
Managing Cat Fleas with Topical Options!
There are many different brands of topical treatment for fleas in cats. Topical treatments are applied directly to the fur or skin and absorbed into the body. Many topical flea medicines work for a month at a time to prevent and kill fleas on contact.
The medicine should be applied at the base of a neck, a place where they can’t lick it off. You should watch them after application of the treatment, to make sure they do not rub it off and separate them from other animals to make sure they do not get it on them. When a flea bites your treated cat, as it sucks its blood, it will ingest the pesticide.
Frontline Plus for Cats vs Frontline Gold for Cats
Frontline is a topical flea treatment. Frontline Plus is similar to Frontline Gold for cats, the biggest difference is that Frontline Gold starts working faster and contains Pyriproxyfen. Pyriproxyfen prevents larvae from turning into adults. This brand is high up on the list of the best flea treatment for cats!
Advantage II for Cats or Advantage 2 for Cats
Advantage mainly targets adult fleas while Advantage II or Advantage 2 targets the flea lifecycle. It kills fleas within 12 hours but waits for the eggs and larvae to turn into adults. Advantage 2 has additional active ingredients that can kill the eggs and larvae as well, getting rid of fleas altogether faster.
Cheristin for Cats
Cheristin uses the active ingredient spinetoram and kills 98 to 100 percent of fleas in 12 hours. It is one of the faster-acting spot-on flea treatments. It starts working within 30 minutes.
Petarmor Plus for Cats
PetArmor Plus for cats has two active ingredients Fipronil and (S)-methoprene. It kills fleas at every life stage as well as chewing lice. PetArmor Plus is comparable to Frontline Plus for cats. PetArmor is also waterproof.
Vectra for Cats
Vectra for Cats is a topical flea medication, with two active ingredients, Dinotefuran and Pyriproxyfen. It starts killing fleas within 6 hours, and the fleas do not need to bite your cat to be killed. It dries quickly and isn’t greasy.
Collars! What is the Best Flea Collar for Cats?
A great alternative to a topical or oral flea medication is a flea control collar like the one by Bayer Seresto. The same collar can be used for eight months to prevent fleas. They may not be the best flea treatment for cats, but some pet owners swear by them as preventative products.
Collars are a mess and odor-free way to stop fleas and ticks in cats. Flea and tick collars work by storing the flea treatment in the collar itself.
The active ingredients release slowly into the hair and skin over the eight-month period. The fleas and ticks are killed on contact.
The Pros and Cons of a Flea Dip for Cats or Flea Shampoo for Cats
Flea dips are an inexpensive option for controlling a flea problem in cats. They contain a concentrated insecticide. Flea dips are not washed off, so the product works to kill the fleas long after application.
Cats are highly sensitive to chemicals, and many vets do not recommend flea dips because the instruction has to be followed precisely to avoid improper dosing.
Flea shampoo is another option if your cat doesn’t mind taking a bath. Flea shampoos can target the flea lifecycle and stay working for 30 days. These shampoos are great for an infestation and when you need a quick option.
You can also use a flea comb when washing your cat to remove fleas immediately. Some cats do not like bathing, so it can be easier to use a spot-on or oral treatment instead of a flea dip or flea shampoo.
Flea Pills for Cats: Oral Options?
Oral flea control is an excellent option for pet owners who struggle with applying a topical treatment. If your cat doesn’t want to hold still or tries to rub/lick off the medication, an oral option can be an easier (and safer) option.
There are different types of oral flea medication, some work for the entire month while others like Sentry Capguard are for daily use. Sentry Capguard flea medication is great for cats that mainly stay inside but have exposure to fleas from the vet’s rooms, boarding, or grooming facilities. Dosaging before these activities prevents fleas.
Nexgard Reviews: Nexgard for Cats is a NO GO!
Nexgard is the opposite of the best flea treatment for cats! It has the active ingredient isoxazoline, which is a pesticide. It is FDA approved, but Isoxazoline can cause neurologic reactions in some animals including seizures.
Nexgard can be dangerous for cats and should be avoided. Cats that are already prone to different neurological conditions can have even worse reactions than an average healthy cat.
What About Flea Medicine for Kittens?
A flea infestation is dangerous for kittens, as the parasites can cause anemia. Kittens less than four weeks old cannot use flea medicine and will need manual removal of the fleas using a flea comb.
The Safest Flea Treatment for Kittens
Kittens that are at least four weeks old and are at least two pounds old can use Sentry Capstar oral flea medication. It can be given once per day.
Always weigh your kitten before providing the dosage, it can be dangerous if the kitten is less than two pounds. Kittens that are eight weeks or older can safely use other spot-on flea medications designed for safe use on younger cats.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats with a Natural Flea Killer
There are many natural remedies for killing fleas on cats. Fleas can bounce from pet to pet and even infest your home and yard, making them difficult to kill.
When using a natural flea killer, it’s essential to address these areas so the fleas don’t keep coming back. Adult fleas can lay eggs in carpets and your cat’s bedding. You can remove all of the fleas from your cat, but they may be lingering in your home.
Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats
You can find natural flea shampoos designed to be safe for cats without any of the harsher chemicals that your cat may be sensitive to. This is possibly the best flea treatment for cats whose parents prefer to take the natural route!
Many of these shampoos still kill fleas on contact and can be used on younger cats and kittens. You will need to use the shampoo more often on your cat, as the shampoos do not last as long as other flea shampoos.
3 Home Remedies for Fleas on Cats
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Apple Cider Vinegar isn’t a flea-killer but more of a flea repellant. It can be diluted in a spray bottle and applied to your cat’s fur to help repel fleas. You can also use it on your flea comb when brushing out the fleas.
- Lemon Juice– You can use a cup of lemon juice when washing your pet bedding to kill any fleas or even flea eggs.
- Cedar Chips– Fleas hate cedar chips, so you can use them to repel fleas in your outdoor areas like your garden, patio, or other areas that your cat enjoys.
Essential Oil: Natural Flea Repellent for Cats?
Are essential oils the best flea treatment for cats? They have natural insecticide properties that make them appealing for pest-control, but they can be extremely dangerous in households with cats.
Many essential oils are toxic to cats even when not applied directly to the skin. Cats can not metabolize certain toxins found in essential oils. These toxins are often highly concentrated and absorb quickly. Even using essential oils in diffusers, room sprays, or candles can be dangerous to cats.