After 49 hours spent researching the best cat flea treatments, we think Elanco Animal Health Cheristin Cat Flea Treatment is the best for most people.
This choice is based on several criteria: brand, type, function, action delay, efficiency, age range, cat size, kills flea, kills larvae, kills eggs, kills ticks, long lasting, waterproof, fragrance free, and easy to use, among other things.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Quality||Efficiency||Safety||Speed||Value for Money||brand||type||function||action delay||efficiency||age range||cat size||kills flea||kills larvae||kills eggs||kills ticks||long lasting||waterproof||fragrance free||easy to use|
|Elanco Animal Health Cheristin Cat Flea Treatment||Check Price||4.9||5.0||5.0||4.5||5.0||5.0||Elanco||Topical||Treatment & prevention||30 mins||1 month||8 weeks up||1.8 lbs +||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Bayer Seresto Collar Tick & Cat Flea Treatment||Check Price||4.6||5.0||4.0||4.5||4.5||5.0||Bayer||Collar||Treatment & prevention||2 hrs||8 months||10 weeks up||9 lbs +||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Vectra Green EPA Registered Cat Flea Treatment||Check Price||4.8||5.0||4.5||5.0||4.5||5.0||Vectra||Topical||Treatment & prevention||6 hrs||1 month||8 weeks up||9 lbs +||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|PetArmor Plus Fipronil Tick & Cat Flea Treatment||Check Price||4.4||5.0||4.5||4.0||4.0||4.5||Pet Armor||Topical||Treatment & prevention||24 hrs||1 month||8 weeks up||1.5 lbs +||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bayer Advantage II Prevention Cat Flea Treatment||Check Price||4.3||4.5||4.0||4.0||4.5||4.5||Bayer||Topical||Treatment & prevention||12 hrs||1 month||8 weeks up||9 lbs +||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- 1 Selection Of The Best Cat Flea Treatments
- 2 Best Cat Flea Treatment Buying Guide
- 2.1 Oral Options
- 2.2 Topical Options
- 2.3 What Does it Kill?
- 2.4 All-in-One
- 2.5 How Often Do You Apply It?
- 2.6 Kitten Care vs. Cat Treatment
- 2.7 Natural Ingredients
- 2.8 Ease of Use
- 2.9 Dosage Options
- 2.10 Does it Reduce Risk of Disease?
- 2.11 Residue
- 2.12 Suitability
- 2.13 Dips and Shampoos
- 2.14 Brand Reputation
- 2.15 EPA or FDA Approved
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Sources
Indoor and outdoor cats both need the best cat flea treatment in order to ensure that they aren’t bothered by the pesky insects.
Flea treatments, flea and tick products, and even heartworm prevention options are well worth it because they extend your cat’s lifespan and keep them happy, too.
Outdoor cats are definitely different than their indoor cousins. While they still have many of the same needs – kitten food or cat food, a full water bowl or access to a cat water fountain, a comfy cat bed to sleep in, or the ability to enjoy their automatic cat feeder – they experience life a bit differently.
For example, an outdoor cat (or even a cat that is indoor/outdoor) has no need for a regular cat litter box or an automatic cat litter box, cat litter mat, or even cat litter. They can go outdoors! Cats that are used to being outside usually have a cat collar with ID, but rarely use a cat leash or cat harness.
Their need for a cat tree or cat toy is diminished because they have the entire outdoors to play in. They can scratch trees and the ground, so they don’t need a cat scratching post or cat scratching pad. And, if you have a garden, they can get their catnip from there.
But, their veterinary care is something that doesn’t change whether a cat is indoors or outdoors. You still need to put them in a cat cage or cat carrier, and they may need a cat cone if they have surgery or an injury.
While at the vet, you also want to be sure they have the best cat flea treatment possible. Any cat that goes outside is susceptible, and indoor cats aren’t safe either as fleas are notorious for finding their way into even the cleanest of homes.
Selection Of The Best Cat Flea Treatments
Best Cat Flea Treatment Buying Guide
Some of the most common options available for flea control are oral options, where your cat takes a pill and it protects their entire body. Fleas may still come and bite your cat, but they will die instantly and won’t have the chance to spread.
The best oral flea treatment for cats is going to be something that’s easy for the cat to ingest, whether it’s wrapped in a pill treat or crushed into their food.
As you look at options for topical flea cat products, you’ll often see them referred to as “spot on” treatments. These are some of the most inexpensive options, but they don’t always cover the cat’s entire body.
Usually, you just apply it to the skin (the back of the neck is best, because they can’t reach it) once a month or more if they have had flea issues in the past. They deter fleas from even trying to get on your pet and, if they do, they die instantly.
What Does it Kill?
Different flea treatments are going to do different things, but you want something that takes care of fleas at every stage of their life.
Look at the label to see what the product claims to kill. You’re looking for words like eggs, larvae, adults, pupa, or “entire lifecycle”. That way, your furry friend is going to have the protection that they need, whether it’s from a bite from an adult flea or eggs that get laid on the cat.
Since cats can be finicky, you want to be able to give them as few treatments or pills as possible. That’s why it’s usually best to find products that are “all in one” – for fleas, ticks, and/or heartworm.
Nowadays, most oral treatments have preventatives for all three of these pests. Spot-on treatments usually cover both fleas and ticks, so you would just need to get a supplement for heartworm prevention from your vet.
How Often Do You Apply It?
Oral preventatives usually last longer than spot-on options. Oral preventatives usually come in 3, 6, or 12 month cycles, so your cat is not going to have to take them very often. It all depends on the pill and its makeup.
Spot-on treatments usually need to be reapplied every month. Usually, cat parents will get into a routine where they’re just doing it on a certain day of the month, every month, and it works well for them.
Kitten Care vs. Cat Treatment
Flea treatment for kittens is very different than for cats. You can’t really use any sort of flea product for kittens until they are at least 8 weeks old (but in some cases, it could be up to 6 months).
So, what are you supposed to do if your very young kitten gets fleas? You usually need to remove the fleas manually, with a flea comb or specialized brush. There are a couple of treatments that are okay for kittens 4 weeks old or older – just make sure that you talk to your vet before you try anything.
Did you know that you can find natural flea treatment for cats? Essential oils are effective ingredients to look for. These can include diluted neem oil, Quassia Bark, Geraniol, anise, and thyme. These help to repel pests of all sorts while also safe on a cat’s fur and skin.
Dish soap, lemon spray, rosemary, and baking soda are additional options that work to a certain extent. The ingredients listed above, however, will be more reliable when it comes to getting fleas off of your cat and preventing them from coming back.
Ease of Use
It’s always nice to have an easy way to get rid of fleas on cats – and many products that are available try to make that a possibility. Both oral and spot-on treatments should be simple to use.
Read the instructions on the box or ask your vet about your options. If you have a cat that can be difficult, they may also have some recommendations as to how you can keep them calm and relaxed while you’re taking care of pest issues.
As you explore your options for vet recommended flea treatment for cats, you will notice that there are a lot of options on the package regarding dosage.
Be sure that you read these carefully ahead of time. These will be based on age, health, and/or weight, allowing you to understand what sort of dosage that you will want to give to your cat. If the chart doesn’t include your cat’s weight, age, or health, then you want to talk to your vet to see if they have a recommended dosage.
Does it Reduce Risk of Disease?
The majority of flea and tick medications are dual purpose; they are supposed to prevent bugs from getting onto your pet in the first place, and kill any bugs that may already be on the cat.
But aside from causing severe irritation, fleas and ticks also carry diseases like lyme disease, mycoplasma haemofelis, tapeworms, and bartonella henselae (better known as “cat scratch disease”). Look on the label to see if the product mentions anything related to reducing the risk of these diseases.
For topical solutions, you want to be sure that you don’t leave any residue. Any sort of residue is going to annoy your cat and will make it more likely that they try to get it off, thus ingesting it when they shouldn’t be. Flea powder for cats is especially susceptible to leaving residue.
You can always test it out to see if it leaves a film or something sticky on your skin after applying it. Also, look at the label to see if the product contains lufenuron or nitenpyram. These are known for not leaving any sort of residue on the fur.
The best flea prevention for cats may not always be the most effective at ridding a cat of fleas. Some products, such as those with rotenone, work well to repel adult pests but won’t necessarily affect eggs or those in the earlier stages of life.
If you’ve already noticed fleas, it’s likely that there are two or more generations in the larva or pupa stage hanging out in your cat’s fur. That means you need a product that will actually kill them, not just a preventative treatment.
Dips and Shampoos
If your cat has already been infested, then you may be looking for dips and shampoos that can help to get rid of the fleas that they are currently having issues with.
When you look for dips and shampoos, try to find something that is meant for cats with sensitive skin. They should have natural ingredients that will kill eggs, larva, and adults. Find something that has a pleasant smell and that doesn’t leave residue after it’s rinsed off.
You want to be sure that you take a look at the brand that is offering the flea treatment. This is a time where you don’t want to go with a generic brand – pay a little extra in order to get it from a name that you recognize.
People who have cats are always willing to share their stories with brands that they like or dislike for one reason or another. Search around the web to see which brands have the best reputation and you’ll be on your way.
EPA or FDA Approved
Lastly, when you’re searching for this sort of product, you want to be sure that you find something that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and/or the US Food and Drug Administration.
These have been tested thoroughly by the named organization and have been found to be safe and effective for your furry friend’s needs. Look for it on the label of the best cat flea treatment on the market – it’s usually pretty clearly marked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use flea collars?
Are flea collars safe for cats? Yes. These collars are designed in a way that allows for prevention of fleas and ticks. They usually have some sort of chemical that prevents fleas and ticks from even getting onto your cat in the first place.
That being said, if your cat doesn’t like wearing a collar or they have a knack for exploring, you want to be careful with collars. They could get caught on something, causing your cat distress or injury.
Can I use dog flea treatment for my cat?
Absolutely not! Cats and dogs have different biology and cats are sensitive to some of the chemicals that you will find in the treatment. There have been known cases of cats dying because they used a dog flea treatment instead of one formulated for cats.
Especially problematic is the chemical permethrin. This is an insecticide that is safe for most animals, but cats are very sensitive to it, and cats can end up with permethrin poisoning if they use a dog’s flea treatment.
How effective are sprays?
There are a variety of sprays available for flea treatment, but they usually aren’t for prevention. They will kill any adult fleas and ticks upon contact, and some of them will take care of eggs.
Sprays aren’t necessarily the safest flea treatment for cats, because of the ingredients and because they may end up licking some of it off when grooming. You’re usually better off with oral and spot-on treatments.
Can a cat be allergic to flea treatment?
Yes, they can. Sometimes, the treatment may have ingredients that your cat is sensitive to or allergic to, so you want to keep an eye on them after you go through with a treatment. Always read the ingredients before applying anything to your cat, as well – it could prevent a lot of problems.
Allergic reactions to flea treatment can include itching, congestion, hives, salivating, vomiting, diarrhea, and strange flicking motions in the paw or ears.
Are there other preventative steps I can take?
Absolutely! If you’re trying to prevent your cat from getting fleas, be sure that you are consistently grooming them. Whether that’s with a flea comb that is designed to get rid of any bugs in their fur, or just their ordinary brush, it can help to remove adult fleas before they bite or lay eggs.
If your cat goes outdoors, you may also want to consider natural yard treatments that keep fleas and ticks at bay. These treatments are generally safe for pets, but be sure to talk to your landscaping professional so they know to use pet-safe options.
- Safe Use of Flea and Tick Products in Pets, US Food & Drug Administration, Jun 23, 2014
- Flea control in cats: new concepts and the current armoury, National Institutes of Health, Jan 15, 2013
- Avoid Counterfeit Pesticide Products for Dogs and Cats, United States Environmental Protection Agency, May 29, 2018
- Cat Flea Infestation in a Hospital: A Case Report, National Institutes of Health, Mar 10, 2012
- Low Cost Vaccines, Microchips, Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats and Dogs, Longbeach, Jun 25, 2015
- Fleas: A Source of Torment for your Cat, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Cat flea treatment, Wikipedia
- Protect Your Cat From Fleas, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Apr 1, 2017
- Dermatology Fact Sheets, School of Veterinary Medicine, Jun 22, 2018
- Are spot-on flea and tick products safe for my pets?, National Pesticide Information Center, Jun 3, 2016