Where there’s one flea, there are likely hundreds or even thousands more. Fleas are tiny little nuisances that, while insignificant on their own, can add up to a big problem. If your cat has fleas, you need a treatment that will kills adult fleas fast and prevent eggs and larvae from developing into biting adults.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important things to look for in a flea treatment for cats. You’ll also learn how to handle flea infestations, and you’ll see our top picks for the 5 best flea treatments for cats in different categories.
Quick Links: The 5 Best Flea Treatments for Cats
- Best Flea Collar for Cats: Seresto Flea Collar for Cats
- Best Flea Shampoo for Cats: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
- Best Flea Remedy for Cats: Capstar Flea Tablets for Cats
- Best Topical Flea Treatment for Cats: Frontline Plus for Cats
- Best Oral Flea Treatment for Cats: Comfortis Chewable Tablets
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What To Look For In Flea Treatments For Cats
Fleas multiply quickly, and a heavy infestation can do serious damage to your cat’s skin – it may even affect its health if it loses too much blood. Most flea treatments for cats rely on chemical ingredients to kill adult fleas and control reinfestation by preventing eggs and larvae from developing. Though these ingredients come with some risk for side effects, they are more consistently effective and offer better long-term benefits than natural remedies.
Here are some important things to look for in flea treatments for cats:
- Kills adult fleas on contact. The primary concern in choosing a flea treatment is how quickly it kills adult fleas. The best treatments start killing adult fleas within 30 minutes up to several hours, ideally without the fleas having to bite your cat to be killed.
- Prevent eggs and larvae from developing. Most flea treatments for cats kill adult fleas, though not all contain insect growth regulators to prevent eggs and larvae from developing. Products made with insect growth regulators provide the longest-lasting protection against reinfestation.
- Long-lasting protection. Some flea treatments for cats are only designed to kill existing fleas – if you want protection against reinfestation, you’ll need to choose a product designed for it.
- Easy to administer. It is largely a matter of preference whether you choose a flea collar, oral medication, shampoo, or topical preventive but consider the easy-of-application before you choose. Flea collars are easy for long-lasting protection, though topical preventives only need to be administered once a month.
- Safe for young kittens and small cats. Because cat flea treatments typically rely on chemical ingredients, there are certain age and size restrictions. Tablets are generally the safest option for very small cats and young kittens, while topical applications and collars are better for adults.
Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a flea treatment for cats, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best cat flea treatments.
Flea treatments for cats come in many different forms. Many veterinarians recommend topical monthly treatments because they kill fleas and ticks in all life stages, providing up to 30 days of continuous protection. Flea collars are another option, as are oral tablets. Choosing the best flea treatment for your cat depends on your personal preferences as well as your budget.
Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Flea Treatments For Cats Reviewed:
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to protect your cat against fleas and ticks, the Seresto flea collar for cats is a great option. It provides a full 8 months of protection, killing fleas and ticks on contact before they even bite your cat.
This flea collar is easy to put on and adjust, plus it has a release mechanism that widens the collar for quick release in case your cat gets trapped.
Water-resistant, odorless, and non-greasy, this flea collar is a cleaner, more efficient alternative to topical flea and tick treatments that comes with a strong veterinarian recommendation.
If you need to kill fleas and ticks fast, a medicated shampoo might be the way to go. This Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor outperforms other flea shampoos because it contains an insect growth regulator that kills adult fleas on contact but also prevents eggs and larvae from developing. This ensures a full month of protection against biting pests.
This flea and tick shampoo is safe for kittens and puppies over 12 weeks of age, and it features a sensitive skin formula with soothing aloe, coconut extract, lanolin, and oatmeal to not just kill fleas but to soothe and moisturize dry, damaged skin.
Long-lasting flea preventives are the best way to protect your cat from fleas and ticks, but sometimes you need a flea remedy that acts immediately to get an active infestation under control.
Capstar Flea Tablets for Cats offer an excellent solution because they are available over-the-counter, they are easy to administer, and they act fast.
Capstar tablets start killing fleas within 30 minutes and can be given as often as once a day to get even the heaviest flea infestations under control. Plus, they are safe for kittens as small as 2 pounds.
Topical flea treatments are a great option for cats because you only have to spend a few seconds each month to protect your cat against fleas, ticks, eggs, and larvae. Frontline Plus for Cats is the best choice because not only does it provide a full 30 days of protection, but it starts killing fleas and ticks within 4 hours and controls the entire infestation within 12 hours.
It comes with an easy spot-on applicator that is simpler to use than other brands, and the medication is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about losing the benefits if your cat gets wet.
Topical flea treatments can be messy, but not all oral tablets provide long-lasting benefits. Comfortis Chewable Tablets act fast to start killing fleas within 30 minutes but also provide up to 30 days of continuous protection. These tablets are flavored to make them more palatable and chewable, which makes them easy to administer.
Plus, they come in several different formulas so you can choose the right dosage for your cat based on its body weight.
Tips for Getting Rid of Fleas on Cats
Many cat owners are inclined to panic when they spot the first flea on their cat. While it is important to act quickly when this happens, there is no need to panic – cat flea treatments come in many forms and are highly effective in getting flea infestations under control quickly.
Before purchasing a flea treatment, you should make sure that your cat actually has fleas instead of some other skin problem.
Signs of fleas in cats include the following:
- Excessive grooming
- Red bumps or scabs on the skin
- Shaking head
- Restless behavior
- Hair loss
- Visible fleas on the skin
Once you have confirmed that your cat does indeed have fleas, the next step is to kill them. Start by physically removing as many fleas from your cat’s body as you can. Use a flea comb to remove fleas from your cat’s coat, dipping the comb in soapy water to kill the fleas. After you’ve removed as many fleas as you can, consider bathing your cat with flea shampoo to kill any fleas you may have missed. Some flea shampoos even work against flea eggs and larvae to prevent reinfestation.
After you’ve gotten the flea infestation under control, there are two more important steps you shouldn’t miss: killing fleas in the home and preventing reinfestation.
Removing fleas from the home can be tricky because fleas can go anywhere your cat does. You’re most likely to find them on your cat’s bedding as well as on furniture and in the carpet. There are plenty of treatments available to kill fleas in the home, but you should expect to do a lot of vacuuming and washing over the next week or two until you’ve killed every flea you can find.
Once you’ve removed fleas from your cat and from your home, the final step is to prevent the infestation from happening again. Long-lasting flea preventives for cats come in several forms including oral medications, monthly topical applications, and flea collars. Talk to your vet about the safest option for your cat and consider the products we’ve reviewed above.
Fleas are more than just a minor nuisance. Not only can they cause serious irritation to your cat’s skin, but heavy infestations put your cat at risk for dangerous blood loss as well as certain insect-borne diseases. Fortunately, flea preventives come in a variety of different forms, including collars, tablets, shampoos, and topical applications. Simply choose the option that seems best for your cat.
If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a cat flea treatment, try out one of the top 5 best cat flea treatments we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!