Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, preventing and treating fleas is important to the health and well-being of your feline friend. The world is home to over 2,000 species of fleas, and the most common is known as Ctenocephalides felis, or the “cat flea.” The cat flea can infect wild animals, and both dogs and cats as well as their human owners. But choosing the best cat flea treatment can be tricky – many safe options exist now, ranging from flea collars and shampoos to topical or oral medicines.
The best prevention method you can take is to keep your cat indoors. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 10-20 years, while the lifespan of an outdoor cat is significantly shorter at 2-5 years. Outdoor cats face a variety of dangers, such as disease, injury, and being hit by cars. Researchers from North Carolina State University have also found that outdoor house cats often have a disproportionate impact on nearby wildlife, due to their strong hunting instincts.
If you still find your cat has fleas, there are a number of easy over the counter and prescription solutions you can seek. StudyFinds researched the best options on the market and compiled a list of the best options to rid your cat of flea infestations. Our list is made up of the most commonly recommended products across 10 expert websites.
Have an effective treatment that’s worked for you and your kitty? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Cat Flea Treatment, According to Pros
1. Capstar Flea Control Tablets
Capstar is a great option to give to finicky cats or kittens in a simple, small pill. It starts working within 30 minutes, and in 6 hours, 90% of the fleas should be gone.
“If you didn’t get around to preventing pests, then this is the best cat flea-killer around. Capstar’s flea pill for cats and kittens (at least 2 pounds and 8 weeks old) acts super-fast. In 30 minutes, your kitty should start itching less as the oral flea treatment gets to work killing adult fleas,” writes Chewy.
Capstar is the best option if you need to treat a kitten, and even if it only works for 24 hours, it is safe enough to administer every day.
“Available without a prescription, Capstar is the only flea control product safe for kittens as young as 4 weeks and weighing at least 2 pounds,” writes Insider. “With other flea control products, whether topical or oral, kittens must be at least 8 weeks old, and sometimes older.”
2. Bravecto Topical Solution
Bravecto is one of the only treatments besides Revolution that offers a formula to protect cats against heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms.
“Our veterinary experts agreed that Bravecto is one of their favorite flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. It’s also the only brand we recommend that sells a single dose that’ll last for three months between applications,” writes NY Times.
The treatment comes in an easy topical formula you can apply around your pet’s neck and not have to worry for 3 months. It will kill any existing infestations and prevent new ones. This treatment requires a prescription from your vet.
“Together, the ingredients in Bravecto Plus have been shown to treat and prevent flea, tick, and ear mite infestations, as well as controlling roundworms and hookworms and preventing heartworm,” writes Pet MD.
3. Seresto Flea and Tick Prevention Collar
Flea collars are a great option for those who want more of a “set and forget” option. The Seresto Flea Collar lasts for 8 months and kills any existing fleas or ticks on contact, so it works as a preventative measure too.
“Based on user experience and satisfaction, this flea collar from Seresto seems to be the best option if this is the type of treatment you decide to go with,” writes Feline Living. “With a non-greasy and odor-free design, this flea collar provides medication that works through contact—so fleas will still die even if they haven’t bitten your animal.”
This flea collar eliminates the need for monthly flea treatments and can be worn comfortably alongside a regular collar.
“A flea and tick treatment for cats doesn’t need to involve greasy formulas or messy application. This flea and tick collar kills and repels fleas and ticks for 8 months. It stops these parasites on contact, not through substances ingested by the bugs while biting your cat, so you can feel good about taking a proactive approach to flea and tick control,” writes Petco.
4. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor
If you’re looking for a more direct treatment to kill an infestation but aren’t comfortable with medicines or chemicals being ingested or absorbed by your pet, a flea shampoo is a great option.
“This shampoo contains pyrethrins, which kill adult fleas, synergized with piperonyl butoxide. It also contains pyriproxyfen, an insect growth regulator that helps to prevent the infestation from growing,” writes All About Cats.
The shampoo formula is non-irritating and contains aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal. The shampoo should leave your cat’s coat clean and manageable, with no sign of fleas.
“If you’re looking for a formula that can be used in conjunction with other flea control methods, then this shampoo from Adams Plus is well worth considering,” writes PetsRadar. “Able to kill adult fleas, ticks, lice and their eggs, it has a light coconut scent that will leave your feline friend looking, feeling and smelling fresh.”
5. Revolution Plus Topical Solution
Revolution Plus is another inclusive topical treatment that can be applied to your cat’s neck monthly. It uses selamectin and sarolaner as the active ingredients —both of which are safe for use in cats, and have minimal side effects.
“With not only safe and effective flea killing power, Revolution plus also kills or prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites,” writes The Spruce Pets. “It even kills or protects against ticks, targeting the three most common species, making it a useful tool in your arsenal during tick season.”
A prescription is needed to obtain Revolution Plus, but is extremely effective if used correctly. Most fleas should be gone after 6 hours, but the formula continues working to offer protection after 24 hours.
“Revolution is a topical treatment that must be applied once a month to protect your cats against fleas. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s highly effective in both treating and preventing fleas, killing 98% of adult fleas within 36 hours and stopping eggs from hatching. It also protects against heartworm and roundworm,” writes Rover.
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