How To Buy The Best Flea Treatments For Cats
You are well aware that your cat requires flea treatment, especially if you allow them to go outside at any time. However, this does not provide a solution to the following question: Which one is it?
There are numerous alternatives available, each with a distinct frightening-sounding active component.
If you're not familiar with the study behind each one, you'll be throwing darts and praying for a hit.
We discuss the distinctions between a handful of the major options in these reviews of the best flea treatments for cats, including what they're strong at and what they struggle with.
When BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is finished, you should have a good idea of what your cat need.
Advantage II technically ranks second on this list, but it’s likely to be even more effective at killing fleas than Revolution Plus, while being less versatile.
However, you can swap the two based on whatever qualities you like. This flea medication isn’t as effective as Revolution Plus in killing everything under the sun, but it’s like napalm for fleas.
Imidacloprid, the active ingredient, kills fleas faster than any other chemical now on the market, and it also destroys eggs and larvae.
Please keep in mind that it kills fleas faster, not better. After a few days, the majority of the leading flea insecticides have similar kill rates, eradicating over 99 percent of fleas.
Imidacloprid, on the other hand, acts more faster than the others, so you should see benefits almost immediately.
Furthermore, unlike many other formulas, it kills fleas on touch; fleas do not need to bite your cat for it to work. It’s also fragrance-free, so your cat won’t smell when you apply it to them.
The recipe is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about efficacy dwindling if your cat gets caught in the rain (it only becomes waterproof once it soaks in, so don’t bathe them right away).
Frontline Gold‘s ranking is somewhat contradictory, as it is slightly worse than the previous two treatments, yet it is the first thing you should attempt if neither of those works.
It contains Pyriproxyfen as well as two more active chemicals, Fipronil and S-methoprene.
The latter two comprise the recipe for conventional Frontline, which has long been regarded as one of the most effective flea treatments on the market.
Because some fleas have developed resistance to Fipronil and S-methoprene, Pyriproxyfen was added.
It’s effective in killing fleas that other treatments miss, but it’s not as fast-acting as Imidacloprid or Selamectin on its own.
Instances of fleas acquiring insecticide resistance are rare, but it’s wise to be prepared just in case. Frontline Gold eliminates fleas throughout their life cycle and also kills ticks.
The bad news is that the mixture has a distinct (but not overpowering) odor and is oily, so your cat will have a sticky patch for a few days.
However, because there isn’t much in each application, unlike some other treatments, you won’t have to rub a tiny lake of pesticide into your cat’s body.
Fleas can be destructive â€” and even fatal â€” to kittens, but many medicines aren’t licensed for use on young cats.
Capstar is one of the few, and it can be administered to kittens as early as four weeks old. Adult cats can benefit from it as well, but we’d recommend one of the topical therapies instead.
The issue is that, while Capstar works swiftly, it also shuts off after roughly 24 hours. It is not recommended for preventive, but it is excellent for fast removing an infestation.
The objective is to get all of the fleas off your cat as quickly as possible (which it does exceptionally well), and then it’s up to you to make sure no new bugs get on.
While it will not last as long as a topical therapy, you can give it to your cat as needed, up to once a day. It shouldn’t take long to eliminate every critter that has hitched a ride on your pet.
This is an oral therapy, as opposed to the other products, so you’ll have to persuade your cat to consume a tablet rather than stay still while you apply oil on their neck.
Depending on how your cat thinks about medications, this could be good or terrible.
Cheristin is one of the most recent flea treatments to hit the market, and it’s designed exclusively for cats.
As a result, it lasts up to 6 weeks longer than most other choices, making it suitable for long-term prevention.
This is also one of the more expensive therapies available, so you’ll pay for its effectiveness – at least initially.
However, because it lasts longer than others, you may discover that it is less expensive in the long term. Spinetoram is used to kill fleas; Spinetoram only kills adult fleas, but it does so swiftly.
Because the effects linger so long, any eggs or larvae that hatch will most certainly die before reproducing.
While it is effective against fleas, it does not protect against ticks, mosquitoes, mites, or other creepy crawlies.
It does not absorb as well into the skin as some other treatments, so your cat may consume it if they lick themselves.
Furthermore, while Cheristin has been approved for use in cats, some individuals are usually wary of trying a new medicine.
While it is efficient against both fleas and ticks, Catego‘s most notable feature is its applicator.
It’s really simple to use, allowing you to apply the oil precisely where you want it without getting it all over yourself.
Fipronil, Dinotefuran, and Pryiproxyfen are among the active substances used in the formula to kill fleas.
This means that it is unlikely to stop functioning since if one of the three ingredients does not kill fleas, one of the other two will.
Of course, some owners will object to putting that many chemicals on their cat, even if the authorities have permitted it.
It only comes in one dosage size, which is meant to treat all cats weighing more than 1.5 pounds.
This could be a problem if you have a large breed, such as a Maine Coon, because it won’t be as effective on them as it is on, say, a Cornish Rex.
Catego appears to have an appealing flavor, as cats appear to like licking it off one another.
You don’t want them to do this, so if you have more than one cat, keep them apart until the oil dries.
Choosing The Best Flea Treatment for Cats: A Buyer's Guide
There is a lot that goes into selecting a flea treatment, so we don’t blame you if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You don’t have to worry about comparing the particular active ingredients because that’s the work of your veterinarian (they are more likely to keep up to date on the scientific literature).
Instead, ask yourself a few basic questions to choose the best treatment for your cat.
What decisions must you make before purchasing a flea treatment for your cat?
Consider the following factors before deciding on a treatment:
- Effective flea medications are usually taken orally or used topically. In terms of effectiveness, there isn’t much of a difference, so it’s up to you whether you believe it’s easier to massage oil on your cat’s neck or convince them to consume a tablet.
- Effect on the life cycle: Some treatments kill only adult fleas, whereas others kill adult fleas, eggs, and larvae. The latter will work faster since if you apply a treatment that just targets adult fleas, any existing eggs will hatch a few days or weeks after administration, resulting in a brief resurgence of fleas. However, both varieties will kill all the fleas on your cat.
- Effectiveness against other parasites: While some treatments exclusively kill fleas, others can also kill ticks, mites, and other bugs. If you have an outdoor cat, you’ll probably want one that protects against a variety of parasites, but if you only have a flea problem, a more specialized formula would be best.
What about items such as collars, sprays, and shampoos?
To put it bluntly, the majority of such goods do not function. They may kill a few fleas and ruin some people’s days, but they aren’t as effective as oral or topical remedies.
They may, however, be beneficial when used with more effective products.
Shampoos can be very helpful if you bathe your cat before using a topical remedy or administering a pill, but they won’t address the problem for long.
You may also come across “natural” treatments that employ essential oils or similar ingredients and promise to get rid of fleas without exposing your cat to hazardous pesticides.
Unfortunately, while they are natural, they are mostly worthless. Certain powders can be applied to your carpets to kill any fleas that may have leapt off your cat while they were inside.
They’re useful for that purpose, but don’t expect them to help your cat.
What Else Can You Do to Prevent Fleas?
The most effective way to deal with fleas is to keep them from getting on your cat in the first place, and the easiest way to accomplish so is to never allow your cat go outside.
Your cat will be exposed to a variety of parasites after they leave the house, and you will be playing catch-up until you can discover a means to kill whatever they bring home with them.
If your cat already has fleas, you’ll need to destroy any that are in the house while the flea treatment kills the bugs on your pet.
The aforementioned powders, as well as regular vacuuming, are beneficial for this purpose. In the worst-case scenario, you may need to hire an exterminator to complete the job.
If you want to give your cat a fresh flea medication, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends Revolution Plus or Advantage II.
They’re both equally effective, so it’s just a matter of whether you need to guard against additional parasites (in which case, use the Revolution Plus) or if you just want maximal flea protection (go with the Advantage II).
If both fail for some reason, Frontline Gold should solve the issue once and for all.
Choosing the appropriate flea medication can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for – and doing it wrong can be disastrous for your cat.
Hopefully, these reviews of the best flea treatments for cats will prevent that from happening – all of the items on this list are incredibly effective at eradicating those awful little bugs in record time.
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