Best Flea Treatment for Cats

  • By:

    Dr. Chyrle Bonk
    Dr. Chyrle Bonk

    Author: Dr. Chyrle Bonk

    Dr. Chyrle Bonk is an associate veterinarian since 2010 and was a volunteer for Clearwater County Youth 4H. Dr. Bonk contributed to various animal and veterinary related websites and magazines as a way to help keep animals across the globe safe and healthy. When Chyrle not working she spends her time with her own furry crew of dogs, cats, and horses.

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  • Updated on: 08/13/2020

When it comes to looking after a cat, you should always be keeping an eye out for the tell-tale tick and flea signs. Cats that walk around outside are always more likely to pick up fleas, but felines can become infected with pests throughout their lives. Whether it be brushing up against another dog or cat or perhaps picking up fleas at a local vet or boarding facility, the risk is always just around the corner. Believe it or not, fleas can even hitch a ride on your clothes and shoes before transferring to your cat.

Once your cat is hit with fleas, you should be able to diagnose them through visual cues alone. Scratching, skin irritation, discomfort, and dark red or black specks on the cat’s skin, bedding, or furniture can give the game away. Some cats do not need to have a flea infestation to have clinical symptoms. They only need one bite to come out in an allergic reaction. This is called flea allergic dermatitis (FAD) and commonly looks like itchy scabs at the base of the tail and top of the back.

Image by lothofoxburr from Pixabay

Once you notice any of the above signs, you should run a cat flea comb through your pet’s fur to check for any pests. You won’t always find a live flea on the body, because 95% of fleas live off of the body. More often, flea dirt is noticed, which looks like small black specks. This can be confirmed by putting the specks on a white kitchen paper towel and placing a drop of water on it. Then if it is flea dirt, it will stain the paper red/brown because of the blood in it. If you find the traces of any fleas, whether it be live fleas or flea dirt, you should look to begin treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment is not often effective as a once-off application, as flea treatments do not kill eggs. Therefore, treatment needs to be repeated for several months to ensure that all the fleas hatching from the eggs are killed. Treatment of the house is also very important, as, as mentioned before, 95% of fleas live in the environment.

TOP-13 Best Flea Medicine for Cats

Shopping around for the best flea remedy for cats can be tough. Cats ALWAYS need a cat-specific flea product, as some dog products are toxic to cats. Luckily for you, we have compounded all of the best products and manufacturers on the market right now. Check out our flea medicine for cats chart and reviews below:

Our TOP Picks

Products

Rating

Buy

Best Cat Sprays

Bayer Advantage Flea Tick and Lice Treatment Spray for Cats

4.2 out of 5 stars

Price: from $19.14
for 12 oz

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray

4.4 out of 5 stars

Price: from $19.99
for 32 oz

Best Cat Shampoo

Natural Chemistry De Flea Shampoo

4.7 out of 5 stars

Price: from $39.99
for 1 gal

Best Cat Collar

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

4.2 out of 5 stars

Price: from $45.99

Best Cat Medications

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets

4.3 out of 5 stars

Price: from $29.43 for 2-25 lbs cats, 6 count

Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention for Cats

4.3 out of 5 stars

Price: from $26.98
for 1 dose

Frontline Gold/Plus for Cats

4.1 out of 5 stars

Price: from $28.25 
for 3 treatments

Best Cat Comb

Safari Flea Comb for Cats

4.8 out of 5 stars

Price: from $4.67

Best Flea House Treatments

Black Flag Flea and Tick Spray Home Treatment

3.9 out of 5 stars

Price: from $20 

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus

3.8 out of 5 stars

Price: from $39.95 for 3-lb jar

Prescription Flea Treatments

Comfortis Chewable Tablets

5 out of 5 stars

Price: from $96.99 for 6 treatments, for  4.1-6 lbs cats

Bravecto Topical for Cats

4.4 out of 5 stars

Price: from $52.52
for 1 treatment, for 6.2-13.8 lbs cats 

Revolution for Cats

4.6 out of 5 stars

Price: from $121.52 for 6 doses, for 5.1-15 lbs cats 

Best Cat Sprays

One of the quickest and best flea medication treatments for cat fleas, ticks, and lice is the popular spray solution. The whole body needs to be covered in the spray to ensure it is fully effective, but in particular, the belly, neck and inner-leg areas should be concentrated on. If you are looking for an effective flea spray treatment that is guaranteed to target the pests and eradicate them, look no further than the Bayer Advantage Flea Tick and Lice Treatment Spray for Cats or Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray. 

Bayer Advantage Flea Tick and Lice Treatment Spray for Cats

This product is an effective spray for defeating ticks, fleas, and lice on your cat’s fur. While the smell emitted from the solution is rather pungent, it certainly gets the job done.

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Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray

This cat spray is easy to apply straight onto your pet’s coat, killing fleas, flea eggs, larvae, and ticks in the process. Not only that, but the Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray also soothes your cat’s skin in the process. It is effective for up to two months while also being one of the cheapest quality options on the market.

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Best Cat Shampoo

One of the most tried and tested methods for removing cat fleas is with specialized shampoo. The formula within the shampoo is specifically designed to kill any fleas, ticks, or lice that come into contact with your cat’s fur or skin. What’s more, the vast majority will also leave your pet smelling fresher than ever. All you have to do is keep your cat still and calm enough to apply the shampoo, leaving it on the fur for the prescribed amount of time-based on the instructions, before rinsing it off in the water, just as you would use shampoo on your own hair. Your cat’s reaction to the shampoo treatment will largely depend on how much they like or detest getting wet. However, some cat shampoos can see dead fleas fall out of the fur within minutes of use. Natural Chemistry De Flea Shampoo is an excellent option. 

Natural Chemistry De Flea Shampoo

This shampoo option is free from pesticides and chemicals but still boasts the ability to kill fleas, flea eggs, and larvae. Not only that, but the product is also designed to soothe and moisturize your cat’s skin and coat in the process.

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Best Cat Collar

Not every cat is open to accepting tablets and ointments, which can make dealing with fleas extremely difficult. However, there is now a way to treat your feline friend without subjecting them to something they are not used to. All domesticated cats should have a collar, usually containing information regarding their name and address. Flea collars have now emerged as efficient options for cat treatment over long periods of time. The active ingredients within the collar are released in low doses over days, weeks, and months. This odorless and non-greasy formula offers protection against fleas, killing any that come into contact with the cat’s skin. While you must be careful when shopping around for flea collars, avoiding those that contain harmful chemicals, Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar comes highly rated.

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

The Seresto cat collar is the perfect alternative for any cat owner who is struggling to get their feline to consistently take tablets or sit still for other treatments. This product from Bayer is effective for eight months, representing real value for money. The formula used offers continuous protection over this time, without producing odors or grease. Some cat owners avoid purchasing flea collars due to the bad reputation they have, but this product is great.

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Best Cat Medications

Cat medication comes in all shapes and sizes, with varying benefits to your feline friends. Cat tablets can be ingested by your pet to provide a fast-acting single-dose defence against fleas, ticks, and lice. While tablets are not seen as a long-term solution, they can show results in mere hours, making your cat far more comfortable in the short-term. It is always sensible to pair pill usage with another more long-term treatment. Cat flea tablets are to be administered orally, however, not every pet is as willing to take them as others. If your cat continuously fights you on the subject, it may be best to look for another form of treatment. But what is the best flea medicine for cats? We believe that the best cat flea tablets on the market right now are the Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets. However, Capstar tablets have no residual protective effect, and therefore if you do not also treat your house, the fleas will jump right back on your cat again.

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets

These tablets are some of the most effective and fast-acting on the market. A single dose can kill fleas within six hours. However, it should be pointed out that Capstar tablets must be paired with another form of long-term treatment as they only kill adult fleas. They also rely on your cat being open to taking oral tablets.

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Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention for Cats

If your cat is against the taking of tablets, you can still source various other solutions aimed at targeting their skin and/or fur instead. A popular alternative to the tablet is the set-and-forget type solutions, or drops. The owner simply applies the solution to the neck of the cat and it gets to work within 12 hours, without the fleas even having to bite the skin. For those looking for this kind of product, we strongly recommend the top-selling Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention for Cats. Not only does it protect for up to four weeks, but it also kills larvae and eggs and remains waterproof and fragrance-free. 

This set-and-forget solution starts working in just 12 hours but remains effective for up to four weeks. It is simple to use, with owners having to apply it to the cat’s neck alone. It is also odorless, waterproof, and kills adult, larvae, and flea eggs.

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Frontline Gold/Plus for Cats

Frontline Gold/Plus for Cats is also brilliant and is a highly recommended remedy/repellent that gets to work in just 30 minutes, while also being safest for 8-week-old and 3 lbs cats.

This well-known brand is one of the more expensive options on the market but it comes with the recommendation of many veterinarians. From our experience, the vast majority of cat owners also find the product to be effective. It is easily applied using the in-pack applicator, kills ticks, fleas, and chewing lice, starts working in just 30 minutes, comes with a six-month supply, and is suitable for cats over 3lbs. The only downside at all is the price, although it remains worth every penny.

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Best Cat Comb

When lice infect a child’s hair, the nit comb is often one of the first ports of call for any parent. This is no different for your cats. There are plenty of effective cat flea combs on the market that do the exact same job as these tried-and-tested nit combs. A cat comb should be a standard part of any flea prevention kit, no matter what other measures you are taking. Even if you kill the vast majority of fleas with a solution or shampoo, you will still need to brush the dead pests out from your feline’s coat. Cat combs are designed to pull every adult flea from your cat’s fur without causing any discomfort. Chances are, your cat will actually enjoy the process, much like the enjoy being stroked and scratched. While combing your cat, focus on the areas around their ears, neck, and tail. It can also be a good idea to dunk the comb into hot water whenever you catch a flea in order to kill it off quickly. When looking for a brand new cat comb, we cannot recommend the Safari Flea Comb for Cats highly enough.

Safari Flea Comb for Cats

No matter what form of spray, shampoo, or tablet you use in the fight against fleas, a comb is an absolute must-have. Once the fleas, ticks, and lice are killed, they must still be brushed out of your cat’s fur. However, the comb can also be used to catch and kill live pests when dipped in hot water, without causing any discomfort to your cat.

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Best Flea House Treatment

Unfortunately, if you are truly looking to control and eradicate the fleas, ticks, and lice from your home, you will often need to treat far more than just the cat itself. Even if you have treated the cat and brushed the cat’s fur from top to bottom, you have still left one place untouched; the area where your cat lives. You can purchase solutions online that are proven to kill off fleas, ticks, lice, and other bugs, and some even have residual action. You have to be very careful about which one you buy, as many household sprays contain permethrin, which is toxic to cats. Out of all the products on the market at the moment, we recommend the Black Flag Flea and Tick Spray Home Treatment as the most effective. They also have a yard treatment version for the complete blitzing of the environment. Fleabusters RX for Fleas Plus Powder is also an excellent alternative. When applying, it is very important that your cat does not walk on the area until it is dry, and you should never use a household spray directly on your cat.

Before spraying, for the most effective results, vacuum the carpets and upholstery, especially in those dark, warm places which fleas love.

Black Flag Flea and Tick Spray Home Treatment

Black Flag is available in a spray or aerosol for your home. It is also available in a yard treatment form. It is ideal for killing fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae and ticks in carpets, upholstery, rugs, baseboards and moldings. It also contains an insect growth regulator which prevents fleas from developing into adults for up to seven months. You must keep your pets off the area sprayed until it is dry, but it is an excellent way of getting on top of flea infestations.

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Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus

Fleabusters is a powder which has been milled extremely fine, which you sprinkle over your carpets and furniture. It clings to fibers to resist being removed when the vacuum is used, and provides flea protection for a whole year. It has both federal and state EPA registration and is safe for all family members, including pets.

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Prescription Flea Treatments

If you’re looking for something a little harder-hitting, for example, if your cat has been struggling with fleas for a while or wants a long residual, protective action from a product, it is best to opt for a prescription product. These are available directly from your veterinarian, or from an online veterinary prescription website if you hold a prescription from your vet. There is no ‘best’ prescription product, as it depends on your cat’s situation and needs. Comfortis for Cats is a tablet option, and then there are topical pipettes such as Bravecto Topical for Cats and Revolution for Cats.

Comfortis for Cats

Comfortis is a chewable tablet for dogs and cats which contains the prescription drug Spinosad. It starts working in just 30 minutes and provides residual prevention for up to one month. It is ideal for cats who do not like to be washed, and families with little children who don’t understand that they must not pet the cat after applying a pipette flea treatment.

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Bravecto Topical for Cats

Bravecto is the perfect treatment for cat owners who don’t want to have to keep remembering to apply flea treatments. It contains a prescription drug called fluralaner. One application of the pipette to the skin on the back of the neck provides 12 weeks of protection against fleas and ticks. It is also available in a form that protects against heartworms and intestinal parasites too, known as Bravecto Plus.

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Revolution for cats

Revolution is a spot-on pipette which can be applied to the skin on the back of the neck every 30 days. It contains a prescription drug called selamectin which prevents against fleas, heartworms, ear mites, roundworms and intestinal hookworms. It is also available as Revolution Plus which also adds protection against ticks.

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Last words

That concludes our list of the best flea treatments for fleas on cats. All information was compiled from personal experiences, expert knowledge, and consumer reports. Follow the above advice and your cats and kittens should remain healthy and free from fleas.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

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