Very few things will cause your cat as much stress as a flea infestation. The constant scratching and endless grooming are the least of his worries. Many cats are actually allergic to fleas. Big bald patches tend to present in cats with a flea allergy.
Additionally, when fleas are inadvertently swallowed during the grooming process, they cause tapeworms. A flea may seem like a small, insignificant nuisance. Fleas also cause your cat to develop dry sensitive skin, which lead to Cat Dandruff.
However, if they are left unchecked, they have the potential to cause serious health problems for your cat. In hopes of keeping your cat healthy and happy, we’ve compiled a list of the top 3 flea medications and preventatives.
Bayer Advantage II, Large Cat, Over 9-Pound, 6-Month
For an average adult cat, Advantage II is a leading topical choice for treating fleas. It targets fleas at all life stages. That means, not even eggs and larvae can evade this potent medication. Advantage II contains imidacloprid (insecticide) and pyriproxyfen which is an insect growth regulator. Pyriproxyfen keeps flea eggs from developing, effectively stopping the life cycle. It works by mimicking the juvenile growth hormone of fleas and inhibits eggs from molting into the next stage of life. This prevents more adult fleas.
Advantage is a topical solution. That means it’s a liquid that is administered between your cat’s shoulder blades. This is the only part of the body that your cat has a hard time getting to. It’s a non-toxic formula, so even if your cat does get to it, it’s not harmful to him. The reason for administering between the shoulder blades is because your cat will naturally want to clean it off of him. If he is able to lick away the medication, it will not be able to work.
The liquid is absorbed into the skin where it settles in the oil glands. It kills fleas within 12 hours, and repels new fleas for an entire month.
Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Cats and Kittens
Frontline is another topical flea preventative. Like Advantage, it is administered on the skin between your cat’s shoulder blades. The liquid contains fipronil and (S)-methoprene which are both powerful flea insecticides.
Topical flea preventatives work by absorbing into the skin and storing itself in your cat’s oil glands. Frontline self-distributes throughout your cat’s fur and skin via the hair follicles. Any fleas or ticks that decide to snack on your cat are immediately killed. That doesn’t mean that a flea has to bite your cat in order to be eliminated. Just being in contact with the potent medication kills them.
Frontline begins working a bit quicker than Advantage. While Advantage takes 12 hours to kill all fleas, Frontline kills them all in 4 hours.
Capstar Dogs & Cats Blue 2-25lbs 6 pk Flea Treatment
Capstar is a bit different. It comes in pill form. Capstar contains the insecticide nitenpyram. It is not used as a preventative. One dose of Capstar will kill all the adult fleas on your pet in 30 minutes.
It is best used to rid your pet of fleas before beginning a preventative. It can also be used in conjunction with a flea preventative if a re-infestation occurs and fleas become visible.
Sometimes, when your cat has been on the same flea preventatives for years, an immunity is built. Even though you haven’t skipped a dose of his flea preventative in years, you may suddenly discover fleas in his coat. This happens because an immunity is built against your cat’s current insecticide. In these cases, Capstar is extremely helpful. A dose of Capstar can be administered to rid your cat of all adult fleas. Then, it’s best to switch to a new flea preventative that uses a different insecticide as its active ingredient.
It’s common to have to switch flea preventatives every few years. The good news is that you can go back and forth. Flea preventatives you’ve used in the past can eventually be re-introduced after a significant amount of time has passed on a new medication.
The same formula of Capstar is also safe for both cats and dogs.
A Few Tips
Never use a flea preventative formulated for dogs on a cat, and vice versa. Some flea medications for dogs are toxic to cats and the ones formulated for cats can be toxic to dogs.
If you’re lucky enough to have a multispecies home, assure that your cat can’t groom your dog for at least 24 hours after administering a topical flea medication.
- Always use the size guide when choosing a flea medication. Try not to estimate your cat’s weight. If you guess to low, the medication may not work as well. If you guess to high, it could cause your cat to have reactions to the high-dose.
- Always monitor your cat and keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting and excessive salivating. This could indicate that your cat has either had too high of a dose or simply can’t tolerate the type of pesticide used in the medication.
- Another thing to remember is that these medications will not kill fleas in your home or yard. They will just keep the fleas from living on your cat. If you accidently skip a dose of flea preventative, and fleas are present in your cat’s environment, they will begin to infest him again.
There are other products that can eliminate fleas in your home and yard. Usually, if there is a severe infestation of fleas, your cat will greatly benefit from a combination of monthly flea medication and eliminating fleas in his surroundings. And don’t forget to have a balance diet to support their immune system
The 3 medications we listed above are available without a prescription at most pet specialty stores. Their availability is extremely convenient and can help you keep on the monthly schedule. However, as always, it’s best to check with your vet before starting a new flea preventative. Your vet will be able to recommend the effective flea preventative for cat. There are medications available with a prescription that not only kill and prevent fleas but other harmful parasites as well.
Thanks for visiting Cheyenne Cats and we hope you found more information to support your pet.