The Best Treatments To Keep Your Cat Flea-Free

Byeee, fleas 👋

Cat flea treatments
Chewy

Fleas can be super itchy for your cat, and can even cause some health issues.

So it’s super important that you give your cat a flea preventative regularly to make sure he stays protected.

But with so many options on the market, how can you find the best one?

The best flea treatment for your cat is going to depend on a ton of different factors (so you should see your vet for a tailored recommendation), but overall, you’ll want to do your research and look for a product that’s both safe and effective — since not all of them are.

Here’s what you need to know before shopping for a cat flea treatment, according to veterinarians (plus their top picks!).

Types of cat flea treatments

The different types of flea treatments for cats include oral medication, topical medication and flea collars.

Oral flea treatment for cats

Oral flea treatments for cats can come in the form of a pill or flavored chewable tablet and usually need to be given monthly.

Cat parents love how convenient these are since you don’t have to apply anything to the skin, unlike with topical treatments. And since the flavored chews are so tasty, your cat will definitely enjoy her dose.

Before you can buy an oral flea treatment, you’ll probably need a recommendation from your vet, since most of these will be prescription medications.

But if your cat already has fleas and you’re looking for a quick fix, the over-the-counter (OTC) oral flea pill Capstar can help. It kills existing fleas on your cat fast — but keep in mind it won’t kill future fleas. You’ll need to put your cat on a preventative (like the options below!), too, to avoid future infestations.

Try Capstar flea treatment for cats from Amazon for $32.99

Topical flea treatment for cats

Topical flea treatments can effectively prevent fleas on your cat, and are applied directly to a cat’s skin by parting the fur near the base of the skull and using a small tube applicator to apply the medication.

The gel from the applicator isn’t good for humans to touch, or for cats to eat, so avoid petting your cat for a couple of hours after application, and make sure your cat doesn’t lick it! (The reason why it’s applied to the base of the skull is so your cat can’t reach it.)

Like with oral medications, topical flea treatments need to be given monthly.

And make sure the medication you’re using is for cats, not dogs, since they definitely can’t be mixed up!

“I love spot-on topical flea prevention. But it’s really important to know that they are not all the same,” Dr. Liz Bales, a veterinarian and founder of Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co., told The Dodo. “Some topical flea treatments can actually be deadly for cats. These are usually labeled for dogs and given by accident.”

According to Dr. Bales, you should especially avoid pyrethrin as an ingredient in your cat’s topical flea product.”This is safe for dogs and not cats,” Dr. Bales said.

Cat flea collars

There are cat flea collar options available to cat parents, and they can definitely be effective, but there are some things to be aware of first before deciding to purchase one.

For one, there have been cases where flea collars have actually injured or killed cats. And not to mention that in one study, some cats who used flea collars reportedly still had dermatitis from flea bites.

Some cat parents have had good luck using flea collars on their cats, though, so just be sure to do your research — and get sign-off from your vet first.

How to find the best flea treatment for cats

The best flea treatment for your cat depends on his lifestyle, parasite risk factors, health status, age and other factors — so you should see your veterinarian for a personalized recommendation.

But in general, you should look for a cat flea treatment that is both safe and effective. And since not every cat flea treatment on the market will meet those requirements, you need to know what to look for.

“Cats with fleas should be treated with a safe and effective flea control product containing active ingredients that kill adult fleas and that sterilize flea eggs and prevent immature fleas from maturing into adults,” Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor for Pet News Daily, told The Dodo.

Examples of some active ingredients that you’ll find in a quality cat flea product include spinosad, lotilaner and imidacloprid.

You should also make sure you’re buying the correct product for your cat’s life stage and weight. Also, be sure the product is labeled specifically for cats. Giving a flea treatment intended for dogs to a cat can be deadly.

And be sure to check that your cat’s flea products are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an animal drug. This will help you weed out any questionable cat flea treatments.

Vet-recommended flea treatments for cats

Here are four cat flea treatments that were recommended by veterinarians due to their efficacy and safety.

Cat flea treatments

Bravecto is a super convenient topical medication that protects against other parasites in addition to fleas, and only needs to be given to your cat once every two months. 

 

Considering that your typical flea medication should be given monthly, it definitely makes protecting your cat against parasites super easy.

 

Other parasites that Bravecto Plus prevents include ticks, heartworm, hookworm and roundworm (which means fewer medications for your cat overall).  

 

This is a prescription medication, so you know it’ll be a bit stronger than something you’d get OTC (but that also means you’ll need your vet’s approval first).

 

Bravecto Plus is also a favorite of Dr. Bales’. “Bravecto Plus works great,” Dr. Bales said. 

cat flea treatment

Comfortis is a beef-flavored chewable flea treatment for both cats and dogs that can kill fleas and prevent them for up to a month. 

 

The active ingredient in Comfortis is spinosad, which attacks the nervous system of parasites and kills them instantly. 

 

And it’s really effective, too. Even more so than some topical medications. 

 

In one study, cats who took Comfortis were less likely to have fleas and flea allergy dermatitis than cats who were treated with a topical medication.

Cat flea treatment

Revolution Plus is a topical monthly flea medication for cats that prevents fleas and a bunch of other parasites (including ear mites).  

 

It’s also a favorite of Dr. Coates’. “Selamectin is the active ingredient in Revolution, which can be a good option for killing fleas as well as ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and for preventing heartworm disease in cats,” Dr. Coates said. “If tick control is also needed, Revolution Plus contains selamectin and sarolaner.”

 

Sarolaner is a member of the isoxazoline class, which means you should use it with caution in cats with a history of neurological disorders like seizures. 

Cat flea treatments

Credelio is a flavored chewable flea medication for cats that prevents both fleas and ticks for up to a month. 

 

Credelio also kills fleas and ticks already on your cat, and starts working in six hours. In one controlled study, after just 24 hours, it had killed 99 percent of ticks and 100 percent of fleas. 

 

This medication should be given to your cat within 30 minutes of feeding, as combining it with food will make sure its active ingredient, lotilaner, can be as effective as possible. 

 

Like sarolaner, lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class, so avoid giving it to your cat if he has a history of neurological issues

 

Making sure your cat is protected from fleas is an essential part of pet parenting. It’s super easy, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your cat will be flea-free for the rest of his life.