Flea Control: Keep Fleas Out of Your Cat's Life and Yours
The best flea control products for helping flea allergic dogs and cats are those that kill all adult fleas (i.e. high effectiveness) in a very short period of time (fast-acting), whilst at the same time limiting adult flea feeding times (which is where allergic sensitization occurs - when the animal is exposed to the flea's saliva and droppings). Those that also rapidly wipe out flea populations in the home environment (i.e. those that also kill flea larvae or stop flea eggs from hatching) get extra points because, once a flea population is gone from a household, it is highly likely that flea allergy dermatitis problems will resolve.
The first active ingredient is imidacloprid, which acts on the nervous system of the flea to cause paralysis and subsequent death. Within 12 hours of application on cats and dogs, 98-100 percent of fleas are dead. Advantage II Small Cat kills the existing fleas on ferrets within 24 hours. The second active ingredient, pyriproxyfen, is an insect growth regulator. Once a female flea lays her eggs, pyriproxyfen works to prevent the eggs from hatching, ending the flea life cycle. Also, the active ingredient in Advantage II kills through contact, which means that fleas don't have to bite your pet to die. Reinfesting fleas are killed with protection against further flea infestation lasting for up to 4 weeks. Pre-existing pupae in the environment may continue to emerge for 6 weeks or longer depending upon the climactic conditions.
These liquids are typically applied on one area of your cat and can last for a month before having to be reapplied. Many can start killing off fleas in as little as 12 hours. Topical flea treatments for cats include , and . Revolution (selamectin)
A topical parasiticide applied to the skin and effective for 30 days. Selamectin kills adult fleas and larva and prevents flea eggs from hatching by attacking the flea’s nervous system. It is also used to treat ear mites and roundworms and as a heartworm preventative. Revolution is FDA approved, meaning it has passed more stringent safety guidelines. Revolution is alcohol based and formulations are available for cats 8 weeks and older. This is a prescription medication. We highly recommend this product for cats that go outdoors because it prevents a variety of internal and external parasite infections.Advantage II is a monthly flea preventative for dogs and cats that offers comprehensive flea protection by killing adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. Plus, it kills fleas through contact, which means fleas don't have to bite your pet to die. Advantage II also treats, prevents, and controls lice on dogs. Advantage II does not kill ticks, so we recommend using the along with Advantage II (dogs only). Advantage II for small cats 5-9 lbs can also be used for ferrets weighing 1 lb or over and 10 weeks of age or older.Capstar (nitenpyram)
A fast acting oral parasiticide that targets the nervous system of adult fleas. Flea death occurs within 30-minutes but effective for only 24 hours. It is designed for combination use with longer acting flea medications. Capstar is a tablet and is approved for cats 6 weeks and older. This is a prescription medication and is typically only used in a veterinary hospital for quick kill of adult fleas.Vectra (dinotefuron, pyriproxifen)
A fast-acting topical parasiticide applied to the skin and effective for 30 days. Dinotefuron attacks the flea’s nervous system and kills on contact. Pyriproxifen is an insect growth regulator than inhibits flea eggs or larva from developing. Vectra is oil based and formulations are available for cats 8 weeks and older.Over-the-counter (OTC) shampoos, dips, and collars
(Hartz, Sergeants, Bio-Spot, Kirkland): Contain permethrin insecticides which may be toxic to cats. These products kill adult fleas on the cat and have little residual activity.
Natural flea remedies
Essential oils (Tea Tree, Cedar, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Peppermint, Neem, Limonenes): Cats do not metabolize essential oils effectively, so application of oils through collars or spot-on products may cause toxicity. All essential oils are potentially toxic in cats. Symptoms of toxicity include lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting and dizziness.
Typically contain permethrin or pyrethrin insecticides. These products have little residual activity and require humans and animals to be removed from the environment during treatment and for a period after application.