Today, you're going to learn everything you need to know about picking the best cat flea treatments.
(and a little bit about fleas themselves)
Ready to make your cat flea free?!
Let's get into the guide...
Our Top Flea Treatment for Cats (2018)
Short on time? Check out below our top Flea Treatment for Cats of 2018. Continue reading if you want to learn more!
How is it possible that my cat, who is constantly cleaning himself, has fleas?
This is what I wondered when I first saw a flea scurry across his belly one day while he was napping in the sun.
It can be difficult to notice fleas on cats because they are so good at taking care of their personal hygiene on their own...
To check if your cat has fleas, you can wipe a white damp cloth over its fur and close to its skin to look for flea “dirt.”
Flea dirt is actually the feces of fleas, which is the digested blood they’ve eaten from your cat. If you see red-colored streaks on the white cloth after you wipe your cat’s skin, your cat has fleas. You’ll need to treat the flea problem your cat has as soon as you can.
When a cat ingests a flea, they can get tapeworms and flea bites can cause horrible skin diseases and allergies. For small cats, anemia can develop from blood loss.
This is aside from the fact that fleas on your cat cat spread throughout your home.
That being said, let's make sure you get the right treatments for your cats to prevent any kind of flea infestations!
What are the stages of the cat flea life cycle?
Once you have determined there is a flea problem, it is important to understand the flea life cycle so that you can truly tackle the issue head on. Surprisingly, adult fleas only represent about 5% of the population of fleas. A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, so you can only imagine how many eggs are laid over just a few days.
Most of the eggs fall off of your cat where he sleeps and plays in bedding and carpeting. Eggs can also hide between wooden floor crevices. There, the eggs hatch and larvae appear. The larvae then create cocoons and may not emerge from them as adults until two years later.
When you treat your cat for fleas, you need to treat your home and surroundings as well, and you’ll need to make sure you target all stages of the flea life cycle.
When treating your home for fleas from your cat, include:
- Outside yard areas
- Windows and curtains
- And cat trees and play areas
Curious about other cat related products? Check out our other detailed guides to help you deal with your pest problems.
What flea treatment is toxic to cats?
Possible flea treatments for cats include sprays, collars, powders, topical solutions, and oral medications. Many of these same treatments are also available for dogs. It’s critical to understand that just because a certain flea treatment works on a dog, doesn’t mean it is safe for a cat. There are many formulas for dogs that are toxic for cats and can cause death. When you are selecting a flea treatment for cats, be sure the label clearly states that the product is safe for use on cats.
Some people try natural and essential oils to treat fleas on cats. This is also dangerous because even some natural plants can be harmful to your cat. Check with your veterinarian before trying any natural home remedies for cat fleas to make sure they are safe.
Some known toxic chemicals for cats are permethrin, tea tree oil, peppermint, cedar oil, and lavender. These products cause your cat’s liver and kidneys to work overtime trying to break these chemicals down. Ultimately, these ingredients can cause liver and kidney failure in your cat!
Another concern for cat flea treatment is making sure you only use the amount necessary for your cat’s weight. Always read the packaging instructions for any product you use to determine the proper and safe dosage for the size of your cat.
What is a good flea treatment for cats with sensitive skin?
For cats with sensitive skin, cat flea pills, flea collars, and natural powders may be good choices. Cat flea pills are administered orally, and the pills typically kill fleas quickly, but you have to give them to your cat on a daily basis.
Flea collars for cats might be a good option because the collar releases the active ingredients slowly, over time. These collars may be best for cats who are already familiar with wearing collars, but if they aren’t, they’ll get used to the feeling of a collar in a few weeks.
Natural cat powders may provide relief from fleas without negative skin side effects. Look for a natural powder that you can sprinkle and brush into your cat. The extra brushing may help with any skin issues by removing dead skin cells and fur.
With any flea product that needs to be applied to your cat’s skin, it is always best to do a very small spot test first. Apply a small amount to the skin and wait a few hours to see if there is any reaction. This should be done for all products, because even well-known ingredients can cause allergic reactions for some cats.
How to get rid of cat fleas in the house?
One of the best things you can do to get rid of fleas around your home is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Flea eggs and flea dirt fall into your carpet and larvae feed on the flea dirt. The sooner you can vacuum everything into a bag and get rid of it, the better. When the fleas are in the pupae stage, it is a little more difficult to vacuum them because their cocoons are sticky.
Start by completely treating your cat and making sure all adult fleas have been killed. Use can use a fine-toothed flea comb to check that you’ve gotten them all. Next, you can either use a flea fogger for a large infestation, or a spray on certain areas.
When selecting which products to use, check to see if it kills adult fleas only or if it kills fleas throughout their entire life cycle.
While you are treating your home, you can also apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to your yard if you have an outdoor cat. It is also safe to use indoors on carpets, but you should wear a mask when you are applying it. Make sure you get food grade DE and not the type that is for your swimming pool.
Finally, be sure to wash and dry any linens, towels, mats, or curtains that can be laundered on high heat to kill remaining fleas.
Here are a few of the best options for cat flea treatment available on the market right now.
This product is a fast-acting spray. You can use it on your cat or kitten to not only kill adult fleas, but also to inhibit the growth of new fleas.
It is probably a good product to have as part of your flea control arsenal because you can also provide immediate relief to your kitty when you see it scratching and biting. Spray it on bedding and napping spots all around the house as well to prevent fleas from spreading.
- Kills adult fleas and has IGR to stop fleas throughout their life cycle
- Keeps working up to 63 days
- Good for cats and kittens under 12 weeks
- One bottle will last for multiple uses on cat and surfaces
- Can be messy to apply
- Some cats get lethargic if too much is sprayed on so don’t overuse!
This over-the-counter tablet for flea control contains the same ingredient recommended by veterinarians found in more expensive pills. These may be a good treatment for providing all day relief for your cat, though you will need other products to eradicate fleas in other stages of their life cycle.
The pill form can be tricky to administer to a cat, but you can butter the pill to help it go down smoother or try to hide it in your cat’s favorite treat.
- Starts to kill fleas within 30 minutes
- Lasts for 24 hours and can be administered every day
- No mess or anything to apply to fur like topical treatments
- Does not kill eggs or larvae
- Need other products to completely remove fleas from the home
Applying sprays and topical solutions to some cats can be tricky. They either fight to run away or immediately begin licking and cleaning themselves. The Bayer Seresto flea collar may be a good option for these types of cats.
The collar is odorless and not greasy, and it even comes with a safety release feature if your cat gets caught up on something.
- Kills adult fleas, flea larvae, and ticks
- Lasts up to 8 months
- Just one application, no monthly treatments necessary
- Some cats could experience itching and hair loss at the site of the collar for a few weeks
- May take some cats time to get used to wearing a collar if they haven’t worn one before
Advantage is a topical solution that is applied to the back of your cat’s neck once per month. The largest benefit is that it kills adult fleas, larvae, and eggs, though you will probably still need to treat areas of your home. You can either use a fogger or a flea spray for spot treatments.
This product is strong so you should apply it outside and let it dry before letting your cat come inside. Be sure to apply it where your cat can’t reach to lick it.
- Kills fleas in every stage of their life cycle on contact
- Kills adult fleas within 12 hours
- Good for cats and kittens 8 weeks of age and older
- Some cats may have reactions to the formula. Test a small area before applying the product fully
- Strong odor
This product is recommended as an all-natural alternative for those who don’t want to use harsh chemicals on sensitive cats. The ingredients include Diatomaceous earth, Neem leaf powder, and yarrow flower powder.
Pest Peeve is safe for homes with babies, is environmental friendly, and can also be sprinkled on floors, bedding, and furniture and vacuumed the following day.
- Kills and repels fleas
- All-natural and made in the USA
- Money back guarantee
- No harsh chemicals
- Powder may leave your cat feeling dusty
- Not as effective as other products with stronger insecticides
The Bottom Line
While there are several products available that are effective in killing fleas on cats, the topical Advantage II Flea Control solution seems to be one notch above the others for most cats. It provides vials for easy monthly application on your cat’s neck and the strong formula kills fleas throughout their life cycle. If you have a cat with very sensitive skin, this may not be the best choice, but you can always do a spot test first.
The worst thing you can do with a flea issue on your cat is ignore it. Take these tips, determine your cat’s needs, and come up with a comprehensive flea control solution for your pet and your home.
Still have questions about how to treat your cat? Check out these detailed guides to make sure you're pest ready.