Flea Treatment For Cats
Tick and flea infestations comprise the two most frequently encountered problems for pets or pet owners.
This is why tick and flea prevention is a vital component of your cat’s routine. A monthly preventative for ticks and fleas will keep your cat safe and pest-free, regardless of the adventures they go on.
Why Is Flea and Tick Prevention Important for Cats?
The ticks and fleas are also known as ectoparasites. They are parasites living on the exterior of the host animal.
Both ticks and fleas live through a blood meal and must bite their hosts to get blood to eat. While the bite itself may be small, saliva from fleas could trigger severe allergic reactions, dermatitis, itching, anemia, and infections.
Tick bites can cause infections, abscesses, or paralysis. They can also cause death.
Alongside allergic reactions, ticks and fleas can transmit a number of feline diseases which include:
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Cats aren’t as prone to tick-borne diseases like dogs are, but there’s still the risk of getting sick. In certain cases, ticks may transmit illnesses to cats, which may later cause illness in humans (e.g., Zoonotic diseases, for instance.
The best method to stop tick and flea allergies or to decrease the chance of spreading disease is to avoid infestation. There are various products that can ensure that your pet is clean of these parasites.
What Are Flea and Tick Preventatives for Cats?
Products to prevent parasites are available in various forms, such as repellents, pesticides, and even growth inhibition. These forms each fight the pests in different stages of life.
When you are choosing a flea or tick prevention product, it is important to be aware of the parasites you’re aiming at. Certain products only work against one specific species, which is typically fleas. They include flea dips, powders, and baths. Because they protect only against one type of parasite, it is necessary to purchase other medications to defend against a wider variety of parasites. The use of multiple medications is typically more expensive and raises the likelihood of developing adverse reactions.
Combination products mix multiple ingredients to eliminate different levels of the parasite. They typically cover ticks and fleas, however, they could also offer an additional level of protection from heartworm, mites as well as intestinal parasites. The range of control for parasites will vary based on the specific product and the active ingredients.
Before you start your cat on any preventative, it’s always advised to discuss any medications as well as supplements, as well as preventatives with your vet, especially when your pet is suffering from health concerns. It is crucial to study the label and insert of every medication you give your pet in order to be sure that:
- The product is the right kind of pet for you (dog and. cat)
- This product is designed for your pet’s age (kitten, adult, or older)
- The product is within the proper weight range for your pet.
- The product is being administered properly (i.e., whether it is an oral or topical treatment)
- The product is protected against proper parasites
- If the product is to be administered with food,
- It’s in line with your management schedule
- It starts working quickly enough
- It will work to work with your bathing schedule
- You are aware of any security concerns
- You are equipped with the appropriate phone numbers to contact in the case of a negative reaction
If you’ve taken the medication and are not sure, it’s always a good idea to read the insert in the packaging in case the information and directions might have changed. Follow the directions exactly and consult your doctor as well as the producer if you have any queries.
When Should You Use Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats?
The ticks and fleas can survive and thrive in moderate to mild weather. It is, therefore, essential to ensure our pets are protected during warmer seasons. This could mean all-year-round protection in the south and the west.
However, even the northern states typically get a few warm spring-like days in the winter months. These brief warm spells can be enough for ticks and fleas to begin to infest your home as well as your dog.
In your climate-controlled home, the fleas will continue to reproduce in the carpets, floors, and everywhere your pet is. If your pet isn’t taking an insecticide or flea preventive tick preventive, ticks could even get into your pet and spread to the people within the house.
Choosing a Flea and Tick Combination Medicine for Cats
Although we’re fortunate to have numerous preventatives in combination for our pets, It can be a bit confusing to choose the right option that is right for your cat. Always remember that you consult your vet and talk about the best choice for your cat. It is also advisable to keep the following key elements in your mind.
Cats aren’t small dogs. Products for dogs are not suitable for cats as they can result in severe, sometimes fatal reactions. The most notable is that the insecticides known as permethrins can be harmful to cats and can cause seizures, tremors, and death.
Be sure to check the label before applying any treatment to your cat.
The most commonly used anti-flea and tick treatments for cats are given orally as chewable tablets or as an applied liquid that is spread between the shoulder blades or down the back.
Topical Flea and Tick Products for Cats
Some products are not the most suitable choice for households with young children or animals that could contact or lick the item prior to drying.
Spot-on treatments for topical issues can emit a medicinal odor or trigger temporary itching or irritation, or even loss of hair. Depending on the frequency of bathing and the condition of your cat’s skin as well as a hair coat, these treatments can also be less efficient.
Oral Flea and Tick Products for Cats
Oral treatments require that your cat consume the entire tablet. This means that you’ll need be watching your cat attentively to ensure you eat the entire amount. Watching is crucial in the event that your cat isn’t fond of its tablet.
In the event that your cat vomits following the consumption of an oral tick and flea preventative, please contact the manufacturer or your veterinarian for advice on re-dosing and also to report any allergic reaction.
Consuming oral preventatives in conjunction in conjunction with meals may reduce stomach upset and may make the medicine more easily absorbed.
Different geographical locations have distinct local parasite populations. These include ticks and fleas, along with other parasites, such as heartworms and intestinal worms.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council is a great source for identifying the parasites in your particular zone that place your pet in the greatest danger.
Access to Outdoors
Cats living outdoors are at greater risk of coming in contact with ticks and fleas, particularly in dense, wooded, or neglected yards. Utilizing a flea and tick prevention product is particularly important for these cats in order to lessen the possibility of being infected.
Even if the cat you have lived indoors, there’s still the chance for bites by fleas. They can get into your home via window screens or on pets that are outside or on the human’s pants or shoes.
For animals who live in apartments or townhouses, the possibility of sharing fleas in the living areas. The reason veterinarians advise all pets, regardless of their access to outdoor space, receive the ability to prevent tick and flea infestations throughout the year.
A tiny percentage of cats are genetically at risk of a mutation in a gene that triggers sensitization to drugs. Cats with this condition are not able to take certain medications, which include certain ingredients used in preventatives.
Many vets recommend testing your cat to determine if they have the gene MDR-1 in particularly affected breeds. It is recommended to check the Washington State University Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory website provides additional information about the mutation, as well as the best drugs to avoid and how to examine your pet for the mutation.
Although there aren’t any breeds of cats that are more susceptible to tick or flea infestation, certain cats could be more susceptible due to their personality or traits of the breed. This is especially true of their Spay and neutering status. In good health, cats can spend the majority of the day outdoors, whereas spayed and neutered cats prefer to remain at home, just occasionally venturing out.
Similar to that, certain breeds might be more prone to hunt and explore outdoors. Cats with a high risk of contracting a disease could benefit from multiple products to provide complete parasite protection.
If you’ve just had a kitten or if your cat is small, discuss with your vet which tick and flea preventatives are safe prior to using any. Certain products cannot be used at all stages of life or weights.
The typical minimum age for preventatives is 6-8 weeks. Always refer to the product’s label to confirm. A lot of preventatives have a weight limit to be used safely. Your physician can help to determine which product is right for you.
The majority of parasite prevention products are secure, but there are a few instances of caution.
Certain classes of preventatives, known as isoxazolines, should be taken with caution in cats that have a past history of seizures or neurological diseases. The medications have been proven to decrease the threshold for seizures.
A preventative shouldn’t be employed without a thorough discussion with your vet if:
- Your pet’s history includes an allergic reaction to the medication.
- The pet you have adopted is sick or overweight.
- Your pet is currently pregnant, nursing, or may be used to breed in the near future.
Over-the-counter vs. Prescription Flea and Tick Medicine
Over-the-counter (OTC) tick and flea preventatives don’t require an appointment with a prescription or recommendation from a vet. They are usually sold through the internet or in a variety of pet stores that sell retail.
Prescription anti-flea and tick treatments require an appointment with your doctor and generally cost a little more.
But, when it’s the OTC drug that does not need prescriptions, you must always consult your vet to ensure it’s an appropriate choice that is suitable for the cat you have. Your vet can help you:
- You may discover a possible drug interaction that could be caused by one of your cats’ current medication
- You can identify a possible adverse reaction in the current medical condition of your cat
- Find a more secure, safer, and more diverse item for the cat you love
- Make sure your cat has a test prior to implementing a preventative
- Learn what to expect prior to taking a preventative
Cat owners have a variety of products to pick from, however, it is important to discuss with a vet first. A majority of vets recommend prescription medicines because they’re generally more effective and safe for your cat, even though they cost a bit more.
Cat Flea and Tick Prevention Product Summaries
Advantage II: is a monthly topical treatment that contains active ingredients imidacloprid as well as pyriproxyfen. The combination of these drugs kills all types of fleas, which includes eggs, larvae, and adults. But it is not a tick killer. It should be used only on kittens and cats who are older than eight weeks old and weighing greater than two pounds. The product is usually applied once a month to prevent disease.
Advantage Multi: is an all-natural monthly product with active components imidacloprid as well as Moxidectin. The combination of these drugs can be effective and kill parasites in just a few hours. The product kills fleas and ticks and treats heartworms, and prevents them. roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites. This product, however, has no tick preventative. This product is only applied to kittens and cats older than 9 weeks that weigh greater than two pounds. It is generally applied once a month.
Bravecto: is a topical remedy that contains fluralaner, the active ingredient. It has been demonstrated to prevent and treat black-legged ticks and fleas throughout 12 weeks in adult animals as well as kittens that are older than six months old. It also helps control ticks that are common to the American dog tick over eight weeks. Bravecto is administered as one dose every 12 weeks. When applying the medication, press the drug onto a location just below the base of the skull. Be cautious not to allow any of the medication to run off. The dosage of Bravecto is based on your cat’s weight, with various products formulated for cats that weigh between 2.6-6.2 pounds, 6.2-13.8 lbs., and over 13.8 pounds. Bravecto is part of the isoxazoline class of drugs which means it can be administered under veterinary supervision for cats that have a history of neurologic disorders, seizures, epilepsy, or seizures.
Bravecto Plus: is a topical product that has two active components, fluralaner, Moxidectin, and fluralaner. Bravecto Plus is fast-acting, eliminating ticks and fleas within a matter of hours after application. It also helps prevent heartworms and prevents roundworms as well as hookworms. Bravecto Plus should only be utilized on kittens and cats that are older than 6 months and that weigh greater than 2.6 pounds. The usual dosage is every two months. It is a member of the class of isoxazoline, and all Bravecto products should be administered with caution in cats who have histories of epilepsy, seizures, or neurological conditions. Washing off after application of Bravecto Plus is not recommended.
Catego: is a monthly topical product that has active ingredients dinotefuran, fipronil, and pyriproxyfen. The combination of the chemicals kills all forms of fleas (all types) and ticks, as well as chewing lice. Catego is quick-acting and begins to kill fleas in just a few hours. It should only be used on kittens and cats older than 8 weeks old and weigh greater than 1.5 pounds. It is generally applied once a month.
Cheristin: is an oral monthly topical product that contains the active ingredient, spinetoram. The product eliminates fleas. Cheristin is fast-acting and begins to kill fleas in just 30 minutes. It should be used only on kittens and cats older than 8 weeks of age and over 1.8 pounds. The application is usually every month.
Comfortis: is a chewable tablet with the active ingredient, spinosad. Comfortis has a rapid-acting substance that kills fleas in just 30 minutes. But, it is specifically labeled to prevent and treat fleas, but only. Cats and kittens have to be older than 14 weeks and weigh at least 4.1 pounds. The product is administered each month.
Credelio: is chewable tablet containing main ingredient, lotilaner. Credelio is fast-acting and starts to kill fleas in just a few hours after application. Credelio is indicated for the treatment of deer ticks in kittens and cats older than six months old. For treating fleas, this medication should only be administered to kittens and cats who are older than 8 weeks old and weighing over 2 pounds. Credelio is given every month. As a member of the class of isoxazoline drugs that includes all Credelio products must be administered with caution in cats who have an history of epilepsy, seizures or neurological conditions.
Frontline Gold: is a monthly topical product that has active ingredients, fipronil (s)-methoprene and pyriproxyfen. This combination of medications kills fleas (all kinds) as well as ticks as well as chewing lice. Frontline Gold is fast-acting, killing fleas in just 30 minutes, and ticks in just a few hours. It should only be used by kittens and cats that are older than eight weeks old and weighs over 1.5 pounds. The application is usually every month.
Frontline Plus: is a monthly topical product that contains the active ingredients fipronil as well as (s)-methoprene. The combination of these drugs kills all types of fleas (all types) as well as ticks and chewing lice. Frontline Plus is fast-acting, it can be effective within hours, but it could last longer Frontline Gold. This product is only to be used with kittens and cats that are older than 8 weeks of age and who weigh over 1.5 pounds. It is generally applied once a month.
Onguard Plus: is a monthly topical treatment that includes the active ingredients, fipronil and (s)-methoprene. The combination of these drugs kills all types of fleas (all kinds) as well as ticks as well as chewing lice. Onguard works fast and begins killing ticks and fleas within a few hours. This product is only to be used by kittens and cats who are older than 8 weeks old and heavier then 1.5 pounds. The application is usually every month.
Revolution Plus: is a monthly topical product that has active ingredients selamectin as well as sarolaner. This combination of medicines treats fleas (all varieties) and ticks, as well as roundworms, ear mites hookworms and also prevents heartworm disease. Revolution Plus kills fleas within hours, while ticks can require up to three days. This product is only to be used on kittens and cats that are older than 8 weeks old and weigh over 2.8 pounds. It is generally applied once a month.
Seresto: is a collar made up of its active components imidacloprid, and flumethrin. The combination of these drugs kills and repels ticks, fleas and ticks for up to 8 months. The fleas are eliminated within 24 hours of application while ticks die within 48 hours of application. If a cat bathes or swims often (more than every month) the product may lose effectiveness and should be replaced every five months. This product should be used with kittens and cats that are older than 10 weeks.