Cats are meticulous self-groomers. However, they are defenseless when it comes to ridding themselves of fleas.
As pet parents, we want to provide the best flea medicine for cats in our household.
Here is some important information you need to know about the benefits of flea preventatives for cats.
Why is Flea Prevention Necessary?
Fleas can cause severe problems in otherwise healthy cats. Because they feed off of a cat's blood, diseases can be spread through the animal's blood system.
A cat that is suffering from anemia may show signs including pale gums, decreased body temperature and lifelessness.
Blood tests can be used to determine the cause of the symptoms and oftentimes, anemia can be linked to a flea infestation.
If the anemia is severe, your cat may need to undergo a blood transfusion and require hospitalization and antibiotics.
Also, during the grooming process, cats may ingest fleas and flea waste. Very often this will result in tapeworms in your cat's intestinal tract.
By inspecting your cat's stool for tapeworm segments and having a veterinarian perform a fecal examination, the diagnosis can be confirmed. Medications are then necessary to rid your cat of tapeworms to restore optimal health.
Not only are fleas wreaking havoc in your cat's health, but in your pocketbook as well. Nasty little creatures aren't they?
Comparison Of The Five Best Flea Medicine For Cats
How Does Flea Prevention Work?
A quality flea medicine for cats will aid in the elimination of fleas through its active ingredient.
The medication is excreted through the cat's skin, and once a flea bites it, the flea becomes paralyzed resulting in death.
Some medications kill adult fleas only while others can also kill flea larvae. Once the fleas have been killed, monthly dosing will ensure that your cat remains flea-free.
It is important also to treat your home and yard so that your cat is not constantly being bombarded by new hitch-hikers.
Treating all of your pets is also important so that they remain healthy and don't pass the unwanted pests back and forth.
This would have been good to know when my indoor cat kept bringing in fleas after playing with her new barn cat friend. When we finally got a chance to meet the little guy, we adopted him into our family.
Although he still prefers the outdoors, he also is now treated with flea prevention so we can all live happily together on our property.
For more information on flea preventatives and their importance visit
What Should I look for in a Flea Preventative?
The most important quality to look for is effectiveness. If your cat does not currently have fleas, it may be ok to select a product that will kill only adult fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs in your cat's fur.
However, if your cat is experiencing an infestation, you want to give him the fastest relief possible.
Choosing an option that will kill all stages of flea life will help to eliminate quickly the problem. Also, the lasting effectiveness is equally important so that frequent reapplications are not necessary.
Another quality is ease of dosing. Although most cats are cooperative, Oral flea medication for cats may not be the best choice in every case.
Some cats may fight their owners when they try to give the medicine causing injuries to their owners as well as themselves.
This could prove to be traumatic for the cat and owner making it increasingly harder each month.
For helpful tips on how to pill your cat, refer to this video:
You may also consider a flavored and chewable flea pill for cats that is more like a treat than an obligation.
Other options like topical solutions may be easier to administer than pills.
With oral medications, the flea must bite your cat in order to become affected. This can cause an allergic reaction in some cats causing severe itching, scratching, and loss of hair.
With these options, though, special care should be given to make sure that the cat doesn't lick the treated area, as doing so could have harmful side effects.
A helpful video when applying a topical solution can be found at
Thirdly, value is important to me and I'm sure it is to you as well. You want to get the most out of your hard earned dollars but at the same time you don't want to scrimp on Fluffy's care.
Weigh the benefits of the products with the average cost per dose and find the best option for your needs and your budget.
To help you, here are some products to consider when choosing the most beneficial flea medicine for cats.
Review Of The Five Best Flea Medicine For Cats
Program Tablets (Oral Suspension)
Its active ingredient is Lufenuron, which has been shown to slow the development of early stage fleas.
While it will not kill adult fleas, it does affect the development of future eggs. The adult fleas can still bite the pet and, in fact, must do so in order to be affected by the Lufenuron.
Eggs that have been laid but not hatched will continue to become adult fleas as well. It may take several months to see the benefit of the product.
Program is also available in an injectable dosage. This product is approved by the FDA and is safe for cats six weeks old and older.
The side effects are the same as Comfortis with additional symptoms such as itching, redness of the skin, and breathing difficulties.
Also available in injectable form
Stops future eggs
May cause skin and breathing issues
MD Maximum Defense QuickTabs
MD Maximum Defense is also an oral flea treatment for cats containing Nitenpyram. It is quickly absorbed in the animal's system and gets right to work.
The powerful ingredient works quickly to kill adult fleas before they lay new eggs.
By biting the animal who has been treated, the fleas ingest the blood tainted with Nitenpyram and become paralyzed resulting in almost instant death.
Within 30 minutes of administration to the cat, fleas are dead; however any unhatched eggs that were present before giving the treatment still remain.
Because of its fast acting results, this cat flea pill is recommended for cats suffering from flea allergies as it almost immediately causes all biting to stop.
The medication is effective for about 24-48 hours and has no residual effect. It should be administered daily to combat new infestations.
This product can be given safely to cats over four weeks, and the product is safe for both cats and dogs weighing 2-25lbs.
It can be given in conjunction with other flea pills for cats containing Lufenuron such as Program in order to treat both adult fleas and larvae.
Kills fleas within 30 minutes
Safe for use in dogs and cats
Can be given once daily as needed
No residual effects
Does not kill larvae
Pet may become reinfested quickly
Advantage II for Cats
A topical alternative to oral flea medicine for cats, Advantage II for Cats may be a better choice for some felines and their owners.
Applied once monthly, this treatment kills not only adult fleas but larvae and eggs as well.
This odorless liquid is applied to the base of the skull and begins to take effect within 1 hour.
Within 12 hours, fleas have been eliminated by coming in contact with the medication. It is not necessary for the cat to be bitten by fleas which are good news for cats with flea allergies.
Flea eggs and larvae are eliminated after only 2 hours, by way of an additional insect growth regulator.
The potency of the ingredients is not diminished by water although it may be best to use detergent free shampoos.
The product is intended for adult cats and kittens over eight weeks old and at least 2 lbs.
Boxes of 4 monthly doses are available for all weight ranges, and six monthly doses are available for small and large cats.
Kills fleas in all life stages
Begins to take effect within 1 hour
Easy to apply to base of skull
Effects may not last entire 30 days
Leaves greasy spot that lasts for days
Single dose application tubes
Cheristin for Cats
Another topical alternative is Cheristin for Cats. This effective but gentle agent is safe for kittens at eight weeks of age weighing as little as 1.8 lbs.
Since the dosing is the same no matter the weight of your cat, there is no need to purchase multiple boxes if you have cats of varying sizes.
Cheristin comes in a convenient six pack, but you may find that it is pricier than other topical flea preventatives.
Application is the same as Advantage II, though the tube contains a smaller amount of product, so there is less greasiness on the coat. However, in some cases, the coat may be left sticky or gummy for a few days.
Cheristin has been specially designed solely for cats and should not be administered to other animals.
Cherstin is produced by Lilly, a global company that also manufactures human grade medications for a variety of conditions.
Works within 12 hours
Lasting effects of 30 days
May leave a sticky residue
Diatomaceous Earth Food Human Grade, DE
While all of the products listed have been thoroughly tested for safe use on your cats, you may have reservations about using any chemicals on your pets or in your home.
Diatomaceous Earth is an all natural powdery substance made from a plant derivative.
When used as a flea treatment, the product is dusted into the fur where it is left for several days.
The powder dries out the fleas' bodies causing them to perish. Since this is a drying agent, your cat's skin may become dry and flaky as well.
It is a good idea after the waiting period, to bathe your cat in a moisturizer to help replenish necessary oils in the skin and coat.
There is no need to worry if your cat licks the powder, as it is non-toxic to both animals and humans as well.
However, caution should be used when applying the powder as you could inhale some of it, causing irritation in your lungs and respiratory system.
This all natural product can safely be added to solid foods. Adding the product to your cat's food will promote a parasite free environment in the intestines.
All Natural-No Chemicals
Good for all animal species
Safe to use daily
Safe food additive for internal parasites
May dry the skin and coat
May cause respiratory irritation
May take several days for effectiveness
In this lineup of flea preventative products, Advantage II for Cats seems to be a clear winner.
With powerful, quick acting, long lasting ingredients, ease of application and multi-monthly packaging it is easy to see that this product stands above the rest.
By killing all stages of fleas that simply come in contact with the powerful ingredients, flea allergies, and internal complications are eliminated as well.
Each pet parent faces different circumstances in the war against fleas, and they want to be armed with the best defense. As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."