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Guide to keep your cat free of fleas and ticks


Part of being a feline owner is making sure your pet is free of fleas and ticks. Unfortunately, these bugs are common in many regions of the country and can infest both indoor and outdoor cats. Fortunately, preventative treatments kill fleas and ticks along with their eggs and prevent new pests from taking up residence on your pet again.

Flea and tick preventions for cats are made of chemicals that target these unwanted visitors and keep them away for various periods of time. They come in different shapes, and depending on the type you choose, they are safe for cats of different ages and sizes. The best treatment for your cat will match his life stage, weight, and pest control needs.

Current: Topical treatments are among the most popular options because they are easy to apply and have long-lasting effects. Typically, these treatments are applied directly to the cat’s skin, just below the base of the neck. Applying the treat to this hard-to-reach area will make it nearly impossible for the cat to accidentally remove or ingest it. It is important to allow the treatment to dry completely before your cat comes into contact with children or other pets. If ingested, flea and tick treatments can be fatal. Cats with sensitive skin may also experience some skin irritation.

Oral: If you are concerned that your other pets or children will come into contact with a topical treatment before it dries, then oral treatments are a great alternative. Oral treatments generally offer the same basic benefits as topical treatments and start working within minutes. Vet-prescribed options can have long-lasting results, but some oral treatments only provide a day or two of protection. Depending on your cat’s temperament, she may have difficulty administering oral treats.

Spray: If you already use the water bottle and spray technique to discourage bad behavior, flea and tick sprays may not be the best option for you. However, many spray options offer benefits similar to highly effective topical treatments. They also allow you to cover large areas quickly. Just be careful because these sprays can be pretty messy. It’s easy to accidentally spray them in the eyes or mouth.

Dust: Powder treatments can be found in almost every retail store and are relatively low in price. They can also be used to spray on any carpet or bedding that has been affected by fleas and ticks. However, applying the powder can be tricky. You will need to take extra care to ensure that your cat does not inhale any of the chemicals.

Shampoo: It’s no secret that most cats aren’t fans of bath time, but flea and tick shampoos are an affordable, fast-acting treatment option. The shampoo kills those pesky bugs almost instantly and gives your furry friend a fresh new coat at the same time. On the downside, most flea and tick shampoos aren’t technically preventative, so you’ll need to use most shampoos in combination with another form of treatment to prevent reinfestation.

Necklaces: Easily the most convenient to use, flea and tick collars work to kill and prevent those uninvited insects with almost no effort on your part. Once you put the collar on, the chemicals are slowly and steadily released onto your cat’s skin and fur. Most collars are reasonably priced and their effects last about eight months. However, some collars are designed to only prevent fleas and ticks, not kill existing ones. Be sure to read the packaging carefully to determine the capabilities of your collar.

When it comes to treating fleas and ticks, there is much more to consider than the type of treatment to use. Age, coat length and lifestyle play an important role in the effectiveness of each treatment. Skin Length: Depending on the length of your cat’s coat, some treatments may be difficult to work with. For example, you will have a more difficult time applying a powder or topical treatment directly to the skin of a long-haired cat.

Age and weight: Age and weight are important factors in how much medication your cat can tolerate. If you have a kitten, be sure to use a treatment designed specifically for him. Adult treatments can be harmful or even life-threatening to your kitty. Flea treatments indicate on the package the age and weight at which they are safe to use on a kitten. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian before using.

Lifestyle: For less active indoor cats, you may be able to choose any of the treatment options. Outdoor adventurers, on the other hand, will need something sturdy. If your cat is constantly in and out of the house, a topical treatment or flea and tick collar will work best.

  • Always wear gloves when applying any topical treatment to avoid skin irritation.
  • Remember that not all treatments last long or work on their own. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to see how often you need to reapply and if follow-up care is required.
  • When choosing a flea and tick collar, try to find one with a quick release clasp. This will help prevent potential snags and choking.
  • Keep in mind that many flea and tick preventatives kill several types of ticks and lice.

prices of flea and tick prevention in cats treatments range from under $10 to over $150. Powders, shampoos, and sprays tend to hover around the lower end of the price spectrum, while necklaces and topical treatments typically cost between $25 and $150. Higher priced preventatives in this category typically have eight to 12 month applications.

Frontline Plus for cats: available in Amazon and petco

A bestseller for decades, this preventative is highly effective at killing existing ticks and fleas and preventing future infestations for weeks. It is safe for kittens that are at least 8 weeks old and weigh 1.5 pounds or more. It comes in easy-to-use vials.

Bayer Seresto flea and tick collar: available in Amazon and petco

This necklace is easy to use and the effects last for eight months. It’s perfect for the cat owner with a busy lifestyle or the consumer who doesn’t want to handle liquid treats. It is suitable for kittens 10 weeks and older.

PetArmor Plus Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats: Available at Amazon and petco

This is a flea and tick preventative that works just as well as its competitors for a much lower cost. Results are usually noticeable within 12 hours. It’s easy to apply and perfect for pet owners on a budget. It can be used on kittens as young as eight weeks old and weighing 1.5 pounds or more.

Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Topical Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats – Available in Amazon

This treatment is easy to use and affordable. It is odorless and does not have a greasy consistency. The long tip facilitates the application of the treatment. It is formulated for kittens that are at least 12 weeks old and those that weigh five pounds or more.

Cat Flea and Tick Control Category: available in Amazon

This may not be the most powerful flea and tick treatment, but it is a good option for occasional use and light infestations. It’s easy to use, works fast, and is safe for kittens eight weeks and older who weigh 1.5 pounds or more.

TevraPet Actispot II flea treatment for large cats: available in Amazon

Formulated with a powerful preventative, this treatment kills fleas and ticks fast and lasts for weeks to prevent new pests from thriving and laying eggs on your pet. Although it is not safe to use for kittens and small cats, it is a good choice for felines that weigh nine pounds or more.

Zodiac Flea & Tick Powder for Dogs, Puppies, Cats & Kittens: available in Amazon

If you’re not a fan of liquid topical treatments, a powder is worth trying. Made by a trusted brand for pets, this powder works fast and keeps fleas and ticks from coming back for weeks. It can be used on kittens 12 weeks and older.

Flea Prevention Advantage II: available in Amazon and petco

If your cat does not have a tick problem, this treatment is ideal to control only fleas. Provides waterproof protection that kills eggs. larvae and adult fleas fast and last at least four weeks to prevent their return. It is suitable for kittens and cats weighing between five and nine pounds.

Amazon Basics Flea & Tick Topical for Cats: Available at Amazon

Although it is made with drugs found in some brand name preventatives, this product is available at a lower price. It can be used on adult cats and kittens from eight weeks of age and weighing 1.5 pounds or more.

Vetality Naturals Flea & Tick Spray for Cats: available in petco

This spray is made with natural, plant-based ingredients that kill fleas and ticks and prevent them from coming back. It is also effective in repelling mosquitoes. It can be used in kittens 12 weeks of age and older.

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jennifer manfrin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help you simplify your buying decisions and save you time and money.

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