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10 Best Flea Treatments for Cats in 2022 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Vet, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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AlexDoninFleas are a dreaded part of pet ownership but we all must be prepared to prevent and treat them if they make their way into our home and on our pets. There are a lot of products on the market for flea treatment but finding one that works effectively is key to ridding your cat of an infestation.

We have taken a look at all available products and their reviews, including over-the-counter and prescription options to come up with this list of the 10 best flea treatments for cats. Keep in mind that it is very important to discuss flea treatment and prevention with your cat’s veterinarian before administering any medication.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats
  • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Kills ticks
  • Efficacy up to 3 months
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Frontline Plus for Cats Frontline Plus for Cats
  • No prescription required
  • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Safe for kittens 8 weeks or older and pregnant or nursing cats
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Revolution Plus for Cats Revolution Plus for Cats
  • Works on fleas, ticks, heartworms, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms
  • Once per month treatment
  • Easy to administer and dries quickly
  • Best for Kittens
    Capstar Cat Treatment Capstar Cat Treatment
  • Kills fleas within 30 minutes
  • Available without prescription
  • Can be used on kittens 4 weeks or older
  • Best Flea Collar
    Seresto Flea & Tick Cat Collar Seresto Flea & Tick Cat Collar
  • Protects against fleas, larvae, and ticks
  • Up to 8 months of efficacy
  • Water-resistant with adjustable size
  • The 10 Best Flea Treatments for Cats

    1. Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats – Best Overall

    Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 1 dose
    Active Ingredient 250 mg Fluralaner
    Length of Efficacy Up to 12 weeks

    Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats is a topical solution that is a great overall choice for cats when prescribed by a veterinarian. Bravecto cannot be used on cats younger than 6 months of age but it can provide 12 weeks of protection against fleas and ticks and up to  8 weeks of protection against Lone Star ticks.

    Bracevto can also kill flea eggs and larvae to prevent and treat full infestations. As with any medication, side effects are possible and should be discussed with the veterinarian. Bravecto will not prevent any other parasites outside of fleas and ticks and can be a bit on the expensive side.

    Overall, due to the ability to kill the flea lifecycle and the length of efficacy, Bravecto gets our top spot for best flea treatment for cats.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
    • Kills ticks
    • Efficacy up to 3 months
    Cons
    • Not for use in cats under 6 months of age
    • Does not prevent any additional parasites other than ticks
    • Expensive
    • Prescription required

    2. Frontline Plus for Cats – Best Value

    Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient Fipronil 9.8% , (S)-methoprene 11.8%.
    Length of Efficacy Up to 1 month

    If you are looking for a flea treatment that will provide you with the best value for your money and still do the job of treating fleas, Frontline Plus for Cats is a great option. Frontline Plus is conveniently available without a prescription and is designed to kill fleas, eggs, and larvae. It is safe for use in kittens over 8 weeks of age and can be used on pregnant and nursing cats.

    This topical solution can be a bit messy and hard to administer so following instructions is important. Frontline Plus cannot treat any additional parasites and may not always last the full month in terms of efficacy.

    A lot of over-the-counter flea medicines are becoming less effective against fleas with time, as they learn to adapt to the widely used medication. Your veterinarian will be able to give you the best advice on non-prescription options in your area.

    Pros
    • No prescription required
    • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
    • Safe for kittens 8 weeks or older and pregnant or nursing cats
    Cons
    • Efficacy does not always last a full month
    • Messy application
    • Not for the treatment of any other parasites

    3. Revolution Plus Topical Solution for Cats – Premium Choice

    Revolution Plus Topical Solution for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient 60 mg Selamectin and 10 mg Sarolaner.
    Length of Efficacy 1 Month

    The premium choice for flea treatment in cats goes to Revolution Plus Topical Solution for Cats. This topical medication not only takes care of fleas but is also effective against ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and for the prevention of heartworms.

    Revolution Plus is suitable for cats and kittens eight weeks of age or older and there are two different options for weight ranges. This is a topical solution that is easy to apply and dries very quickly, which is very convenient for everyone in the household.

    This is a more expensive option that is available via prescription only. You will want to discuss possible side effects with your veterinarian, as this is not labeled safe for pregnant or nursing cats and can result in symptoms such as anorexia and lethargy.

    Revolution Plus is a great choice for owners that wish to combat all parasites under the supervision of a veterinarian.

    Pros
    • Works on fleas, ticks, heartworms, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms
    • Once per month treatment
    • Easy to administer and dries quickly
    Cons
    • Not label for use in pregnant or nursing cats
    • Can cause anorexia and/or lethargy
    • Expensive
    • Prescription required

    4. Capstar nitepyram Cat Flea Treatment – Best for Kittens

    Capstar Flea Oral Treatment for Cats

    Form Tablet
    Quantity 6
    Active Ingredient Nitenpyram 11.4mg
    Length of Efficacy 24 to 48 hours

    The best choice for flea treatment in kittens goes to the Capstar nitepyram Cat Flea Treatment. This small pill can be used in kittens 4 weeks and older. Kittens any younger cannot be given flea treatment outside of bathing and flea combing.

    This is a fast-acting pill that gets the job done within 30 minutes by killing adult fleas. Unfortunately, Capstar is only short-term relief and only lasts 24 to 48 hours. There are 6 pills in the box that can be given consecutively but will need to be followed up with a longer-term treatment option.

    Capstar is available over the counter and is a bit pricey for the short-term effects. This option does not kill eggs or larvae, only adult fleas.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas within 30 minutes
    • Available without prescription
    • Can be used on kittens 4 weeks or older
    • No prescription required
    Cons
    • Only last 24 to 48 hours
    • Does not kill eggs or larvae
    • Expensive for short-term relief

    5. Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Cats – Best Flea Collar

    Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Cats

    Form Collar
    Quantity 1 collar
    Active Ingredient Flumethrin 4.5%, Imidacloprid 10.0%
    Length of Efficacy Up to 8 months

    Seresto Flea and Tick Collar For Cats is a veterinarian-recommended flea collar that is available for over-the-counter purchase. This collar begins repelling fleas and 24 hours of placement on your cat. This product works on contact and does not require the flea to bite.

    Re-infesting fleas are typically repelled in a two-hour window after the initial 24 hours and ticks will be killed off within 48 hours of initial application. The collars are very easy to use and are adjustable for the perfect fit. Cats must be at least 10 weeks of age to use this collar.

    While Seresto is non-greasy and odorless, children should not come in contact with it. It can be worn alongside your cat’s regular color for up to 8 months of effectiveness. It is water-resistant and protects against flea larvae as well.

    The downside to Seresto is that there was some controversy over the safety of this product and there are possible side effects. Make sure you discuss this collar with your veterinarian prior to use.

    Pros
    • Protects against fleas, larvae, and ticks
    • Up to 8 months of efficacy
    • Water-resistant with adjustable size
    • Fleas do not have to bite for it to work
    • No prescription required
    Cons
    • Possible severe side effects
    • Children should not come in contact with the collar
    • Not recommended for kittens under 10 weeks of ag

    6. Comfortis Chewable Tablets for Dogs and Cats

    Comfortis Chewable Tablet for Dogs

    Form Chewable Tablet
    Quantity 6 tablets
    Active Ingredient 140 mg Spinosad
    Length of Efficacy 1 month

    Comfortis Chewable Tablets for Dogs and Cats are beef-flavored chewable tablet that is to be administered once per month. This tablet can be fed alongside the cat’s dinner so it is one of the most convenient types of oral medication. Comfortis is fast-acting and makes a great option for cats that are unable to tolerate topical solutions.  The active ingredient, spinosad, begins working within 30 minutes of ingestion and kills 98 percent of adult fleas on cats within the first four hours.

    While it is great for cats with sensitive skin, you may find that some cats will resist consuming a tablet, which could potentially make administering this medicine challenging for some. Comfortis is not safe for kittens younger than 14 weeks and is available through prescription only.

    Comfortis is interchangeable for cats and dogs that fall within the age and weight range of the product. It does not kill flea eggs or larvae and will not prevent any other parasites.

    Pros
    • Interchangeable for cats and dogs within the recommended weight range
    • Kills adult fleas within 30 minutes
    • Convenient chewable tablet
    Cons
    • Does not kill eggs or larvae
    • Does not prevent any other parasites
    • Not for use in kittens under 14 weeks or pregnant/nursing cats
    • Prescription required

    7. Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

    Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient 45 mg Selamectin, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Isopropyl Alcohol.
    Length of Efficacy 30 Days

    Revolution Topical Solution for Cats is a flea treatment that also treats ear mites, hookworms, roundworms, and prevents heartworms. This solution is recommended for application every 30 days and will kill adult fleas and prevent eggs from hatching for up to one month.

    There are some severe side effects possible with Revolution, but this is prescription only and your veterinarian will be able to discuss all the pros and cons with you before it is recommended for your cats. This is a more expensive option, and some reviewers complain of a lack of efficacy in some cats.

    Pros
    • Kills adult fleas and prevents eggs from hatching up to 1 month
    • Prevents heartworm
    • Can treat and control ear mites, hookworm, and roundworm
    Cons
    • Severe side effects are possible
    • Some users reported a lack of efficacy
    • Expensive
    • Prescription required

    8. Advantage Multi Topical Solution for Cats

    Advantage Multi Topical Solution for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient 80 mg Imidacloprid (10%), 8 mg Moxidectin (1%)
    Length of Efficacy 1 month

    Advantage Multi Topical Solution for Cats is a prescription topical solution that kills adult fleas and treats ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and can even help prevent heartworms.

    Advantage Multi comes in two different weight ranges for cats and since this is prescription only, your veterinarian will ensure you are given the proper medication for your cat’s weight.  Unfortunately, this topical solution cannot kill flea eggs, larvae, or ticks.

    It is recommended by the manufacturer that any pets that could lick off the solution will need to be separated after it’s administered, and small children should be restricted from contact with the cat for at least 30 minutes after the application.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas
    • Helps prevent heartworm
    • Treats and controls hookworm, roundworm, and ear mites
    Cons
    • Prescription required
    • The cat will need to be separated from others that may lick it
    • Children should not touch cat for at least 30 minutes after application
    • Does not kill eggs, larvae, or ticks

    9. Cheristin Flea Spot Treatment for Cats

    Cheristin Flea Spot Treatment for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient Spinetoram 11.2% Other Ingredients: 88.8%
    Length of Efficacy 1 month

    Cheristin Flea Spot Treatment for Cats is a monthly topical solution that will begin killing fleas within 30 minutes of application and will have taken care of 98 to 100 percent of the fleas within 12 hours. The formula is non-greasy, making it easier to apply than some other topical solutions.

    This option is designed for cats and kittens 8 weeks of age or older and over 1.8 pounds. Conveniently, there is no prescription required for this flea treatment. Cheristin does not kill flea eggs, larvae, or any other parasites and the efficacy may not last the full month. There are areas in which fleas are beginning to adapt to the formula so it may not be as effective as a prescription medication.

    Pros
    • No prescription required
    • Kills 98 to 100 percent of fleas within 12 hours
    • No prescription required
    • Can be used on cats 1.8 pounds or more
    Cons
    • Does not kill eggs, larvae, or any other parasites
    • Efficacy may not last one full month
    • Some fleas seem resistant to ingredients

    10. Advantage II Flea Spot Treatment for Cats

    Advantage II Flea Spot Treatment for Cats

    Form Topical
    Quantity 1, 2, 4, or 6 single doses
    Active Ingredient Imidacloprid 9.1%, Pyriproxyfen 0.46%.
    Length of Efficacy Up to 4 weeks

    Advantage II Flea Spot Treatment for Cats is a topical solution that can be effective for up to 4 weeks. This solution begins working within 12 hours of administering and can kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs. This helps break the entire lifecycle of the flea.

    Advantage II is available without a prescription so it is much easier to obtain and can be found in the pet store and large department stores. The formula is designed to be waterproof and uses imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen to do the job. This is designed for use in cats that are 8 weeks and older and comes in two different weight range options.

    The downside to Advantage II is that it does not always last the full 4 weeks and some users reported seeing fleas return after approximately 2 weeks. As a topical solution, it is naturally messier to administer and since it is so readily available, there have been reports that fleas have adapted and become more resistant to the formula.

    Pros
    • Begins working within 12 hours
    • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
    • No prescription required
    Cons
    • Messy application
    • Does not always last a full 4 weeks
    • Some fleas may be resistant to ingredients

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Flea Treatment for Cats

    • Veterinarian Recommendation: Because there are so many flea treatments on the market and most of them involve chemicals, it is important to discuss flea treatment directly with your cat’s veterinarian. They are professionals that are well versed in treating fleas and will be able to guide you on the best path to keeping your cat and home free of fleas.
    • Cat’s Age: As seen above, most flea medications are designed for kittens that are at least 8 weeks of age and with some brands, much older than that. You do have to take into consideration the age of the cat you are providing treatment for and ensure they are getting an age-appropriate medication. Very young kittens are typically treated with bathing and flea comb until they are of age to tolerate flea prevention.
    • Cat’s Weight: Before purchasing a flea treatment for your cat, you need to know its exact weight. Flea treatments are designed for different weight ranges and it is very important to administer the medication for their proper weight range.
    • Cat’s Health: Discuss the current state of your cat’s health with your veterinarian to help you come to the best choice of flea treatment. A licensed veterinarian will be able to recommend the best option for your cat’s overall health. Keep in mind that cats with sensitive skin may not tolerate topical solutions and it may be best to go for an oral medication.
    • Type of Parasite Protection: Some of the flea treatments on the market can prevent and treat other parasites such as ticks, roundworms, hookworms, eat mites, and even heartworms. Having extra protection is always a plus but not all treatments will be effective against additional parasites. Also, make sure to read the product information to see if the product can help kill the flea lifecycle by killing eggs and larvae. Some treatments are only effective against adult fleas and with more severe infestations, you may need something that can handle all lifecycles.
    • Preference: You need to consider which option would be the best for you and your household. For instance, flea collars do not need to be touched by small children, and topical solutions can be messier and have the risk of being licked off by other animals in the household during grooming. Only you know what your household consists of and the habits of the people and animals within the home. Again, your veterinarian can help you make the best decision for your circumstances.
    Cat with fleas
    Image Credit: Maja Marjanovic, Shutterstock

    What You Need to Know

    How to Check for Fleas

    Cats will typically show some tell-tale signs that fleas are present and causing them irritation:

    • Frequent scratching
    • Hair loss
    • Skin irritation, scabs, lesions
    • Excessive grooming
    • Black specks within the fur and/or on surfaces the cat lays on

    To confirm your cat is infested with fleas, you can check them by using a flea comb, brush, or your fingers to search their skin and coat. Run the flea comb, brush, or your fingers alone your cat’s back and underbelly. You may notice either the fleas themselves or small black specks, known as flea dirt.

    cat licking itself
    Image Credit: Kittisak Chysree, Shutterstock

    Types of Flea Treatments and Preventions

    • Topical Medication
    • Oral Medication
    • Collars
    • Shampoos
    • Powders
    • Sprays
    • Flea Dip

    Efficacy Issues in Products

    It is important to keep in mind that efficacy issues can occur when attempting to treat a flea infestation. Killing the adult fleas is easy, but eliminating the larvae, eggs, and breaking the life cycle can be challenging.

    Fleas can be resistant to some more widely used products, so it is not unusual to run into a product that simply does not work for your cat. Other times, you may notice a product does not work for the length of time advertised. For example, a once per month medication may only keep the fleas away for two weeks.

    It is very important to discuss flea treatment and prevention directly with your cat’s veterinarian so that they can give you the best option in tackling this pesky problem.

    cat and vet
    Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

    Eliminating an Infestation

    To eliminate a flea infestation, not only will your cat need to be treated, but any other animals in the home that can fall victim to fleas such as other cats, and dogs. You will also need to treat your home, which can be the most difficult part of the process.

    Flea eggs can hide in the carpets, furniture, and all over the house. When the adult fleas are killed off, their eggs are still able to hatch, and the issue begins all over again. You need to eliminate the entire lifecycle of this parasite for successful elimination and a flea-free home.

    It can take up to 3 months to fully rid a home of an infestation and in some cases, you may have to bring in a professional to take care of the job. More than one treatment of the home may be necessary.

    Speak to your veterinarian and they will be able to help guide you through the process and ensure your pets are covered on the treatment end.

    Possible Side Effects

    Treating an animal for fleas involves chemicals and side effects are possible. While these treatments are heavily studied before being released for use in our domesticated pets, reactions can vary from individual to individual.

    Ensure other animals in the household are prevented from licking off any topical flea solution on another, as this can be dangerous.  Make sure to read any labels on any treatments being done in the home to ensure all members of the household, both human and the animal will be safe during the process.

    Be sure to discuss any possible side effects of the flea mediation with your veterinarian. You will need to ensure the medication is well-tolerated and keep an eye out for any symptoms of toxicity.

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    Conclusion

    Bravecto Topical Solution is a great overall choice, though it does require a prescription and is for use in cats 6 months or older, it gets the job done well and kills fleas, eggs, larvae, and ticks with an efficacy of up to 12 weeks.

    Frontline Plus for Cats is a great choice if you are looking to get good value at a lower price. Frontline Plus is available without prescription and easy to obtain.

    Revolution Plus is a great choice for a topical solution that is effective against fleas, ticks, heartworms, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms. It dries quickly and is easy to apply.


    Featured Image Credit: AlexDonin, Shutterstock

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