Cat Flea Treatment Methods

There are a range of cat flea treatment methods available, some a lot more effective (and safer) than others.

This page goes through the most popular methods of treating fleas on cats, and explains some of the pitfalls to watch out for.

Cat fleas are a perpetual nuisance for cat owners, especially around Spring time when they suddenly seem to explode onto the scene again after being relatively inactive over the winter. How they're treated can make a big difference - some methods are a lot more effective and than others.

Different Cat Flea Treatment Methods

The following methods are all commercially available for treating fleas on cats:

Cat Flea Collars

These are impregnated with various chemicals that kill fleas. They are cheap and readily available from pet stores and supermarkets; however I personally wouldn't recommend them. The negative effects of cat flea collars include:

  • Some cats have an allergic reaction to them and end up with hair loss and / or scabs round their necks where the collar has been
  • They vary in effectiveness, and some just don't work at all
  • The chemicals that kill the fleas don't always spread through the whole of the cat's coat, so the collar may only be partially effective

Powders and Sprays

picture of ginger cat wearing cat flea collar

Again, these vary in effectiveness. As a general rule, I'd suggest avoiding cheap flea treatments that you can buy in supermarkets, as their effectiveness is likely to be questionable.

The disadvantages of powders and sprays include:

  • Difficult to tell whether you've covered the whole of the cat's body properly
  • Possibility of getting the powder or spray in the cat's face; powders can cause breathing difficulties if they're inhaled and sprays can cause severe irritation if they get into the cat's eyes
  • Cats usually hate the hissing noise made by a spray, and may also hate the smell of the powder / spray itself
  • Sprays and powders are only effective as long as they stay on the cat's coat. The cat may get rid of them very quickly if he washes himself and rolls round on his back - which he will do if he doesn't like the smell!

Cat Flea Tablets, Medicines and Injections

These are normally effective if they are obtained from the vet, but will need repeated administration to continue working. I believe there's an easier way...

Spot-on Flea Treatments

I believe this is the best way to treat fleas on cats. Basically, a small amount of pre-measured liquid in a plastic pipette is put on Kitty's skin between his shoulder blades. The treatment is absorbed into the skin, spreads and is effective over the whole of the cat's body. It's painless and really easy to administer.

Spot-on treatments for cat fleas need to be repeated every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how many fleas are around and how exposed your cat is to them.

Really important note: You should never use dog spot-on treatments to treat cats for fleas, as some of the chemicals in dog treatments are poisonous to cats.

As well as treating your cat for fleas, your home needs to be treated too. Click here for more information on treating cat fleas in your home.

Finally - and really importantly - you can't use adult cat flea treatments on kittens. Click on this link for more information on dealing with kitten fleas.

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