Cat Flea Prevention With Program (Sentinel)

Use Program oral medications to prevent parasites from impairing your cat's health. The oral medication contains lufenuron, an ingredient that prevents eggs and larvae from developing. The medication is easily mixed with your cat's favorite food ensuring your cat takes his full dose.

End a Flea's Life Cycle with Program

Program does not kill fleas, but it does prevent flea eggs from hatching. This ends the flea's life cycle after the egg laying females die. Safely use Program liquid for cats with flea collars and flea shampoos for additional flea prevention.

If you rely solely on the flea preventative medication to end a flea infestation, expect it to take about three weeks before all fleas are gone from your home. Don't forget that fleas will bite humans to get the blood they require.

If a flea infestation is troublesome, you may want to give your pet a flea bath to kill any adult fleas and vacuum all carpeting a few times a day.

Three Forms of the Flea Preventative

Novartis provides three forms of Program flea prevention:

  • Flavor Tabs
  • Oral suspension medication
  • Six-month vaccination

Program liquid for cats or the Flavor Tabs are given orally once a month. The liquid prescription medication blends into any food and cats never know they are taking their medication. The manufacturer does recommend blending it into strongly-scented foods that cats love like tuna or sardines.

Program liquid for cats comes in two package sizes colored orange or green. Orange is used for cats weighing up to 10 pounds. Green is for cats 11 to 20 pounds. If your cat is heavier than 20 pounds, your vet will come up with a combination of packets that best matches his weight.

Flavor Tabs should be crushed and mixed into your cat's food. It's important that the cat takes the medication with a meal. Flavor Tabs can be used in cats weighing two pounds or more. Flavor Tabs come in two pill sizes: up to 6 pounds or 7 to 15 pounds. For cats heavier than 15 pounds, a combination of pill sizes is used.

There is another form of Program flea prevention medication. The medication comes in a vaccination that prevents flea eggs from hatching for six months. Two doses keeps your cat flea-free for an entire year. Expect it to take up to three weeks before the vaccination is fully effective. In clinical trials, most cats had no more than a dozen fleas when the six months ended.

The vaccine requires dosages of 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. It is used in kittens as young as two weeks old.

Common Side Effects of Program

There are side effects that occur. They include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Itchy skin
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Rashes
  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Vomiting

Most side effects clear up in the three weeks.

Program Does Not Kill or Prevent Worms

No form of the flea control medication treats heartworm or intestinal worms. Dogs receive this preventative coverage with the medication called Sentinel. At this time, Sentinel is sold in a formulation for dogs only. Sentinel is not available for cats.