Topical Flea Treatment for Cats

Flea treatment for cats effectively kills fleas in all stages of the flea life cycle. Fleas are carriers of various diseases and they are known to cause skin conditions such dermatitis, which leads to itching, redness and skin inflammation. Since fleas carry and transmit several parasite infections such as tapeworm, hookworms and roundworms, adequate and prompt flea treatment is necessary.

Detection of Flea Infections

The flea that commonly infects cats is known as Ctenocephalides felis. In order to determine if your cat is suffering from fleas, it's best to run a fine comb through the fur, because it removes flea dirt. There are several topical flea treatments that are safe for use in cats. However, they should not be used on kittens less than 6 weeks of age.

Commercial Topical Flea Products:

  • Bio Spot On Flea and Tick Control for Cats
  • Revolution
  • ProMeris for cats
  • Frontline Top Spot
  • Advantage for cats

Usage of Topical Flea Products

Some products are formulated to kill both fleas and ticks. Pet owners should read and follow package instructions before using topical flea products on cats. Most topical products should be applied to the skin in the area between the cat's shoulder blades. Products such as Bio Spot On Flea and Tick Control contain active ingredients S-Methoprene and Etofenprox. S-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator that prevents flea eggs from developing into adult fleas. Although this topical treatment is effective toward both flea and ticks, it shouldn't be used on cats less than 12 weeks of age.

Risks Involved with Topical Flea Control Products

Cat skin is very sensitive, so topical products should only be used according to the specified instructions. Some pets may develop sensitivity toward the active ingredients and should be rinsed with plenty of water if any reactions are seen. Side effects of topical treatments are temporary and include redness, hair loss and rash. Pets that exhibit abnormal behavior or suffer from vomiting should be given prompt medical treatment. Cats shouldn't be treated with topical flea control products if they're already being treated with other flea medicines.

Benefits of Topical Flea Solutions

Topical solutions are easy to administer and effectively treat fleas by breaking the flea life-cycle. Products such as Advantage for Cats kill adult fleas within one hour, and kill all flea larvae within about 20 minutes. The active ingredient imidacloprid acts on the nervous system of the adult fleas, and provides prompt relief from infestations.

Flea Prevention

Along with topical flea control products, pet owners should take measures to prevent further re-infection in cats. It's best to regularly vacuum and steam clean carpets to destroy all flea eggs. Pet bedding should be washed in warm water and the surroundings disinfected with pet friendly solutions. Since cats are highly susceptible to fleas when they're outdoors, it's important to prevent cats from roaming outside among plants and soil.

Topical flea control products are useful when flea infections are severe. Pet owners should regularly groom their pets and follow preventive techniques to avoid the constant use of chemical products on them.