Is flea control necessary for cats? The short answer – yes.
Cats benefit from flea and tick preventatives just
Surprised? Turns out you're not alone. Most people associate
flea problems with Fido the family dog but scruffy canines
aren't the only ones susceptible to infestation. Our feline
friends are just as much at risk for picking up pests,
especially outdoor cats or cats exposed to dogs who spend time
It may seem that the battle against fleas and ticks is
never-ending, that fleas and ticks are inevitable nuisances and
even dangers. But a little prevention goes a long way. Think of
flea and tick problems like a sunburn: If you go out in the
sun, you might get burned, depending on your skin, where you
live, and so on. If you wear sunscreen you are protected, from
sunburn and worse! Similarly, when dogs and cats spend time
outside in the warmer months, that's when fleas and ticks are
active. Protect them with preventative medication like spot-on
Flea and Tick 101
Fleas are small wingless parasitic
insects that live off the blood of mammals and birds.
Unfortunately, fleas tend to bother our furry friends more
frequently. If you have a strictly indoor cat, you may not need
to be as stringent when it comes to tick prevention--ticks
don't track inside from other animals and spread as fleas do.
If you have an outdoor cat, both flea and tick prevention is a
no-brainer. If you have an indoor cat, consider warm weather
flea treatment at a minimum.
What is the best treatment option for your cat?
Since there are so many options out there, every cat parent
should compare flea treatments for
cats. Spot-on treatments, like Advantage II for Cats, are one of the
most effective methods of keeping your cat flea-free. Most
spot-on products need to be applied once a month, are
waterproof, and begin working after just 12 hours. Other
methods include oral medicine, shampoo, sprays, and collars.
One of the safest and most hassle-free prevention methods is
flea and tick collars. Collars can provide
protection for up to eight months by emitting medication into
the skin in order to paralyze pests so they fall off and die.
Do not use canine flea and tick medicine on felines and vice
versa. All the above flea and tick treatment options are
effective, yet each method can have mild side effects. Use what
works best for your pet and talk to your vet if you have any
Can Cats Take Flea and Tick Medication for
No, cats cannot safely take flea and tick medication meant for
Step away from the one-step. Using canine products to treat a
cat problem such as fleas is a common, but incredibly dangerous
practice when it comes to preventative pet care. While both
animals fall under the furry friend umbrella, cats and dogs are
in the separate but equal category wherever health is
Most common canine flea and tick prevention medicines are in
fact toxic to cats. Advantix, for example, contains the
ingredient permethrin, which can cause feline fatalities if
ingested. Products containing permethrin or any product labeled
‘for dogs only’ should never be used on cats, plain and simple.
Even allowing your cat in a close or enclosed area with a dog
that has been recently treated with flea and tick medicine can
have serious health-related consequences if accidentally
ingested. As a rule of thumb, it is best to keep your dog and
cat separated for the first 12-24 hours after using any spot-on
products or environmental preventatives.
Why Can't Dogs and Cats Take the Same Medicine?
Simply put, cats and dogs need different medicines because they
have very unique metabolic systems. They digest and metabolize
everything differently, from food to medicine and everything in
between. For example, it is a known fact that dogs can become
seriously ill from ingesting chocolate. Meanwhile, cats, who
are known to have a more sensitive stomach, can enjoy the sweet
treat without any side effects.
While cats cannot take dog flea and tick products, there
are a few products that are made specifically for
cats and dogs. When applicable, this
information will be prominently displayed on the label. Always
make sure your product says it is safe for cats and check with
your vet if you are at all uncertain.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not
meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or
diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to
your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed
veterinarian for accuracy.