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10 Best Flea Treatments for Cats in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

kitty getting drops in ears

Fleas are a pesky part of owning a cat. They can pop up at practically any point, even if your cat spends all their time inside. Once you have an infestation, they are practically impossible to get rid of. They can infect your bedding and your carpet and then continuously reinfect your cat after that.

If you have a cat, flea treatments are essential for their wellbeing. You will need them at some point. It is better to have them on hand so you can treat the problems as soon as they prop up. Fleas are best if you treat them as soon as possible.

Of course, not all flea treatments are as effective as others. Some are great, while others don’t work at all. It is essential to choose the right one for you and your cat, so you don’t waste valuable time. Fleas can multiple very fast, so you need to treat them effectively as quickly as possible.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Advantage II Flea Treatment Advantage II Flea Treatment
  • Works very well
  • Kills all life stages
  • Kills fleas on contact
  • Best Value
    Second place
    PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment
  • Waterproof
  • Suitable for small cats
  • Provides long protection
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Revolution Topical Solution for Cats Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
  • Easy to apply
  • Kills adults and eggs
  • Works for one month
  • Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat Treatment Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat Treatment
  • Works for kittens
  • Kills fleas of all life stages
  • Effective active ingredients
  • Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical for Cats Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical for Cats
  • Easy applicator
  • Starts working within 30 minutes
  • Suitable for kittens over eight months
  • The 10 Best Flea Treatment for Cats – Reviews 2021

    1. Advantage II Flea Treatment – Best Overall

    1Advantage II Flea Treatment for Large Cats

    Advantage is the big name in flea treatments for a good reason. Currently, Advantage II Flea Treatment is their best option. They have a product for just about every cat out there, however. While this treatment is a bit more expensive than some, it works far better. It is a higher price because they use great ingredients and a top-notch formula.

    This is one of the few vet-recommended formulas on the market. It kills fleas’ life stages, which means you won’t have to deal with multiple treatments. It destroys eggs, larvae, and adults.  It begins working within 12 hours and kills fleas on contact. It can also prevent them from jumping back on your cat for a short period. It breaks the flea lifecycle, so you have to treat them less.

    This formula is entirely waterproof and continues to work for up to four weeks. You don’t have to worry about it washing away, as it is quite robust and stays put for a very long time. It contains both imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen, which are very useful.

    Pros
    • Works very well
    • Kills fleas on contact
    • Kills all life stages
    • Stays on for up to four weeks
    • Available in multiple packs
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment – Best Value

    2PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment

    PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment is a budget option for pet owners who want to stick to a budget. It eliminates adult fleas before egg-laying. However, it does not kill all life stages, which is one of its significant downsides. It also kills a variety of other parasites, including brown ticks and lone star ticks. It contains the active ingredient fipronil. This is decently effective in most situations.

    This treatment is easy-to-use and fast-acting. Plus, it is waterproof and provides extended control. It is quite long-lasting. However, how long it lasts depends on your environment and your specific cat. This formula is even suited for kittens over 1.5 pounds. Of course, you should speak to your vet before using it on very young kittens.

    This treatment may require multiple dosages, as it doesn’t get rid of eggs. For this reason, we only ranked it at #2. However, it is still extremely affordable for what it is. It is the best flea treatment for cats for the money.

    Pros
    • Kills many types of parasites
    • Waterproof
    • Provides long protection
    • Suitable for small cats
    Cons
    • Only kills adults

    3. Revolution Topical Solution for Cats – Premium Choice

    3Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

    If you’re on your last leg and have a bit of money to spend, Revolution Topical Solution for Cats is the best on the market. It works exceptionally well. However, it is quite expensive and requires a prescription. It kills all adult fleas and prevents new flea eggs from hatching within one month. When applied every 30 days, it can also protect your furry friend for the long-term. It is also effective against heartworms, ear mites, roundworms, and hookworms.

    This formula is likely so expensive because it treats multiple parasites, so you’re getting quite a bit for your money. This is the only parasite control option you need. It is easy to apply and works with one application. This further saves you a bit of money. Most options require that you apply them multiple times to work, which can be expensive. This one only requires you to apply it ones, so you know the full price upfront.

    Pros
    • Works for one month
    • Kills adults and eggs
    • Easy to apply
    • Can control many parasites
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat Treatment4Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat & Kitten Treatment

    Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat Treatment isn’t a lousy treatment option by any means. However, it does work decently well, especially when compared to other options on the market. It does kill fleas, and it not expensive. It works for kittens and adults, as long as they are older than eight weeks and weigh more than 1.5 pounds. It works for a full 30 days and kills all life stages of fleas. It is also protective against ticks and chewing lice.

    It works fast and works for an extended period. It is also waterproof, which helps it last for a full 30 days. It contains a variety of active ingredients, including fipronil. All of these ingredients are effective and work quite well.

    However, there were a few downsides to this treatment. The packaging is not good at all. This can cause the tubs to break in transit, which isn’t good for anyone. You can’t use a product that has leaked all over the box.

    There are a few other circumstances where this product doesn’t seem to work. It is only useful in some situations, it would appear, which is why we rated it decently lower than other options.

    Pros
    • Works for kittens
    • Kills fleas of all life stages
    • Effective active ingredients
    Cons
    • Poor packaging
    • Not as significant as other options

    5. Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical for Cats

    5Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical For Cats

    As a moderately-priced flea treatment, Cheristin Flea Treatment Topical for Cats is only moderately-effective. This is why it lands right in the middle of our list. It works effectively in most cases but isn’t the absolute best. It is designed to be used once a month. It kills fleas and prevents them from coming back. It is suitable for kittens that are eight weeks or older. However, they have to weigh 1.8 pounds, which makes it less versatile than some of the other options on this list.

    It kills fleas, starting within 30 minutes of application. It kills most fleas within 12 hours and then continues working up to a month after that. Each treatment lasts for one month. The easy applicator makes it very easy to use. Perhaps best of all, this formula is completely non-greasy. It gets all the way down to your cats’ skin easy, which is precisely what you want it to do.

    While it is advertised to last a month, we didn’t find this to be true. Some cats may be reinfected longer, especially if there are many fleas in their environment. Outdoor cats may be infected sooner as well.

    Pros
    • Suitable for kittens over eight months
    • Starts working within 30 minutes
    • Easy applicator
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work for a full 30 days
    • Only suitable for cats over 1.8 pounds

    6. Capstar Flea Tablets

    6Capstar Flea Tablets for Cats

    Capstar Flea Tablets are a newer addition to the market. They are relatively inexpensive, which makes them seem like the right choice for many people. They are suitable for fleas and ticks. It is made for oral use, not topical use. This can make it a bit harder to give your cat. However, some cats are very food-motivated, making this food easy to hide in cheese or some piece of meat.

    It is suitable for cats between 2 and 25 pounds. It starts working within 30 minutes and is 90% effective on adult fleas within a few hours. This isn’t an awful effective rate, but it is not as good as many other options on this list. This is one of the reasons we rated it so much lower than our other options.

    The tablets are entirely mess-free, which is an excellent addition if you don’t like topical options.

    However, this product just isn’t as effective as some of the other options on the market. It works sometimes but isn’t wholly effective.

    Pros
    • Suitable for fleas and ticks
    • Tablets, not topical
    • 90% Effective
    Cons
    • Not as significant as other options on the market
    • Somewhat difficult to apply

    7. Catego Flea & Tick Treatment

    7Catego Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats

    As one of the most inexpensive options on the market, Catego Flea & Tick Treatment is one of the least effective on the market as well. It is formulated to kill fleas within 6 hours, which is a bit longer than most other options. Furthermore, this is not as effective as other options, so we rated it so much lower. It does come with a patented applicator that we found relatively easy to use. It kills all flea life stages, preventing further infections and stopping the fleas in their tracks.

    The topical solution is non-greasy and seems to reach the cat’s skin quite effectively. It is useable on kittens over eight weeks old if they are over 1.5 pounds.

    This formula does not seem to work well on ticks in the least, which is one reason we do not recommend it. It also doesn’t work very effectively on fleas either. It takes a bit to work and may need to be applied multiple times.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Easy application
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work on ticks
    • Takes a while to work

    8. Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats

    8Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats

    Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats is moderately priced. It claims to offer 12 weeks of protection. However, it does not provide coverage this long by our measures. It also provides some protection against ticks, but not as much it protects against fleas. It comes in a topical form and is decently easy to apply.

    However, this is quite greasy and irritating. There are many reports of cats complaining about the formula and trying to clean it off. It is quite annoying to some cats, which you should keep in mind if your cat is particularly sensitive.

    Again, the specifics of how long this flea treatment lasts depends on your particular cat and environment. Cats that are exposed to the elements will need to retreat more often. If there are more fleas in your area, you may also notice a flea infestation sooner.

    Pros
    • 12 weeks of protection
    • Easy to apply
    Cons
    • Greasy
    • Not always as effective as it says
    • Can irritate some cats

    9. Activyl Flea Treatment for Cats

    9Activyl Flea Treatment for Cats

    The Activyl Flea Treatment for Cats is designed for over 9 pounds and over eight weeks of age. In other words, it is for very large kitties. It works by breaking the flea life cycle. It kills fleas on contact, which means they do not have to bite your cat to die. This allows it to kill more effectively than some of the other options currently on the market. While this flea treatment does state that it can last a long time, in our experience, you need to apply it at least once a month. Some people may find themselves applying it more often.

    The applicator is built-in and relatively easy to use. According to the manufacturer, it starts killing fleas within 8 hours of application and eliminates all of them in 2 hours. It can kill adult fleas and stop eggs and larvae from developing. However, you will need to comb your cat to remove all the dead eggs and larvae. Of course, it is waterproof.

    Our main problem with this treatment is that it does not work for a full month in most circumstances.

    Pros
    • Kills fleas on contact
    • Works within 8 hours
    Cons
    • Somewhat expensive
    • Rarely works for a full month
    • Only suitable for large cats

    10. Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On

    10Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On

    The Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On is exceptionally inexpensive. For this reason, many people may be drawn to buying it. However, it is not the best on the market by any means. It doesn’t seem to work nearly as well as other options. Many people report that it does not work at all. It may depend on your specific cat or environment. Either way, the bottom line is that this option does not work as well as other options. It may be cheap, but you don’t want to pay for a treatment that doesn’t work at all.

    It also works on ticks. But, again, there are many cases of this flea treatment not working at all – on ticks included. It seems to work on ticks when it does work, however.

    In many cases, you’re better off spending a bit more money and getting a flea treatment that works!

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work

    Buyer’s Guide

    Most flea treatments look the same. However, underneath, they can be very different. It is essential to be aware of the many different factors that go into an effective flea treatment. These medications can be expensive, and you can often not use more than one back-to-back. Because of this, you must choose right the first time.

    In this section, we’ll help you do just that by explaining some of the key features to look for when choosing a flea treatment for your feline.

    Oral vs. Topical

    There are two main ways to apply flea treatments: orally and topically. Oral medications are often snuck into your cat’s mouth by placing them in food. Often, people use some sort of rarely given food, like cheese or a cut of meat. This can be easier said than done for some cats, however. Many cats are suspicious of food and will quickly tell you tried to sneak a tablet into it.

    In many situations, cats have spit out the tablet while eating whatever food it was hidden in. They’re often smarter than we consider them to be, especially when it comes to their food! This can make giving oral pills difficult.

    Luckily, manufacturers have figured out a way around this with topical solutions. These often work better than oral tablets because they don’t require the cat to be bitten by the fleas for the fleas to die. Instead, it kills on contact. The fleas just have to be on your cats’ fur. This makes them able to kill flea eggs and larvae quite quickly, which is something that oral tablets just can’t do.

    However, topical solutions can be a bit messy and may make your cat greasy. Many cats are sensitive to topical products and may find it very irritating. This varies a lot from cat to cat, though, so it just depends on your particular cat’s sensitivity.

    Effectiveness

    Not all cat flea treatments are equally as effective. Some are not very effective at all, while others work within a few hours. What is useful for one cat isn’t always going to be effective for another. However, a well-designed formula should work for practically every cat.

    Some flawed formulas out there don’t seem to work for some felines, while others work very well. If you use these formulas, it is mostly a flip of the coin.

    It is usually better to choose a formula that works for practically every feline, even if it may cost you a bit more money.

    Relying on reviews like ours is necessary if you want to understand how effective a particular product is. No company is going to tell you that their product is only so-so. You must rely on the reviews of those who have used it to grasp whether or not it works.

    the doctor smeared an abdomen wound of the cat
    Image Credit: Surkova.photo, Shutterstock

    Ticks, Ear Mites, and Other Critters

    Some formulas work as preventative measures against ticks, ear mites, and other parasites. This can save you a bit of money since you won’t have to invest in another product to control these troublesome critters as well. You also won’t have to deal with two application processes, which can be a considerable upside depending on your cat.

    Most formulas control ticks as well as fleas. Higher quality formulas often control more parasites as well, including chewing lice. The same parasites you need to protect against depends on your area. Different places have different bugs, so be aware of your area’s parasites when choosing a treatment.

    Cost

    Flea treatments can be expensive. Most are moderately priced at around $50. However, we did see some for upwards of $100 and others that cost around $20. The price is often a huge selling point, given that $50 is a lot to spend on one treatment.

    When looking at the price, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The product with the lowest price tag isn’t necessarily the cheapest. Often, flea treatments come with multiple doses. You may save money by buying a box with many doses in it instead of buying a single dosage.

    Furthermore, different flea treatments last for different periods. One may last for a month, while another one might last for three. The longer dosage will save you money, as you won’t be applying it nearly as often.

    Duration

    The length of time that a flea treatment remains effective is essential. As we already discussed, longer-lasting treatments are going to save you money. They have other benefits as well.

    Long-lasting treatments mean you won’t have to deal with the application as much. This may not be much of a problem for you. However, some cats do not like the application process at all and can make it very difficult. Some buyers may want a long-lasting option so that they can avoid re-applying the treatment on their cat as often.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    Purchasing the perfect flea treatment for your cat is essential for their overall health. There are quite a few factors that you need to keep in mind. We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide helped you sort through all the different choices out there.

    For most users, we recommend the Advantage II Flea Treatment. This flea treatment is famous for a reason. It kills fleas very well and can kill eggs and larvae, effectively ending the flea lifecycle in one application. It also lasts for a full month.

    If you need to stick to a budget, you should consider PetArmor Flea & Tick Squeeze-On Treatment. It is inexpensive but still kills adult fleas well. It is waterproof and offers long-lasting protection.


    Featured image credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock