8 Best Flea Treatment For Cats- Knock Out Fleas With These Safe Treatments

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comments-icon Medically reviewed by  JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
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Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

In this article, you’ll learn all about fleas – how your cat gets them, what they do, and how their life cycle relates to your treatment plan.

You’ll also learn about the different types of flea insecticides on the market, discovering which ones are safe and which are toxic to your cat. Finally, you’ll find out how to choose the best flea treatment for your unique cat.

Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

At A Glance: 8 Best Flea Treatment For Cats To Buy

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Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Best Over-The-Counter Flea Medication
Picked by 31 people today!

Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical for Cats

  • Has marginally lower price
  • Starts working within hours
  • Kills fleas for 6 weeks and ticks for 4 weeks
Best Oral Flea Treatment
Picked by 25 people today!

Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets For Dogs And Cats

  • Safe for cats and kittens at least 2 lb in weight and 4 weeks of age
  • Starts working within 30 minutes and kills >90% of fleas within 6 hours
  • Can provide some relief for about 24 hours
Best Spot-on Flea Treatment
Picked by 21 people today!

Frontline Plus For Cats And Kittens

  • Protect your cat from fleas for 6 weeks and ticks for 4 weeks
  • Safe for use on cats and kittens 8 weeks and older
Best Flea Spray
Picked by 18 people today!

Vet's Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray For Cats

  • Made with plant-based ingredients
  • The spray kills both adult fleas and eggs
  • Safe to spray it directly on your cat’s bedding
Best Flea Shampoo
Picked by 31 people today!

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor For Dogs And Cats

  • Kill adult fleas
  • Helps to prevent the infestation from growing
Best Flea Comb
Picked by 31 people today!

Safari Flea Comb With A Double Row Of Teeth

  • Essential tool for households at risk for fleas
  • Highly affordable, priced under $5
  • Simple design, very easy to use
best indoor flea spray
Picked by 31 people today!

Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray

  • Rapidly kills active flea and tick infestations
  • Prevents flea infestations from developing for up to 7 months
  • Leaves no unpleasant odor or sticky mess
Best Flea Collar
Picked by 31 people today!

Bayer Seresto Flea And Tick Collar For Cats

  • Safe and effective
  • Can keep your cat flea-free for 8 months

Top Picks Explained

Why Should You Trust Us?

To understand exactly what it takes to get rid of your cat’s fleas, our research started with learning about the flea life cycle, studying how these parasites live, reproduce, and use their hosts.

Armed with an understanding of how flea infestations work, we read dozens of expert guides to find the best techniques and products for getting rid of them. From medications to flea combs to shampoos and sprays, we narrowed down a list of products that work.

And because flea treatments can be dangerous if you get the wrong ones or use them improperly, we put hours into identifying which products are safe for cats. We read papers on the efficacy and safety of numerous top insecticides, spent hours learning about the top safety concerns involving flea and tick medications for pets, and developed a list of safe, effective flea insecticides.

Based on this research, we selected a few products with strong safety records and a history of effectiveness.

Finally, we had a veterinarian review the entire article to make sure that all our guidance was accurate and responsible from a vet’s perspective.

By choosing the right flea treatment, you can spare your cat from the itching and irritation that comes with a flea infestation. You’ll also protect them from some of the more serious consequences of being a flea host.

Fleas carry tapeworms and diseases and can transmit them to your cat. Here are a few of the diseases and pathogens that fleas may carry:

  • Feline Infectious Anemia
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Murine Typhus
  • Rickettsia felis (bacteria that causes flea-borne spotted fever)

For small, weak cats (especially kittens), a severe flea infestation could be deadly. As a scourge of fleas feasts on their blood, the kitten could become anemic.

First, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Understanding the flea life cycle is central to your flea treatment plan.

Cats are usually affected by Ctenocephalides felis, also known as the cat flea. This species is a member of the Siphonaptera order of insects, a name meaning “wingless siphon.” The name is an accurate description of the flea – this parasitic blood-siphoning insect is a master jumper that doesn’t need wings to fly.

Instead, they use their powerful back legs to jump up to 160 times their body length. That’s the equivalent of a 6-foot-tall human leaping 960 feet. For a flea, this amounts to a maximum jumping distance of 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontally.

Fleas thrive in warm, humid environments. In balmy regions, they may be active all year. In climates that experience cold winters and warm summers, fleas remain dormant until the weather warms.

Adult fleas jump onto your cat’s warm, comfortable body and start sucking their blood.

Photo credit: PestStrategies.com

A few days after taking up residence on your cat’s skin, the adult females will start releasing tiny white or cream-colored eggs. These eggs usually drop off your cat and will start hatching wherever they land.

After hatching, the larvae mature into pupae and can remain in a cocoon for up to a year before re-emerging as bloodthirsty adults. By the time you’ve gotten rid of the adult fleas on your cat’s skin, another generation of fleas is likely already growing in your home, ready to latch onto the host again.

A single female flea can release 50 eggs every day! Immature fleas represent 95% of the flea population, while adult fleas, which are the easiest to see as they crawl about, represent a measly 5%.

Your Flea Treatment Plan

If your cat picked up fleas outside of the home and you catch the infestation early, you may be able to remove or kill the adult fleas before they’ve laid any eggs. In most cases, however, the fleas on your cat’s body are a tiny fraction of the total infestation.

You’ll need to destroy the eggs, larvae, and pupae (life stage before adult) in order to prevent the next generation of fleas from making themselves at home on your cat’s body.

You can work with your veterinarian to establish a treatment plan appropriate for your cat. The following is a general guide.

Here’s A Five-Step Summary Of Your Cat Flea Treatment Plan:

  1. Identify the infestation: If your cat has been scratching more than usual, confirm that fleas are to blame by thoroughly combing your cat with a fine-toothed flea comb. You may find live fleas, flea dirt, eggs, or any combination of the three. Because cats groom themselves, they can consume a large percentage of the adult fleas on their body, so flea dirt is often more prominent. Flea dirt or flea droppings appear as tiny black or dark brown particles in your cat’s coat. When you smear them on a white surface, these particles will turn red, indicating their blood content. Additionally, combing your cat removes most of the fleas on their body and provides temporary relief.
  2. Consider gently bathing your cat in non-toxic dish soap: Especially if your cat is a small kitten who’s sensitive to chemical insecticides, this is a gentle way to remove adult fleas and flea dirt from your cat’s body. If you know your cat will go ballistic in the bath, skip this step. There’s no need to make this experience traumatic.
  3. Treat your cat with an appropriate flea treatment:This is typically a topical spot-on or oral medication.
  4. Treat your home: Make sure to treat your home and surrounding areas to destroy eggs, larvae, and pupating fleas.
  5. Rinse and Repeat:Re-apply flea treatments as necessary.

Types Of Insecticides Used In Flea Treatments For Cats

Cat flea treatment insecticides can be divided into two groups: adulticides and insect growth regulators.

The following is an abbreviated list and brief summary of some of the most common insecticides used in flea treatments for cats. If you want more in-depth information, click here for a useful directory of flea treatments with comprehensive toxicity information.


As the name suggests, adulticides kill only adult fleas, which means that they eliminate just 5% of the infesting flea population. Although adulticides are sometimes used on their own, particularly in oral medications, they’re often combined with insect growth regulators, which slow the infestation by preventing the fleas from reproducing.


Pyrethrins are derived from the Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium plant, along with other pyrethrum-related plant species. They’re commonly used in flea powders and shampoos.

Pyrethrins are commonly lumped together with their synthetic counterparts, permethrins. In fact, the two have very different toxicity values for cats. To clear up some of the pyrethrin confusion, read this highly-informative piece on the safety of pyrethrins for cats.


This chemical is commonly sold under the trade name Capstar. It kills adult fleas and is a popular choice among veterinarians, who appreciate its ability to destroy a large flea population in under 30 minutes.

It acts quickly and wears off quickly. This chemical requires daily administration to have a continuous effect. Nitenpyram is generally considered safe for use in kittens aged 4 weeks and over, if they weigh over 2 lbs.


This is the active ingredient in Advantage and Advocate. It’s considered very safe and works quickly to destroy large flea populations. Most medications using imidacloprid are safe for use in kittens over 8 weeks of age. As always, read the labeling on your unique treatment to determine whether it’s safe for your cat or kitten.


This insecticide is the active ingredient in Frontline products. It’s used to kill adult fleas in spot-on treatments. It’s considered quite safe and can wipe out a large, vibrant flea population within 24 hours.


This insecticide is the active ingredient in spot-on Revolution products. It treats heartworms and hookworms in addition to fleas and ticks. It should be applied only in an area where the cat cannot groom because ingestion can cause effects, such as vomiting and excessive salivation.

Insect Growth Regulators

These affect fleas’ hormones to inhibit growth and reproduction.


This chemical mimics natural hormones and stops fleas from reaching adulthood, preventing reproduction.


Like pyriproxyfen, this chemical mimics natural hormones, preventing the fleas from ever growing up and making eggs of their own.

Are Flea Treatments Toxic To Cats Or Humans?

Remember that all chemical flea treatments are inherently toxic on some level – they’re poisons and formulated to kill. Most of these treatments are only deadly to insects and, when administered correctly, won’t harm your cat.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Disturbingly, flea treatments have been connected to toxicity in cats thousands of times over the years. Some flea treatments have remained on the market while presenting a risk to both cats and humans.

And even if you choose an insecticide with a great reputation, it’s hard to predict whether your cat will have a bad reaction to any given insecticide.

Insecticides To Avoid

Synthetic Pyrethrins or Pyrethroids

These synthetic insecticides are more powerful and longer-lasting than naturally occurring pyrethrin. They’re toxic to cats and are never a good flea treatment choice. Pyrethroid chemicals include allethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fenvalerate, fluvalinate, permethrin, phenothrin, tetramethrin, and etofenprox.


Most mammals can handle permethrin because their livers quickly filter out the toxin. Cats, however, lack glucuronidase, a detoxifying enzyme that helps to process the insecticide. This means that contact with permethrin is highly toxic and sometimes fatal for cats.

While permethrin is rare in cat flea medication, it’s common for cat guardians to give their cat a heavy dose of permethrin by administering a treatment made for dogs.

Your cat may also get sick from simply being in contact with a dog who has been medicated with a spot-on flea treatment containing permethrin or in an environment where a permethrin-based fogger was recently used.


Sometimes referred to by the abbreviation TCVP, this chemical is a neurotoxin that affects fleas. It’s particularly common in flea collars. TCVP could be harmful to both you and your cat – it’s classified as a possible human carcinogen.


This chemical is in the N-methyl carbamate class of insecticides. It’s a neurotoxin that causes overexcitement of the flea’s nervous system, eventually leading to the insect’s death. Because of its potential for toxicity in both cats and humans, it’s not recommended for use as a flea treatment for cats.

Natural Flea Treatments and Home Remedies – Do Any of Them Work?

There are numerous natural treatments that can deter fleas, but very few can eliminate a flea infestation.

David J. Shuman, DVM  agrees with the majority of veterinarians, saying that “I’ve tried — or have had clients try— eucalyptus oil, peppermint soap, garlic powders, B12, brewer’s yeast, essential oils, and a long list of other ingredients. This is a well-worn path that often leads to futility. What I found is that many cats hate the taste of many of these items and some even had reactions…I’ve seen as many reactions to these organic pesticides as I have towards the manufactured ones and I at least know the manufactured ones work.”

Essential Oils

Peppermint oil and clove oil are commonly recommended as natural flea treatments for cats.

Some veterinarians, such as Melissa Shelton, DVM, believe that the right high-quality essential oils are safe for cats, while most pet health practitioners agree that they should be avoided. At this point, the argument against essential oils has more weight. Cats lack the liver enzyme needed to process these oils. Whether given orally, topically, or inhaled, concentrated essential oils can seriously harm your cat.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, a natural powder made from the fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures, is sometimes recommended as a natural cat flea treatment. When magnified under a microscope, particles of diatomaceous earth look like shards of glass. Like shards of glass, these particles lodge in the fleas’ bodies and either cut them into pieces or dehydrate them to death.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a completely safe and natural treatment for fleas in the environment, but you should proceed with caution when applying it directly to your cat.

Diatomaceous earth is dehydrating, so it could cause your cat’s skin to flake and crack uncomfortably. It’s primarily silica, and inhaling it could be detrimental to your respiratory health. Use this with caution in the environment if your cat has asthma or any respiratory issues.

What’s The Best Over The Counter Flea Medication For Cats?

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can be just as effective and safe as prescription flea treatments. Sometimes, these treatments contain previously-patented active ingredients associated with prescription medications. When the patent expires on an active ingredient used in a prescription product, manufacturers of generic products may scramble to sell low-cost generic alternatives to the prescription treatment.

While they’re not necessarily dangerous, OTC medications aren’t always 100% safe, either. Research and careful analysis are just as important when choosing the right OTC medication as when choosing a prescription product.

Our top choice for the best OTC flea medication for cats is an oral treatment. However, it is short-acting and not effective for long-term flea control.

#1 Best Over-The-Counter Flea Medication For Cats: Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical for Cats

Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Cats

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This nitenpyram-based oral medication is safe for cats and kittens weighing 2 to 25 lbs. It has the same active ingredient and performance as Capstar, but it is sold at a marginally lower price.

This oral medication starts working in 30 minutes and kills adult fleas on your cat’s body. The effects of the pill will last for about 24 hours, after which time any new fleas will jump onto your cat’s body and survive.

You’ll need to thoroughly treat the environment in addition to using this treatment, then re-administer as necessary.

What’s The Best Oral Flea Treatment For Cats?

Oral medications are usually formulated with gentler ingredients than those that are found in topical treatments. These ingredients are safe for your cat to ingest and are also under stricter regulation. Oral treatments are usually strictly adulticides, so their effects are temporary.

The best oral flea treatment is reliable, safe, and easy to administer using a pill pocket or by crushing the tablet in your cat’s food.

#2 Best Oral Flea Treatment For Cats: Novartis Capstar Flea Tablets For Dogs And Cats

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These nitenpyram-based tablets are safe for cats and kittens weighing 2 to 25 lbs. It destroys adult fleas in 6 hours but won’t do anything to prevent future flea infestations. Capstar is a temporary solution that can provide some relief for about 24 hours.

What’s The Best Spot-on Flea Treatment For Cats?

Because they have long-lasting effects and effectively kill fleas, spot-on treatments are some of the most popular and effective flea treatments available.

You apply these medications to the back of your cat’s neck, where they can’t lick off the gel.

These treatments start working within 12 hours and usually contain insect growth regulators, which stop flea growth and reproduction.

#3 Best Spot-on Flea Treatment For Cats: Frontline Plus For Cats And Kittens

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Cats

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Each dose of this spot-on flea treatment will protect your cat from fleas for up to 6 weeks, killing any adult fleas and preventing them from successfully reproducing.

The active ingredients in this spot-on are fipronil and s-methoprene. Fipronil kills adult fleas while s-methoprene prevents flea maturation and reproduction. Both ingredients have a solid safety history. Frontline Plus is safe for use on cats and kittens 8 weeks and older.

What’s The Best Flea Collar For Cats?

Flea collars release small amounts of insecticide chemicals, which spread over your cat’s body and absorb into their skin, killing existing parasites and helping your cat repel new fleas.

They demand little to no human intervention, working around the clock to protect your cat. This makes them an extraordinarily convenient and low-maintenance option.

However, the possible side effects of using flea collars often outweigh the convenience of this flea control option.  Some flea collars have been associated with problems in cats, especially if they are curious chewers and ingest part of the collar. A flea collar can also be a strangulation hazard if it gets caught on something while a cat is walking.

Click Here To Read Our Full Article On The Best Flea Collar For Cats

What’s The Best Flea Spray For Cats?

Because cats groom, it’s important to choose a flea spray that’s completely safe.

Also, remember that humans and other animals who come into contact with your cat will also touch the flea treatment. Choose products that are non-toxic and 100% safe for both you and your cat.

#4 Best Flea Spray For Cats: Vet's Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray For Cats

Vet's Best Flea & Tick Pet & Home Spray For Cats

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This insecticide spray is made with plant-based ingredients. The active ingredients are peppermint oil and eugenol, also known as oil of cloves. It also contains sodium lauryl sulfate, which can cause respiratory issues in cats if ingested in a concentrated form. The spray kills both adult fleas and eggs.

Remember that essential oils are generally considered unsafe for cats. The company says that while concentrated or undiluted essential oils are dangerous for cats, this dilute blend is completely safe to apply directly to your cat and to use in the home. Out of almost 400 customer reviews, only two mentioned potential negative reactions to the product, and neither involved symptoms typical of essential oil toxicity.

It’s safe to spray it directly on your cat’s bedding, along with on your carpet, curtains, and furniture. It’s also safe to use in your kitchen and around food without worrying about contaminating your family’s meals. Allow the product to dry completely before allowing your cat back into the area. Although the online instructions say it can be applied directly to cats over 12 weeks old, our concerns about the safety of its ingredients limit our recommendation to environmental use only.

Unlike other insecticide sprays with a harsh smell, this spray has a pleasant peppermint scent.

What’s The Best Flea Shampoo For Cats

Although cats usually don’t care for baths, and you can get the same quality flea control from a pill, some cat parents may prefer to use flea shampoo.

The best flea shampoo for cats is free from toxic ingredients and completely safe for cats. Remember that a product that is safe for dogs isn’t necessarily approved or safe for cats, who may ingest shampoo residue during grooming.

#5 Best Flea Shampoo For Cats: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor For Dogs And Cats

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

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This shampoo contains pyrethrins, which kill adult fleas, along with piperonyl butoxide, which boosts the effectiveness of pyrethrins. It also contains pyriproxyfen, an insect growth regulator that prevents future flea infestations.

In addition to the active ingredients, this recipe contains soothing aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal. Be sure to follow the instructions and rinse the product off completely to prevent any ingestion when your cat grooms after the bath.

Also Read: Best Cat Shampoo – Reviewing the Best Shampoo for Dandruff, Allergies, and More

What’s The Best Flea Comb For Cats

This video shows you how to remove fleas from your cat’s coat using a flea comb. It’s important to work methodically across your cat’s body to ensure that you capture all the fleas. Combing alone can remove over 80% of the adult fleas on your cat’s body.

You must immediately kill any fleas and eggs that you’ve accumulated on the comb. Dunk the comb into a bowl of soapy water immediately.

Flea combs are a great way to remove fleas and eggs from your cat’s body, but they should not be your only method of flea control. Use a flea comb along with another form of flea treatment, such as a long-lasting spot-on treatment.

#6 Best Flea Comb For Cats: Safari Flea Comb With A Double Row Of TeethSafari Flea Comb With A Double Row Of Teeth

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This comb’s two rows of fine teeth will help you thoroughly go through your cat’s coat, removing flea dirt and fleas from their body.

The fine teeth effectively grab and remove fleas. Remember that there’s no way that this comb can trap the fleas permanently, so you’ll still need to immediately dunk them in soapy water.

What’s The Best Flea Treatment For Indoor Cats

Fleas can migrate into the home on the bodies of other pets, hop in through opened doors, and may hitch a ride on the household humans. That said, indoor cats are less likely than their outdoor-dwelling friends to have flea problems.

While you may choose to use a preventative treatment on cats living in a flea-prone area, it’s not necessary for every cat. Work with your veterinarian to determine what type of flea treatment is most appropriate for your indoor cat.

What’s The Best Flea Treatment For Kittens

Small kittens, especially those under 12 weeks, are particularly sensitive to the insecticides used in most chemical flea treatments.

Instead of treating your kitten with a spot-on medication or other insecticide, you can treat them with simple combing, bathing, and environmental treatment.

If your kitten is old enough to use an insecticide treatment, it’s best to opt for an oral medication, as they’re usually safer than topicals. Sentry Fibroguard is approved for kittens as young as 4 weeks, provided that they weigh over 2 lbs.

Here’s a video showing you how to bathe your kitten with fleas:

This video shows what happens if you don’t make a protective soap necklace while bathing your flea-riddled kitten.

If your kitten is old enough to use an insecticide treatment, it’s best to opt for an oral medication, as they’re usually safer than topicals. Sentry Fibroguard is approved for kittens as young as 4 weeks, provided that they weigh over 2 lbs.

The Fleas On Your Cat’s Body Are Just A Symptom Of A Larger Infestation.

When you treat your cat for fleas, you need to treat your home and outdoor surroundings as well.

Remember that fleas lay their eggs in crevices and corners throughout the house. These eggs and the larvae that hatch from them may lurk in your bedding, around cushions, deep in the carpeting, and in curtains. They’ll be particularly prominent in your cat’s beds, cat trees, and in any cat-specific living areas.

Here’s a helpful video sharing advice for those who need to eliminate the fleas in their home:

Vacuum Frequently

Don’t underestimate the value of vacuuming. Use your vacuum to clean up eggs, larvae, and adult fleas from all vacuum-safe surfaces. To avoid reintroducing vacuumed fleas, empty the vacuum bag or canister outdoors. Some people apply a flea spray to the inside of their vacuum canister as an added precaution.

Wash Bedding In Hot Water And Dry On High Heat

Fleas die at temperatures over 95 degrees F, or 13 degrees C, for a prolonged period. This means that they’re no match for the high temperatures in a hot washing machine and dryer. In addition to overheating the fleas, these appliances can kill fleas of all life stages by drowning, dehydration, detergent poisoning, and physical battery.

Alternatively, leave your cat’s bedding and any other potentially affected items outdoors on hot, sunny days with very low humidity. After several days, the heat and dehydration should have destroyed any adult fleas, larvae, pupae, or eggs living in the bedding.

Consider Using An Insecticide Spray In The Home

Using one of these sprays can kill the fleas that are infesting your cat’s environment.

#7 Best Indoor Flea Spray: Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray

Virbac Knockout E.S. Area Treatment Carpet Spray

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One 16 oz can of this carpet spray can treat up to 2,100 square feet. It contains Nylar, a trade name for pyriproxyfen, which is an insect growth regulator.

Whenever using an insecticide spray, you must keep your cat out of the environment until the treatment has dried. Read the labeling thoroughly and never spray the insecticide near your cat’s food or water, near fish tanks and bird cages, or directly on your cat.

#8 Best Flea Collar For Cats: Bayer Seresto Flea And Tick Collar For Cats

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This flea collar’s active ingredients are flumethrin and imidacloprid, which work together to kill adult fleas and prevent reproduction. This flea collar can keep your cat flea-free for 8 months.

While the Seresto flea collar may be the best of its type, results vary. This flea collar gets its share of negative reviews from people who say that their cat had a severe skin reaction to the chemicals in the collar. In fact, as of April 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received nearly 100,000 complaints of harm to pets, including 2,500 deaths associated with the Seresto flea collar.

These are certainly alarming numbers. The EPA is currently investigating these complaints to determine whether there’s a direct link between the Seresto flea collar and the reported adverse events. It is important to note that, with any product, a report of an adverse event does not automatically mean that the product caused that adverse event.

Elanco, the company that produces the collar, continues to defend the product, asserting its safety.

Given all of the negative press and controversy surrounding the Seresto flea collar, we don’t feel comfortable recommending it.

Beneficial Nematodes Can Help Eliminate Outdoor Parasites

If you believe that the flea infestation may have originated from your yard, it’s important to get rid of the parasites that are lurking outside of your house. Left untreated, your yard will remain a safe haven for fleas that will eventually latch onto humans, cats, and other pets, perpetuating your cat’s flea problem.

While they’re invisible to the naked eye and are completely safe to you and your pets, beneficial nematodes are a deadly menace to the fleas who are living outdoors.

Dr. Pye's Scanmask 10 Million Live Beneficial Nematodes

These microscopic organisms - Steinernema feltiae nematodes - destroy flea larvae living outdoors. Each package of 10 million nematodes treats 285 square feet, so you may have to buy several containers to eliminate an infestation in a large yard.

Don’t Flee From Fleas - Fight Back!

With the right preparation, a solid flea treatment plan, and an arsenal of the best flea treatments on the market, you can effectively eliminate the fleas that are making your cat miserable. Remember that your veterinarian can help you choose flea treatments that align with your cat’s unique situation and medical history.

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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

33 thoughts on “8 Best Flea Treatment For Cats- Knock Out Fleas With These Safe Treatments

  1. Laurie

    My blue Russian foams at the mouth and gets lethargic and has bad reactions if a topical flea medication is applied. I’ve tried almost every brand. She hates dawn bath and I hate traumatizing her doing it. She doesn’t have fleas now but I want to prevent her from getting any. She is 95 percent indoor. I’ve been reading about capstar oral flea treatment. Is this safe to give them daily? What is the best flea protection for sensitive cats. We have no carpets. I vacuum and mop 2-3 times a week. Wash the bedding weekly but it seems we keep getting fleas. We live in south Carolina and our yard is mostly sand.

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Laurie,

      Capstar appears to be safe and can help to destroy an active infestation, but it only kills adult fleas and isn’t something I would want to give my cat as an ongoing preventive treatment. A good alternative is a prescription-only tablet called Comfortis, which is administered orally like Capstar but provides 30 days of protection. It appears to be safe for cats.

      If that doesn’t work, you might consider using the Bayer Seresto flea collar. It’s the only flea collar I’d feel remotely comfortable using. It’s made with flumethrin and imidacloprid, the latter of which is commonly used in topical flea medications. I would look back at the products you’ve used in the past to make sure your cat isn’t sensitive to anything in the Seresto collar, then cautiously try it out.

      You must be frustrated, by the way! It sounds like you’re doing everything right and the fleas keep coming back. I just did a quick Google search and found that, according to Banfield veterinary hospital data, the state of South Carolina is ranked third in the nation for the most dogs with fleas. For some reason, it doesn’t make the top five for cats, but still—you’re definitely in the so-many-fleas-it-drives-you-crazy zone. Hope you and your cat find something that works soon!

      Take care,


      1. Bethany Beck

        We were told by our Vet that this report related to counterfeit Seresto collars bought online. We only buy them in pet stores; never online and have had no problems.

  2. Tony Horowitz

    There is a so-called “natural” product called “GCP (Guardian’s Choice)” which has been advertised on FaceBook recently. The active ingredients are Vitamin B1, apple cider vinegar and anise. I know that you said that most veterinarians think “natural” flea treatments are useless, but do you have any specific information on whether or not this particular one is worth considering?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Tony, this is an interesting one! I’m not a vet, but here are my thoughts. It looks like this product is intended to be taken internally to deter fleas and strengthen your cat’s immune system. Starting with the latter, the idea that you can deter fleas by strengthening the immune system is…weird. A healthy immune system is what causes the allergic reaction to flea bites. A strong immune system is fine, but a stronger immune response is not necessarily what you want when dealing with fleas.

      The first ingredient is brewer’s yeast, which is added as a source of vitamin B1. While there is a large group of people who tout it as a flea deterrent, I’ve not found any controlled studies that demonstrate vitamin B1’s ability to deter fleas. In fact, the evidence points to the contrary. Additionally, I don’t see any evidence that consuming apple cider vinegar will acidify the body enough to deter fleas, and if your cat was consuming enough vinegar to acidify their blood, they might also experience unwanted effects. Similarly, there isn’t a lot of evidence showing that eating catnip will help to deter fleas.

      Overall, I don’t see anything that suggests that this product would be effective in repelling fleas or preventing flea bites. We need to see more trials and evidence that the ingredients and formulation do what they promise to do.

      Hope this helps!

      – Mallory

  3. Bill Leahy

    We’ve been using Revolution for years and it has been 100% effective. We get this from the vet, and although it’s pricey it’s worth the cost.

  4. kimi

    what do all you cat people think of bravecto? i am surprised not to see it anywhere in this article, good or bad. i use it in my clowder with decent results. it definitely does not give 3 months of coverage for my indoor/outdoor family. works well for about 6 weeks then i start preparing to dose again. some kids experience hair loss at the spot which disturbs me but have never seen neuro effects. have tried lots of natural remedies and am big on prevention with d. earth and vacuuming often and wood floors and hot washes for bedding…
    would prefer another option tho frontline stopped working for us after many years…

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Kimi, thanks for the comment! That’s a good question. Bravecto does have a good reputation, and our trusted vet Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM CVJ recommends it as one of the best preventives out there. From what I can tell, it looks like a sound option.

  5. Ashley

    Maxwell, my 9 month old Himalayan, is an indoor cat. How he got fleas I’ll never know. My vet told me that people coming into the apartment can bring fleas into the apartment and that the doormat is flea egg heaven (many cats and dogs track through the halls).
    I tried my vet’s recommended solution. Expensive and it did nothing. Then I got Frontline and that didn’t work.
    Lately I looked at his face and I could see the fleas crawling around his head. I cried. All the flea bites on my upper arms and neck seemed secondary to Maxwell’s infestation.
    Then I saw this product (https://amz.run/5u6D). Maxwell is a large cat, although he’s still a baby. I ordered the Advantage for 9 lbs+ and received it this AM. Applied it and WOW. It started working right away! His head and face are flea-free. I just have to clean up the “flea dirt”.

  6. Rosalie Bogan-Poudre

    My indoor cat has started licking constantly and he has licked one side of his body so much it’s almost bare. He doesn’t have flees, he’s been treated, I comb him with a flea comb, no flees. Is there anything I can do to help him? Could it be dry skin or perhaps an allergy? No changes in his food. Please advise. Thank you. Rosalie

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Rosalie, thanks for commenting! There are a number of reasons why cats start excessively licking themselves—anxiety, allergies, and skin conditions may all contribute. I would look into everything that changed around the time you started to see this licking behavior. If you can identify any environmental changes, this could be your solution. You may also want to talk to a veterinarian to get help identifying what caused this issue.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Stephanie, we hadn’t heard of Petfriendly before! Very interesting—I’d like to look a bit more deeply into this. For now, I can see that their cat topical is basically the same as Frontline Plus, which is one of our top-recommended flea and tick prevention products. It looks like the company has jumped through the appropriate hoops and is doing everything they ought to be—seems like a safe choice. If you’re interested in getting this product on a regular basis, this would be a more affordable way to do it.

  7. S. Britt

    My cat received flea medicine monthly as recommended by vet. It worked 100%, but my cat ran away from me when it was time for his Revolution med. He got cancer of tongue, drooled, lost fur, lost use of hind legs and had to be put down. I would not use meds again for any cat.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      What a terrible story. Thank you for sharing, though I would not immediately assume that the Revolution was responsible for your cat’s illness. This would be worth further investigation if possible, but I understand that you wouldn’t want to use this medication again for another cat. I’d also feel quite cautious about any flea medication, especially collars and topicals, due to the frequency of adverse effects. I’m sorry for the loss of your cat.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Pam, I can’t give veterinary advice (and I’m not a veterinarian), but I believe any of the topicals or pills mentioned here should be a good choice.

  8. Ron Shadwell

    What about PetArmor plus? It has the same active ingredients as Frontline plus. We used it last season and we didn’t have any problems but would like to know if it was one of the brands you tested.
    Thanks ,
    Ron S.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Ron, apologies for the late reply! We didn’t try PetArmor Plus, but it seems like a good economical alternative to Frontline Plus. Remember that it only contains Fipronil and no insect growth regulator, which means it’s only able to kill fleas and ticks but won’t stop the growth of eggs and larvae.

  9. Ron

    Thanks for your reply, but it does say on the box that it Kills: Fleas, Flea eggs & Larvae, Ticks, Chewing Lice just like the Frontline brand box. Ingredients listed are the same also.


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