Pet Insurance Quotes

A Guide on Flea and Tick Prevention for Cats

a cat owner giving their fluffy gray cat topical flea and tick prevention medication.

If you have an outdoor cat, you might be inclined to let them roam outside as the weather starts to warm up. Before letting them out, make sure they’re fully protected from fleas and ticks. These pests can hitch a ride on your cat and make they’re way inside your home. Keep your cat and home safe from these unwanted visitors. Let’s break down how to find the best flea and tick prevention for cats.

What is cat flea and tick prevention?

Flea and tick prevention is the use of products to control flea and tick infestations on your cat and inside your home. Pet parasite forecasting can give owners insight into what to expect going into flea and tick season, but protective measures should be taken year-round.

The difference between fleas and ticks

Fleas are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of animals and people. They can carry flea-borne diseases and parasites like plagues and tapeworms. Ticks are a type of parasitic arachnid that can infect animals and people with tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. 

Why is it important to prevent fleas and ticks in cats?

It protects you and your cat from diseases

Fleas and ticks can transmit various diseases to cats, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and more. These diseases can cause serious health issues and even be life-threatening if left untreated. Fleas and ticks can also bite humans, transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and bartonellosis. By preventing fleas and ticks on your cat, you also reduce the risk of these pests affecting human members of your household.

Some cats may be allergic to fleas and ticks

Some cats are allergic to flea saliva, which can lead to allergic dermatitis. This condition causes intense itching, hair loss, and skin infections. Preventing fleas can help avoid allergic reactions in sensitive cats. Fleas and ticks cause itching and discomfort for cats. Constant scratching and biting can lead to skin irritation, inflammation, and secondary infections. This can affect the cat’s quality of life and may require medical treatment.

You can avoid unwanted infestations

Fleas and ticks reproduce rapidly. A single flea can lay hundreds of eggs, leading to a full-blown infestation in your home. Ticks can also quickly multiply. Preventing fleas and ticks on your cat helps control infestations in your home and yard, which can be challenging and costly to eradicate.

How do cats get fleas and ticks?

Fleas and ticks are found in various environments. If your cat is an outdoor cat, they’re more likely to get an unwanted hitchhiker when exploring areas with tall grass. But these pests can also sneak into your home through cracks or open windows. So, whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, you should protect them from these pesky critters.

While March is Flea and Tick Prevention Month, your cat’s flea and tick prevention shouldn’t be seasonal. You might be thinking, “When does flea and tick season start?” The answer isn’t so simple because it doesn’t have a start or end. Fleas and ticks thrive in warmer, more humid months. But, in the colder months, these critters will seek warmth, and you may find them cozying up with your cat in your home. The bottom line is that all year round, in all climates, your cat is still at risk of being exposed to flea and tick exposure.

What are the different kinds of flea and tick prevention for cats?

Many flea and tick prevention methods are out there that can spoil you for choice. Some pets are picky, though. Let’s walk through what’s available to help you choose a treatment that fits into your cat’s lifestyle.

Topical flea and tick prevention for cats

These are the most popular treatments pet parents use for preventing fleas and ticks on cats. They’re usually liquid spot treatments that you apply between your cat’s shoulder blades. Topical preventative treatment uses active ingredients that kill fleas and ticks on contact. These products usually protect your cat for one month before needing reapplication. Here are some popular topical flea and tick prevention brands:

  • Advantage II
  • Frontline
  • Advantage XD
  • Revolution Plus

Topical treatment is suitable for cats of all sizes and lifestyles. But they may be best for small cat breeds and cats with active outdoor lifestyles.

Oral flea and tick prevention for cats

Oral flea and tick prevention treatments are a convenient and effective choice. These products often come in chewables or treats, making them enjoyable for your cat. Once ingested, the active ingredients circulate in the cat’s bloodstream. So, if a flea or tick bites your cat, it dies on impact. As for upkeep, oral flea and tick prevention treatment usually needs to be given monthly. But some newer products are longer-lasting, protecting your cat for up to three months. Here are some popular oral flea and tick prevention brands:

  • Capstar
  • Credelio
  • PetArmor
  • Comfortis

Oral treatment is suitable for cats of all sizes and lifestyles. But, they might be a better option for cats that are difficult to handle or have sensitive skin.

Flea and tick collars for cats

Flea and tick collars for cats are another convenient option for prevention. They usually have active ingredients that repel or kill pests on contact for as long as eight months. Make sure you’re buying a collar that fits your cat’s size to ensure a proper fit and effectiveness. Here are some popular flea and tick collars for cats:

  • Hartz
  • Adams
  • Seresto
  • PetArmor

Flea and tick collars are suitable for cats of all sizes and lifestyles. But they may be a better option for cats who may have sensitivities to topical or oral treatments.

Natural flea and tick prevention for cats

For those looking for natural flea and tick prevention, there are chemical-free alternatives. Essential oils such as cedar and neem oil have insect-repelling properties. but should be used with caution. Some oils can be toxic to cats in large amounts or by ingestion, so research before using any oils. In small amounts, you could use them in homemade repellent sprays or apply a few dabs to your cat’s collar. Here are some popular oral flea and tick prevention brands:

  • Vet’s Best
  • Wondercide
  • Vet Promise
  • TevraPet

Natural flea and tick treatments are suitable for cats of all sizes and lifestyles. They offer another, more gentle alternative for cats with sensitivities to chemicals.

What is the safest flea and tick prevention method?

The safest flea and tick prevention for your cat might not be the same for someone else’s cat. It’s best to consult your veterinarian about what methods would be most effective and safe for your cat.

The bottom line

No matter the season or how much time your cat spends outdoors, it’s recommended to incorporate flea and tick prevention into your cat’s routine maintenance. Like how you would schedule grooming or vaccinations, you should regularly check for fleas and ticks and use prevention treatment as needed.

Related content:

Get Free Quotes!

Compare Plans and Prices from the Top Companies