The best flea medicine for cats without a vet prescription is Frontline Plus as a topical treatment, CAPGUARD (Nitenpyram), or Comfortis Chewable Tablets as an oral treatment otherwise Seresto flea collar is the best way to prevent your cat from fleas for more than 4 months.
Here’s what you need to know about fleas before you treat your cat yourself:
- Fleas spend less than 5% of their entire lifetime on your cat that’s why flea prevention is necessary year around even in winter
- Flea eggs hatch in 2 to 7 weeks
- Adult fleas can start laying eggs as soon as 24 hours after their first bite
- Flea larvae can remain unnoticed for up to 6 months in carpet fibers, bedding, your cat’s and dog’s bedding, and dusty and darker corners in your home
- Flea bites may transfer tapeworms and other nasty diseases.
My first advice: For flea and tick control, first, be aware that cats can get fleas from anywhere, and then start with a monthly topical treatment to prevent maturing fleas from egg laying stage by preventing them from their first bite.
How to apply topical flea treatment for your cat?
First of all, you will prepare a mixture of dish soap or Adams Flea shampoo (effective 28 days but can be irritating for some cats) and water and you will use a flea comb like Andis flea comb (amazon link) to brush your cat, this operation will remove almost 80% of the fleas.
Avoid passing the flea comb behind your cat’s neck to avoid wetting this area because it is in this area that you will apply the product after brushing.
1-Choose a suitable treatment and the appropriate one for the weight and age of your cat
2-Remove the applicator from its packaging and push the cap down to break the seal
3- Part the cat’s hair until the skin on the back of the neck is visible
4- Put the applicator directly against the exposed skin
5- Squeeze the medication onto the skin area from the back of the neck to between the cat’s shoulders for 2 to 3 inches
6- Apply the entire content of the tube (read the notice)
7- Give your cat his favorite treat as a reward for its patience.
8- Dispose of the empty tube and do not leave the rest of the box within the reach of your children or pets.
9- Keep an eye on your cat during the 24 hours following the application of the treatment, here are the dos and don’ts after a cat flea treatment.
10- Don’t bathe your pet during the 24 hours after the application of the product in case of spot-on treatment.
11- You may need to treat your cat for worms as well.
What is the best cat flea medication you can apply yourself?
There is of course a natural approach to this flea problem and many other chemical cat flea treatments on the market and choosing the best product for your cat can really become confusing. Fleas can become deadly for cats and you should get rid of them. Here are the three best options for treating your cat for fleas without risking making him sick and with the fewest possible side effects:
I will personally recommend you use Topical flea medicine and combine this treatment with disinfecting your house to prevent the flea infestation from coming back:
1- Best Oral flea medication for cats:
Since there are cats that do not tolerate spot-on flea treatments because of a too sensitive skin or for other reasons, you can use oral flea treatment, here are two of the best cat oral flea pills:
CAPGUARD (Nitenpyram) or CAPSTAR (nitenpyram): these products will start killing adult fleas after only 30 minutes, both are similar, they are a good choice to relieve your cat as soon as possible and provide rapid relief without any side effects.
The active ingredient Nitenpyram is safe for cats from 2 pounds of body weight and 4 weeks
Comfortis Chewable Tablets:Its active ingredient is Spinosad, this formulation of spinosad is safe and efficacious for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations in cats.
These tablets are also among the best chewable cat flea treatments. Its effect starts to appear just after 30 minutes and most adult fleas will die within 4 hours.
Please note that these oral flea treatments have no effect on flea eggs and larvae and this flea treatment may get your cat a little bit sleepy.
How to give your cat a flea pill?
I assume that you know how to pill your cat, if not, I advise you to cut the nails of your cat before forcing him to take a flea pill, to wrap him in a towel, open his mouth, let the pill fall down his throat, close his mouth and blow on his nose to force him to lick it which will also force him to swallow the pill.
or put the pill in a treat.
2- Best topical (spot-on) cat flea treatments without vet prescription:
FRONTLINE Plus : ( for cats aged more than 8 weeks and can be safely used for pregnant and lactating cats ) It’s an Overall solid option and it’s the first topical flea medicine that I recommend, it contains two active ingredients which are Fipronil and S-Methoprene ( The combination of fipronil with (S)-methoprene is licensed by the US Environmental Protection Agency) for use on cats 8 weeks of age and older ) .
Frontline Plus remains effective for 6 weeks even after bathing, water immersion, or exposure to sunlight but you have to avoid contact with the treated area until dry.
These two chemicals combined together will kill adult fleas and stop the life cycle of the eggs and larvae as well.
Frontline Plus will also start killing fleas after 30 minutes but will also keep your cat from picking up fleas and slow down the infestation and protect your cat for 30 days.
3-Seresto flea collar for cats:
It’s true that most cat flea collars have a bad reputation because on the one hand, they use some questionable insecticides as active ingredients which have proven to be not only dangerous for cats but also dangerous for their parents when they pet them.
Personally, I do not recommend any flea collar for kittens or cats that are already suffering from health problems.
I also recommend that you consult a veterinarian before purchasing this collar if your cat has sensitive skin or has ever had skin allergies.
I have found the safest cat flea collar that is truly exceptional and safe for both cats and you and may be a good alternative for both topical and oral flea medications.
Seresto cat flea collar does not last 8 months as they claim but between 4 and 5 months, but it is still the best cat flea collar on the market. Your cat will find it a little strange when you put it on, but he will quickly get used to it.
These two active ingredients (Imidacloprid (10%) and Flumethrin (4.5%)) will be released gradually and the first results will be visible only after 2 hours. After 2 days, your cat will become flea-free.
You should not overtighten the collar when you put it on your cat and check your cat’s neck daily for the first 10 days to make sure that he does not have any allergic reaction to the collar.
IMPORTANT ADVICE :
These products are usually safe for cats if you follow the instructions provided with the medication but it is always advisable to consult a veterinarian if this is the first time you are using this type of product, if your cat is sick or has a chronic disease and before using on medicated, debilitated, aged, pregnant, or nursing cats.
Never use two products at the same time or use oral or topical flea treatment on a cat that already has a flea collar.
Flea treating the environment as well
As I said before, fleas may only spend 5% of their lives on the back of an animal, including your cat. This means that fleas can spend 95% of their life cycle in your carpet, in your cat’s bed, or in any other part of your home, and that’s why you should also know how to do this and treat the environment to eliminate flea eggs and larvae.
So before even treating your cat against fleas, you must treat your home against these parasites in order to interrupt the life cycle of the eggs and larvae of fleas that are perhaps hidden in your carpet, the bed of your pets, your bed, the sofa … etc.
You will start by vacuuming especially in the places most frequented by your cat and wash with hot water his bedding and any sheet or bedspread that would have been in contact with your cat.
You will then use a product like FRONTLINE HomeGard or “Raid” to eliminate all the fleas, their eggs, and larvae and prevent another infestation for almost a year.
- Never use these products on your pets and have them and your children out of the house before use.
- Cover your aquarium and even small plants well before using this type of product.
- Ensure that your doors and windows are opened before using this type of product.
- Read the instructions carefully before using this type of product.
You can treat your cat for fleas yourself by following the instructions and tips I just gave you.
But I always recommend taking your cat to the vet if this is his first flea treatment, he will give you the right dosage for your cat’s age and weight and show you how to apply the product yourself.
The vet will also help if your cat shows intolerance to the treatment or to diseases or allergies that you are unaware of.
You will finally be able to reapply the treatment yourself without a veterinarian’s prescription once you have learned all about how to do so during this vet consultation.