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A dog or cat that excessively scratches an itch can send shivers down the pet owner’s spine. The last thing you want is to have a flea or tick infestation in your home, not to mention disease carrying parasites harming your family. To protect both pets and people from these fears, we have collected the most effective flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian.
Best Way To Remove Fleas From Cats
All the products we recommend treat fleas, but fleas may not be the only parasite you need to treat. Depending on where you are in the country, there are many region-specific ticks that you may need to get rid of, as well as internal parasites such as heartworms or roundworms. And some treatments can be applied in different ways or with different regularities. That’s why you should consult your vet: they are the best source to advise you on the right treatment based on your pet’s medical history and the pests in your area.
Home Remedies For Fleas On Cats
Bravecto lasts for three months, so you can use it less often than any other topical treatment we recommend (and it’s also available in a chew for dogs with sensitive skin). But that requires a prescription. See below for treatment dosages for small and large dogs.
Bravecto for cats also lasts three months and is one of the few brands we’ve found that offers a version that protects against heartworm. But Bravecto requires a prescription. Below are links to appropriate dosages for cats outside the specified weight.
Who should use it: Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs and Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats are ideal if you like the three-month treatment period and your main problem is fleas, American dog ticks, black-legged ticks and brown dogs. ) or fleas and black-legged ticks (in cats). If you have a dog that is happier swallowing a chew rather than treating its neck, Bravecto is also available orally. Bravecto provides protection against these pests during a 12-week cycle and fights lone stars (in dogs) and American dogs (in cats), but only for eight weeks. This gives you a four-week window where your dog or cat is exposed.
What it treats: Our vets agree that Bravecto is one of their favorite flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. This is the only brand we recommend that sells a single dose that lasts three months between applications. But if you live in an area where lone stars are common, including the eastern, southeastern, and south-central states, you’re better off choosing a monthly treatment like Frontline Plus. Bravecto only provides eight weeks of protection against lone star ticks (versus 12 weeks of protection against other types of ticks). This means your pet can be unprotected against lone stars for an entire month between Bravecto treatments – or more often (PDF).
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Kittens
Bravecto is one of two options to protect cats against heartworms, roundworms and hookworms. (The revolution also protects cats from some parasitic worms.) There is no cure for heartworms in cats, notes the American Heartworm Society, so you must first protect your cat from getting it.
Bravecto Chev and Bravecto Topical Solution for dogs provide up to 12 weeks of protection against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks and brown ticks, and up to eight weeks against solestar ticks. But they do not protect against heartworm. The chewable formula is convenient because you don’t have to apply a messy mixture to your pet’s fur. But if you use this formula, the insect must bite your pet to come in contact with the pesticide. In comparison, topical medications are distributed through your pet’s fur and sebaceous glands, so if the pest makes contact with the fur, it’s toast. (If your pet is particularly sensitive to bug bites, opt for a topical ointment instead of a medicated ointment.)
Bravecto topical solution for cats protects against fleas and black-legged ticks for 12 weeks and against American dog ticks for eight weeks. Bravecto Plus for cats protects against fleas, black-legged ticks, heartworms, roundworms and hookworms for eight weeks.
Known side effects: neurological side effects including ataxia (lack of coordination), seizures and tremors; other known side effects – vomiting, hair loss, rash, lethargy, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dry skin and itching.
The 4 Best Flea Treatments For Cats And Dogs Of 2023
Varieties: Bravecto Chev for dogs 4.4-9.9 lbs, 9.9-22 lbs, 22-44 lbs, 44-88 lbs, 88-123 lbs; Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs 4.4-9.9 lbs, 9.9-22 lbs, 22-44 lbs, 44-88 lbs, 88-123 lbs; Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, 13.8-27.5 lbs; Bravecto Plus for Cats 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, 13.8-27.5 lbs
Revolution Plus for Cats fights more pests – fleas, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and multiple ticks – than any other treatment we recommend. However, this requires more frequent monthly entries and you will need a prescription. See below for versions suitable for lighter or heavier cats.
Unlike most other treatments, this formula kills fleas and also fights ear mites, sarcoptic mange and heartworms in dogs. But it only deals with American dogs. It also requires a veterinary prescription and must be administered monthly. See below for versions suitable for lighter or heavier dogs.
Who Should Use It: If you have a cat and don’t mind a monthly medication, Revolution Plus for Cats offers broad-spectrum protection, including fleas, ear mites, roundworms and some ticks. If you have a dog and are not particularly concerned about ticks, Revolution for Dogs offers protection against heartworms and ear mites.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats
What it treats: Revolution Plus protects cats from more pests than our other types. It’s an especially good choice for cat owners in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states because it’s the only topical treatment we recommend for Bay Area ticks that thrive in those areas. It is our only choice for treating ear mites, which according to VCA Hospitals are the second most common pest after fleas. Like Bravecto, Revolution Plus protects against common parasites in kittens, including roundworms and hookworms. It is also effective against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks, bay ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms and heartworms. (The non-plus version of Revolution for Cats does not protect against ticks, so we do not recommend it in this guide.)
Revolution for Dogs protects against a narrower spectrum of pests than the other flea treatments we recommend – but it’s the only one that protects against heartworms. Revolution does not protect against brown ticks, which are found worldwide. (Bravecto, Frontline, and Seresto fight them.) Revolution kills fleas, ear mites, sarcoptic mange, American ticks, and heartworms.
Variations: Revolution for dogs 5.1-10 lbs, 10.1-20 lbs, 20.1-40 lbs, 40.1-85 lbs, 86-130 lbs; Revolution Plus for Cats 2.8-5.5 lbs, 5.6-11 lbs, 11.1-22 lbs.
Frontline Plus is our favorite over-the-counter topical treatment that protects against fleas and many ticks. But it must be applied every month and does not fight parasites such as worms. See below for dosages for dogs of other weights.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats & Prevent A Flea Infestation
This monthly, over-the-counter topical treatment for cats protects against the same pests as its canine counterpart (and requires the same monthly schedule).
Who should use it: Frontline Plus for dogs and Frontline Plus for cats are over-the-counter treatments, so you can easily take the medicine. Consider this treatment if you have both dogs and cats and want to protect them from the same pests on the same schedule.
What it treats: Frontline Plus is the only flea and tick treatment we recommend that treats the same pests for cats or dogs, on the same schedule, without a prescription. Because they are species-based, the two versions contain slightly different amounts of active ingredients, but both cats and dogs can be kept on the same application schedule and control the same pests. Both treatments control fleas, lice, lone star ticks, American dog, deer and brown ticks. This eliminates the need to mix different brands of medication to ensure that every pet in your home receives the same level of protection. In comparison, Bravecto offers four formulas that protect against different combinations of pests, with less coverage in cat products; this can be confusing for pet and cat and dog owners who want to protect their pets from multiple parasites in one dose. Frontline Plus takes the guesswork out, so pet owners can focus on playtime, not flea baths.
Frontline Plus is the only non-prescription topical product we recommend. So you can quickly download a new box while you run errands
How To Get Rid Of & Prevent Fleas On Cats
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