External Flea Medications for Cats

Consider your kitty's individual need when choosing flea control.
i Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Quite a few external flea control products for cats are on the market. Choosing the right one for your furry friend can be confusing. Consider his individual needs, environment, habits and situation when making this choice. If you have any questions or concerns about any of these products, consult your veterinarian.


Revolution is a topical monthly flea preventative that also prevents, treats and controls multiple other parasites. It kills adult fleas and prevents their eggs from hatching. It also prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls ear mites, roundworms and hookworms in cats. It is available by prescription only, either directly from your vet or through a pet supply business that contacts your vet for approval. It can be used on cats at least 8 weeks old, but should not be used on those who are sick, weak or underweight. It does enter the bloodstream, so digestive upset is listed on the product website as a rare but possible side effect. The other possible side effect is hair loss at the application site.


Frontline is another topical monthly flea preventative for cats. It kills fleas, ticks and chewing lice. It can be bought at farm supply stores and pet supply businesses without a prescription. It also can be used on cats as young as 8 weeks old . It does not enter the bloodstream, so the only side effect listed on the product website is temporary irritation at the application site. According to the product information, this is rare.

Advantage for Cats

Advantage for Cats is a third topical monthly flea preventative. According to the product website, it is the only topical product that kills fleas on contact, eliminating the need for them to bite to be affected by it. It stops fleas from biting in 3 to 5 minutes, and kills adult fleas and larvae in 20 minutes. It can be used on expecting and nursing cats, and on kittens as young as 1 day old. The product website does not list any side effects, but according to the Cat Health Guide, it is not absorbed into the bloodstream. The Cat Health Guide also states that Advantage kills heartworms, ear mites and some other parasites. It, too, can be bought at pet and farm supply stores without a prescription.

Sprays and Powders

Various sprays and powders also are available for external flea prevention in cats. While many of these can be bought over the counter without prescriptions, the Cat Health Guide does not recommend them, stating that they are not as effective as topical monthly treatments. Additionally, they are applied to a larger and more accessible area of your cat's body. This means that he will lick and ingest them in the process of grooming, which can make him sick.

the nest