Kitties come in all shapes, sizes and colors, so it's no wonder there's myriad flea products for them. Topical treatments, flea collars and flea powders are the mainstream choices, but if your kitty has a specific need, you may want flea treatment pills.
A flea infestation begins with one adult, female flea. During the two weeks a flea lives on your pet, she is feeding on your kitty's blood two to three times a day and laying 20 to 30 eggs a day. The eggs fall off your pet and land in the grass or in your house. They hatch into larvae and then pupae protected by cocoons. Once they detect heat, moisture, carbon dioxide and vibrations, they jump onto their host, your kitty. The cycle begins again and soon your kitty is infested with fleas.
Capstar (Nitenpyram) Oral Tablets
Veterinarians use Capstar when a kitty has a flea infestation, because the oral tablet kills fleas within 30 minutes of ingestion. Within four hours, 90 percent of the fleas are dead. Capstar continues effectiveness for up to 48 hours. It is not meant for long-term prevention. Its job is to kill fleas fast, so your kitty gets relief from the infestation. While it is working, a long-term product can begin its job to protect your kitty from future flea infestations. Capstar is available through your veterinarian and at your local pet store.
Comfortis (Spinosad) Oral Tablets
Comfortis was originally available only for dogs, but it is now available for cats who weigh at least 2 pounds. The active ingredient, spinosad, attacks the nervous system of insects, causing them to die quickly. Because it kills fleas within 30 minutes of ingestion, it gives relief for your kitty immediately and continues to provide protection for a full month. It's easy to administer since it's a chewable, beef-flavored tablet. Comfortis is available by prescription from your veterinarian.
Program (Lufenuron) Flea Control
Program is an insect development inhibitor. It doesn't kill the adult flea, but it does prevent the eggs from hatching. Although Program is in tablet form for dogs, it is an oral suspension for cats. The tablet for dogs is not recommended for cats. The monthly oral suspension for cats comes in ampules or vials. It can also be given as an injection every six months. Because Program does not kill the flea, the flea's saliva can still cause an adverse reaction in those pets who are allergic to it. Program is available by prescription from your veterinarian.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.