Cat Flea Collars. How Effective? How Safe?

Flea Infestation Remedies

Today, Cat flea collars are what we’re going to be talking about.  And flea treatments. So, a while back, we published a complete guide to getting rid of a flea infestation.

So, in order to write that guide, I spent a lot of time researching.  I researched the different types of flea treatments available. I also researched the different insecticides used in those treatments.  And then how safe each of those insecticides are for cats. And I also spend some time learning about the best approaches to getting rid of a flea infestation.

Time and Research

So, based on all of that time and research, I’ve chosen these products as the most effective. Meaning the safest flea treatments you can use for your cat. The first sign that your cat has fleas is scratching.

So, cats who have fleas are going to be scratching themselves quite a bit. That’s because the fleas are going to be biting them and they’re going to become quite itchy. With an allergic dermatitis, you’re also potentially going to notice some fleas on your cat’s body.

In order to really confirm that your cat does have a flea infestation, you’re going to want to use a flea comb, and that’s where our very first product comes in. So, this is the Safari flea comb. This is a really economical, really straightforward little comb, but it works really well. So, it’s a very fine-tooth comb, and you’re going to use this comb to thoroughly go through your cat’s code and remove those fleas.

Combing Your Cat

So just combing your cat thoroughly and depositing those fleas into a bowl of soapy water can remove about 80% of the fleas that are on your cat’s body.

So, it’s a really effective first step in getting a handle on the infestation and kind of giving your cat some relief. The second thing that you can think about doing is giving your cat a bath. This is a particularly good option if you have a really young kitten who can’t use any flea medications yet You can bait them in just a gentle mild dish soap like dawn.

That said, you can also consider using a flea shampoo. These shampoos tend to be a little bit controversial. They present a high risk of irritation and they tend to be a little bit on the riskier side.

Flea Shampoo

But if you are set on using a flea shampoo, I would recommend this flea shampoo from Adam’s.  Mainly because this shampoo both contains a neurotoxin that kills adult fleas. And an insect growth regulator that prevents new fleas for hatching.  It helps to both kill the fleas on your cat’s body and to prevent further infestation.

So, this shampoo will be effective for about 28 days after you’ve used it.  Further it can help to really slow down that infestation. That being said, some cats do find this irritating and a bath is always kind of a risk with a cat. It’s definitely not a necessary product to use. Again, a bath isn’t going to be the best option for every cat and it’s not always the most effective choice.

In other words, if you really want to wipe out the entire flea infestation on your cat’s body, you’re going to want to choose an oral medication. So, we have two top recommendations for the best oral flea medications.  Both of them contain the same active ingredient.

So, it’s an insecticide called nitenpyram. Now night and day programs have a really solid safety reputation. Neither of these medications appear to cause side-effects or effect your cat’s health. They seem to be really consistent, really safe products.

Before Cat Flea Collars, Kill the Adult Fleas on Your Cat’s Body

So, within 30 minutes, this product should start working to kill the adult fleas on your cat’s body. This medication doesn’t prevent fleas from reproducing and it doesn’t kill the fleas in your home. You’re still going to need to work on that. But it does something really valuable which is providing rapid relief.

Now at this point, you might be asking, Well, why do we have two options here? Well, it’s really up to you. These products appear to be virtually identical. Just one is a little bit more expensive than the other.

So, it’s really just a matter of preference and your budget. So, an oral medication like these is going to be enough for most cats. But if you want to focus a little bit more on long term prevention and helping to slow down that infestation, you might consider using a topical or spot on flea treatment like this one. Now, spot on flea treatments have gotten a lot of bad press over the last decade or so.


So, after researching the market, I’ve chosen Frontline Plus as the best topical flea treatment you can use. So, this product uses a combination of fipronil and S-methoprene. These are insecticides that work together to both kill adult fleas on your cat’s body and to prevent new fleas from hatching.

So, this both helps to give your cat some immediate relief and it also helps to really slow down the infestation while also protecting your cat from attracting fleas in long term, one application of frontline plus will offer your cat protection from fleas for up to 30 days.

Both of the insecticides that are used in Frontline Plus appear to be really consistent and relatively safe for cats, making this an overall solid option. Now, Frontline Plus is safe for cats aged eight weeks and up so you can use it for almost all cats and kittens.

Here’s the next product that we’re going to talk about falls into kind of the same category as the Frontline Plus. It’s a preventive. It’s something that you might be using to keep your cat from picking up fleas in the long term.

Our Favorite Flea Cat Collars

It’s for our favorite flea collar for cats. Now, flea collars can be a really contentious issue. While they used to be really the most popular and a really widespread flea treatment, they’ve declined in popularity and a lot of vets are now saying that they’re both less effective and less safe than other flea treatment options on the market.

So a lot of flea collars out there are using really questionable insecticides, meaning that they’re using insecticides that have a reputation for either harming cats or potentially harming humans who pet their cats.

So, of all the different types of flea treatments out there, I think that collars generally tend to be the most risky for both humans.

This pet collar is an exception to the rule. So the Seresto flea collar contains two insecticides which work together to both kill adult fleas and prevent those fleas from reproducing.

So is a good long-term solution, especially if you think that your cat has a lot of exposure to fleas. And again, the Bayer Seresto collar is significantly safer than most of the other flea collars on the market. In fact, it’s the only flea collar that I would recommend. Now the Bayer Seresto flea collar is definitely on the expensive side. One collar costs just over $57 on Chewy right now.

So, it’s certainly an investment but it could be worth it for some people.

Oral Medications vs Flea Cat Collars

So especially if you’re just opting for the safest route and just going for an oral medication like one of these, and you’re not using anything that’s going to prevent the flea eggs from hatching, you’re going to want to focus on treating the environment as well.

Remember that only about 5% of the total flea infestation is actually on your cat’s body. The remaining 95% of the flea infestation is all over your house. So, you really need to interrupt that life cycle by getting rid of those eggs that are scattered all around your house.

So, the first thing that you’re going to want to do is to vacuum your house thoroughly. You’re also going to want to wash as much of your cat’s bedding and any other washable items and hot water and then run them through the dryer. And then you’re going to want to use a flea spray.

Flea sprays vs Cat Flea Collars

So, these are two good options for flea sprays. The first is ultimately my preference is something that contains a variety of insecticides.  insecticides that are proven to kill adult fleas while also preventing those eggs from hatching.

So, products like this or Virbac flea spray are going to work really well.  It kills all of the fleas in the environment and prevent that lifecycle from going on. Now, you’re going to want to read the instructions on the package really carefully.  That protects your family and your pets from the insecticides in this.  As they tend to be on the harsher side.

But products like this tend to be very, very effective. Perhaps you’re looking for something that might be a little bit safer for your family. Then you might consider something like this Vet’s Best spray.

It contains a variety of essential oils that promise to eradicate fleas. But remember that these essential oils are not necessarily safe for your cat.  And they do not have a solid reputation for getting rid of flea infestations either.

So, this is ultimately the more questionable option. Even though it might look like the safer, gentler choice. All right, so that’s it for our compilation of the best flea treatment preventatives you can buy.

I know that flea infestations can be incredibly frustrating.  And that choosing safe treatments is also quite daunting.  Very many of these products come with scary side effects and a lot of scary stories.

But hopefully this post helped you to get a better sense of what’s available.  And which products suck, as cat flea collars are going to work best for your situation.

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