Cat fleas are difficult to get rid off once they infest your cat. That’s why you need the best flea shampoo for cats that’s available.
If you are a cat owner, you know that these furry four-legged friends are extremely curious and love getting into all kinds of things. All that adventuring can lead to exposure to fleas. Once they infest your cat, it could spread to your home. Flea infestation could be even more disastrous if you have multiple pets. Fleas love laying eggs in dark spaces and fabrics such as carpets, beds, blankets, and pillows.
If your feline friend is suffering from ticks and fleas, do not wait until the problem gets worse. It’s important to find the best flea shampoos to use and a nice, clean bath, pronto!
Image used under Creative Commons from a_marga
Table of Contents
- Best Flea Shampoos for Cats
- Common Cat Flea and Tick Treatments
- The Dangers of Cat Fleas
- How to Check for Cat Fleas
- Tell-Tale Signs of Cat Fleas
- How to Rid Your Home of Cat Ticks and Fleas
Best Flea Shampoos for Cats
Apart from regular vet visits, one of the most effective ways to treat cat fleas is using the right flea shampoo. And if you’re shopping for great flea shampoos to try, we’ve road tested these products for you:
Veterinarian’s Best Dry Waterless Cat Bath Foam
- No-rinse formula
- Effective flea treatment
- Soothing, hydrating solution
- All-natural ingredients
- Less product per bottle
Vet’s Best dry and clean waterless cat bath is an all-natural flea eliminator in a no-rinse formula. This is the perfect product for spot treatments or for cats who hate baths! The soothing botanicals reduce inflammation and itchiness caused by flea or tick bites. Its hydrating formula (Aloe vera, neem oil, vitamin E, and oatmeal) reduces dryness and itching even more.Vet’s Best dry and clean waterless cat bath works well in conjunction with other flea products so it’s quite versatile. This product also comes with a comforting, calming scent, making every treatment a relaxing experience for your furry friend.
To use this waterless shampoo, simply squirt some of the foam into your hands and lather it into the cat’s fur all over. After, brush your pet’s fur and allow the foam to kill the fleas and their eggs naturally.
This is one of the most affordable flea shampoos on the market so if you’re working on a limited budget, this product is right up your alley. The only negative is that there is the rather modest amount of product per bottle. One bottle is only good for two to three applications, so it’s not recommended if you are treating multiple cats. One Amazon buyer loved this product enough to recommend it to her friends:
I have an ornery aging cat who has taken to neglecting her daily cleansing activities. She was getting a bit scruffy, fortunately not smelly! This worked exactly as I was hoping, she’s fluffy again and the whole ordeal took us only about twenty minutes from on to dry. Recommended this to all the cat servants I know 🙂
Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo
- Potent formula
- Kills ticks and eggs instantly
- Best for serious flea infestation
- Chemical content
- May not be suitable for some cats
- May cause sickness to pets sensitive to chemicals
If an average flea shampoo just won’t cut it, we highly recommend getting the Adam’s flea and tick cleaning shampoo. This treatment kills dog and cat ticks and fleas instantly. It also breaks the life cycle of the fleas to prevent re-infestation. The formula is safe enough for pups and kittens too.The solution contains the active ingredients of pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, and pyriproxyfen. This treatment also leaves a pleasant scent on your cat’s fur and provides 30-day protection from fleas. As far as negatives go, the cocktail of chemicals might be an issue for sensitive cats. Also, this shampoo requires a bath, which is a must when the cat is loaded with awful fleas and ticks.
Because of its chemical content, consult your vet first before using this product. Some cat owners report that this product caused seizures so be cautious and keep an eye on your cat after bathing. The product should be washed away completely so the cat won’t accidentally ingest it while grooming. That said, one cat mom is blown away with how well the product works on her cat:
I bought this from my vet a few years ago when my dog got infested with fleas. (Even though she was on spot flea treatment her whole life, when exposed to someone else’s dogs she got them.) I was shocked at all the dead fleas in the tub after her bath. I continue to use this even after the flea problem is gone just to stay on top of things.
Vet’s Best Natural Anti-flea Easy Spray Shampoo
- All natural ingredients
- Suitable for cats and dogs alike
- Eliminates fleas effectively
- No-mess application
- Less product per bottle
- Inconsistent results
This flea shampoo is all-natural and made with a unique blend of peppermint and clove essential oils, which are known herbs that actually help kill fleas and their eggs. Since it comes in spray form, there’s no mess during bathing.Just spray the solution on your cat’s body, particularly areas where the fur is thicker. The beauty of this all-natural flea treatment is that it’s made from safe ingredients. You don’t have to worry about synthetic chemicals harming your pets or allergic reactions at all.
The best way to use it is by placing your furry pal into the bathtub and gently spraying them down the solution. Then, lather the solution into the cat’s fur without water. Doing so will actually dilute the solution and cause it to be less effective. Once you have the cat well lathered up, you can rinse it down gently with warm water and dry it off well with a warm cotton towel. After all, this is done, make sure you reward your furry pal with a treat and brush them out with a flea comb to ensure you have washed on the fleas out.
While effective, this product might not be suitable for cats that are sensitive to clove or peppermint. Also, the effectiveness will depend on the extent of the infestation. That said, one Amazon user recommended this product for effectively eliminating his pet’s fleas:
I can’t say enough about this product. I will let my Vet know to carry this product. This works better than anything I have ever used including dip, which makes the hair so dry.
Frontline Flea and Tick Treatment Dog/Cat Spray
Frontline’s flea and tick treatment is a topical flea control solution that effectively kills fleas instantly. The product protects your feline friend from fleas for up to 30 days. The spray bottle allows for even, no-mess application. The container allows you to control the amount of product to apply just as easily.We love the potency of this formula. It doesn’t just kill adult fleas, it also kills eggs and prevents re-infestation.
The main ingredient in this shampoo is firprinol. This is a chemical safe to use on cats 8 weeks and up. With this shampoo, you do not have to literally put the cat into the bathtub and rinse them down with any water. The best thing about this flea shampoo for cats is that all you need to do is spray the solution into your pet’s fur and brush the fur with a flea and tick comb to remove the fleas and eggs by hand.
Because the formula is potent, a little goes a long, long way. Although it’s not the most affordable flea spray shampoo on the market, you don’t have to use so much of the product and the effects are long-lasting. This means, one bottle of Frontline anti-flea and tick solution is good for several rounds of treatment.
The only downside is that the chemical content, which some cats/kitten might be sensitive to. That said, this user left a positive review on Amazon, claiming that the flea formula worked on his 8 indoor cats:
My vet told me about this stuff and said it was what they use in house. I treated all 8 cats a week ago and just checked all of them. I found 2 very small and slow fleas on one cat, the other 7 were all clear. Best part is, with the amount that I used, I should have enough left in the bottle for at least 1 to 2 more treatments.
Common Cat Flea and Tick Treatments
When it comes to treating cat fleas, there are hundreds of anti-flea products you can find on the market. These remedies come in different formulas too so there is something for everyone. However, do note that the potency of these products will vary greatly, some products work better than others. To find out which product works best for your pets, consult your veterinarian. Below are the most common anti-flea products you can find:
Anti-tick tablets are an effective treatment it kills pests as well as prevent re-infestation. The only downside? You’d have to learn how to give meds to an unwilling participant (your cat). Anti-tick tablets are available in your local pet clinic.
Spot-on treatments typically come in a viscous liquid that you apply on the nape of your pet. These products are formulated with a potent mix of chemicals that kill fleas, ticks, and eggs. But as mentioned earlier, some products work best than others so be selective in the kind of spot on treatment to use on your feline friend.
By far the most convenient method of getting rid of cat fleas and ticks, flea collars are covered with chemicals that kill ticks, fleas, and eggs. These products are extremely popular among cat lovers because they are easy to use and their efficacy lasts for months. However, these products are more toxic than most anti-flea products. Also, some flea collars come with strong scents that could irritate the sensitive nose of your feline friend.
Anti-Flea Powders, Shampoo, and Sprays
These products are also a mainstay in your local pet store. Efficacy will vary from product to product. Please check out our product review for the most popular anti-flea cat shampoos available.
The Dangers of Cat Fleas
Cat fleas are not only a source of various health problems, they also torment your feline friends like no other! Kittens, in particular, are vulnerable to the dangers of a flea infestation because their immune system is weaker compared to adult cats.
One of the most common causes of feline anemia is flea infestation. These nasty critters can literally suck the life out of juvenile cats. A severe flea infestation in kittens may lead to hospitalization, blood transfusion, and iron supplementation. But some cats are not so lucky, death by flea bite anemia is well documented.
Apart from causing anemia in cats, cat fleas can also transmit a blood parasite called hemobartonella. This parasite latches on to red blood cells, destroying healthy cells and rendering your cat’s blood unable to carry oxygen to the brain and organs. If left untreated, the disease could be fatal.
Bacterial Infection in Humans
The dangers of cat fleas are not limited to your furry friends, they can affect human beings too. A bacterial infection called Yersinia pestis is transmitted by fleas. In cats, symptoms of Yersinia pestis include respiratory problems, general weakness, fever, and painful abscesses. This disease can be transmitted to human beings through flea bites. So do not wait until the flea infestation becomes worse before you do something about it.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
This condition is caused by flea bites. The saliva of the flea causes significant skin irritation, itchiness, and lesions. Flea allergy dermatitis causes furious scratching and hair loss. The affected area is also covered in scabs, wounds, and red bumps.
This condition is caused by fleas that carry tapeworm larva. Once ingested, the tapeworm larva continues to develop in the cat’s gut. Inside the cat’s gut, the worm will lay hundreds of eggs, causing massive infestation. Although tapeworm doesn’t usually cause illness, you have to de-worm your pet once or twice a year.
How to Check for Cat Fleas
Unsure how to check your cats for fleas? Watch the short clip below:
Tell-Tale Signs of Cat Fleas
If say, you suspect that your cat or kitten has fleas, watch out for these tell-tale signs:
Intense Scratching/Coat Biting
One of the most common signs of a flea infestation is incessant scratching and coat biting. If your cat suddenly starts scratching various parts of his body or he can’t help but chew on his skin until it breaks, check for fleas.
Grooming is normal in cats but if your cat is grooming himself to a point where he starts developing bald spots, take it a sign that you need to get flea treatments.
Scabbing, Bumps, and Skin Lesions
Excessive grooming and intense, persistent itchiness can lead to skin bumps, scabbing, and painful skin lesions. If not treated right away, the skin lesions could lead to a full-blown skin infection!
Pepper-Like Specks on the Fur
Look closely at your cat’s fur and check for brown or black colored specks. These are flea droppings known as flea dirt. These droppings are typically found on the neck and rump area.
How to Rid Your Home of Cat Ticks and Fleas
A single female flea can lay up to 50 eggs in a day. A flea-infested cat can spread ticks and fleas in your home within hours. The key to eliminating fleas in the home is to not give these nasty critters a chance to spread. Here are several tips how:
You might hate cleaning but vacuuming your living space is one of the most effective ways to eliminate cat fleas and ticks! If you are dealing with a full-blown infestation, it’s best to vacuum your home every day especially on areas where your cats hang out. After vacuuming the spot clean, throw away the bag or wash the canister.
Wash the Beddings and Carpets
Clean the beddings, carpets, rugs, and curtains at least once a week. Strip your bed of beddings or covers and throw them straight in the washer. Cat fleas can survive the toughest wash cycle so it’s best to use hot water to kill the critters instantly.
Disinfect Your Home
After cleaning your house and then washing the beddings, carpets, rugs, and curtains, get a flea spray and coat every square inch of your living space. We recommend products formulated with methoprene or pyriproxyfen for best results. You’ll have to keep your pets and loved ones away until the sprayed surfaces have dried completely.
Eliminate Possible Sources of Food
It’s hard to keep fleas under control if outside sources kept bringing in new waves of infestation in your home. The presence of other animals are fleas’ source of food. If these creatures are near your home, it is only a matter of time before fleas make their way into your living space.
Our advice is to eliminate any source of food that might’ve been attracting animals in your home. Clean your garbage bins and keep them covered. Drain water sources and clean your home’s crawl space for good measure.
Call a Pest Control Professional
If the infestation is out of control then you have no choice but to let the professionals handle the situation. The fact is, anti-flea products do not resolve the root cause of the infestation. A pest control professional can inspect your home and isolate infested areas to control fleas and ticks. He or she can also develop the right pest management plan that suits your needs.