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Best flea collars for cats: Keep those biting mites at bay

flea collars for cats
(Image credit: Getty)

If you're overwhelmed by the sheer number of flea collars for cats on shelves, you're not the only one. With the amount of products on offer in 2022, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there are more collars than there are cats to wear them! Thankfully, while the choice can be daunting, just like our guide to the best flea treatments for cats, the information below will hopefully make selecting the right collar for your feline friend easier.

First, before we look at which collars are the best, you may be wondering if a flea collar is the right choice for your cat, especially considering how popular the best topical flea treatments for cats are. While topicals do tend to be the preference for many pet parents, there are pros and cons to both options, so there is no right or wrong choice here. 

Topicals do have one strong advantage over flea collars, however, and that's their ability to both prevent flea infestations and  treat existing outbreaks at the same time. Conversely, not all cats enjoy a cold blob being placed at the back of their neck and as well as being expensive, topicals need reapplying every 30 days, so they're not always best for those on a budget.

That's where a flea collar can make for a great alternative. Admittedly, they can only prevent your kitty from picking up parasites, so they're ineffective if your cat already has fleas, but, if they are currently flea-free then a  collar could be the way to go. Not only are they easy to fit and comfortable to wear, they release chemicals slowly over a period of up to 12 months, meaning they offer outstanding value for money.

If you're worried about chemical flea collars, you can rest assured that there are a range of natural collars on the market that are worth looking at. Using herbs or essential oils, these  are safe and non-toxic, and while they won't kill fleas, they use ingredients that are gentle on your cat to repel fleas and deter them from setting up camp in your kitty's coat.

Now  you know a  bit more about the types of flea collars for cats and the potential benefits to choosing a collar over a topical treatment, hopefully you will find the products below helpful in assisting you in selecting the right flea collar for your moggy. If, after checking out our picks, you're still unsure about which flea collar to go for, speak with your vet, who will be able to offer some advice and guidance.

PetsRadar's pick of the best flea collars for cats

Seresto collar for cats

(Image credit: Amazon)

Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats

Best overall flea collar for cats

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Amazon star rating: 4.6
Protection time: 8 months

Reasons to buy

+
Provides 8-months of continuous flea and tick prevention
+
Vet-recommended
+
Starts working 24-hours after fitted

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the pricier flea collars on the market

Without a doubt the most popular flea collar on the block, the Seresto flea collar provides eight months of continuous protection against fleas and ticks. Odorless and non-greasy, it's lightweight and even water-resistant, so if you need to give your kitty a bath, you can rest assured that the ingredients will remain active.

Containing a potent blend of two of the most effective ingredients on the market (Imidacloprid and Flumethrin), this flea collar slowly and continuously releases the active ingredients in low concentrations to ensure your feline friend stays flea-free. 

Seresto kills existing fleas on cats within 24 hours after application. After those 24 hours, new fleas are killed within 2 hours, which means it won't be long before your kitty is experiencing relief. 

Suitable for use on both indoor and outdoor cats over the age of 10 weeks, the Seresto flea collar is one of the more expensive on the market, but it's super effective, which makes it well-deserving of the top spot in this guide. 

Flea collar for cats: Hartz UltraGuard Flea and Tick Collar pack shot

(Image credit: Hartz)

Hartz UltraGuard Flea and Tick Collar

Best budget flea collar for cats

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Amazon star rating: 4
Protection time: 7 months

Reasons to buy

+
Fresh scent
+
Reflective strip
+
Water-resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Uses TCVP, a more toxic active ingredient

If the thought of spending more money on what adorns your cat's neck than you spend on your own makes you and your wallet feel a little queasy, then it’s Hartz UltraGuard to the rescue with this effective flea collar that doesn’t cost the Earth.

Containing Etofenprox as an active ingredient, it’s very similar in composition to the Flumethrin found in big brand Seresto’s collar, which kills fleas and ticks fast. It offers long-lasting protection of up to seven months for cats over the age of 12 weeks, it’s water-resistant, and the fresh scent is light enough not to irritate your kitty.

If your feline fur baby is prone to prowling the neighborhood in the evening in search of extra snacks, then you’ll be delighted to know that the reflective strip on this collar means your little cat burglar's inability to go incognito is likely to have them returned to sender pretty smartly – great news if you like to make sure those precious four paws are tucked up in bed at night rather than roaming the streets.

This collar will do a great job of killing fleas for at least the first half of its life, but as it gets older and the ingredients weaken it acts more as a flea-repellant than flea-exterminator. We love the breakaway feature on this collar, which works a treat if your kitty gets in a jam, and the collar will fit all cats – simply cut away any excess.

While this collar is very kind on the purse strings, it’s worth mentioning that Etofenprox, the main active ingredient, isn’t as kind to all cats so we would recommend you monitor your fur baby closely for the first few days to make sure they don’t suffer from any skin irritation. If they don’t have any adverse reaction to the Etofenprox then this is a great affordable alternative to Seresto.

Flea collar for cats: Rolf Club 3D Flea and Worm Collar box shot

(Image credit: Rolf 3D)

Rolf Club 3D Flea and Worm Collar

Best fast-acting formula

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Amazon star rating: 3.7
Protection time: 8 months

Reasons to buy

+
Effective against 11 types of parasite
+
Begins killing fleas within 24 hours
+
Ideal for cats of all sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Becomes less effective after a few months

Straight out of a country that’s known for producing top-quality goods, if you’re looking for the Volkswagen of flea collars then you’re not going to want to overlook this German-designed one. And while it has the quality and reliability of a VW, it’s got the speed and power of a Bugatti, a very nice combination indeed!

The Rolf Club 3D collar is produced by Ekoprom, an award-winning veterinary company with a mission to make only reliable and responsible products, and they certainly stick to that mission with this collar. We love that this is a toxin-free formula; not only is it great for your cat, it’s also fantastic if you have a house with small children who spend lots of time cuddling and petting the family feline as it won’t irritate the hands or skin. 

The fast-acting ingredients start killing fleas, ticks, lice, and larvae within 24 hours and also mosquitoes, which makes this a unique product compared to others on the market. 

The odorless collar is easy to wear and adjust, and will fit any size cat. It’s waterproof, which is great if your cat likes adventuring outdoors, although we recommend removing it if bathing your kitty to ensure it remains at its maximum potency for as long as possible.

We love that this company frequently communicates with pet parents and uses their feedback to make their collars better with each iteration. There are very few drawbacks to be found with this product, although we would say that while it is labelled as being effective for eight months, we feel it does it’s best work in the first four, so we advise you to budget to replace this collar on a quarterly rather than twice-yearly basis.

Overall though, this is a great collar if you’re looking for a fast-acting treatment from a reputable brand.

Flea collar for cats: Lordddon/Vienapoli Flea and Tick Collar

(Image credit: Vienapoli)

Lordddon/Vienapoli Flea and Tick Collar

Best waterproof option

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Amazon star rating: 3.9
Protection time: 8 months
Veterinarian recommended: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
All-natural, non-allergenic formula
+
Safe for animals and humans
+
Waterproof and adjustable

Reasons to avoid

-
Strong smell

Produced by the same manufacturer with identical packaging but branded under different names, you’ll be wanting to look for Lordddon if you’re in the US and Vienapoli if you’re in the UK when searching for these well-reviewed flea collars. 

Made with eucalyptus, clove, lemon, peppermint, and citronella oils, this safe and non-toxic collar works to repel and kill fleas, ticks and other insects on contact, and prevents them from returning for up to eight months. The effective and clever design ensures that the active ingredients are released slowly over the life of the collar, meaning you definitely get your money’s worth where this product is concerned. 

It’s natural, eco-friendly and unlike many other flea collars on the market, it’s fully submersible, so you can bathe your cat without having to take it off. We love the adjustable design and gripping teeth, which is great for cats who are always trying to give their collar the slip. And given that our feline fur babies come in all shapes and sizes, you’ll be happy to know that this will fit your cat, regardless of whether there’s a little or a lot of them to love – simply trim off any excess. 

This collar is a popular choice among pet parents, but we’d be remiss to not mention that all those essential oils can make for one fairly strong-smelling cat, especially in the first few months. It’s not in any way unpleasant, just something to be mindful of if you or your cat is sensitive to fragrances. 

Other than that, though, this is a great non-hazardous and anti-allergenic collar that’s gentle on your cat and tough on fleas.

Flea collar for cats: Dr Mercola Herbal Repellent

(Image credit: Dr Mercola)

Dr Mercola Herbal Repellent

Best natural alternative

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Protection time: 4 months
Toxin-free: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
100% natural and non-toxic flea protection
+
Active ingredients are diffused from the collar over 4 months
+
Repels fleas, ticks, lice and pests

Reasons to avoid

-
Does not kill fleas so needs to be used in conjunction with a topical treatment

If keeping your cat safe and purchasing from organisations that take their social responsibilities seriously is important to you, then this is a flea collar you’ll feel good about putting in your shopping basket. 

Unlike chemical-based repellents, this collar from Dr Mercola is made using only top-quality, effective herbal ingredients. Essential oil from the geranium flower repels mosquitoes while the wintergreen and evergreen plant oils act as an insect repellant and if sensitive skin is an issue for your kitty the addition of almond oil is very soothing. 

Not only do we love the fact that there’s no harsh chemicals or hidden toxins in this product, but a portion of the proceeds of every collar sold goes directly to a variety of animal charities. It’s not often that you get to buy a product that’s not only kind to your own pet but is invested in the wellbeing of animals around the world. 

Dr Mecola’s belief that all pets deserve the best-quality products shines through in every aspect of this collar, which is also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s safe for cats with allergies, those who have reached senior citizen status, and the new kittens on the block. 

If you’re looking for a hard-hitting product that kills fleas fast then this product will disappoint. It’s focus is purely on repelling and preventing fleas, lice and ticks, rather than killing them. Still, if you’re looking for a gentle and safe option that is effective for up to four months then we really recommend giving Dr Mercola a try.

ONMOG Cat Collar

(Image credit: Amazon)

ONMOG Cat Collar

Best long-lasting flea collar

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Eco-friendly: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Protection time: 12 months

Reasons to buy

+
Long-lasting protection
+
Money-back guarantee
+
One size fits all 

Reasons to avoid

-
Contains essential oils which some cats may not like

You’ve got to love a collar that’s both affordable and long-lasting, which is exactly what you’ll get with this offering from ONMOG And if that’s not enough to sweeten the deal, Torrix offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied you can return it for a full refund. 

Adjustable and water-resistant, this collar contains a range of essential oils that combine to create a safe and eco-friendly collar that offers a staggering 12-months of protection against fleas and ticks.

The quick-release buckle makes this collar easy to fit and take off and at 13-inches long, it's suitable for most cats from 10 weeks of age. Non-greasy and without the chemical smell that accompany some collars, this safe and non-toxic option offers comprehensive protection against parasites. 

best flea collar for catsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: MONIPGU)

MONIPGU Flea and Tick Collar

Best flea collar for cats with allergies

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Protection time: 8 months

Reasons to buy

+
Smells great
+
Inexpensive
+
Great for sensitive felines

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be difficult to adjust

Made from pure essential oils, MONIPGU Flea and Tick Collar is a great choice for moggies who suffer from skin allergies, but is suitable for all cats.

The oils are stored in the collar, and are released in low concentrations over your cat's hair and skin surface for 8 months. 

If you find that your feline is particularly sensitive to other flea collars, MONIPGU could be worth considering as an affordable alternative. Some pet owners have reported an improvement in their cat's flea allergy.  

There's also some really nice additional features here, including water resistance, a not too shabby 8 months protection and the scent is rather lovely. The inclusion of a flea comb too is a nice touch.

Some may find the collar difficult to adjust, while the provided instructions to loosen the product could prove its downfall for feisty felines who dislike wearing a collar. 

best flea collar for cats zodiac breakaway collarPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Zodiac)

Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats

Best breakaway flea collar

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Protection time: 7 months

Reasons to buy

+
Safety release buckle
+
Inexpensive
+
Mild smell

Reasons to avoid

-
Not always 100% effective
-
Not odorless

Typically described as an affordable option that gets the job done, the Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats provides up to 7 months of flea and tick protection.

Its key selling point is the breakaway feature. This includes a safety release buckle that breaks the collar apart in the event of an accident, such your cat being caught in a branch or fence. You can simply fix the collar back together again which is a handy feature, but some pet owners find it difficult to put the collar on in the first place owing to this functionality. 

The Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats describes itself as "odorless", however feline owners are likely to encounter more of a scent than they may expect, albeit it's a milder smell than some other flea collars on the market.  

For many pet owners it's an affordable and effective collar, but, as its typically paired together with other products, it can be difficult to judge whether the product performs well on its own. While some pet owners find it highly effective, others have found a few ticks in places.  

cat flea collarsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Adams)

Adams Flea & Tick Collar for Cats

Best premium cat flea collar

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Protection time: 7 months

Reasons to buy

+
Kills 3 stages of fleas
+
Break-away feature
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
May require use of other products in addition

Aimed at people with a bit more money in their pocket, is this cat flea collar from Adams worth the price? On balance, we would say yes.

Not just targeted at flea, this is also aimed at disrupting larvae and eggs, so that the parasites are affected at every point in their lifestyle.

For active cats, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors, they have been catered for too. The collar is water-resistant, and has a break-away feature in case they get caught on something. Around 14 months of protection are offered too, making this a decent long-lasting option.

There were a few quibbles in the reviews, however. One queried the selling point that the collar was supposedly odorless, as in their experience this wasn't the case.

Some also questioned the effectiveness of the product itself. There is a note on the product description that 'multiple steps or products can be necessary to help fight fleas and ticks on your pet' - which sounds a tad ominous in our book.

Regardless, most reviews are generally positive, and you can probably have enough confidence that this will be a reliable product.

long lasting flea collarPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Primova)

Primova Pet Products - Flea and Tick Cat Collar with Flea Comb

Best cat flea collar for kittens

Specifications

Available online: Yes
Weight: 0.9 ounces
Protection time: 8 months

Reasons to buy

+
Lasts a long time
+
Lightweight
+
Comes with a free comb

Reasons to avoid

-
Some reviews question effectiveness

While this is advertised as being for cats of all sizes and ages, we're particularly interested here in its application for kittens. It can be hard to find reliably flea collars for younger cats, so this fills a gap in the market.

Good for about 8 months, this has a number of additional benefits beyond protecting against fleas and ticks, such as relieving joint and hip stiffness, assisting in mobility, and ensuring bladder wellness.

The collars are very lightweight at 0.8 ounces, and it has the added bonus of coming with a free comb.

Unfortunately, some reviews questioned its effectiveness, but this is to be expected, we guess. Not every product suits every cat.

Generally, however, reviews for this product were pretty positive. It isn't necessarily going to have the same success rate as a more recognized brand like Seresto, but this will likely work well for the majority of cats.

How to choose the best flea collar

flea collar for cats

(Image credit: Getty)

Trying to decide on the best flea collar for your cat is a bit like trying to decide between that VW and Bugatti we mentioned earlier, so it pays to consider what features are most important to you and your cat first. 

When it comes to eradicating parasites, there are two types of collar. Repellent collars are designed to repel fleas, ticks and lice when they come into contact with your cat. These are usually made from non-toxic ingredients and are a good option if your cat doesn’t have a current flea infestation or if they have allergies, but they won’t kill parasites. Treatment collars are much stronger and designed to kill both existing parasites that are hitching a ride on your cat's coat and any newcomers that decide they want to join the party. They are a great option if you need to get rid of fleas fast, but their active ingredients are much stronger and more toxic than repellants.

If your cat is the Rambo of the feline world and prefers stalking prey in long grass than snoozing on the couch then you’ll want to consider a collar with a good breakaway safety mechanism to ensure that they can give their collar the slip if they get themselves in a pickle. A waterproof collar is also worth the investment if you have a nature lover on your hands or if you have one of those rare kitties who enjoys the luxury of an at-home spa experience complete with a five-star flea shampoo, rinse and blow-dry treatment. 

When it comes to outdoor cats, you’ll be wanting to think about a collar that repels or treats against a wide range of parasites, including fleas, ticks, lice, and mosquitoes, whereas flea protection may be all that’s needed for indoor cats. The length of a collar’s effectiveness is also worth weighing up, especially against your budget. Some collars may cost more initially but offer longer-term protection, while cheaper options may become less effective as the life of the collar goes on. Finally, to save you having to measure up, look for a collar that is adjustable and will fit all cats.

As always, if you’re unsure on what collar best suits your cat's specific needs and lifestyle, speak to your veterinarian, who will be able to advise you on the best options. And with any new collar, we recommend that you monitor your cat for the first few days to make sure they don’t have any adverse reactions to the ingredients. 

How do flea collars work for cats?

Flea collars are generally a safe and affordable way to prevent pesky parasites from invading your feline's fur but how do they work and what's the alternative?

Flea collars either emit a toxic gas or release a substance that spreads throughout the layers of the animal’s skin. Some cheaper options only kill fleas that are close in proximity to the collar, while some flea collars for cats can offer whole body protection. 

Alternatives include oral flea treatments, topical flea treatments, natural insect control treatments, such as a spray, or setting up a regular hygiene routine to target and kill fleas, including frequently washing your cat bed and vacuuming.

Some pet owners choose to create their own DIY flea treatments or regularly comb or bathe their cat - typically an unpopular choice for cat who hate baths!

Why cats and dogs need a different flea treatment

Why cats and dogs need a different flea treatment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you have multiple pets in your household it may be tempting to use the same flea product on your cat as you do your dog, particularly when looking to save money.

However, you may be putting your pets at risk if you do so. If all pets in your household have fleas it's important to seek individual treatment as using a dog flea treatment on your cat can cause side effects such as drooling, difficulty breathing and diarrhea.

This is because there's different chemicals in each flea treatment. A dog's flea treatment often includes a chemical called permethrin, safe for dogs but harmful to cats. 

When treating your dog, look to keep an eye on cats to ensure they don't lick or rub against the treated area. If your feline does come in contact with a dog's flea treatment, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

If you're in any doubt about your pet's flea treatment, particularly following the Seresto flea collar allegations, the U.S EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, has issued this guidance:

"The agency’s immediate advice to pet owners is to talk with their veterinarian before using any pet insecticide to find out what the vet recommends, read the label, and follow instructions on safe use of the product, be alert for any unexpected reaction, and report adverse reactions with as much detail as possible.”