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Best topical flea treatment for cats: Keep your cat free of critters

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flea treatment for cats
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Applying one of the best topical flea treatments for cats is an easy way to keep your kitty free from pesky parasites, with most formulas providing protection for around 30 days. With all the flea products on the market today you might be confused as to which one is right for your kitty, so let’s take a closer look at what a spot-on treatment has to offer. 

Fleas aren’t just an unwanted nuisance, these small pests can wreak havoc on your furkid’s health, causing skin problems and anemia. While the best flea treatments for cats come in a variety of forms from long-lasting collars to affordable shampoos and sprays, spot-on flea treatments come with some great perks that make them popular with pet parents. 

For cats that don’t mind having a small blob of liquid applied to the back of their neck, topicals can be a good way to go, offering full-body coverage in just a few hours. The small pipettes are easy to use and quick to apply and just like the best flea treatments for dogs, most topical treatments for cats come with a six-month supply.

Along with flea collars for cats, topicals are the best way to kill, prevent, and repel fleas. The active ingredients in topical flea treatments are absorbed into the fatty layer of the skin where they spread throughout your cat’s coat to provide 24/7 protection. When choosing a treatment, consider whether your cat is mainly indoors or likes to roam. For indoor cats, products that protect against fleas, eggs, and larvae are normally more than adequate, but for outdoor cats, you might like to consider a treatment that also works on ticks and lice.

There are a lot of spot-on products stocking the shelves right now, so we’ve put together a guide of the best topical flea treatments for cats to make your life a little easier. Let’s take a look at some of the frontrunners...

PetsRadar's pick of the best topical flea treatments for cats

Best topical flea treatment

(Image credit: Getty)

Frontline Spot On Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats

The best overall flea treatment for cats

Kills: Fleas, ticks and lice | Formula: Vet-approved | Works: Within 48 hours | Suitable for: Pregnant cats

Very popular formula 
Long-lasting protection 
On the pricey side

The Frontline spot-on treatment is an extremely popular topical flea treatment. Its ‘vet-strength’ formula is safe, fast-working and easy to apply. 

Once treatment is applied, any fleas that dare to jump onto your cat will be killed within 24 hours, and ticks will be killed within 48 hours, which will prevent infestations. It also kills lice, which live and feed on a cat’s skin. 

Like all spot on treatment, the formula is applied with a pipette, which makes it a bit easier for jumpy and restless cats who don’t like to make these sorts of things easy. Simply empty the contents of the pipette onto your cat’s skin at the back of their neck, so they don’t lick it off, and it will spread itself around. 

The treatment comes in one, three and six-dose packs. One three-dose pack will provide your cat with three months of protection.

The formula can be safely used on kittens weighing more than one kg, from eight weeks old, including cats that are pregnant. 

And as long as you don’t bathe your cat more than once a week, nothing should affect the efficacy of this popular product.

Best topical flea treatment

(Image credit: Getty)

Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On solution

The best budget flea treatment for cats

Kills: Fleas and ticks | Works for: Five weeks | Active ingredient: Fipronil | Formula: Vet-approved

Good value for money  
Only works for five weeks 
Slower formula

Beaphar Fiprotec Spot On solution is one of the better value options for flea treatments available on shelves and online today. It kills fleas and ticks on your cat as you apply it and for up to five weeks after that – although, it’s recommended you reapply the solution every four weeks, just to be safe. 

The active ingredient in this formula is fipronil, which concentrates in the sebaceous glands on your cat, located at the base of the hair follicles, where it can constantly replenish the skin. The sebaceous glands store fipronil, which allows it to stay active for five weeks. But because of the nature of fipronil, it can take up to 24 hours for fleas and up to 48 hours for ticks to die. 

This treatment contains six pipettes alongside an easy instructions guide, and is licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It is suitable for all cats over eight weeks old, and who weight more than 1kg. 

Best topical flea treatment

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Bob Martin Clear Spot On

The best pesticide-free flea treatment for cats

Free from: Pesticides | Active Ingredient: Margosa | Kills fleas: Within 24 hours

Fast-working formula
Easy to use
Only removes adult fleas
Only works for four weeks

If you’re looking for a pesticide-free way to save your cat from fleas, Bob Martin Clear Spot On is one of the most popular products of its kind on the shelves.

Instead of using a pesticide, the active ingredient in this flea treatment is margosa, an oil with a strong smell and taste that’s been used across Asia as a natural medicine for centuries.

The formula starts to kill fleas within 15 minutes of application, and promises to kill all the fleas hitching a ride on your cat within 24 hours. However, the treatment will only kill adult fleas that have settled on your cat, so it’s recommended you also apply it to your cat’s bed and around the home to prevent another outbreak. 

Each pack contains six applications, and will protect your cat for up to four weeks, after which time you’re advised to reapply to ensure continuous protection. Although – you’ll have to reapply it sooner if your cat gets excessively wet. 

TevraPet Actispot II Flea Prevention

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TevraPet Actispot II Flea Prevention

The best flea treatment for large cats

Works for: 30 days | Contains: Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen | Kills: Fleas, eggs, and larvae | Use on: Cats and kittens over 8 weeks

Easy to use application
Six month supply
No protection against ticks and lice

Using the same active ingredients as Advantage II but at almost half the price, this six-month supply of topical flea treatments from TevraPet offers outstanding value. 

Suitable for cats over 9lbs and eight weeks of age, the brand also makes the same formula for smaller-sized cats so no matter your kitty’s size, TevraPet has them covered.

Each application offers powerful protection against fleas, eggs, and larvae for 30 days and it’s fully waterproof so you don’t need to worry if your furkid gets wet. The formula kills fleas on contact preventing the pain of nasty bites and is easy to apply.

flea treatment for cats

(Image credit: Frontline)

Frontline Plus Spot On Cat Flea Treatment

The best flea treatment for the home

Kills: Fleas, eggs and larvae | Lasts: Four weeks

Kills eggs and larvae
Stops flea eggs from hatching

If you’re looking for a flea treatment that really means business, you might want to try Frontline Plus spot on cat flea treatment

The formula has to potent ingredients: fipronil and (S)-methoprene to ensure the life cycle of your cat’s flea infestation is truly broken. Unlike most other cat flea treatment on the market, (S)-methoprene specifically targets flea eggs and larvae.

The formula also contains insect growth regulator technology, which also interrupts the flea cycle by stopping eggs from hatching in the home. The vast majority of flea infestations start from flea eggs, larvae and cocoons in your cat’s everyday environment. However, it’s still recommended you use this in conjunction with a flea spray for the home. 

Each treatment lasts for four weeks, preventing and treating flea infestations. It’s suitable for cats over the age of eight weeks. 

There are numerous flea treatments for cats on the market, with a range of prices, active ingredients and ways of working. Making the right purchase for your cat is only half the job – the other half is ensuring you apply it correctly, of course. 

From potent to pesticide-free products, our guide will hopefully equip you with the basics to make the right decision for your cat, so they can enjoy a flea-free life. 

Jessica Brown

Jessica is a freelance features journalist. When she isn't writing, she's chasing after strangers' dogs in the park.