Can you use dog flea control on cats?

There are many different types of flea medicines and routes of administration. Many are unsafe, if not poisonous, for cats, and it can be confusing if you can give your dog the same things as your cat. Knowing what safe flea medication options are available for your cat will not only help you keep fleas at bay, but it can also help prevent serious injury.

Types of flea medicines

Flea medication can be administered to dogs and cats in a number of ways, including:

  • external use – Usually applied to the back of your pet’s neck that cannot be licked off, topical flea medicines are available over the counter and at your veterinarian. The safest cat flea medication is topical.
  • oral – Orally taken as a snack or as a pill, oral flea medication is most often obtained from your veterinarian, but some types can be found over the counter. Oral flea medication is a good option if you want to avoid wet spots where you can’t reach your pet for a few hours or have to question whether topical medications are fully absorbed.
  • spray – Usually used only when there is an active flea infestation, sprays usually contain all-natural or permethrin and are designed to be sprayed directly on pets and surfaces. Sprays are most commonly purchased from pet stores, but some veterinarians also offer them.
  • shampoo – As with sprays, shampoos should only be used if your pet has fleas, as there is no lasting preventive effect. Shampoos for pet flea baths may contain all-natural ingredients or permethrin to kill live fleas.
  • powder – Beneficial for carpets and other fabric surfaces, use a powder if you have live fleas in your pet’s environment.
  • flea bomb – Another option for dealing with flea-infested environments, flea bombs produce a mist or aerosol that can penetrate the small spaces where fleas like to live. If a flea bomb is used, all people and pets need to leave the premises as it can be toxic if inhaled.
  • collar – Historically, flea collars have only helped keep fleas off your pet’s neck, but new technology has made some collars more effective at preventing fleas than older versions.

Medications used to treat fleas

In addition to all the different ways flea medicine can be applied, there are many different types of medicines as well as all-natural ingredients that can be used on pets. Some are safe for dogs and cats in appropriate doses, while others are toxic to cats. New medicines are frequently introduced to the pet market, but popular options include:

  • selamectin
  • permethrin
  • Fipronil
  • afosolana
  • Nitenpyram
  • Spinosad
  • Flularan
  • Sarora Nel
  • Imidacloprid
  • All natural ingredients

flea medicine for your cat and your dog

Cats aren’t just puppies, which means you can’t always safely give a cat something that a dog can use against fleas.Cats metabolize drugs differently than dogs, and giving cats a dog’s flea medication can be fatal. If your flea medication is not specifically designed for cats, it should not be given to your cat. Even though this type of drug is safe for cats, the doses designed for dogs are likely to be very different. Seizures and death can result if cats receive flea medicines that are not safe for them. When in doubt, be sure to consult your veterinarian before giving your cat a new flea medication, especially if it’s designed for dogs.

Safe Flea Medicine for Cats

If your veterinarian sold you a flea medicine designed for cats, it’s likely safe, but if you buy it from a pet store, it’s probably not safe for cats even if the label says it’s safe. For example, cats should always avoid products containing permethrin, although many cat products often found in pet stores contain the drug. Side effects can occur with any drug, but the following drugs are generally considered safe for cats when given in appropriate doses:

  • selamectin
  • Fipronil
  • Nitenpyram
  • Spinosad
  • Flularan
  • Sarora Nel
  • Imidacloprid

Some all-natural ingredients and home remedies may be safe for cats, but since they are not very effective in preventing or treating fleas, and ingredients can vary from product to product, they should be discussed with your veterinarian before use.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can give your pet the best advice.

Can you use dog flea control on cats?
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