Fleas are not only disgusting pests, they are also capable of spreading serious diseases to both you and your pets. One of the most common pests in the United States, fleas are certainly something to be concerned about.
Cats are particularly vulnerable to fleas, especially if they are outdoors often and enjoy roaming the neighborhood independently. And since fleas are a problem both in urban and suburban areas, it’s important to implement proper flea control to protect both your furry family member and yourself.
In today’s article, we are going to learn a bit more about how fleas impact our pets and our homes, and discuss the best flea collar for cats.
But before we begin, let’s take a moment to talk briefly about fleas.
What Are Fleas?
Fleas are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of mammals like cats.
Fleas are small, parasitic insects growing no larger than 3 mm once mature. They don’t have wings, but they can jump incredibly high for their small size. Worse still, fleas thrive in a multitude of environments so long as they have a proper blood hoste nearby.
These nasty pests survive primarily on mammals like dogs, cats, livestock and wild animals. Sometimes, though, they can also infest humans and human homes.
As we mentioned briefly above, fleas aren’t only a nuisance, they can also carry serious diseases like Typhus, which can spread to both animals and people. Fleas may also cause allergic reactions that can lead to worsen asthma and other respiratory issues in people and pets with sensitivities.
For the most part, fleas are very common where wild animals are common. They are usually brought in by wild animals like raccoons, possum, rabbits and deer where they are transferred to your yard or property. Your pet can also pick up fleas when roaming the neighborhood on their own.
This is, as we previously discussed, one of the main reasons cats in particular are most vulnerable to flea infestations.
If you have an outdoor cat, it’s important to invest in the best flea collar you can find. Of course, many pet parents are picky about the types of flea medications and parasite prevention products they use for their pets, and we want to help you find the best – and safest – flea collar for your cat.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Is The Best Flea Collar For Cats And How Does It Work?
A flea collar can protect your cat not only from fleas, but also from any potential illnesses fleas can carry.
There are a few different ways you can go about protecting your cat from fleas, but flea collars are some of the most popular methods. This is because the best flea collar for cats is either medicated or infused with ingredients that protect your cat from fleas before the pests even bite.
Furthermore, the best flea collar for cats may not only protect against fleas, but also against other biting and disease carrying pests like ticks.
What Is A Flea Collar?
A flea collar is a collar made of plastic, plastic resin or resin modifiers. These collars are flexible, comfortable, and can come in different sizes to fit your pet properly. In fact, some of the best flea collar for cats are designed to be cut down in size to fit them perfectly.
Flea collars are controversial, mostly because many of them are medicated and slowly release insecticides or pesticides around your cat to prevent ticks and fleas from coming near or biting.
Many pet parents find issues with putting a medicated flea collar on their cat that is emitting pesticides and insecticides. That said, there are some flea collars that are made with natural ingredients, and there are also flea collars that are made with a combination.
When considering investing in the best flea collar for cats, it’s also important to consider the pros and cons. While even the best flea collar for cats are controversial for some pet parents, it’s wise to weigh the risk versus reward when using one.
Remember, fleas and ticks can carry serious and deadly diseases that may not only be harmful to your pet, but also to you and your family.
Let’s take a moment now to discuss the pros and cons of the best flea collar for cats and learn what you should look for to ensure you get the most effective flea collar for your cat possible.
What To Look For In The Best Flea Collar For Cats
Look for flea collars that are specifically designed for cats and dogs. Avoid flea collars that do not have good ratings or are not recommended by trusted individuals.
There are a few different types of flea collar for cats and dogs available. These types are listed below:
Natural flea collar for cats:
Natural flea collars are some of the best flea collar for cats and pet parents who prefer to use organic pest control options. These products typically use plant-based ingredients and essential oils to repel pests like fleas and ticks.
Of course, there is some debate about the effectiveness of using natural flea collars for pets, and it’s important you do your research before deciding which type of natural flea collar would be the best flea collar for cats or dogs in your home.
Medicated flea collar for cats
Medicated flea collar for cats come in three different types, including gas-based flea collars, absorption-based flea collars and high frequency based flea collars.
Medicated flea collar for cats can be highly effective and are often considered the best flea collar for cats that live in high-risk areas where they are vulnerable to fleas and ticks.
However, and as we discussed above, these flea collars can be controversial when it comes to the use of pesticides, insecticides and chemicals worn in a collar.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of investing in the best flea collar for cats.
Pros of flea collar for cats
- When used properly, flea collars can be highly effective
- Flea collars can come in both natural and medicated options
- Flea collars are affordable and easy to use
- They are simple to find
- Flea collars last for several months at a time
- They can help prevent against a number of pests, not just fleas and ticks
- Flea collars can help prevent serious illnesses and diseases from parasites
- Flea collars not only help protect your cat, but also you, your family and your home from pests like fleas and ticks
Cons of flea collar for cats
- Many flea collars use insecticides and pesticides to work
- Flea collars can cause irritation to some pets who are sensitive
- If a flea collar is not used as directed, it may not be effective
- Some natural flea collars may not work as effectively as medicated flea collars
- Sensitive, ill, very young or very old pets should not use flea collars
- Flea collars do not offer 100% protection against fleas
Which Cats Should Not Wear Flea Collars?
We did mention in our cons list that there are some cats that are not great candidates for flea collars, even if they are the best flea collar for cats on the market. According to experts, the cats that should not wear flea collars include:
- Very Old Cats
- Very Young Kittens
- Sick Cats or Kittens
- Cats or Kittens With Sensitivities To Medications
- And Cats That Are Pregnant or Nursing
There are other pros and cons when it comes to looking for the best flea collar for cats, especially when it comes to your unique cat. If you’re not sure which type of parasite medication or preventative would be best for your cat, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian.
Remember, there are plenty of other ways you can go about protecting your cat from fleas and ticks around your home and property, but we will discuss other options further down.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the best flea collar for cats, beginning with the best natural flea collars.
The Best Flea Collar For Cats That Are Natural
Natural flea collars may be the ideal choice for those with children in the home, or those with sensitive pets.
Many people are becoming more and more interested in organic pest control options, especially if they have children and pets in the home. When it comes to protecting your cat using a flea collar, it might be just that much more important for you to look into potentially natural options for flea control and prevention.
Natural flea collars, as we mentioned briefly above, are often made with natural, plant-based ingredients that are found to be safer for both children and pets to be around. These ingredients often include essential oils like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil.
These oils have been found to repel a number of pests naturally, not just fleas and ticks. However, we should note that when using an essential-oil based pest control agent around pets to keep in mind that pets are very sensitive to certain smells.
Dogs and cats especially have a much more heightened sense of smell than we humans do, so any collar using essential oils or other plant-based ingredients should be used only as directed.
It’s also important to make sure that the flea collar you are using is specified to be used on cats, and that your cat does not have sensitivities to any of the ingredients in the collar. Remember, just because the flea collar is natural does not mean it is always going to be safe.
If you’re not sure where to begin looking for the best flea collar for cats made with natural ingredients, we have listed a few of our favorite products below.
Primova Pet Products Natural Flea and Tick Collar
First on our list of best flea collar for cats that is made with natural ingredients is a flea collar by Primova Pet Products. This flea collar is made with plant-based ingredients and essential oils that protect against fleas, flea larvae, lice and eggs. It is also hypoallergenic, meaning it should not irritate sensitive cats.
The collar is a slow-release collar that emits the ingredients for an 8 month period to protect your cat from fleas and other pests. It is also waterproof, so you can leave it on when you’re giving your cat a bath.
The collar is also adjustable and can be customized to fit your cat no matter how big or small he is.
ShengKou Natural Flea and Tick Collar
Another natural flea and tick collar we like is made by ShengKou. This flea collar is again made with plant-based ingredients and essential oils and works to naturally repel fleas and ticks without the use of harsh chemicals.
The collar is not only one of the best flea collar for cats with all natural ingredients but it can also work on small dogs.
The active ingredients include garlic oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil and cinnamon oil.
One of the things we like about this natural best flea collar for cats is that it is a time release flea collar that lasts for up to a year when used correctly. That noted, while the flea collar does state it is waterproof, it also warns against soaking it in water.
With that said we would recommend not leaving this flea collar on your cat during bathtime.
Flea and Ticks Botanical Collar
Last, we have a flea and tick collar for cats that is made with botanical ingredients and is safe to use on kittens and be in contact with human infants. This collar is made to repel a number of pests including fleas and ticks using natural ingredients like geranium oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil, soybean oil and castor oil.
The collar is adjustable and is designed to work for up to six months when used correctly. However, remember that cats can be very sensitive to the smell of essential oils and the collar can be overwhelming when you first open the package.
To reduce the chances of irritating your cat, we recommend opening the cat collar and setting it out for 24 to 48 hours to help reduce the potent smell and help your cat get used to the scent.
The Best Flea Collar For Cats That Is Medicated
If you live in an area that has a high number of fleas and ticks, you might consider getting a medicated flea collar.
Medicated flea collars, even if they are considered the best flea collar for cats, are highly controversial. While some vets and professionals stand by medicated flea collars, others may warn against using them.
However, most experts agree that it is better to use some form of flea protection when it comes to your pet than to not use any at all.
Most medicated flea collar for cats contain ingredients like organophosphates, pyrethrins, pyrethroids, and amitraz chemicals. These ingredients are also commonly found in other types of pest control for yards and gardens and have been proven to work against fleas, ticks, and their eggs and nymphs.
Not all flea collars are created equally, and the best flea collar for cats is going to specifically be designed to use on cats and dogs. Avoid flea collars, especially medicated flea collars, made by brands or companies you have not heard of or do not trust.
If you’re ever in doubt about the best flea collar for cats to use, remember that your best resource is going to be your veterinarian.
Of course, we have also listed a few of our favorite medicated flea collar for cats you can consider below. Take a look.
Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea and Tick Collar
First on our list of best flea collar for cats is by the Hartz brand. This is a popular brand and what we like best about this flea collar is that it is made with not only flea prevention and protection in mind, but also with your cat’s safety.
The collar is a reflective collar to help increase visibility at night. The collar is also designed to easily break if it gets caught on something to reduce the chances of your cat injuring or suffocating themselves.
When it comes to flea protection, this dollar works for up to seven months and prevents fleas, ticks, eggs and larvae using the active ingredient Tetrachlorvinphos.
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar For Cats
Seresto is perhaps one of the most popular brands when it comes to looking for the best flea collar for cats. This flea collar provides your cat with up to 8 months of protection from fleas and ticks. The collar is odor free and is not greasy, and it is safe for most cats in all their life stages.
Once applied, the collar begins working to protect your cat in 24 hours. It not only repels fleas and ticks, but it also kills them on contact.
Other Products and Options For Flea Control And Prevention
If a cat collar doesn’t work for your cat, you do have other options.
If you’re concerned about using even the best flea collar for cats on any of our lists above, don’t worry. There are other ways you can go about protecting your cat from fleas this season.
Remember, the important thing is that you are using some form of protection, as opposed to forgoing protection all together.
Along with using the best flea collar for cats to protect your cat from pests, you also have the option of using medicated chews, topical ointments, shampoos, yard treatments and flea sprays.
In fact, we highly recommend using the best flea collar for cats in conjunction with at least one or more of the other options listed above.
One of the best ways to protect your cat and home from fleas is to also use a yard treatment, which will not only keep fleas at bay but also pests like ticks, roaches, earwigs, ants and other home invading pests.
Wondercide Flea and Tick Control
Wondercide is a product we have used and trust because it’s not only made with plant-safe, pet-safe and people-safe ingredients, it also works against a number of pests.
This specific outdoor perimeter product is made with a variety of ingredients including cedarwood oil and sesame oil. It works to repel and kill fleas and ticks as well as other flying pests like mosquitoes.
The product is free of any harsh chemicals, so it’s environmentally friendly as well. Best of all, there is no wait time once your lawn has been sprayed with this treatment. You can spray it and your pets and kids can immediately go back to playing.
How To Prevent A Flea Problem In The Future
Protecting your cat from fleas requires more than just the use of flea collars.
Using medications, ointments, and the best flea collar for cats to protect your pet, family and home from fleas is important, but it’s not the only thing you can do to keep fleas at bay. In fact, it’s important to also take other measures to ensure you keep your property as flea-free as possible.
According to experts, there are a few steps you can take to prevent fleas from getting too close for comfort, which we have listed below.
Speak With Your Vet About The Best Flea and Tick Prevention Products For Your Area
First, keep in mind that not all regions are alike. Different climates are going to be more conducive to fleas and ticks, and this can make your cat more susceptible depending on where you live.
While flea season is generally around spring and summer, some states that are warm year around see fleas more consistently.
If you’re not sure about when fleas are most problematic in your area, speak with your veterinarian. They should be able to guide you on the best types of flea protection for your cat as well as give you advice on how often you should use these preventative measures to ensure your cat is safe and healthy.
Use A Year-Round Pest Control Spray For Your Home and Yard
Along with using the best flea collar for cats, we also recommend you use a year-round pest control product to protect your home and your home’s perimeter from pests. Most pest control products that protect against fleas will also keep a variety of other nasty pests at bay, including ticks, spiders, roaches, flies, ants, earwigs and more.
Using a routine pest control spray or product to protect your property can greatly reduce the chances of your cat bringing fleas into your home or dealing with any of the potential illnesses flea bites can lead to.
Keep Your Lawn Trimmed Short, Especially During Flea and Tick Season
Fleas thrive in longer grasses where they can cling to the vegetation and then jump from plant to host. If you want to reduce your cat’s chances of picking up fleas, keep your yard and garden landscaped and tidy while also investing in the best flea collar for cats.
Be sure you mow your lawn and keep it short, and that you cut back foliage, trees and debris. This will not only reduce flea issues in your yard, but it will also help keep other pests at bay.
Work To Prevent Wild Animals From Coming Onto Your Property
Some of the main carriers of fleas are wild animals, and if you live in an area rich in wildlife, your cat could be more susceptible to picking up fleas. Wild animals are attracted to regions where people live because we tend to leave things out that entice them like garbage, excess food, bird seed and pet food.
In order to keep wild animals at bay and, in turn, fleas, it’s best to refrain from leaving anything outdoors that might tempt them to come close.
Along with investing in the best flea collar for cats, you might also consider putting up barriers around your property, or investing in wild animal repellents like sprays, lights, or ultrasonic sound repellers.
Store Outdoor Garbage Bins Properly
Garbage bins are a hotbed for fleas because they are a hotbed for wild animals. Work to store garbage properly in sealed bins, and keep these bins in an area that wild animals will have difficulty getting to.
Pick Up Or Harvest Fruits And Veggies From Outdoor Gardens And Trees
Oftentimes, homeowners don’t realize how much fallen and rotting fruit from fruit trees can attract wild animals and fleas. Ripe vegetables from veggie gardens are also an attractant.
You can help keep wild animals and their flea tag-alongs at bay by ensuring you routinely pick up and harvest any fruits or veggies as they become ripe. You might also consider investing in nets to cover and protect gardens with edible plants.
Check and Wash Your Pet’s Bedding Often
Staying vigilant can help you catch a flea infestation before it gets out of control. If you have an outdoor cat, check their bedding and spaces often. Keep an eye out for signs of fleas like flea dirt or fleas themselves.
Wash their bedding in hot water and keep an eye on your cat for any signs of a flea infestation.
Signs Of Flea Infestations On Your Cat
- Excessive Itching
- Scabs on the skin
- Flea bites that look like small red dogs
- Skin infections
- Fur loss
- Flea dirt (flea feces on bedding, beneath fur, or in areas your pet plays or sleeps)
- Physical flea sightings
If you believe your cat does have fleas, it’s important to contact your veterinarian and to begin working on a treatment plan as soon as possible.
It’s also important to do a sweep of your home and the areas where your cat sleeps, plays, eats and lounges inside and to wash any bedding, blankets, furniture, etc that your cat may have encountered while infected.
And remember, while it is true that even the best flea collar for cats can be controversial, some protection against fleas and ticks is better than no protection at all. It’s up to you to do your research, speak with your vet, and pick out the best flea collar for cats or flea prevention method for you and your pet.