Flea collars are just one of the many methods used in the management and control of flea and tick infestations in cats as well as dogs. These are best used in conjunction with other management techniques that may involve environmental controls as well as judicious application of flea preventatives. Looking for the best flea and tick collar for feline pets may not really be that easy especially if one considers the large number of products all claiming to be the best. We researched the market for what many pet parents consider to be the best brands of flea and tick collar for cats to help you get started in your quest for effective flea control in your pet.
Best Flea Collar for Cats Buying Guide and FAQ
Controlling fleas and other pests on your cat is important if you want to give your pet a healthier life. While cat flea treatments still form the backbone of effective flea management, flea collars can also help further improve the protection afforded by these preparations. These offer longer protection compared to monthly applications of treatments. However, choosing the right product for your pet can be especially challenging. With our buying guide and FAQ sections, however, you’ll be equipped with the right knowledge and frame of mind to select what’s best for your kitty.
Advantages of Using Flea Collar for Cats
Should you let your cat wear a flea collar instead of other methods of flea control? This is one of the most bugging questions pet parents have whenever they have to decide whether to get a flea collar or not. To help you better decide let us take a look at the advantages of using such products on our feline friends.
- Easier to apply
Compared to other methods of flea control, collars are a lot easier to apply. It’s as easy as putting on an ordinary pet collar around your cat’s neck. And if your kitty is already accustomed to wearing a collar, putting flea collars on shouldn’t be a problem. By comparison, topical applications require you to part the fur of your kitty so you can access its skin. Some of the preparation may inadvertently go to the fur, reducing the amount of active ingredients absorbed by the skin.
- Provides longer protection
Topical applications of flea treatments generally provide month-long protection. On the other hand, the best-selling brand of flea collars can provide protection for up to 8 months. This is enough coverage to protect your pet especially during the flea season – the warmer months.
- Generally less expensive
On a price point alone, even the most expensive flea collar will still be more practical than having monthly topical applications. For example, a leading brand of topical flea treatment for cats can cost you about $10 per applicator. On the other hand, the most expensive flea collar can net you about $50 to $60 depending on where you purchase it. Given that topical applications require monthly dosing, a full 8-month course can net you over $80. The same brand of flea collar which provides 8-month protection will come out more than $20 cheaper.
- Can be used as adjunct to other flea treatments
One of the greatest advantages of flea collars is that they can be used as adjuncts to conventional flea treatments to help enhance the protective benefits of such products. However, there are certain instances when the product may not work well with others so it is imperative that you talk to your veterinarian about possible interactions.
Things to Look For When Buying Flea Collar for Cats
For first-time cat owners, choosing a flea collar for their respective felines can be daunting. With so many products competing for pet parents’ attention, many simply fall short of expectations. To help you determine the best possible products from the rest you’d have to pay particular attention to the following things.
- Active ingredients
If the active ingredient is not readily identifiable in the product label itself, then the company’s official website should provide you with a good idea of the active ingredients that their products contain. This is especially important since a lot of things about the product’s effectiveness and safety concerns can already be addressed if you only know the active ingredient.
We have pointed this out in our listing of the best flea collars for cats. It is one thing to say the collar contains safe, natural ingredient. It is a different matter entirely to say that it is composed of 8% citronella essential oil. Sadly, there are brands that simply fail to recognize the importance of divulging such information to consumers. As pet parents we have the right to know what we are putting on our cats.
Like all pet collars, a snug fit is preferred over loose or tight fit. Unfortunately, many products today come as a one-size-fits-all type with the addition of mechanisms that will allow pet parents to make the necessary adjustments. If you can get a feline flea collar that comes in various sizes depending on the breed of your cat, then this is a lot better than a single size. However, if none is available, then you should always go for something that can be fully adjusted.
- Feline formulation
Don’t ever make the mistake of buying a flea collar that is primarily designed for dogs. While there are active ingredients that can be safely used with either cats or dogs, there are also those that are safe on canines but are toxic to felines. As such, unless the label reads that it is safe to be used on cats, don’t put a flea collar intended for dogs. If you’re in doubt always consult your vet.
- Integrity of construction
Flea collars are not like your ordinary pet collars that may be constructed of polyester, nylon, or even leather materials. Some poorly-formulated flea collars are actually very brittle that they can easily snap. That said, it is crucial that you check reviews as to the quality of the construction of the collar. Does it break easily?
Q: How do cat flea collars work?
A: There are three types of flea collars for cats. The first type work by emitting ultra-high frequency sound waves that tend to disorient fleas and make them not want to go anywhere near the source of that ear-splitting sound. The good thing with this type of cat flea collars is that the ultrasonic wave created can only be heard by fleas so it will not disrupt you or your kitty. Regrettably, there have been mixed responses as to the effectiveness of such technologies.
The second type of cat flea collars emits noxious gas into the air. It’s like slowly dispersing volatile oils into the surrounding air which, when inhaled by fleas, can lead to their demise. The problem with such mechanisms is that it is only effective within the immediate vicinity of the collar which is the neck region. As such, fleas can still be present in other parts of your cat’s body away from the neck.
The third type of collars for flea control is those that are absorbed into the skin. These are like topical applications that get absorbed into your cat’s skin and distributed through the superficial blood vessels. Some flea collars kill fleas upon contact, although most collars require the flea to bite first and ingest the toxic substance before it eventually dies. It is for this reason that some pet parents are concerned about the safety of such formulations.
Q: Are cat flea collars safe?
A: When used properly, cat flea collars are perfectly safe. However, if it is too loose that your pet may actually lick on it, then potential problems can arise. It may also not be safe for cats that are hypersensitive to the active ingredient of the collar. This is one of the most important reasons why the product should have a readily-identifiable ingredient so you’ll know exactly if your pet is allergic to it or not.
Q: When can a cat wear a flea collar?
A: Depending on the type and brand of flea collar that you buy, a kitten can start wearing it as early as 8 weeks old while some put the minimum age requirement at 10 weeks. Still, there are others that wait until about 3 months before kittens can start wearing a flea collar. You need to consult your vet as to when exactly you can have your cat wear its very first flea collar.
Q: Can fleas from cats live on humans?
A: The natural host of cat fleas or Ctenocephalides felis is the domestic cat. However, because fleas are obligate blood-suckers, feeding off warm-blooded mammals, it is not uncommon that cat fleas can also bite into the skin of humans. This doesn’t mean that they will live on the skin of humans, however. It just so happens that because of our closeness with our pets, these pests do inadvertently latch onto our skin. Human skin is very different from cat skin so it will not really be very hospitable for cat fleas to thrive.
Q: How effective are flea collars for cats?
A: Some products are proven to start killing fleas within 2 hours of putting the flea collar on and about 6 hours for ticks. Such products continue killing up to 90% of all fleas by the end of the flea collar’s life. These figures are from Seresto flea collar for cats. The product has been extensively tested that the brand can rightfully make such claims. Unfortunately, there are products that do not have scientific bases to back up their claims of effectiveness. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend getting only brands that are backed by clinical evidence.
As for natural products like citronella-infused flea collars, the major issue is that companies don’t divulge how much citronella they put into their products. In many instances they don’t even conduct empirical studies to support their claims.
Q: Are there alternatives to a flea and tick collar?
A: As we have already mentioned, flea collars are just one of the different ways in which you can control fleas on your pet cat. You can also use cat flea treatments that usually come as topical spot-on applications. These products need to be applied once a month, depending on the brand. There are also cat flea treatments that come in chewable formulations that can be given as is or included in your kitty’s food. There are also flea sprays. If you use such products, care should be taken that the solution will not be sprayed onto your kitty’s eyes. There are also flea shampoos if in case your tabby is the kind that loves to shower. Of course, there are also veterinary formulated and natural flea products that you may want to give a try.
Q: What happens if a cat licks a flea collar?
A: Depending on the active ingredient present on the flea collar, cats that lick their collars can present with a few digestive complaints. However, in certain instances especially in cats that are hypersensitive to any ingredient in the formulation, lethargy, anemia, and even seizures may occur. This is why it is very important to know the active ingredient so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Just because it says it’s natural doesn’t mean you should already put your guard down.
Q: How long does it take for a flea collar to work on a cat?
A: Again, depending on the active ingredient embedded in the flea collar, these may start working on killing fleas within a matter of hours such as Imidacloprid’s 2-hour onset of action against fleas and 6-hour onset of action against ticks. Some brands that carry different active ingredients may start working within 12 hours or even after 2 days. This is the problem with products that use natural ingredients. There really is no way to establish the onset of action of their active ingredients since these are usually taken in the general context and not as a per-product basis. They may claim that it works instantly. But the point is they cannot quantify the word ‘instant’.
Our Top Pick
There’s no denying that Bayer’s Seresto Flea Collar for cats is the best for the simple fact that it is the most recommended brand by vets. Moreover, it provides exceptional flea and tick killing properties that don’t require these pests to bite first. The 8-month long protection is also noteworthy. It does come with side effects that may be quite unforgivable to some pet parents, but overall its effectiveness far outweighs the safety issues especially if you have a cat that is really not hypersensitive to the active ingredients. That being said, a worthy replacement should be Govesta if you want to save more than half the cost of Seresto.
If you’re not into synthetic insecticides such as Imidcaloprid and Flumethrin, a worthy alternative is the REGIROCK collar that provides the same 8-month long protection as Seresto, but costs only less than half its price. Sadly, we really cannot guarantee the active ingredient as there is very little information as to what comprises its formulation aside from citronella.
Protecting pet cats from fleas is a responsibility of every pet parent as we really cannot expect our furry friends to protect themselves. Choosing the right product means doing what is best for them. With these best flea collars for cats and the different guidelines we’ve shared we’re hopeful you’re more than enlightened to bring home the right flea collar for your kitty.
- Are Flea Collars Safe for Cats?, Pets The Nest
- Do Flea Collars Work and Are They Safe for Pets?, The Bug Squad
- The Flea Life Cycle and How it Guides Effective Flea Control and Prevention, Pet Informed