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Finding the right flea treatment for your pet.

There are lots of different flea treatments for cats and dogs on the market – we want to help you find the right one for your pet.

There are currently four main ways to protect your pet from fleas:
  1. Spot on treatments, applied to the skin
  2. Tablets
  3. Collars
  4. Injections
 

Spot on treatments

There are many different spot on flea treatments and they’re not all the same and can vary for cats and dogs. Some, such as Advantage and Activyl, only target fleas. Some, such as Activyl Plus, Bob Martin Clear and Frontline, kill both fleas and ticks, whilst others, including Advocate and Stronghold, will kill almost everything, including worms and mites.
 
Spot on treatments are easy to apply, though it’s important to make sure you apply it to the skin, not to the fur. You can put it on several spots if needed, though they are usually applied to the back of the neck, so your pet can’t lick it off. The exception to this is Activyl, which is harmless if licked and can therefore be applied along your pet’s back. Remember, never use a spot on dog flea treatment on your cat – they can be toxic.
 

Tablets

There are two types of flea tablets – those with residual action and those without. Most flea tablets will kill fleas quickly, but only last for 24 hours. They are generally used if pets are suffering from a large infestation; to kill the fleas quickly and therefore ease the discomfort to the animal while another product, such as a spot on, takes effect. These tablets can be bought without a prescription. You'll also need to use a flea treatment for the home.
 

There are some prescription-only tablets for dogs with residual action of 1-3 months. These are chewable, so most dogs will eat them as treats.
 

Collars

There are many different flea collars for dogs and cats available. They can be split into those that require a prescription and those that don’t. Generally, the collars that don’t require a prescription will only act as a repellent – they won’t actually kill the fleas unless they have prolonged contact with the collar. Prescription-only collars are much more effective and last for longer. The Seresto collar, for example, will last up to eight months.
 

Injections

In the UK, injections are currently only available as a flea treatment for cats. This is something that needs to be carried out by your vet, and can be a useful way of protecting your cat from fleas if they resist tablets, collars, and spot on treatments.