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Flea Collars vs Drops for Cats

flea collars vs drops for cats

Hands down fleas are one of the most common pests you will have to deal with if you have a cat.  Even if your cat is strictly an indoors cat, there still may be a time where they will attract fleas at some point.  Cats are master escape artists.  There will be a few times where your cat will get out and eventually acquire fleas. 

There are many different types of flea treatments on the market that it can be overwhelming to decide on one.  The most common type of treatment is usually a flea shampoo or a spray.  There are also 2 other types of treatments which are flea collars and flea drops.  Both of them have their pros and cons. Let’s take a further look into flea collars vs drops for cats.

What Is a Flea Collar?

Using flea collars used to be the most popular type of treatment for flea control on cats.  The reason it was so popular was because it was so easy and convenient to use.  A flea collar is simply a collar that you put around your cat’s neck that is used to repel or kill fleas all together. 

Flea collars usually work in one of two ways.  The first way a flea collar works is by releasing a toxic gas to kill or prevent fleas from going on your cat.  The second type of collar works by releasing a substance that is then dissolved into the fat layers of your cat.  Any type of contact a flea has with your cats skin will result in death once they decide to snack on your cat.

Are Flea Collars Effective?

Early on, the first way used to not be very effective.  Usually only the fleas were close to the collar were affected by the treatment.  Any fleas that are lingering on your cat’s stomach or tail area are usually too far for the treatment to work. 

Over time there have been new flea collars which are more effective at combating your cat’s entire body which are worth a try.  You can try this type of collar first before you resort to a more costly prescription from your cat’s vet. You can check the current pricing of these cat collars by clicking here to check on amazon.

The second type of collar is much more effective and will usually contain safer ingredients for your cat.  The only way to get these types of collars are to see your cat’s vet and get a prescription, which can be costly.  Any type of medical treatment will require a prescription and approval from a vet.  As you can see, this is probably the best method for removing fleas from your cat, but also the most expensive.

How Safe Are Flea Collars?

Many flea collars will irritate your cats neck.  This is usually due to that area being more concentrated with the flea treatment in the collar.  This can cause small patches of fur loss or even skin damage. 

Most of the cheaper flea collars aren’t made with elastic bands in them so it makes them less forgiving if your cats collar were to get caught in something like a tree branch.  Cat’s have been known to choke to death in these types of situations.  It would be best to look for a more flexible collar if you decide to go this route.

Some collars can have a special quick release or elastic built into them.  Safety for your cat should be a priority when looking for the right collar.  Make sure you research the collar you will be buying to make sure it will suit both you and your cat’s needs.

Pros to Using a Flea Collar

There are many benefits to using a flea collar for your cat, especially if your the type of person who forgets to treat your cat.

  1. Flea collars are very easy to use.  All you need to do is simply purchase the collar and put it on your cat.  There are no dosing directions since it is an item that you keep on your cat at all times during the treatment.
  2. A flea collar lasts a very long time.  Most flea collars are rated to treat fleas for up to 8 months which means you literally don’t have to do anything but keep it on your cat.
  3. It’s very cheap considering one collar will last you almost a year.
  4. Continuously emits poisons to kill fleas constantly.  It never stops working.

Cons to Using a Flea Collar

Along with benefits, there are always a few negatives to go along with it.

  1. Flea collars can potentially be dangerous to your cat.  You need to make sure the collar fits nice and snug around your cat’s neck.  If your cat ever gets a loose collar in their mouth they can become fatally ill.
  2. Although most companies deem that their flea collars do not have a rancid smell, it doesn’t mean that the smell still isn’t unpleasant.  Flea collars have a distinct odor from the medication that you will be able to smell if your cat is ever close enough to you.
  3. The effectiveness on the treatment depends on you as the owner.  Do not constantly take the collar on and off as this will reduce the collar’s effectiveness to kill fleas.  Another thing you should avoid is giving your cat a bath with the collar on.  The collar is not waterproof and constantly having it submerged in water can eliminate it’s effectiveness.

What Are Flea Drops?

Flea drops are commonly called spot ons.  These date back to the early 1980’s.  Flea drops are mostly preferred over any other type of flea treatment for cats among pet owners.  A flea drop is a topical product.  Topical is just a fancy way to say lotion.  A topical agent is applied directly onto the skin of your cat.  Typically you will have to part your cats fur at the area you will be putting the medication.

Every flea drop will have different instruction on where to administer the medicine, so take that into consideration.  The most common area to apply it is the shoulder blades.  The liquid will then slowly spread across your cats skin surface after being applied.

Flea drops are used to kill the adult fleas.  These drops typically contain an insecticide which is strong enough to kill fleas right on contact.  When flees attempt to bite or feed on your cat, the insecticide attacks their nervous system and causes them to be paralyzed. 

Some flea drops are also strong enough to stop the growth of eggs and development as well.  Most of the flea drops on the market are made up of an oily substance which makes them work even if your cat gets wet.  You can check the current pricing for flea drops by clicking here to see it on amazon.

Are Flea Drops Safe?

As with any form of medication, the safety all depends on the user and cat involved.  To answer the question directly, no.  Flea drops are not safe for your cat. 

One thing that makes them unsafe is the amount of medication in each droplet.  It’s so strong that it’s able to kill fleas on contact!  I don;t know about you, but anything made to kill something on contact is definitely not safe to have exposed on your skin.  Especially your cat.

You are essentially dripping insecticides onto your cat topically to treat fleas.  There are less harmful ways you can get rid of fleas.  Try not to over medicate your cat or you may cause a lot of skin irritation due to excess insecticide.

Are Flea Drops More Effective Than Collars?

Are using flea drops on your cat effective?  Most definitely.  Is it worth the risk?  Probably not.  The extreme amount of insecticides used in this form of medication is what makes it extremely effective. 

So effective that the fleas die instantly on contact.  Another thing that makes it effective is that it’s a topical medication.  It gets absorbed into your cats skin which will then contaminate your cat’s entire body so that any flea that tries to take a bite will simply fall over and die.

Pros to Using Flea Drops

There are quite a few benefits to using flea drops which makes it a viable option for your cat’s treatment.

  1. Flea drops are very easy to use.  Drop the medication between your cat’s shoulder blades and call it a day.
  2. It is extremely strong and super effective at killing the fleas on your cat.  Flea drops literally make your cat’s body a living nightmare for any flea attempting to take a bite.
  3. Flea drops are very affordable compared to prescription medication from a vet.
  4. Drop the medication onto your cat’s skin about once a month for the best results.
  5. It’s waterproof!  If your cat gets wet you do not have to worry about the effectiveness.  Since it’s a topical agent and gets absorbed into the skin, it is highly resilient to water.

Cons to Using Flea Drops

With everything good, something bad is also waiting.

  1. Although flea drops are extremely potent, it might be a little too potent.  Too much of this medication can cause your cat to become fatally ill.
  2. Compared to a flea collar which works for up to 8 months, with flea drops you need to apply it monthly for the best results.
  3. Be careful with applying the medication, your cat may consume some if they lick an area that has been exposed to the medicine.

Flea Collars vs Drops

When you place a flea collar on your cat, you cannot control how much medicine is being absorbed.  This can lead to negative side effects for your cat like hair loss and skin irritation.  Some collars do not have elastic which means if your get gets caught on something he may choke or even die. 

Flea collars aren’t exactly the best looking collars to put on your cat when it comes to style.  Some of them have a very bland color or design and also give off a small unpleasant odor when worn. This odor will be present whenever your cat is near.

With flea drops you are able to control how much medicine is applied to your cat.  If following the instructions causes a negative side effect on your cat, you can always lower the amount that you rub onto his skin. 

Since it’s a topical medicine there is no worry about your cats neck caught on something while playing or running around outside if you have an outdoor cat.  Flea drops also usually disperse in a better fashion across your cat’s entire body.

In my personal opinion I recommend flea drops over collars simply due to the fact that I can control how much medicine my cat gets. I also don’t have to worry about a collar getting snagged or my cat having too much medicine on his neck.

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that fleas are not a fun problem to deal with.  Whether you choose a flea collar or flea drops, they will both get the job done of ridding fleas from your cat.  Deciding on which is better is based mostly on how your cat reacts to the treatments. 

Some cats may react better to a flea collar, while other cats may react better to the drops.  It’s up to you to decide which one you will try first on your cat.  It’s always best to discuss any form of treatments with your cat’s vet before making a decision.

If using a flea collar or flea drops sounds a little to harsh for your liking, then there is always the route of using a flea shampoo.  Flea shampoos are a lot weaker so it may take a few baths to get rid of all the fleas.  Not to mention that you need to give your cat some form of bath to get the medicine working.

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