How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats & Dogs

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats & Dogs


Ask any dog or cat owner and they’ll tell you that even the best of efforts to keep fleas off of your pet are likely to be unsuccessful. Fleas are microscopic insects, and in addition to being so tiny they can be anywhere - outdoors or indoors - depending on many different factors. So if your pet spends any time outdoors then it’s likely that at some point he or she is going to come into contact with fleas. Learning how to get rid of fleas on cats is doable, but for the most part preventing contact with them isn’t. Same goes for learning how to get rid of fleas on dogs.

The exposure risk doesn’t end there, though. The most common way dogs and cats get fleas is by being in close proximity to another animal that has them, as those infernal pests are perfectly happy to jump from one host to another if given the chance. This type of exposure risk is much more prevalent for dogs of course, as cats don’t spend as much time outdoors and interacting closely with other cats the way dogs do.

All in all though, fleas are pretty much the common pest nuisance for both the dogs and cats AND their owners. Having the fleas in your home is something NO pet owner will tolerate, so let’s get right to discussing how to get rid of fleas on cats and dogs. We’ll discuss some natural solutions first, and then move to discussing prescription and non-prescription flea control medications.

Natural Solutions

There are a number of effective flea medications for dogs available with or without a prescription these days, but ever greater numbers of owners are looking for a more natural way to address the problem. There are natural products out there that are reasonably effective, but generally speaking as a means of how to get rid of fleas on cats and dogs they’re not as effective as medicated products.

  1. Flea Comb

You can buy a flea comb at your local pet store. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort required to go over every part of your pet’s skin dragging the comb through their fur right against the skin then you’ll be able to pull out a good many of the fleas (and flea larvae) on them. Be prepared with a way to exterminate the fleas that come out with the comb right away, as otherwise they’ll jump away and be loose in your home. For this reason it’s best to use a flea comb outdoors, and crushing the fleas with a hammer on a hard surface is a popular choice.

  1. Make a Natural Flea Shampoo

There are many flea shampoos out there that contain chemical ingredients that either kill the fleas, their larvae, or both. They’re effective, but washing that residue down the drain isn’t exactly being eco friendly. It’s possible to make a natural flea shampoo, here’s how; mix a half cup of standard dog shampoo with a half cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Pour it into a bottle and use it to shampoo your dog (we only talk of dogs here, as every cat owner will know there’s no way this scenario ever plays out with a cat)

  1. Have Your Pet Drink Diluted ACV

As is the case with pretty much anything, prevention is better than curing and this definitely applies with how to get rid of fleas on cats and dogs too. If you can prevent your dog or cat from getting fleas in the first place it’s obviously going to be to your advantage. Try this natural approach; add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to ¼ of a liter of water and let your dog or cat drink it. This will make their skin and coat slightly more acidic, and this repels fleas and ticks.

Flea Control Medications

In some cases natural choices for how to get rid of fleas on cats and dogs are insufficient. Often a prescription flea control product will be required to rid your pet of these pests. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Advantage

Advantage is a once-a-month topical flea treatment for dogs and cats. It is for cats 8 weeks and older, and dogs 7 weeks and older. It is reported to eliminate 98-100% of fleas on cats and dogs within 12 hours of application.

  1. Comfortis

Comfortis is a chewable tablet for both dogs and cats that eliminates fleas and also prevents future flea infestations by similarly eliminating their larvae on the skin of your pet. This medication is most effective when administered before the start of flea season in your area.

  1. Frontline Plus

Frontline Plus is a 2-in-1 defence for dogs and cats because it eliminates fleas and ticks, making it a very good choice. Like many other medications, it also works to wipe out the flea larvae.

  1. Revolution (Stronghold)

Revolution is a spot treatment product for control of fleas, ticks, and heartworm and comes in different products for dogs and cats. You apply it to the skin on the back of the base of the neck once a month, and that’s all that’s required.