To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best cat flea treatment 2024: Keep your cat pest-free from just £4

A black cat sticking out its tongue

Protect your pet’s health and keep pests at bay with these cat flea treatments approved by our team

Any cat owner will know that no matter how clean your house or cat is, it’s important to keep on top of fleas with the best cat flea treatments regularly. Left unchecked, fleas can be a real problem: fleas and their eggs can survive up to six months without being on your pet, and cats’ lifestyles of exploring every interesting leaf pile or shed means they will often come into contact with them, so timely treatment is a must.

Once resident on your cat, fleas can cause anything from irritating skin conditions to anaemia so a good prevention strategy – as well as an effective cure – is key. However, there’s a bewildering array of cat flea treatment options, with some more effective than others – luckily we have rounded up the best on the market for your convenience.

If you’re new to the world of felines and fleas, you may need some advice first. Some treatments aren’t suitable for lactating females, while others are tablet form which may not go down so well with less compliant kitties, for example. We’ve put together a handy guide at the end of this page for advice before you purchase a flea treatment to ensure you choose the best option for you and your cat. Jump ahead to our buying guide here

Seasoned cat owners read on for our up-to-date picks of the six best flea treatments to buy.

Best cat flea treatment: At a glance

Most efficient flea treatment:Frontline Spot On (~£22)Check price at Amazon
Best flea treatment on prescriptionAdvocate 80 Spot-on (~£From £15)Check price at Pet Drugs Online
Best flea collarBeaphar Flear Collar (~£4)Check price at Amazon

The best cat flea treatments to buy in 2024

1. Frontline Spot On for cats: Most efficient flea treatment

Price when reviewed: From £17 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… easy application, fast results
  • Not so great for… young kittens

Whether fleas have taken up residence on your cat or you’re keen to protect them from an infestation, this easy spot-on treatment is ideal. Great for targeting a range of feline pests, it will kill fleas in 24 hours, ticks in 48 and even biting lice – as well as making sure they don’t come back.

While it’s not suitable for very young kittens, it’s safe for pregnant and nursing cats, plus we like that this pack comes with an ebook detailing everything you need to know about keeping fleas and ticks at bay. We find the pipettes are easily applied too: simply squeeze onto the base of your pet’s skull and just above the shoulder blades, let it dry and you’re good to go.

Key specs – Pack size: 3, 6 or 12 x 0.5ml pipettes; Frequency of use: Monthly; Type: Spot-on; Suitable for: Cats older than 8 weeks and weighing more than 1kg

2. Advocate 80 Spot-On for Large Cats: Best flea treatment on prescription

Price when reviewed: From £15 | Check price at Pet Drugs Online

  • Great for… larger cats, kills more than just fleas
  • Not so great for… requires vet approval

For larger cats (up to 8kg), we rate this spot-on treatment. It’s a great multitasker, preventing and doing away with fleas, roundworm, lungworm, heartworm and ear mites. An added bonus is that it can help control flea allergy dermatitis, often seen as itchy bumps or sores on your kitty’s skin. You will need to ask your vet for a prescription but in our opinion it’s worth it if you’ve not had much success with shop-bought spot-on treatments, as it tends to be pretty effective where others have failed. It’s also available as Advocate 40 for cats weighing less than 4kg.

Key specs – Pack size: 3 or 6 x 0.8ml pipettes; Frequency of use: Monthly; Type: Spot-on; Suitable for: Cats weighing more than 4kg, not suitable for kittens

Check price at Pet Drugs Online

3. Beaphar Velvet Soft Cat Flea Collar: Best cat flea collar

Price when reviewed: £4.25 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… low maintenance, useful design
  • Not so great for… can get lost

Okay, so you can’t forget about the flea collar forever. But, with four months of protection against fleas, we think this collar is pretty low maintenance and cost-effective. It’s impregnated with permethrin, so won’t be suitable for every cat, but will keep most flea-free, especially around the neck. We also really like the design: there’s a bell to alert potential prey to your cat’s whereabouts, an elasticated strip so your cat can wriggle out of it if it gets caught, and a soft velvet coating to keep kitty comfy. It’s also 15cm long, which we found accommodates larger cats too. You can buy it as a one-off purchase, or save money with a repeat subscription

Key specs – Pack size: 1; Frequency of use: 4 months; Type: Collar; Suitable for: Cats older than 12 weeks

4. Johnsons 4Fleas Cat and Kitten Tablets: Best one-hitn tablet treatment

Price when reviewed: £10 | Check price at Pets at Home 

  • Great for… fast results
  • Not so great for… cats who won’t take pills

If your cat will take pills or you can hide them in their food, these nitenpyram-based tablets are a good way of clearing an adult flea population rapidly in a single dose. It can be used alongside other flea treatments and starts killing fleas in as little as 15 minutes, getting rid of them all in 24 hours. You will still need to give your pet a thorough comb to remove any eggs, though, and vacuum the house. Great for treating the problem as it can’t be licked off by other animals or washed away by rain like topical treatments. But be aware that some cats can react badly or become hyperactive, so we highly recommend staying with them during treatment.

Key specs – Pack size: 6; Frequency of use: As required; Type: Tablet; Suitable for: Cats older than 4 weeks over 1kg

Check price at Pets at Home

5. Biospotix Natural Flea and Tick Repellent Infestations Cat Spray: Best chemical-free flea treatment

Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Pets at Home

  • Great for… easy application and chemical free treatment
  • Not so great for…  allergies and long-term treatments

We like this natural and chemical-free, which uses ingredients based on geraniol oil to kill fleas and ticks on contact. It works both by dehydrating the fleas’ exoskeletons and blocking their respiratory system, while also dehydrating eggs and larvae to prevent further infestation, leaving behind a protective film to repel additional parasites. We also like how easy the application is: just spritz your pet with one or two sprays, brush through, and you’re done. Geraniol can cause allergic reactions, so you will need to keep an eye on your cat once applied. It’s also only a solution for an infestation, rather than a long-term strategy.

Key specs – Pack size: 500ml; Frequency of use: As required, provides 48 hours of protection; Type: Spray; Suitable for: Cats older than 3 months (not to be used on skin lesions, pregnant and lactating females)

Check price at Pets at Home

6. Program 80 Cat Injection: Best vet flea treatment

  • Price when reviewed: £65 (exc VAT) | Check price at Vet Medicines Direct
  • Great for… cats with flea allergic dermatitis or skin problems
  • Not so great for… those after a hands-off approach

If you’ve been through a raft of treatments and are still stuck with a persistent flea problem, we would suggest a more invasive treatment. While it requires a trip to the vets every six months, injections are virtually failsafe and carry a low chance of side effects.

Great for cats with flea allergic dermatitis or other skin problems that make conventional solutions tricky, these injections use lufenuron to prevent and control an infestation, stopping eggs from developing and hatching once the chemical is in the body of adult fleas through a bite. There’s also a Program 40 solution for cats weighing less than 4kg and weaned kittens.

Key specs – Pack size: 1; Frequency of use: Every 6 months; Type: Injection; Suitable for: Cats weighing more than 4kg, pregnant and lactating females

Check price at Vet Medicines Direct

How to choose the best cat flea treatment

How can I tell if my cat has fleas?

A fine-toothed flea comb is a handy tool for investigating, although it won’t get rid of them completely. Comb your cat’s fur while they’re on a clean, pale surface and see if you can spot any fleas or small black specks, which may be flea faecal matter. Check if it is by placing it on damp cotton wool – it will dissolve to a reddish-brown colour. Alternatively, place it within a folded piece of paper and press down – if it’s flea faeces, it will have tiny blood-red flecks.

If you suspect your pet has fleas, you will need to treat your home as well. A room fogger or household flea spray (such as Indorex) used on bedding, floors and along skirting, followed by thorough vacuuming, should effectively evict any unwelcome houseguests.

What types of cat flea treatments are available?

All treatments will need to be used regularly to maintain protection against fleas.

Flea collars are impregnated with an insecticide that kills fleas and prevents their return. The insecticide used is commonly permethrin. It is worth noting that while this chemical is considered safe as part of a cat collar, it must not be used as a spot-on treatment. These products may be safe for dogs, but the chemical is poisonous to cats and can be deadly.

Flea collars are low maintenance and affordable – they’re often effective for up to four months before needing to be replaced. However, some cats will have too many fleas for a collar to get rid of them all, so they’re often better used as a preventative method. Collars can also cause some hair loss around the neck, while some cats are sensitive to the chemicals in them. If so, it’s better to choose another method.

Spot-ons are topical liquid drops that are applied to the back of a cat’s neck, usually under the collar, which either kill fleas (this can be as rapidly as within 24 hours) or prevent the eggs from developing. They come in small vials or pipettes and are usually applied monthly. Some drops are waterproof – great for use on rainy days – while others will need to be absorbed and dry to be effective. Spot-on treatments are more expensive than collars and need to be used more regularly but, unlike a collar, a cat can’t remove them and they’re weather-proof, making them one of the most effective flea treatments on the market.

If you’ve mastered the art of giving your cat pills or hiding them in food, oral flea tablets will kill fleas quickly (starting in as little as 15 minutes), but won’t get rid of the eggs. This makes them best for dealing with an infestation but not as a preventative measure. One tablet should do the trick but, if problems persist, they should be given daily. We have found this can quickly become more costly when compared to other methods, so this is best used as a short-term solution.

Head to your vet to find out about long-term prevention of fleas via prescription-only injections, which work by interrupting the flea lifecycle at the egg and larval stage. This won’t affect adult fleas, so another treatment will need to be used in conjunction if your cat is already infested. The injections are administered every six months. They’re especially useful for cats with sensitive skin, flea allergic dermatitis or recurring infestations and are safe for kittens and pregnant cats. They’re a pricey route to flea prevention but are ideal for when other methods have failed.

Insecticide sprays or foams are spritzed directly onto the roots of a cat’s fur and skin, killing fleas on contact. Depending on the product, some sprays can be effective for only a few days afterwards, while others can last for months. As well as chemical sprays, there are plant-based alternatives, but these may need multiple applications for maximum benefit.

READ NEXT: Best cat toys

How much should I spend?

At the most affordable end of the market, flea collars can cost as little as a few pounds every four months, but aren’t the best solution for every cat. Spot-on treatments can vary in price – from less than £5 to up to £25 for a six-month supply, depending on the brand. Sprays cost from £5 up to around £15, and you can get tablets from around £4 for three treatments. Injections cost around £40 to £50 each, excluding vet fees and VAT.

↑ Return to top

Read more

Best Buys