Last Updated: March 01, 2021
Celia Miller Author: Celia Miller

Best Flea Spray for Cats

Best Flea Spray for Cats

Flea sprays are an essential tool for the pet parent dealing with a flea infestation, but with the exception of Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets, we do not recommend using them directly on your cat. Nonetheless, we have still included some of the top sellers for our research purposes and explain below why some of these sprays can be toxic and dangerous for your cat.

Flea sprays for your home and premises are a great way to attack the problem and kill fleas, but should not be used on your cat. Read more here for our reviews on the top sprays to use in your home and premises.

Best Products Best Flea Spray for Cats

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Best Overall
Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets
Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets Best Overall
$0
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
7/10
  • What we Like
  • Waterproof for 30 days
  • Kills fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae, breaking the flea life cycle
  • Kills Brown ticks, American dog ticks, deer ticks, and lone star ticks
  • Kills chewing lice
  • What we Dislike
  • Fleas are not killed on contact; killed within 24 hours
  • Efficacy is much shorter than other chemical products
Product Details
Speed Existing fleas killed within 24 hours
Efficacy Approximately 30 days
Safety Safe for kittens 8 weeks of age and older
Capacity 8.5 fl oz
Active Ingredients Fipronil 0.29%
Family of Products Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Cat & Kitten Treatment (LINK TO REVIEW)
Our Review

Frontline is the only flea spray we would recommend applying directly to your furry family member, provided another spot-on or oral solution is not available or affordable. Frontline recommends using one month before flea season and monthly after that. While studies such as this one from Australia indicate that Fipronil, the active ingredient, is sufficient for flea control, ticks are more difficult to kill with this treatment. Some veterinarians in both Australia and the U.S. reported hair loss as the most common side-effect in cats. Also documented are a few cases of neurological effects. This spray, however, versus the Frontline spot-on treatments, showed less harmful side-effects with a similar efficacy of 30 days.

Advantage Flea Treatment Spray for Cats
Advantage Flea Treatment Spray for Cats
$13
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Quiet spray mechanism
  • Kills on contact
  • Kills fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Kills ticks and lice
  • What we Dislike
  • Pyrethrin is toxic to cats
  • Hazardous to humans
Product Details
Speed Kills on contact
Efficacy Up to 100 days
Safety Hazardous to humans
Toxic to cats
Capacity 8 fl oz
Active Ingredients 0.150% Pyrethrins
0.300% Piperonyl Butoxide
0.479% mgk 264 Insecticide Synergist
Family of Products Advantage Multi Topical Solution for Cats (LINK TO REVIEW)
Advantage Household Fogger
Advantage Yard and Premise Spray
Advantage Household Spot and Crevice Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
and Advantage Carpet and Upholstery Spot Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Our Review

The manufacturer says this is an “EPA-regulated spray” that may be applied directly to your cats, cat bedding, carpets, and floor gaps. However, as noted in our Buyer’s Guide, pyrethrins are “extremely toxic to cats.” Pyrethrins are also toxic to humans, and therefore please follow the label instructions carefully. See the full set of precautions on the label and Drugs.com. Due to this product’s toxicity, and given this product is designed to apply directly to cats, we have to give this a DO NOT BUY.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Pet Spray
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Pet Spray
$0
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
$15
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills adult fleas, eggs, and larvae
  • Kills ticks
  • Repels mosquitos
  • What we Dislike
  • Not safe for standard home surfaces
  • Not safe for this type of application
  • Preventing pet from self-grooming for 24 hours is unrealistic
Product Details
Speed Begins killing upon contact
Efficacy Up to 8 weeks
Safety Hazardous to humans
Toxic to cats
Capacity 16 fl oz or 32 fl oz
Active Ingredients Etofenprox (0.50%)
(S)-Methoprene (0.27%)
Piperonyl Butoxide (1.75%)
Family of Products Adams Plus Flea & Tick Carpet Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo
Adams Flea and Tick Carpet Powder (LINK TO REVIEW)
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Collar for Cats (LINK TO REVIEW)
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Yard Spray
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spot-on for Cats and Kittens (LINK TO REVIEW)
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Foaming Shampoo for Cats
Adams Plus Flea and Tick Indoor Fogger
Adams d-Limonene Flea and Tick Shampoo
Our Review

The manufacturer recommends spraying your cat directly with this product. However, per Adam’s label, “Do not allow spray from application or damp pet to come into contact with painted or finished surfaces, including wood floors/furniture, leather/vinyl materials, or other surfaces of concern.” This statement gives us pause. If the product may damage surfaces, do we think this product is safe to apply to our beloved pets? No. While you might find some of the active ingredients in a spot-on treatment, spraying your entire cat is not a recommended usage given the risk for toxic exposure.

Zodiac Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs, Cats, Puppies and Kittens
Zodiac Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs, Cats, Puppies and Kittens
$0
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills and repels fleas
  • Inhibits flea eggs and larvae from hatching
  • Kills lice, mosquitos, ticks, flies, and gnats
  • What we Dislike
  • Hazardous to humans
  • Pyrethrin is toxic to cats
  • Hazardous to aquatic life
Product Details
Speed Kills on contact
Efficacy Up to 60 days
Safety Hazardous to humans
toxic to cats
Capacity 16 fl oz
Active Ingredients (S)-Methoprene: 0.27%
Pyrethrins: 0.20%
Piperonyl Butoxide: 0.37%
N-octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide: 0.62%
Family of Products Zodiac Carpet & Upholstery Flea & Tick Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Zodiac Carpet and Upholstery Flea and Tick Aerosol Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Zodiac Flea & Tick Powder for Dogs
Puppies
Cats & Kittens (LINK TO REVIEW)
Zodiac Flea and Tick Room Fogger
Zodiac Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Cat Collar (LINK TO REVIEW)
Zodiac Spot On Plus Flea and Tick Control Cat and Kitten Treatment (LINK TO REVIEW)
Zodiac Flea and Tick Yard and Garden Pet Spray
Our Review

While some of these active ingredients may be present in spot-on treatments for dogs, they are not appropriate for cats. As noted in our Buyer’s Guide, pyrethrins are “extremely toxic to cats.” Pyrethrins are also hazardous to humans. Instructions for handling this product include wearing latex gloves and removing any contaminated clothing. It is harmful if swallowed and absorbed through the skin. See the full set of precautions on the label and Drugs.com. We do NOT recommend buying this product to apply directly to your cat.

Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Spray for Cats
Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Spray for Cats
$5
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Fast speed of kill
  • Continues killing adult fleas for 7 days
  • Continues killing flea eggs and larvae up to 30 days
  • What we Dislike
  • Toxic to humans
  • Especially toxic to children
  • Toxic to pets
Product Details
Speed Kills on contact
Efficacy Up to 30 days
Safety Toxic to Humans and Pets
Capacity 8 fl oz
Active Ingredients Tetrachlorvinphos 1.08%
(S) - Methoprene 0.07%.
Family of Products Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Home Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Ultraguard Plus Flea and Tick Pet Carpet Powder (LINK TO REVIEW)
Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea and Tick Prevention Cat and Kitten (LINK TO REVIEW)
Hartz 2 in 1
Hartz UltraGuard
and Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea and Tick Collars (LINK TO REVIEW)
Our Review

DO NOT BUY! This product contains an ingredient called Tetrachlorvinphos. This chemical is toxic to you, your family, and your furry family. See our buyer’s guide for more information.

Petcor Flea Spray
Petcor Flea Spray
$19
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills fleas, eggs, larvae, and pupae
  • Continues killing eggs and larvae for up to 63 days
  • Kills ticks, lice, and mosquitoes
  • What we Dislike
  • Pyrethrins are toxic to cats
  • Hazardous to humans
  • Flammable
Product Details
Speed

stated by the manufacturer
Efficacy Up to 63 days
Safety Hazardous to humans
Toxic to cats
Capacity 16 fl oz
coverage not provided
Active Ingredients MGK 264 0.62%
Piperonyl butoxide 0.46%
Pyrethrins 0.2%
S-Methoprene 0.27%
Family of Products Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray (LINK TO REVIEW)
Precor Plus IGR Fogger Flea Control
Our Review

Made by Zoecon and is a part of the Precor family of flea products, including the Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray (LINK TO REVIEW), an excellent, all-around indoor premise spray. Unfortunately, this product, the Petcor Flea Spray, is not recommended for purchase. According to Zoecon’s only label: “Do not allow spray from application or damp animals to come into contact with painted or finished surfaces, including wood floors/furniture, leather/vinyl materials, or other surfaces of concern.” This statement, as well as the hazardous warnings for humans, leaves much to be desired. We do not recommend purchasing this product.

Sentry PurrScriptions Flea & Tick Spray for Cats
Sentry PurrScriptions Flea & Tick Spray for Cats
$5
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills fleas, ticks, and flea eggs
  • Prevents flea reinfestation for up to 30 days
  • Water-based formula
  • What we Dislike
  • Hazardous to humans
  • Pyrethrins are toxic to cats
  • Short efficacy compared to other products
Product Details
Speed Kills on contact
Efficacy Up to 30 days
Safety Hazardous to humans
Toxic to cats
Capacity 16 fl oz
20 applications to 10 lb cat
Active Ingredients Pyriproxyfen (.005%)
Pyrethrins (0.1%)
Piperonyl Butoxide (0.2%)
MGK 264 (0.33%)
Family of Products Sentry FiproGuard Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Cats (LINK TO REVIEW)
Sentry PurrScriptions Plus Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Cats & Kittens (LINK TO REVIEW)
Sentry Home Yard & Premise Flea & Tick Spray Concentrate
Sentry PurrScriptions Dual-Action Flea & Tick Collar for Cats (LINK TO REVIEW)
SENTRY® HOME Flea & Tick Carpet Powder (LINK TO REVIEW)
Sentry PurrScriptions Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats
Sentry Home & Carpet Flea & Tick Spray
Sentry Home Household Flea & Tick Spray for Pets
Sentry Home Flea & Tick Fogger for Pets
Sentry Pro Flea & Tick Spray for Dogs & Cats
Our Review

Instructions are to spray beginning at the head and pushing the fur up against the grain, taking care to avoid eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. Ticks should be sprayed directly and wet thoroughly. Allow your cat to air dry or blow-dry. However, as noted in our Buyer’s Guide, pyrethrins are “extremely toxic to cats.” Pyrethrins are also hazardous to humans. See our buyer’s guide for more information.

 

Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Dog & Cat Spray
Cedarcide Original Biting Insect Dog & Cat Spray
$35
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, bed bugs, mites, and chiggers
  • Stain-free formula
  • Cedar-fresh scent
  • Quick drying
  • What we Dislike
  • Essential oils are toxic to cats
Product Details
Speed Kills on contact
Efficacy A few days
Safety Precautions for Humans
Toxic to Cats
Capacity Avail in varied sizes
Active Ingredients Cedarwood Oil 10%
Soybean Oil 55%
Our Review

Cedarcide recommends applying a light amount to your cat by hand or using their Cedarcide Liquid Dispensing Flea & Tick Dog & Cat Brush, careful to avoid eyes, nose, mouth, etc. genitals. They then recommend using a flea comb after 60 seconds to remove dead fleas. Cedarcide also states this product may be applied to humans and is safe to apply to most indoor surfaces. Based on research (see buyer’s guide), we’ve found that most, if not all of essential oils are toxic to cats. Therefore, we cannot recommend the use of this product directly on your cat. If you choose to use the product in your home environment, please take precautions to avoid exposing your cat to the oils until after they have dried.

Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray for Pets + Home (Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Peppermint)
Wondercide Flea & Tick Spray for Pets + Home (Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Rosemary, and Peppermint)
$25
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Fast speed of kill
  • Kills ticks in 4 - 24 hours
  • Repels mosquitos, biting flies, gnats
  • What we Dislike
  • Essential oils are toxic to cats
  • Kills only when wet; repels when dry
  • Only lasts 2 - 3 days on cats, so must be reapplied frequently
Product Details
Speed Kills fleas in 2 minutes or less
Efficacy 2 - 3 days
Safety Precautions for Humans
Toxic to Cats
Capacity 400 sq ft with 32 oz
1500 sq ft with 1 Gallon
Active Ingredients (Cedarwood) Cedarwood Oil (5.7%
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (2.2%)
0.1% Sesame Oil (0.1%)
Active Ingredients (Lemongrass) Cedarwood Oil (4.2%)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (2.2%)
Lemongrass Oil (0.1%)
Sesame Oil (0.1%)
Active Ingredients (Rosemary) Cedarwood Oil (4.2%)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (2.2%)
Rosemary Oil (1.5%)
Sesame Oil (0.1%)
Active Ingredients (Peppermint) Cedarwood Oil (4.2%)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (2.2%)
Peppermint Oil (1.5%)
Sesame Oil (0.1%)
Family of Products Wondercide Yard and Garden Spray
and Wondercide Geranium & Citronella Dog & Cat Shampoo Bar
Our Review

Wondercide recommends spraying your cat, hard-wood floors, carpet, pet bedding and upholstery, and repeating every 2 – 3 days as necessary. Given that essential oils are toxic to cats, we cannot recommend using this product directly on your cat. If you choose to use the product in your home environment, please take precautions to avoid exposing your cat to the oils until after they have dried.

Vet's Best Cat Flea & Tick Home Spray and Vet's Best Cat Flea & Tick Gentle-Mist Spray
Vet's Best Cat Flea & Tick Home Spray and Vet's Best Cat Flea & Tick Gentle-Mist Spray
$10
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
$36
Review manufacturer chewy
on chewy
3/10
  • What we Like
  • Kills fleas and ticks on contact
  • Non-staining
  • No added fragrance
  • What we Dislike
  • Essential oils are toxic to cats
  • Unrealistic usage recommendations
  • Not recommended for use on “fine” furniture
Product Details
Speed Kills fleas
eggs
and larvae on contact
Efficacy Up to 4 hours after application
Safety Precautions for Humans
Toxic to Cats
Capacity Home Spray 32 oz
Mist 6.3oz
Coverage not provided
Active Ingredients Peppermint Oil 0.20%
Eugenol 0.46%
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 1.78%
Family of Products Vet's Best Flea + Tick Yard & Kennel Spray for Dogs & Cats
Vet's Best Flea + Tick Dog & Cat Wipes
Vet's Best Plant-Based Formula Flea & Tick Cat Shampoo
12-oz bottle
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spot-On for Cats (LINK TO REVIEW)
Our Review

These products are the same, except for the applicator. The Home Spray has a larger nozzle for spraying the environment, and the Gentle Spray is more suited for spraying your cat. Vet’s Best instructions, in brief, are to lightly spray your entire cat’s body except for its eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals, massage into the coat to the skin, and then let it completely dry before allowing your cat to self-groom. Unfortunately, this is a bit unrealistic given that the product contains no drying ingredients, such as isopropyl alcohol. You may also use this product on hardwood or tile flooring, carpets, pet bedding, and upholstery may also be treated, and Vet’s Best recommends that surfaces dry completely before being allowed to reenter the area, preventing cats from inhaling the oils. If you feel you must use a natural solution, we recommend using this as only a premise spray.

Dr. Mercola Flea and Tick Defense Spray for Dogs & Cats
Dr. Mercola Flea and Tick Defense Spray for Dogs & Cats
$18
Review manufacturer amazon
on amazon
1/10
  • What we Like
  • Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and flies
  • Natural ingredients
  • Nourishing for cat’s coat and skin
  • Non-staining
  • What we Dislike
  • Essential oils are toxic to cats
  • Efficacy is lacking, especially for flea infestations
Product Details
Speed Repels only
Efficacy 24 - 48 hours
Safety Precautions for humans
Toxic to cats
Capacity 8 fl oz
Active Ingredients Lemongrass Oil: 4%
Cinnamon Oil: 1%
Sesame Oil: 1%
Castor Oil: 0.5%
Purified Water: 93.3%
Vitamin E: 0.2%
Family of Products Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea
Tick & Mosquito Repellent Collar for Cat & Kitten
Dr. Mercola Tick Stick Dog and Cat Tick Removal Tool
Our Review

This product only repels fleas as a preventative measure; it will not help you battle a flea infestation. Furthermore, the efficacy of this spray is lacking. If your pet goes outside daily, the company recommends spraying your cat daily. According to multiple sources, as noted in our buyer’s guide, essential oils are toxic to cats and may cause significant health issues. Lemongrass and cinnamon oil are two of the most poisonous oils, according to Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Best Products Best Flea Spray for Cats
Product Name Best for Rate
Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets Best Overall 7

How To Choose:

When facing a flea infestation, flea sprays are a necessary tool, but not applied directly to your cat. As a general rule, we would not recommend using flea sprays regularly to treat fleas. A preventative strategy would be better. Instead, we would recommend regularly treating your cats with proactive flea control such as flea spot-on treatments or oral treatment for fleas. Some areas are at a higher risk for fleas during certain times of the year. Talk to your vet about when and if oral treatment is suitable for your cat.

If a flea spray to treat an infestation is needed, we recommend an indoor premise spray versus spraying your cat.

Suppose you must use a flea spray for your cat, in the short-term. In that case, we recommend Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets as it is relatively safe for both you and your purring friend, it is fast-acting, killing fleas on contact, and will kill ticks with some extra effort. It lasts for about 30 days giving you time to find an alternative flea treatment for your cat.

As with all flea products, we advise a consultation with your veterinarian before using flea products.


Speed:

Most of the products we reviewed state that fleas will die upon contact. Flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are killed or prevented from hatching by some products. And some products also kill ticks. Other products, such as those made from essential oils, mostly repel insects.


Efficacy:

Efficacy is one of the essential factors to consider when purchasing a flea spray. Products containing (S)-methoprene and Pyriproxyfen are known as Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) and help control flea populations by sterilizing eggs for up to 4 – 7 months after application. Virbac Knockout E.S. Spray, Zoecon Precor 2000 Plus Premise Spray, and Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Home Spray are all indoor broadcast sprays that last the full seven months. Spot treatments, such as Zodiac Carpet & Upholstery Flea & Tick Spray and Zodiac Carpet & Upholstery Aerosol Spray, also continue killing flea eggs and larvae for a full seven months. Virbac Knockout Treatment Spray lasts only four months.

Aside from the Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets, all other chemical solutions applied directly to your cat are not only too dangerous to consider, but their efficacy is much shorter (30 days to 3 months) than a broadcast premise spray.

Nearly all of the essential oil products only last between a few hours and a few days, making them wholly ineffective in the case of a flea infestation.


Safety & Ingredients:

In each of our reviews, we noted whether the product posed a hazard or was toxic to humans and cats. In our studies of products that you can apply directly to your cat, you’ll note that we’ve recommended DO NOT BUY on all but the Frontline Spray Treatment for Pets. We’ve based our decision primarily on the safety of the active ingredients.

Products Containing Tetrachlorvinphos:

Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) is the active ingredient used in the Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Spray for Cats. TCVP originated in 1966 as a crop treatment and was canceled as such in 1987. “Tetrachlorvinphos was revoked for use in the European Union as of 2003 under Directive 91/414/EEC (European Commission, 1991)” according to the NCBI. In 2009, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) contacted the EPA and subsequently filed suit against the EPA to remove all pet products containing Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) from the market. The EPA denied the request to take all products off the market (see EPA’s report). According to the EPA’s document, the overall study to evaluate human exposure to organophosphates won’t recur until 2022. In the meantime, the EPA conducted an abbreviated evaluation and combined those results with an NRDC submitted a study. Both studies concluded that human life is at risk when using products containing TCVP. Toddlers who frequently touch animals and then touch or put their fingers in their mouths are at an increased risk. Exposing children to TCVP at such a young age could negatively impact their neurological systems.

Finally, for those who care about their pets as members of the family, we have to wonder, what are the potential risks to cats who consistently self groom? A study completed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found a significant risk of developing multiple cancer types when testing this chemical on mice. According to MedVet, “Common signs of toxicity from flea products containing organophosphates are diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, small pupils, muscle tremor, weakness or falling over, and drooling. Organophosphate toxicity can be rapidly fatal, depending on the ingredients and dose the pet is exposed to.” We cannot say with certainty that harm will come to you, your family, and your cats by using TCVP. However, given all the data we’ve gathered, we would recommend not purchasing the Hartz product.

Products Containing Pyrethrin Products:

The majority of flea sprays for application directly to cats contain Pyrethrins or members of the Pyrethrin family of chemicals. The risks of Pyrethrin poisoning to mammals overall is relatively low. According to a NCBI study, “Pyrethroids are 2250 times more toxic to insects than mammals because insects have increased sodium channel sensitivity, smaller body size, and lower body temperature.”
However, cats are more sensitive. According to an academic study in 2016, pyrethrins are “extremely toxic to cats.” Exposure to this active ingredient can cause “characteristic clinical signs such as seizures (80%), muscle fasciculations (9%), tremors (95%), hypersalivation (100%) etc.” “Cats may be exposed from cutaneous application of topical products, oral ingestion, and direct contact with topically treated dogs.” Because this product poses a significant health risk to your cats, we recommend a DO NOT BUY for all these products.

Products Containing Essential Oils:

Many flea sprays contain essential oils which are not regulated by the EPA or FDA. Products containing essential oils have not been proven to kill insects and are also very toxic to cats. Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences classify all essential oils as toxic to pets. According to the ASPCA, “Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils, and effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression, and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities. Inhalation of the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia. There are significant variations in toxicity among specific oils. Based on this, we would not recommend using essential oils in areas where your pets have access unless pets are supervised or the use of the oil is approved by your veterinarian.” The Pet Poison Hotline stated that “Essential oils can pose a toxic risk to household pets, especially to cats. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils.”


All of the products we reviewed are available through various retailers and do not require a prescription. However, we still advise you to please consult a veterinarian before embarking on a flea control journey with your pet.