How Long Does It Take For Flea Medicine To Work? Cats & Dogs

Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by ClinicNearMe

If you’ve just welcomed a new furry friend into your home, or if you’re getting ready for summer and want to make sure your pet is appropriately protected against pests, then you’re likely wondering; how long does it take for flea medicine to work? It’s only natural to want to get rid of fleas as soon as you notice them on your pet.

Your dog or cat will not only suffer from fleas, but your house may also develop a dreaded infestation. In this post, we’ll look at how different flea medications work and how long they usually take to start working. We’ll also provide tips on speeding up the process if your pet starts scratching right away.

So, whether you’re looking for a short answer or more in-depth information, keep reading!

Also Read: How To Get a Cat To Take a Pill? Stubborn Cat Pill Tips

How Fast Does Flea Medicine Work? Product Types For Flea Control

Several products on the market can help keep fleas and ticks at bay. Medicated drops, collars, powders, shampoos, and sprays prevent these parasites from attaching to your pet. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging, and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. These precautions can help protect your pet and your family from disease.

Drops For Topical Application

Spot-on treatments are a great way to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. They are easy to apply and last for 30 days, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying every week. 

Liquid medications are applied to a cat or dog’s skin, usually between the shoulders and around the neck (for cats) or throughout the back (for dogs). Make sure the flea drop you choose is made specifically for your pet’s species.

Their active ingredient travels through the glands that lubricate a cat or dog’s coat to kill fleas by depositing chemicals into the sebaceous glands. As soon as the compound is applied to the skin, it begins to translocate across the surface. Fleas and ticks will lose their ability to feed on your pet once the pesticide attacks their nervous systems.

The drops are often formulated with insect growth regulators (IGRs) to control eggs that might have survived the initial dose. By preventing the eggs from reaching adulthood, IGRs disrupt the natural lifecycle. Additionally, IGRs avoid the spread of new infestations. When your cat or dog gets wet or bathed, flea and tick drops continue to work. If possible, try not to wash your pet 24 hours before or after application.

Wearing Collars

Getting rid of fleas can be easy with a flea collar. Flea and tick collars are a convenient option for pet owners with cats or dogs not suffering from an existing infestation. Like topical formulas, these products will not necessarily cure infestations but will prevent them from occurring.

A collar can be worn with a pet’s regular collar and has a longer-lasting efficacy, usually seven to eight months. In addition to repelling fleas and ticks, these collars also treat them. Some collars repel only, and others repel and treat simultaneously.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a flea collar for your pet:

  • An odorless gas is released in repellent collars, making fleas and ticks less likely to bite pets.
  • A treatment collar contains medication absorbed by the sebaceous glands and spread through the skin by natural oils.
  • If only repellent collars are used, parasites must bite before the pesticide can work.
  • Before fleas and ticks bite, treatment collars release ingredients that kill them immediately.

Make sure the collar is the right size for your pet’s neck. Adding other flea and tick products or mixing the product with other flea and tick products can result in overdosing.

Taking Oral Pills

Oral medication may be the best option if you’re looking for a fast-acting way to get rid of fleas. Oral flea treatments are available by prescription from a veterinarian and come in pill and chewable forms. These medications target flea eggs or adult fleas, but not both. So you may have to choose which part of the lifecycle you want to target. Flea pills work very quickly, beginning in as little as 30 minutes. 

Spritzes & Powders

Spray-on and powder flea and tick treatments are easy to apply and offer protection for your entire pet. Just be sure to avoid the eyes and ears when applying. These treatments are also great for home use on upholstery, carpets, and bedding. It will help create a safe environment for your pet and family.

Medication Shampoo

If your pet has fleas or ticks, using a particular shampoo can help eliminate them. Flea and tick shampoos kill insects by contact, so it’s important to wet your pet’s fur and work the shampoo in thoroughly. Be careful not to get any suds in your pet’s eyes or ears. You should massage the shampoo from head to tail until the fur is completely covered in a foamy lather. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes, or continue massaging it. Then rinse your pet off and towel dry.

How Long Does Flea Medicine Take To Work On Dogs?

A few hours are often enough to get rid of these common pests with the proper treatment. Topical and oral flea preventions both work quickly to control flea infestations. Flea burdens can be cleared on dogs within 12 to 48 hours with topical preventions and within 2 to 4 hours with oral preventions.

How Long Does Flea Medicine Take To Work On Cats?

Within 12 hours of application, topical flea and tick treatments kill at least 98% of fleas. If you’re wondering how fast flea medicine works, it begins to kill fleas within 30 minutes and continues for 24 hours afterward. Cat flea collars kill fleas within 24 hours and don’t even need biting to do it.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Fleas & Ticks at Home

Having a pet means dealing with fleas and ticks. Nevertheless, you don’t have to live with them! Getting rid of these pesky pests is as easy as taking a few simple steps.

First, vacuum your floors and upholstered furniture regularly. It will help to remove any eggs or larvae that are present. You should also wash your pet’s bedding in hot water every week.

Next, treat your home with an insecticide designed for fleas and ticks. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, and don’t forget to treat any areas where your pet spends time outside, like the yard or patio.

Finally, consider using a monthly preventative treatment on your pet. It will help to keep fleas and ticks from getting a foothold in the first place.

Following these simple tips, you can keep your home flea- and tick-free!

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