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Do Flea Collars Work? A Guide For Buying The Perfect One

Do Flea Collars Work? A Guide For Buying The Perfect One

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Dealing with fleas and ticks that attack our feline friends is never an easy thing. It requires a lot of money, patience, and persistence to solve that issue.

Because of that, it’s important to be cautious and take preventive measures to keep our felines safe, healthy, and hassle-free.

One of the flea treatments that seems to be the easiest to use are flea collars. Nowadays, there are many different brands offering flea collars, but the question that triggers many cat parents is – do flea collars work, or is there a better solution?

To find that out, read this article and learn everything you need to know if you decide to provide your kitty with an effective flea collar.

How Do Flea Collars Work On Cats?

A close up photo of an Extremely fluffy cat wearing a flea collar

A flea collar is one of the flea and tick treatments that can be used as a preventive measure or when the animal is already infected. In my opinion, flea collars are the easiest to use. But how do flea collars work, and are they effective? We shall find that out further on in the article.

Flea collars for cats work very well, but there are several things that you need to pay attention to when choosing the right one.

According to a research study, the first and the most important thing when buying a flea collar for your cat is to pick one that is designed specifically for cats.

Most of these great and effective collars have an insect growth regulator (IGR) that helps kill both flea larvae and their eggs. 

This is very helpful because fleas spread very fast, and treatments that kill only flea larvae won’t be helpful as they won’t be able to kill the eggs, so you’ll find yourself in a vicious cycle.

Flea collars slowly release active ingredients that kill both fleas and eggs over the cat’s body. 

So, most of these flea collars work in the same way, and those with the IGR formula are very effective in keeping our feline friends free from fleas and ticks, as well as reducing the risk of possible diseases transmitted by them.

What Are The Different Types of Flea Collars?

cat with flea repellant collar itching

When it comes to cat flea collars, it’s important to mention that there are two different types of flea collars. If you’re looking for an effective treatment that will completely kill and eliminate flea larvae and flea eggs, then you should look for chemical collars

Such collars release active ingredients that spread all over the cat’s body and kill fleas in one day. The only thing you need to pay attention to when using a chemical collar is your cat’s sensitivities. 

These collars contain some effective but also cat-toxic ingredients, which may cause allergic reactions.

On the other hand, there are repellent collars and these can be good and bad at the same time. In fact, if you’re looking for a flea collar as a form of prevention, then a repellent collar can be a good choice. 

The main reason for that is that these collars prevent fleas, lice, ticks, and similar insects from catching onto the cat’s body. However, if your kitty is already infested, a repellent collar won’t help you with killing and eliminating fleas.

Are They Effective?

As previously mentioned, there are many different flea collar brands on the market nowadays. Unfortunately, most of them don’t work very well, especially the cheap ones, however, that doesn’t mean that no flea collar is effective.

Flea collars that kill both flea larvae and eggs are the most effective because such collars usually have the insect growth regulator (IGR). Therefore, it’s better to invest in top-quality flea collars that will be effective and help you solve this specific problem. 

Because of that, later on in the article, I will provide you with my favorite flea collars that might help you with your final decision. Additionally, you can also consult with your vet and ask them for their advice or professional opinion.

You might also want to know which flea treatment is better – PetArmor or Frontline!

Pros & Cons Of Cats Using Flea Collars

cat walking through grass while wearing a yellow flea collar

Every product has advantages and disadvantages, and it’s always a good thing to know what they are. Flea collars, in general, have both pros and cons. 

Check them out, and later, the only thing that matters is choosing the best possible flea collar that will help you deal with the infestation issue.


• Most quality flea collars are long-lasting and may be effective for as long as 8 months, while some other flea treatments, such as spot-on treatments, last only 30 days and are much more expensive than a collar.

There are both cheap and expensive types of flea collars. However, expensive flea collars are still way cheaper than some other alternative flea treatments.

• Most quality flea collars are very affordable, and you can find them in many different places, from pet stores to simple grocery stores.

• Ticks and fleas are usually found around the cat’s neck, which is why a collar is the perfect solution for such infestations. That means that the collar will kill the fleas closer to the neck and face first.

• Another effective thing you can do with the flea collar is to put it in the vacuum bag so that it kills all the insects and eggs that you vacuum up.


Grey Shotlad cat sits on a fence on the terrace. A beautiful cat with a green collar from parasites

• In case of severe infestation, a single flea collar may not be effective in killing and eliminating fleas, mites, and ticks, no matter what its quality or price. 

In that case, you should use some of the alternative treatments, such as flea & tick oral tablets or topical spot-on treatments. However, make sure you take off the collar so that you don’t overmedicate your kitty.

• Although the flea collar releases the active ingredients over the pet’s skin and hair, it’s usually most effective for the fleas around the neck, and may take some time to get to the rest of the body spots.

Some flea collars that contain toxic ingredients may result in serious side effects in our cats, such as scratching, various skin irritations, redness, hair loss, and similar.

• According to the EPA’s Regulation of Flea and Tick Products, you should be careful when using them on your pets. The main reason for that is because the collar releases active ingredients that may be toxic for humans and animals; for example, putting a hand in the mouth after touching the cat or two dogs playing and mouthing one another. Because of that, it’s crucial to wash your hands every time you pet your cat.

How To Choose The Best Flea Collar For Your Cat?

human hand holding a protective flea collar for cats

If you decide that you will provide your cat with a flea collar, then prepare yourself with these tips on how to choose the best flea collar for your cat.

Pay Attention To The Ingredients

One of the most essential things when choosing the perfect and most effective flea collar is to pay attention to the ingredients. 

The reason for that is that there are ingredients that influence the collar’s effectiveness, and there are those that may be a threat to our pets and should be avoided. So, keep reading for more information.

Ingredients That You Should Look For

Most quality flea collars contain certain ingredients that increase the collar’s effectiveness, which means that you should look for them when buying a perfect flea collar. Some of these ingredients are:

• Pyriproxifen – this ingredient targets adult fleas and their eggs to sterilize them, which means that they cannot reproduce anymore or grow and mature.

• Amitraz – this is an active ingredient that serves as an effective anti-parasitic medication. While it’s not known how it functions, one thing for sure is that it makes every flea collar effective.

• Propoxur – this is another ingredient that you should look for in a flea collar. The main reason for that is that propoxur ends the lifecycle of fleas and ticks. 

However, if the flea collar contains this ingredient, make sure you wash your hands carefully after touching the cat and keep small children and other pets away from it, as the ingredient is highly toxic for both humans and animals.

• Deltamethrin – this ingredient is considered to be one of the safest and most effective insecticides. It effectively eliminates fleas and ticks from your cat’s body, and at the same time, it is safe because it is a synthetic derivative of the natural pesticide Pyrethrin, which is safe for cats.

• Tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) – this is an insecticide that makes the collar waterproof. It works in a way that affects the fleas and prevents them from growing and reproducing. Still, some scientists are arguing about the safety of this ingredient.

Ingredients That You Should Avoid

Permethrin – this is a synthetic counterpart of Pyrethrin. However, unlike Pyrethrin, Permethrin is extremely toxic for our felines, but it is safe for dogs. Because of that, it’s important to avoid using dog flea collars for cats and the opposite. Make sure you choose the right collar for your pet.

Choose The Right Size

White cat wearing a green collar from fleas and ticks, for the prevention

When choosing the right flea collar for your feline friend, of course, you want them to be comfortable, so choose the right size. If the collar is too small or too large for your cat, they may not feel comfortable wearing it and may also refuse to wear it completely.

Because of that, most of these collars come in one size that can fit almost any cat. Your job is to put the collar on your cat precisely so it won’t be too tight or too loose. 

Your kitty may refuse to wear it at the beginning but let the cat get used to wearing it and let it know that it’s okay. Of course, you can do that by rewarding the cat, and similar. 

Pay close attention to the period after putting a collar on your cat and look for any skin reactions so that you can react on time.

Finally, if the cat constantly rejects wearing the collar, then you can try some other alternative treatments, such as flea shampoos, oral treatments, or spot-on treatments.

A Breakaway Collar Is A Safer Option

If you want to keep your furry friend safe from fleas, ticks, and possible injuries, then I advise you to look for breakaway flea collars. 

The thing with this type of collar is that it will release under strong tension, which prevents choking if the cat gets caught on something. 

This is a great thing for outdoor cats who are always wandering around nature, climbing, jumping, and doing other cat things.

Choose A Water-proof Collar

Another thing that has an important role in looking for a perfect flea collar for a cat is a water-proof formula. 

The collar without this formula may lose its effectiveness when soaked in water, or it may need to be taken off, which is a completely unnecessary thing. 

So, to save some money and time, look for water-proof flea collars for cats as they don’t need to be taken off when bathing a cat or similar, and most importantly, they won’t lose their effectiveness when they come in contact with water.

Outdoor Cats Need Stronger Protection

domestic tabby cat wearing a flea and tick collar

I would say that it’s logical that outdoor cats need stronger protection than indoor cats. If you have an indoor cat, it’s crucial you provide it with flea prevention treatments to keep it safe and healthy, as well as to take it to a regular vet check. 

As far as outdoor cats are concerned, they can wander around freely, which makes them more prone to tick and flea infestations, and also to other internal and external parasitic infections. 

Because of that, outdoor felines may need stronger flea control. Always feel free to consult with your vet about choosing the right product for your outdoor cat and similar.

You may be interested in natural home antibiotics for cats!

Top 5 Cat Flea Collars That You Should Try

The cat lies on the bed in a flea collar. Gray Scottish kitten.

When it comes to my experience, I haven’t had many flea and tick issues with my kitties because I always provide them with regular preventive medications as well as regular examinations every month. 

One of the preventive products I often use are flea collars, and since I started using them, I have gained 5 favorite flea collar products.

The only time I had to deal with a severe case of flea infestation of my cats is when I adopted a stray kitten. Unfortunately, the flea collar wasn’t effective for that condition, so I had to use oral medication to treat both internal and external parasites. 

Luckily, the kitten survived, and today, it’s enjoying a beautiful life with a flea collar as a preventive product.

So, here are some of my favorite flea collars that might help you with choosing the right one for your kitty cat.

#1 Adams Plus Flea & Tick Collar For Cats

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Collar For Cats
Key benefits:
  • 7- month protection
  • Breakaway collar
  • Water-proof collar

Adams plus flea & tick collar for cats is one of my favorite products as it has many benefits for our feline friends, thus keeping them healthy and safe. This flea collar is made to kill both flea larvae and eggs, including adult ticks, tick larvae, and tick nymphs.

This collar offers many other positive features, such as a breakaway feature, a water-proof formula, including an odorless feature, and one size that can fit every type of cat.

Choosing this collar will provide both you and your cat with 7-months of paw-tection, just make sure to keep small children and other pets away from this collar due to releasing of the active ingredients.

#2 PetArmor Flea & Tick Collar For Cats

PetArmor Flea & Tick Collar For Cats
Key benefits:
  • 7-months protection
  • Water-proof and breakaway feature
  • Adjustable size

PetArmor was the first product that I tried, and that saved both my feline friend and me. Although I pay special attention to the preventive treatments of my cats, my cat Leo somehow got infested with fleas, but luckily it was a minor infestation. 

I rushed into the pet store and got this flea and tick collar by PetArmor. Not only did the collar manage to kill the fleas so fast, but it also kept him safe for the next 7 months. 

I still use this collar as a preventive treatment, mostly because it can fit any type of cat; it’s effective, water-proof, and has a breakaway feature.

#3 Sergeant’s Guardian Pro Collar For Cats

Sergeant's Guardian Pro Collar For Cats
Key benefits:
  • 7-month protection
  • Easy to use
  • Water-resistant

This flea and tick collar is another great and effective product that I have used for a long time. The best thing about it is that it kills fleas, eggs, and ticks, meaning that new flea eggs cannot hatch either, which is great.

This flea collar is effective for about 7 months, but your kitty won’t even notice it on the neck as it’s very easy to use, and the best thing is that it’s waterproof, so you don’t have to take it off every time you bathe your cat or similar.

#4 Hartz Ultra Guard Pro Collar For Cats And Kittens

Hartz Ultra Guard Pro Collar For Cats And Kittens
Key benefits:
  • Reflective stripes
  • Breakaway feature
  • 7-month full body protection

This collar by Hartz is another one of my favorites. It’s effective, just like the previous collars, and provides your feline friend with 7-months of full body protection. 

With positive features such as the water-proof formula and breakaway feature, this collar also has reflective stripes on it that direct light up to 450 feet, keeping your feline friend safe outside in the dark. 

So, if you’re looking for a preventive collar, or you need to treat an infestation in your outdoor cat, then this collar is a ‘must have’.

#5 Seresto Flea & Tick Cat Collar

Seresto Flea & Tick Cat Collar
Key benefits:
  • Suitable for cats of all life stages and sizes
  • 8-month protection
  • Odorless and non-greasy

One of the most fantastic and effective flea and tick collars for cats is this one by Seresto. It kills and repels fleas, ticks, and flea eggs, preventing them from hatching, thus keeping your feline friend safe and clean for even 8 months.

It is suitable for cats of all life stages and sizes, which is great, and the collar is odorless and non-greasy. 

The only drawback, I would say, is that the price is too high for a single collar, especially when you compare it to the rest of the collars that are equally effective.

You might want to know if you can put Neosporin on your kitty!

Final Thoughts

This article is for every pet owner who wants to know if flea collars work. Well, the truth is that there are different types of flea collars; some of them are more effective, and some are less effective.

Therefore, if you plan on getting a flea collar for your furry friend, it’s crucial that you know what you should pay attention to when buying one. Luckily, this article provides you with the necessary information about flea collars for cats. I also decided to share with you my 5 favorite flea and tick collar for cats which may also help you decide which one to buy for your pet cat!

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