Is Frontline Really Safe for Your Cats and Kittens? Here’s a Complete Review of Frontline for Cats
This Frontline review includes a detailed overview of Frontline flea and tick products, the ingredients contained in these products and how they might affect your cat, the side effects that your cat or kitten might experience which you need to watch out for, as well as the safety of Frontline products for cats and kittens.
We’ve reviewed each of the firm’s products: Frontline Plus for cats and Frontline Gold for cats, and we’ve also answered the many questions that pet owners are asking, most especially: “is Frontline safe for cats and kittens?”
Complete Overview of Frontline for Cats
As a cat owner, chances are high that your favorite feline has been unlucky enough to attract fleas or ticks at least once, resulting in a frenzied trip to the vet and a deep-cleaning of your home.
Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat, preventative measures against fleas and ticks are crucial to keeping your cat healthy, happy, and pest-free.
There are seemingly endless options when it comes to flea and tick control for cats, but how do you know which product is right for you and your cat?
One of the most popular options for pest control is Frontline for Cats, but many pet parents are wondering whether the Frontline flea treatment for cats is truly the best option.
Review of Frontline for Cats
This detailed Frontline review provides you with a comprehensive overview of Frontline for Cats, answering these common consumer questions in the process:
- How does Frontline for Cats and Kittens work?
- What’s the difference between Frontline Plus for Cats and Frontline Gold for Cats?
- What is Frontline Combo for Cats?
- Where can I buy Frontline for Cats?
- Are there any Frontline Plus for Cats side effects that I should know about?
- What do Frontline for Cats reviews have to say?
Most importantly, we’ll answer whether Frontline is safe for cats and kittens to help guide you towards making the best decisions when keeping your favorite feline healthy and pest-free.
Contact us if you have any questions or tips about Frontline.
Frontline for Cats Reviews | What is Frontline for Cats? How Does Frontline Flea and Tick for Cats Work?
Frontline for Cats was created by Merial, now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company focused on improving animal health. To date, the Frontline® brand is one of the top two selling flea and tick products, with billions of doses administered since the 1970s.
Frontline flea treatment for cats works by targeting multiple life cycles for fleas and ticks, effectively killing adult, larvae, and eggs. Applied as a topical solution, Frontline flea for cats is stored in the oil glands of your pet’s skin—as opposed to being absorbed by the body—to protect against pests for a full 30 days.
Because Frontline Spot On for Cats is stored in your cat’s oil glands, fleas, ticks, and chewing lice will die within 12 hours of coming into contact with your cat’s haircoat, even before they have the chance to bite.
The primary active ingredient in Frontline flea treatment for cats is fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide that attacks an insect’s central nervous system, effectively killing adult fleas and ticks.
Frontline for Cats also has a secondary ingredient, called (S)-methoprene, which is a juvenile insect hormone that acts as a regulator, killing eggs and larvae to stop the next generation of pests from reaching adulthood.
Frontline for Cats comes in a variety of products, including:
- Frontline Plus for Cats (Frontline Combo for Cats)
- Frontline Gold for Cats
- Frontline Spray for Cats
Frontline Flea Treatment for Cats
What is Frontline Plus for Cats? (Frontline Combo for Cats)
Frontline Plus for Cats is perhaps the most well-known product from Frontline, killing fleas within 12 hours of application.
Called Frontline Combo for Cats in the UK and Europe, Plus is suitable for kittens that are at least 8 weeks of age and weigh over 1.5 pounds.
What is Frontline Gold for Cats?
Frontline Gold for Cats provides the same flea and tick protection of Frontline Plus for Cats, but with one extra ingredient: pyriproxyfen, which boosts the medication’s ability to kill eggs, larvae, and chewing lice. The applicator is also longer to allow for easier application of Frontline flea treatment for cats.
Additionally, Frontline Gold for Cats is safe for animals that are breeding, pregnant, or lactating, making it easy for pet owners to administer treatment at any time.
The Gold line of medication can be used as Frontline for kittens, as it is suitable for use on kittens that are at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 1.5 pounds.
What is Frontline Spray for Cats?
For cats that might not sit still long enough for a topical solution, Frontline Spray for Cats is a misting spray that stays waterproof for a full 30 days (even when bathing).
Frontline Spray for Cats is safe to use on kittens that are at least 8 weeks of age and weigh at least 1.5 pounds. Interestingly, although the Frontline Spray for Cats is available at Petco, Amazon, and 1-800-PetMeds, there does not seem to be a US-based website for the product.
Based on the wide range of positive reviews from US-based consumers, this may be because the Frontline Spray for Cats is simply more popular on a global scale.
Frontline for Cats Reviews | Where Can I Buy Frontline for Cats?
No matter which version of flea and tick protection you choose, finding the best price on Frontline for Cats products depends largely upon where you purchase them.
See the chart below for a quick overview of where you can buy Frontline for Cats in 3-month topical packs or spray.
|Frontline for Cats Product||Amazon||Petco||1-800-PetMeds||PetSmart|
|Frontline Gold for Cats (3-month)||$42.00||N/A||$49.99||N/A|
|Frontline Plus for Cats (3-month)||$30.87||$32.49||$37.77||$35.39|
|Frontline Spray for Cats||$36.75||$32.89||$35.99||N/A|
Table: Frontline for Cats Best Prices
Aside from the retailers listed above, you can also buy Frontline for Cats from your veterinarian, which is the recommended method.
While you may risk getting the best price for Frontline for Cats, buying from your veterinarian ensures that you receive the proper product and that it is applied correctly, keeping your pet both safe and healthy when receiving Frontline flea treatment for cats.
Frontline for Cats Reviews | Frontline for Cats Side Effects
Before administering Frontline Spray, Frontline Gold, or Frontline Plus, every cat owner should be aware of the possible side effects.
Interestingly, finding information on the side effects for Frontline Plus and the rest of the brand is somewhat difficult, as the company does not appear to publicly list side effects.
According to various consumer sites, potential side effects of Frontline for Cats include:
- Temporary redness or skin irritation
- Lack of appetite
Should the above symptoms continue to persist or worsen, it is recommended to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
Some of the more serious Frontline Plus for Cats side effects—or any Frontline product—may include uncoordinated movements, seizure, unresponsiveness, coma, or even death.
Avoiding Serious Frontline Plus for Cats Side Effects
It goes without saying that there are some potentially serious—and life-threatening—side effects from Frontline Plus for Cats, which are enough to make any cat owner cautious about applying the Frontline flea medication for cats.
Interestingly, most of the news coverage and data about serious side effects in cats and dogs after taking Frontline flea medication come from 2008-2011, with no recent reports detailing serious injuries or side effects.
As reported by WRAL News in Raleigh, North Carolina, a plausible explanation for this may be that these spot on flea treatments became available as over-the-counter medication from 2007-2008, making it easy to purchase medications like Frontline Spot On for Cats without a prescription from a veterinarian.
While this certainly made preventative flea and tick treatment more convenient for pet owners, that convenience also brought health risks related to cat owners applying the treatment incorrectly without veterinarian supervision.
According to Dr. Audra Alley, a Raleigh-area veterinarian, incorrect application of medication like Frontline Spot On for Cats can produce life-threatening side effects, making it crucial to purchase the right product and follow the directions.
As such, avoiding serious Frontline Plus for Cats side effects can be done by:
- Only Using Frontline Flea Treatment for Cats—Mistakenly using Frontline for Dogs can cause death.
- Purchasing the Correct Product for Your Cat’s Weight—Dosages are tailored specifically for each weight class and can produce serious side effects when used improperly.
- Apply Frontline Flea for Cats Between the Shoulder Blades—This ensures that cats cannot reach around and lick the medication off.
Despite proper usage, however, it’s important for cat owners to understand that any flea and tick treatment will come with a certain amount of risk, as these medications do contain pesticides and various chemicals.
Frontline for Cats Reviews | What do Frontline for Cats Reviews from Cat Owners Say?
One of the best ways to determine whether Frontline for Cats is truly the best flea and tick product is to look at real-life experiences from actual cat owners. Below, we’ll highlight some of the positive and negative Frontline for Cats reviews to help you determine whether the Frontline flea treatment for cats is right for your pet.
Positive Frontline for Cats Reviews
By and large, reviews for Frontline for Cats and Frontline for Kittens are overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of cat owners applauding Frontline as the best flea and tick treatment on the market.
With comments from over 600 users, Frontline Plus for Cats reviews give the topical solution 4 out of 5 stars on Chewy, with 65 percent of reviewers awarding a full 5-star rating.
Similarly, Influenster has nearly 800 Frontline Plus for Cats reviews, earning the product a total score of 4.46 out of 5.
For example, one user on Chewy.com says, “Frontline Plus is the only brand of flea medicine I will use on my cat…Once I started using Frontline Plus, my cat hasn’t had any fleas since. Definitely recommend!”
Another review from Influenster says, “I prefer this brand over others on the market. It doesn’t irritate my pet’s skin and really seems to kill off all the fleas and ticks!”
Common threads among 5-star Frontline Plus for Cats reviews include:
- Effective for cats that already have fleas and as a preventative medication
- Little to no side effects, particularly when compared to other flea and tick treatments
- Easy, scentless application
- Affordable and accessible
Frontline Flea Treatment for Cats Review
Negative Frontline for Cats Reviews
The vast majority of negative Frontline for Cats reviews state that the product did not work as intended, with some pets seemingly attracting even more fleas than before the Frontline flea treatment for cats was applied.
A total of 17 percent of reviewers gave the product a 1-star rating on Chewy. One reviewer called Frontline for Cats a “waste of money,” saying: “Used this product for my three cats who were having flea problems and it did not work at all…The cats still have fleas. Very disappointed.”
Similarly, negative Frontline for Cats reviews on Influenster also report that the topical solution is ineffective. One reviewer says, “It does not work. Supposed to be the best on the market and my cats still have fleas. The fleas are resistant to it. Get my cats a better treatment!!!!”
Common threads among 1-star reviews for Frontline flea and tick for cats include:
- Ineffective at killing fleas and preventing infestations
- Causes itchiness or rashes
- Too expensive
- Hair loss at application site
By and large, the most common complaint about Frontline flea and tick for cats is that the product simply does not work the way that it is advertised. In the section below, we’ll explore whether these critical Frontline for Cats reviews point to an underlying issue with pest immunity to Frontline and its main component, fipronil.
Frontline for Cats Reviews | Are Fleas Becoming Immune to Frontline Flea Treatment for Cats?
As critical Frontline for Cats reviews demonstrate, there is a growing number of cat owners that report Frontline not working properly—or, in some cases, not at all.
Could fleas and ticks be developing an immunity to Frontline for Cats? The topic of whether pests are developing a resistance to flea and tick medication is an ongoing subject of discussion, research, and study.
For example, in their 2014 report, Tad Coles and Michael Dryden conclude that a suspected lack of efficacy by pesticides and acaricides is not caused by resistance within the pest population, but likely due to:
- Inconsistent treatment
- Product failure due to improper storage, dilution, or application
- Incomplete treatment of the surrounding environment
- Exposure to overwhelming amounts of fleas and ticks
In his 2016 report, Michael K. Rust conducted and examined research that focused extensively on the susceptibility of cat fleas to fipronil and other pesticides. While there was “some variability” observed, he concluded that there was “no significant reduction in their susceptibility.”
Ultimately, Rust comes to the same conclusion that previous studies have pointed out: rather than point to an issue with flea immunity, the ineffective nature of pest treatments is typically due to:
- Failure to treat all pets in a household
- Failure to properly follow label instructions
- Discontinuing treatment throughout winter months
- Improperly applying the product
As such, according to research and expert analysis, while it is possible for pests to evolve and build up resistance over time, there is no significant evidence of resistance to fipronil, the active insecticide in Frontline for Cats.
Conclusion: Is Frontline Safe for Cats & Kittens? Is Frontline an Effective Flea & Tick Treatment?
For cat owners, one of the most important questions to ask before administering any medication is whether or not it will be safe for their pet. This is especially true when it comes to flea and tick treatment, as pesticides and acaricides can bring serious side effects.
Is Frontline safe for cats and kittens? Based on the lack of reports of serious side effects (like paralysis, seizures, or death), it does appear that Frontline for Cats is safe to use.
Because the topical solution remains in the oil glands and is not absorbed into the blood stream, Frontline flea treatment for cats is a good option for cat owners that are concerned about the toxic nature of flea and tick treatments.
However, it is worth mentioning that research surrounding flea treatment and reviews from pet owners point to a wide range of potential errors when applying Frontline for Cats, earning the product an overall 4-star rating. Despite being widely available from online and physical retailers, cat owners would be much better off visiting their veterinarian to ensure that Frontline is both stored and applied properly to get the best results.
If you have any reservations about using pesticide-based flea and tick treatments for your cat, there are plenty of natural alternatives to consider.
While the final decision rests in your hands, we also strongly recommend discussing any questions or worries that you may have about flea treatment and its side effects with your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is happy, healthy, and pest-free.
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