Best Flea Pills for Cats: Updated For 2022

Updated: July 11, 2022

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Key Points:
  • Flea pills have been found to have a higher effectiveness against fleas in cats that topical treatments. But it can be a challenge to get effective pills without a veterinary prescription.
  • In making our choices for the best cat flea pills, we referenced the CAPC guide for the safest ingredients in the treatments, the FDA Veterinary Safety site to see if any recalls had been issued, and three retailers for new user reviews since 2021.
  • As it’s challenging to give cats a pill, you should look for one that’s easy to chop up to mix in with their food, or find a chewable pill. Always read warning labels, as there can be serious side effects from flea medications in certain cats.

To treat your cat’s fleas topically or orally–that is the question! It’s question that has left some pet owners stumped. It can be challenging to try and get your pet to take any kind of pill, so it’s understandable that many pet owners would prefer topical flea treatments for their pets. But if you’re going by effectiveness, a study published in Veterinary Parasitology found that while flea topical treatments were 88.4% effective at ridding pets of fleas, oral treatments were 99.9% effective. Flea pills for cats can play a crucial role in keeping your cat free from these pests. When they are long-lasting as well as fast-acting, your cat can start having healthy skin once again.

One of the biggest challenges that cat owners face is whether they can get these pills without a prescription. Even if you have to give the pills only monthly, you don’t want to run out at the wrong time. Access to vet-approved options will ensure that your cat always has the protection required. Oral options, especially chewable, help take a lot of the headache out of making sure your cat has proper protection.

When updating the product selection for 2022 we referenced the CAPC guide for ingredients to ensure all of the products recommended were as safe as possible for your cat or kitten. Our team of testers also reviewed the FDA Veterinary Safety site to see if any new recalls had been issued that affected our choices here. Lastly, we also consulted three retailers for new user reviews since the 2021 rankings to see if any issues with supply or production quality had arisen since the first selection

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After this update, we assembled a new list of the best flea pills for cats this year. Our #1 top choice remains the same from last year. We’ve also addressed some common concerns, the pros and cons of each product, and some common questions.

Are Flea Pills for Cats Good for my Cat?

Flea pills often have convenient daily dosing, avoiding the complications that often arise from monthly or longer-acting remedies. However, what may be ideal for one cat may be a poor fit for another. You will need to take a few considerations into mind.

Are there allergies or sensitivities that might make some food-based ingredients less desirable? Does your cat have swallowing issues? Think about these questions as you make your choice.

How Can I Get my Cat to Take Flea Pills Willingly?

One downside to even the most effective pills is that not all cats take pills easily. Depending on your cat’s temperament, getting it to take a pill may be an epic battle. If a pill-based treatment is best, you may need to look for a pill that you can cut up or crush to put in food. Be sure to read the directions to make sure this is safe for your cat. Some pill brands are chewable, which can aid in hiding the pill in your cat’s food, or they can include other beneficial additives like vitamins to help promote skin and coat health.

What Precautions Do I Need to Take with Flea Pills for Cats

Although rare, some vet-approved flea pills have serious side effects. Some of these side effects might be life-threatening. When you are seeking a remedy for your cat, reading all the warnings listed is helpful. You’ll want to discuss any concerns with your vet.

The Different Types of Flea Pills for Cats: Pros and Cons Compared

Capstar Oral Flea Treatment

Pros!Cons!
The fleas start dying off right away
Some cats have had life-threatening side effects
Easy to break up into small pieces
Hair loss and weight loss occurred in some cats
Useful for cats of different sizes, including kittens

Flea Away All Natural Supplement

Pros!Cons!
Made with natural ingredients
One kitten was reported to have had liver failure after use
Helps improve skin and coat health
The size of the tablet is too big for some
Safe daily dosage that allows immunity-building

CAPACTION Oral Flea Treatment

Pros!Cons!
Can kill fleas within 30 minutes of application
Some cats had side effects that caused lethargy
Safe for kittens as small as two pounds
Somewhat harder to get into a cat than a treat-based product
Okay to use on pregnant females

Our Criteria and Experience: How We Chose the Best

One important benefit about flea pills for cats is that they are usually fast-acting, as promised. For the most part, we have found our suggested options to be long-lasting. Being able to acquire these products without prescription was another selling point for us.

Despite some of these products being vet-approved, there are cases of reactions that have come on with minimal warning. When some customers used these products, they complained that their cats experienced side effects that include weight and hair loss. There have also been some incidences where cats are resistant to pills and this was an issue in our research.

We found these oral products effective overall. Regardless of whether a monthly or different dosage is involved, these products are convenient. Preventive and treatment-based products are both viable options for your cat.

  1. Bundle: Capstar Flea Oral Treatment
  2. Bundle: Capstar Flea Oral Treatment
    • Starts working effectively in JUSTt 30 minutes
    • Works for both treatment, and prevention
    • Readily available at most major retailers
    • Low reported rate of issues from other users
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Flea Away All Natural Supplement for Cats and Dogs
  4. Flea Away All Natural Supplement for Cats and Dogs
    • Chewable option makes it easier for both cats and dogs to consume
    • Easier to 'hide' in food compared to firm pill options
    • Tablet size may be too large for kittens, but will work for full size cats and dogs
    Check Amazon
  5. CapAction Flea Tablets for Cats
  6. CapAction Flea Tablets for Cats
    • Works in as little as 30 minutes
    • Dosages for kittens as well as cats
    • Pills were not as easy to 'hide' in food as the #1 overall option, but still very effective
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 The Top Picks for Flea Pills for Cats: Ranked

#1 Best Overall: Capstar Oral Flea Treatment

Our overall choice for the best flea pills is Capstar Oral Flea Treatment, which starts working as quickly as 30 minutes after the pill is taken. You’ll fleas dropping off your cats right away.  This treatment is said to kill 90% of adult fleas within 6 hours for cats.

This pill is an effective preventive, as well as a treatment. Doses can be given once a day as necessary, and fight against flea re-infestations in your cat. You can purchase this product without a prescription, which is another plus for us.

Many customers have testified to the fact that the fleas just start falling off the cats when combed after taking the treatment one time. It’s important to note that it kills the live fleas on the cat–not the eggs that have been laid. So subsequent treatments will need to happen, as fleas reproduce quickly, and by the time you first notice them on your cat, they can already have produced 2-3 new generations of offspring.

The only concern that we found were reports of severe reactions that include anaphylaxis, as well as side effects like weight loss and hair loss. It is our opinion that there should be better packaging warnings about these circumstances.

#1 - Top Rated Cat Flea Pill
Bundle: Capstar Flea Oral Treatment
  • Starts working effectively in JUSTt 30 minutes
  • Works for both treatment, and prevention
  • Readily available at most major retailers
  • Low reported rate of issues from other users
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best Chewable Flea Pills for Cats: Flea Away All Natural Supplement

If a natural, chewable option is what you prefer for your cat, Flea Away All Natural Supplement may be the best option for your cat. In addition to protecting against fleas, the supplement also provides long-lasting protection against ticks and mosquitos.

The formula is pesticide-free, making these chews safe for nursing females and their kittens. These chews are vitamin-enriched, contributing to skin and coat health, as well as healthy joints. And they are liver-flavored, so the pill can be passed off as a new “treat” for you cat.

A complaint that we had was that the tablet size was too big for some, especially kittens, and we all know how difficult cats can be about taking pills in the best circumstances. We were also concerned about accounts of some cats having bad reactions because of underlying conditions.

Best Chewable Flea Pill
Flea Away All Natural Supplement for Cats and Dogs
  • Chewable option makes it easier for both cats and dogs to consume
  • Easier to 'hide' in food compared to firm pill options
  • Tablet size may be too large for kittens, but will work for full size cats and dogs
Check Amazon

#3 Best Quick-Acting Flea Pills for Cats: CAPACTION Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats

If usage speed is one of your biggest concerns in selecting a product, you will not go wrong with CAPACTION Oral Flea Treatment. This pill has successfully killed fleas in as little as half an hour.

This treatment is safe for pregnant and nursing cats. We also appreciated the size range that this medication was effective for. Being able to give the supplement to kittens, as well as adults, is a good solution for us.

There are accounts of cats having side effects that included lethargy, violent itching for a spell as the medication was taking effect, and in one case, the cat having a seizure. While most cats can tolerate the active ingredient nitenpyram, there’s always that risk of side effects. If your cat has a history of sensitivity to medications, you may want to use caution.

Best Fast Acting Flea Tablet
CapAction Flea Tablets for Cats
  • Works in as little as 30 minutes
  • Dosages for kittens as well as cats
  • Pills were not as easy to 'hide' in food as the #1 overall option, but still very effective
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Summary of Best Flea Pills for Cats

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallCapstar Oral Flea Treatment
2ChewableFlea Away All Natural Supplement
3Quick-ActingCAPACTION Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats

Sample Products Reviewed

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About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Best Flea Pills for Cats: Updated For 2022 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best flea treatment for cats?

Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment for Cats is the best flea treatment for cats. We base this assessment on the number of cat owners pleased with the results.

Do flea pills work for cats?

Flea pills have a higher effectiveness rate than topical treatments. In most cases, pills work for a month at a time.

What flea pills do vets use?

Most vets recommend name-brand medications like Capstar Oral Flea Treatment. These medications have a high effectiveness rate.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas on a cat?

The fastest way to kill fleas before giving flea pills to a cat is to create a warm water and dishwashing soap mixture. Dip a metal comb with fine teeth into this mixture, then comb your cat.

Are there flea pills made for both cats and dogs?

Yes, Flea Away All Natural Supplement works for dogs and cats. Because the product is natural, it has fewer potential side effects.

Where can I order flea pills for cats?

It is easy to order flea pills for cats without a prescription online. In addition to sites like Amazon, you can also order from online pet stores like Chewy.