What are flea collars and how do they work?
These collars are fortified with insecticides, and they release a small dose of it along the cat’s body to kill off the fleas on it. The insecticides are released in doses that are not toxic to your cat making it safe for it to wear around.
These collars often offer long-term protection for your cat. Some will stay protective for up to 8 months before you will need to change it. So, you can rest assured your cat will not be bothered by fleas or ticks for that long.
What are the active ingredients in the collar?
Some collars are treated with insecticides such as Fipronil, Etofenprox, Propoxur, Tetrachlorvinphos, etc. These ingredients are known to be potent insecticides. Some collars use a combination of them as they are synergistic (they work together to enhance their efficacy). We all know insecticides are toxic to humans and animals but they are released in such tiny doses they are only detrimental to insects.
Some brands of these flea collars choose to go the natural way by using only a combination of organic essential oils to repel those pesky insects. The oils they use range from the oil of Eucalyptus to Cinnamon oil, Citronella oil, Linaloe wood oil, etc.
Whether the collar uses insecticides or organic ingredients to get its job done, the fact remains that these collars are safe for your beloved pets. If they were not, they would not have been approved for sale.
Advantages and disadvantages of flea collars for cats
Quite a number of the flea collars we featured on our list can be used both for treatment and protection. This is a solid advantage as you will not need to spend extra on treatment. The active ingredients in the flea collars are so potent they will kill fleas and ticks on contact. Most of them even go ahead to kill the larvae so they won’t make it into adulthood.
These collars are also effective at repelling several other insects too. Apart from ticks and fleas, lice and mosquitoes afflict cats too. These flea collars keep them and many other types of flying, biting, and disease-carrying insects away from your cat.
They are easy to use too. There is no special way to wear these flea collars, it is just the same way you wear regular ones. Just put it around the cat’s neck, adjust it to a snug fit with the buckle. If there is an extra length sticking out, just cut that off and your cat looks a lot trendier.
When your cat has been treated of its flea and tick infestation, it is ideal to take measures to prevent it from happening again. That is the beauty of these flea collars. It is the same one that treated it that will continue to protect it.
Quite a number of these flea collars offer protection for up to 8 months. Some offer less, but whichever one you go for, just make sure it serves the purpose you need it for.
The disadvantage you might encounter using these collars have to do with taking the right precautions. This is why it is important to always read the user manual before applying these products.
How to properly use a flea collar on your cat
- Remove the flea collar from its packaging.
- Loop it around your cat’s neck and check the fit. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your cat’s neck, so the collar fits securely but comfortably. However, it shouldn’t be loose enough that your cat can get a leg through or wriggle out of it.
- Cut off any excess length. Once you’re satisfied with the fir of the flea collar, trim away any extra, unnecessary length.
Safety tips for using a flea collar on your cat
Flea collars are generally safe to use on most cats. However, there are risks associated with the use off flea collars. To safeguard the health of your kitty, make sure you take the following precautions:
Always read the product label carefully before use
This is especially important if your cat is very young, very old, sick, pregnant, nursing, or using any other flea medications.
Make sure the collar is not too tight or too loose
The main hazard associated with flea collars is usually a result of improper fitting. If the collar is too tight, this can restrict the breathing of your cat. Too loose, and it may become caught on things or they can get their leg through it, which can cause injury.
Monitor your pet for signs of skin irritation
Sometimes, the active ingredients in flea collars can cause skin irritation. Monitor your cat closely if this is the first time you are using a flea collar for excessive scratching or signs of inflamed skin under the collar.
Monitor your pet for signs of an allergic reaction
Flea collars are generally safe for use on cats. However, some animals may have an allergic reaction to the ingredients emitted by the collar. It is important to keep a close eye on your cat for the first few hours that they are wearing the collar and contact a vet immediately if you notice any of the following warning signs:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Problems with coordination
Many flea collars contain an insecticidal ingredient, which they emit to repel and kills fleas. Lots of these are safe to use on your kitty, but others are far more likely to be harmful. Organophosphates, in particular, should be avoided, as these are highly toxic to cats, and even small amounts may have adverse effects.
You should wash your hands after you’re done
Make sure your pet does not do a chewing practice with this collar. And be sure to keep it away from kids so they don’t play with it. It is safe for pets does not mean it can be ingested by humans.
When should you avoid using a cat flea collar?
Although they are often a popular choice, it is not always a good idea to use a flea collar on your cat. Flea collars contain and emit ingredients that can be harmful for sensitive cats, so always read the label thoroughly before using a flea collar. It may not be a good idea to use a flea collar if your cat is:
- Very old
- Very young
- Using other medications or flea treatments
Some things to consider before making a choice
Cats come in all sorts of sizes and some grow faster than others. These flea collar brands claim that their collars are adjustable and can be used on most cats. Truly, they are adjustable but they still come in different sizes.
You should know the size of collar to buy as one with a kitten will definitely need a different size from someone that has an adult, chubby cat.
The type of collar is another important consideration. Some pet owners would not want any form of chemical near their furry darlings. So, those ones will prefer the collars that use all-natural ingredients.
On the other hand, some pet owners will not mind the insecticide-treated collars on their pets especially since they are safe. Most insecticide collars repel a wide array of insects and even kill larvae too so the infestation is cleared completely.
The duration of the protection the collar provides is another factor to consider especially since this one tends towards saving money.
All the flea collars we have on our list are effective, so you might want to consider the ones with the longest duration of protection it offers your pet. Some brands have two collars in their package, this might be a great money saver depending on how long the protection it offers is.