Best Flea Collar for Cats Buying Guide

Our Top Pick

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

This flea and tick collar is the best collar in this Buying Guide and in our opinion, one of the best on the market in general. It boasts a sensational 8 months coverage (the active ingredient is released in small doses over 8 months), and promises to help in preventing in re-infestation by also repelling fleas and ticks. It seems to keep true to what it promises with thousands of happy customers, and we could not make a clearer recommendation!

Our Top 4 Picks

Ranking

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Bayer Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

 5/5 See on Amazon

2

Hartz UltraGuard Plus, Flea & Tick, Cat Collar

4.5/5 See on Amazon

3

Hartz Mountain CHZ90745 Flea and Tick Cat Collar, 13-Inch

4/5 See on Amazon

4

Pet Gallo Flea & Tick Cat Collar

 3.5/5 See on Amazon

Why & When Should You Use A Flea Collar?

It is important to note that flea collars traditionally were only meant to be an additional tool in fighting flea infestation and is not meant as the only method or even the main method for treating a flea infestation. The flea collars on the market before were only useful over the span of a few days, and even then the beneficial effect was dubious.

Flea collars (both insectoidal and IGR) were meant to be used as a short term treatment, and according to The University of Florida, it should only be used for six days or less at a time and stored in a sealed jar in between use. New advancements in the field have been made, however, and the biggest representative of this progression is our number 1 pick, the flea collar from Seresto. It offers a revolutionary 8 months(!) coverage against fleas and promises to also help in preventing re-infestation, something that the older flea collars never could.

Cats and kittens older than 10 weeks can use flea collars. If your cat has any allergies or other medical conditions, consult with your veterinarian before you use a flea collar.

Types of Flea Collars

There are two types of flea collars – insectoidal or flea collars with insectoidal Growth Regulators (IGR). Flea collars that are only insectoidal. These kill adult fleas with pesticides but do not prevent re-infestation or continued growth of immature fleas. IGRs prevent new eggs to hatch into larvae and suppress the maturation of fleas into adult fleas. There are several IGRs on the market like Percor (methoprene) and XXX (XXX).

What Makes a Good Flea Collar (How did we score our picks)?

These are the criteria which we have judged the flea collars after as we believe that these are the most important factors for whether a flea collar is a good choice or not:

    • Does it protect the cat for an extended period of time?
    • Is it safe to use? *
    • Is it good value for your money?
    • How effective is it at killing fleas?
    • Does it help prevent re-infestation?
    • Does it use IGRs to prevent hatching or maturation of eggs or larvae?
    • Is it waterproof?
  • Does it have a security mechanism to release the collar if your cat should get trapped/choked?

* Every flea collar has a risk connected to using it. Your cat may get allergic reactions or burns from using the collar. If you suspect this to be the case, stop using the collar immediately and contact your veterinarian.

#1 Bayer Seresto Flea & Tick Collar

Our rating

This flea and tick collar is the best collar in this Buying Guide and in our opinion, one of the best on the market in general. It boasts a sensational 8 months coverage (the active ingredient is released in small doses over 8 months), and promises to help in preventing in re-infestation by also repelling fleas and ticks. It seems to keep true to what it promises with thousands of happy customers, and we could not make a clearer recommendation!

Pros

    • 8-month protection is unmatched among the competition. Point 1
    • Promises to also repel fleas and ticks as well as kill them.
    • The collar is water resistant.
  • Has a safety mechanism that triggers if the cat is stuck.

Cons

    • Some cats can have adverse allergic reactions or the collar can cause burns, which some customers have reported. This is, unfortunately, a risk with every flea collar. Stop using the collar immediately and contact your veterinarian if your cat shows sign of allergy or burns after using the collar.
  • This collar is quite a lot more expensive than the competition, but we believe that you get what you pay for.

View on Amazon.com

#2 Hartz UltraGuard Plus, Flea & Tick, Cat Collar

The Hartz UltraGuard Plus, Flea & Tick Collar comes in at a solid second place in our buying guide. It offers 7 months of protection which is just one off Seresto and it costs much less. This collar also has IGRs in it, which is a big plus as it prevents eggs from hatching and become larvae. More customers, however, reported the killing of fleas to be inefficient with this one, compared to flea collar from Seresto.

Pros

    • 7-month protection.
    • Has IGR, preventing eggs from hatching.
    • The collar is water resistant.
  • Has a safety mechanism that triggers if the cat is stuck.

Cons

    • Some cats can have adverse allergic reactions or the collar can cause burns, which some customers have reported. This is, unfortunately, a risk with every flea collar. Stop using the collar immediately and contact your veterinarian if your cat shows sign of allergy or burns after using the collar.
  • Some customers report that it is less efficient at killing fleas.

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#3 Hartz Mountain CHZ90745 Flea and Tick Cat Collar, 13-Inch

This flea collar is essentially the same flea collar as the Hartz UltraGuard, but the difference is that it does not contain any IGRs and as such does not offer protection against re-infestation. It is, however, still great value for your money if you are looking for another tool to fight flea infestation.

Pros

    • 7-month protection.
    • Very good value for money.
    • The collar is water resistant.
  • Has a safety mechanism that triggers if the cat is stuck.

Cons

    • Some cats can have adverse allergic reactions or the collar can cause burns, which some customers have reported. This is, unfortunately, a risk with every flea collar. Stop using the collar immediately and contact your veterinarian if your cat shows sign of allergy or burns after using the collar.

View on Amazon.com

#4 Pet Gallo Flea & Tick Cat Collar

This flea and tick collar from Pet Gallo is a cheaper alternative to the more established brands in this industry. It promises 6 months protection and whilst it is 2 months less than the collar from Seresto, it is still quite a lot of protection especially when you factor in that it retails at half the price of the collar from Seresto. Some customers have complained however that it is not effective for that long. While it is waterproof like the others, it is not a breakaway collar like the top 3 collars in this Buying Guide are, which is a negative.

Pros

    • Decent protection at 6 months
  • Good value for money.

Cons

    • Some customers complain about its inability to kill fleas.
    • Some customers complain that it falls off their cat or dog easily.
  • No breakaway Mechanism.

View on Amazon.com

3 Theories of Why Cats Are Afraid of Brooms


Meet Thor. He is a courageous cat that loves to hunt animals, climb trees and does not shy away from play-fighting with Freja. Yet there is one thing that seems to fill him with fear, his arch nemesis…the broom!

After doing some digging it seems like the most likely reasons are:

  • Sudden Quick movements & the sound created when sweeping.
  • Traumatic past experiences.
  • That the broom is seen as an alien object that creates unease, especially when in motion.

Since we cannot ask cats directly why they are afraid of brooms, we can only arrive at theories and not definitive answers. In order to come up with viable theories, we tried to understand how fear works in cats and why cats become afraid through information from science and experts on cats.

1) Sudden Quick Movements & Sound

This one is arguably the most obvious theory of why brooms are scary to cats and probably the first one you think of.

When we sweep the floor, we generally do so in a long sweeping motion that can appear quite sudden. From a cat’s point of view, what you see is this very tall and strange object moving as fast as a cat along the floor in a very mechanical fashion (meaning movements they would not commonly see in nature).

Some even theorize that the sound the broom makes is akin to that of a hiss. That hypothesis is difficult to test as it is hard to sweep the floor without making any noise, but it is an interesting theory nonetheless.

For the same reasons a vacuum cleaner is scary to cats because of the loud noise and sudden movements, it is at least probable that cats are scared of the broom for the same reasons. You may have noticed that your cat does not seem scared of your vacuum cleaner if it is just sitting in the corner of the room for example.

Animals (and humans) have the fight or flight response ingrained in them. And as a study shows, there are many factors that contribute to how an animal responds in a dangerous situation such as distance to safety, its health, physical factors etc. What we can gather loosely (I am not a scientist) from this is that each cat has different thresholds for when their flight reaction kicks in.

2) Traumatic Past Experiences

Just like humans, cats associate objects, sounds, smells etc. to traumatic experiences earlier in their life and might, therefore, react in a seemingly irrational way towards objects such as brooms.
We adopted Thor when he was 3 months, but since he was a “street cat” that had lost his mother (who either abandoned them or died), we don’t really know of any traumatic experiences he had before we got him.

Since he was out on the street for the first 3 months of his life and not around humans in a household it makes it less likely he has encountered many brooms, but we cannot rule it out in his individual case.

3) It Is an Alien Object That Creates Unease

Cats like all animals react on instinct that comes from thousands of years of evolution + personal experience. Your cat loves it when you mimic the movements of prey in nature with a toy during playtime because this plays to their instincts.

Humans have a greater contextual understanding of a broom sweeping the floor. When we see a broom, we know what it is, why we need to use it, and we expect it to be used in a sweeping motion and produce a certain sound. To a cat, a broom is, therefore, an alien object that does not resemble what they are used to in nature, and we can theorize that this causes fear or at the very least discomfort for a cat.

4 Reasons Why Cats Show You Their Stomach

Most people would interpret a cat rolling over and showing their belly as an open invitation to give a belly rub and cuddle. It is not!

A cat can show you their belly for a few reasons:

  • As a sign of trust.
  • As an act of defence.
  • To relax or while stretching.
  • As an act of mating when they are in heat.

1) As a sign of trust

Like dogs, cats can show you their bellies as a sign of trust. The cat is both a predator and prey in nature. The stomach is a vulnerable area to attacks from other predators. Cats will instinctively avoid showing you their belly, especially if they don’t feel 100% safe or secure.

This means that you should be even more honored if they show you their belly. Your cat is, in essence, saying “I trust you with my life” when they do so. This also means that if your cat never shows you their belly you should not take it as an insult. You should respect their boundaries and know they are acting on evolutionary instinct.

Our two cats Freja & Thor happen to be the perfect examples for this blog post. Freja shows her belly as a sign of trust quite regularly when she feels safe and happy. Thor does it very sparingly, although it does happen, as documented in the photo below!

Thor showing his belly. No cuddling allowed!
Freja showing her stomach in front of the fireplace.

2) As an act of defense

Rolling on their back may actually be a defensive measure, especially in a fight. You may have noticed this if you have ever observed cats fight or play-fight. If your cat is flattening its ears, making agitated sounds and looks like it is under stress it is better to back off and give them space. The photo below is of Freja & Thor when they were play-fighting, and Thor used this technique to defend himself and attack off of his back. Since they were play-fighting they weren’t making any agitated sounds like a cat would in a real “combat” situation.

3) To Relax or When Stretching

This one is rather self-explanatory. While stretching, many cats may roll onto their back while stretching or when they just want to relax a bit. As mentioned before, this is not an open invitation to touch their belly and you should proceed carefully and with respect for their boundaries (see further down for how to rub your cat’s belly in a way that does not annoy your cat). Freja gladly demonstrated the Stretch/Relax with the picture below 🙂

4) As an Act of Mating When They Are In Heat

Here neither Freja nor Thor can demonstrate for you as they are both spayed and neutered. When female cats are in heat they may show their bellies, especially when they roll around on the ground (which is a symptom of a female cat in heat).

Why does my cat still bite me when I rub their tummy?

Just because your cat is telling you they trust you, does not mean they are telling you to rub their belly. Cats generally do not like to get a belly rub for reasons mentioned above, so do not get surprised if your cat bites you.

Again, our two cats are the perfect examples of individual differences. Freja enjoys a belly rub from time to time – on her terms, whilst Thor will never let you pet his belly under any circumstance.

How Should I Rub My Cat’s Belly? (If They Like It)

With Freja, I always ask for permission first and follow her lead. Your cat is showing you an incredible amount of trust, so you should respect their boundaries! I ask for permission by slowly sitting down next to her or bending down close to her. If she stays on her stomach, I try to carefully place my hand on her stomach, and if her body language is positive I will begin to gently rub her belly.

Always Watch Your Cat’s Body Language

If she wags her tail, that is a sign that she is feeling uncomfortable and would rather have me stop, and of course, if she bites me it means “hands off right now!”. As soon as she wags her tail, even slightly, I respect her wishes and live her alone, and so should you if your cat does the same. Unlike dogs, cats wag their tails when they get annoyed, stressed or uncomfortable and this is a certain sign that you should stop.
Sometimes, she enjoys it though. Signs of this include purring, kneading with her paws in the air while the tail remains completely still. As long as your cat displays positive body language like this, you can continue to rub their belly. Remember to stop the moment the body language changes and they want you to stop. Another way for me to know that she wants to cuddle is by looking at her a bit and make eye contact. If she wants cuddles she usually lets out a “meow” to let me know she wants attention.

Should I Rub My Cat’s Belly?

In general, my advice would be resisting the urge to rub your cat’s belly. Be happy that they show you such a sign of trust and love and try not to violate it. If you want to try to see if your cat is one of those that like to have their belly rubbed, always look at their body language.

How to Entertain a Cat in a Small Apartment

Cats are adaptable animals and can adapt to their living spaces and a variety of situations fairly well. That being said, living in a small apartment together with your cat or cats can present some challenges for both you and your feline friend(s). If your cats´ living space is limited, that also means you get in each other’s way more often. It can also mean your cat does not get enough stimulation and ends up using you or your furniture as a scratching pole or prey to stave off boredom.

No one wants that to happen, not you, nor that cozy but slightly too expensive chair you got yourself as a present.

To keep both you and your cat happy, it is important that you stimulate your cat actively (by playing with him/her) or passively (by making sure their environment has stimuli like toys, areas to climb, hide or even another cat.

Ways to entertain a cat in a small apartment:

Buying cat trees or toys where your cat can entertain themselves Cat trees, such as the Go Pet Club 62″ Cat Tree is great for a few different reasons. It uses the space efficiently, your cat can climb and jump as if they were in a larger area or outdoors. The different textures are stimulating to your cat. The ability to scratch on the posts, helps your cat be able to fulfill this natural instinct and to maintain the length of their nails. (this is not an excuse not to cut your cats’ nails, however).

You can also create your own cat trees with cardboard or wood + some string. We are planning a complete guide on how to create cat trees yourself, so be on the lookout for that. We have included a picture of one of these being built below. Martina (the beautiful Persian mix) seems to be enjoying it already! 🙂

Make use of vertical space!

Cats love to climb, jump and to survey their territory from a vantage point. If you use your vertical space well, you can make your apartment seem a lot bigger and more exciting for your cat. You can either buy cat furniture for your cat to climb and mount it on the wall like this one on Amazon or you can make them yourself.

Have a set structure in regards to meal time and playtime for your cat.

Cats are creatures of habit, and it is a lot easier to not get them to wake up because they want food if they are used to getting fed during the day and evening. Ideally, you should feed your cat every 6-8 hours. Never free feed them, as this takes away the routine but also makes it much easier for the cat to become overweight since cats usually eat more than they need to if they have access to food since, in their mind, there is no guarantee for the next meal to come. A consistent routine reduces this innate fear.

Similarly, playing with your cat before bedtime (and during the day) is a great way to manage their energy level and make sure that they have healthy ways to expand their energy instead of letting it loose on your furniture or you. By managing their energy and ensuring that your cat’s energy levels are depleted around your bedtime will increase the chance of both you and your feline friend sleeping well through the night.

Getting a second cat:

If you have one cat you might want to consider getting a second cat so that they can keep each other company. However, it is important to consider if your apartment is suitable for one more cat. Do they have enough spaces to hide in, or to have their own spaces? This is especially important when introducing a second cat. You ideally want to keep them separate for the first few days, but this might be difficult if you have a small apartment. If you cannot keep them separated, you need to be monitoring how they interact together. The hiding spaces are important because both the new cat and your old cat may want to retire to a hiding spot or safe place when they feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed. A tip is to invest in cat-friendly furniture like furniture with small spaces or shelves where your cats can hide. Make sure your cats have access to “higher ground”, like the top of shelves, closets etc. Cats love to survey their surroundings from a vantage point, and it is also stimulating for them if they can move around their territory on a few different levels. Also having the ability to climb and jump is a great way for your cat to stay fit.

What can happen to an under-stimulated cat?

Getting Bored:

A cat living in a small apartment may find themselves more easily bored because they have less space to explore and to run around in. This boredom can manifest in many different ways and cause unwanted behavior such as the destruction of furniture and other aggressive behavior. Your cat may also start to show signs of depression if they are not receiving enough stimuli during the day.

Your cat can get too inactive.

This is a danger for all indoor cats, but especially if your apartment is on the small side. Long spells of inactivity can lead to problems like obesity, depression etc. An important way to prevent this is to keep you entertained and have scheduled times during the day which is dedicated to playtime with your cat. Make sure you do this daily, even if it is only 15-20 minutes, and stick to it! Your cat will thank you for it! If you have an especially active breed cat, such as the Bengal or the Somali, this is especially important as these cats need even more active stimuli than say a Persian does.

Your Cat Can Disturb Your Sleep

If your apartment is as small as mine, that means that your bedroom is also part of where your cat roams around, also during the night. No one wants to feel like they are shutting out their cat, especially if they have a very small area to stay in if you block them out of your bedroom. Cats are the most active during dusk and dawn, and they can also be quite active during the night. This clash of rhythms can lead to disturbed sleep for you and conflicts and stressful situations with your cat and around sleep.

Using a regular and strict feeding schedule and playtimes before bed as mentioned earlier goes a long way to solve this problem, as well as making sure the cat has ample opportunity to stimulate him or herself with toys and or the environment.