Capstar for Dogs and Cats is recommended by vets and pet owners for rapidly and safely killing fleas. This pill, which is available without a prescription, begins working within half an hour and kills most fleas within four hours. However, Capstar kills only adult fleas; it doesn't kill ticks, and it has no effect on flea eggs or larvae. To wipe out a flea infestation, the medicine can either be administered repeatedly (up to once a day) until all fleas are gone or combined with another medication, such as Program Suspension for Cats or Sentinel Flavor Tabs (*Est. $90 for a six-month supply). These drugs eliminate flea eggs and larvae, while Capstar handles the adult fleas.
Experts and users alike agree that Capstar is safe to use. Because it's a pill, it poses no risk of chemical contact for humans or other pets in the household, and side effects in pets are extremely rare and generally mild. The drug is approved for use in cats and dogs as young as 4 weeks that weigh from 2 to 25 pounds. Dogs weighing more than 25 pounds should use Capstar for Dogs Only.
In terms of ease of use, Capstar has both pros and cons. Many users prefer giving their pet a pill to rubbing on messy chemicals -- a process some pets don't appreciate. However, others have trouble getting their pets to take the pill. Some say that crushing the pill in food or slipping it into a treat of some sort helps. However, if your pet isn't a willing pill taker, you may have an easier time with a topical medication, such as Frontline Plus for Dogs (*Est. $75 for a six-month supply) or Advantage II for Cats (*Est. $60 for a six-month supply).
Capstar for Dogs and Cats receives a low risk rating from SimpleSteps.org, a website on flea control products sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Veterinary Partner website and the website of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital also offer useful information about this product's safety and efficacy. We found recommendations for Capstar for Dogs and Cats from veterinarians at Dogster.com and at the websites of Main Street Pet Care in Missouri and the UK-based Feline Advisory Board. We also found lots of reviews from pet owners at 1800PetMeds.com and Amazon.com, as well as a smaller number at Petco.com.
SimpleSteps.org is reports on the safety of flea products in this directory; Capstar for Dogs and Cats earns a risk rating of one paw, lower than any topical flea treatment.
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org
Vet Eric Barchas discusses the safety of various flea control treatments in this blog post. He says that animals treated with Capstar for Dogs and Cats usually don't encounter any side effects, and those side effects that do occur are seldom severe.
Review: Vet Blog Discusses Safety and Efficacy of Flea Control Products, Eric Barchas, May 26, 2010
3. Main Street Pet Care
Main Street Pet Care recommends Capstar for Dogs and Cats to control an existing flea problem. Calling it the pill that eliminated dipping,' it says Capstar works very fast and is virtually free of side effects.
Review: Flea and Tick Control, Staff of Main Street Pet Care
In this article, veterinarian Carol S. Foil says Capstar for Dogs and Cats is safe and "offers extremely rapid and complete killing of adult fleas." However, she notes that it must be combined with another product for long-term control.
Review: Flea Control, Carol S. Foil
5. Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
According to the vets at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital, Capstar for Dogs and Cats kills fleas more quickly than topical treatments, which can take 12 hours or longer to eliminate all fleas. However, this product is not on their recommended list.
Review: Flea Control, Staff of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
More than 400 pet owners review Capstar for Dogs and Cats (and its equivalent product for dogs only) at this online pet pharmacy. Users give Capstar a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 overall, with 4.3 stars for effectiveness and 4.6 for ease of use. Many note that they use this medicine in combination with Program to eliminate fleas at all life stages.
Review: Capstar Flea Treatment Tablets, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com
We found more than 180 user reviews here for Capstar for Dogs and Cats. Pet owners generally find this product safe and effective, helping it earn an overall rating of 4.4 stars.
Review: Novartis Capstar Flea Treatment Blue Tabs for Dogs and Cats, Contributors to Amazon.com
We found only about 50 reviews for Capstar for Cats and Dogs (and its dog-only equivalent) at Petco.com, but they are generally positive. The product earns 4.6 stars out of 5 overall, and 92 percent of users recommend it. Most users say Capstar is safe, effective and fast-working.
Review: Capstar Flea Tablets for Pets, Contributors to Petco.com