Frontline Plus for Cats is a topical flea treatment that is available without a prescription. It kills both adult and developing fleas and is also effective on ticks and chewing lice. Frontline Plus is applied by squeezing liquid from a tube between a cat's shoulder blades. Most users seem to find this process fairly straightforward. However, cat owners may wish to take precautions when applying the medication, as there is some evidence that fipronil, an active ingredient in Frontline Plus, could pose heath risks for humans.
We also saw reports that the product could also cause side effects in cats -- mostly hair loss or skin irritation; if the cat manages to lick the application site, the potential for more serious side effects exists. We did see more reports of adverse effects, and more serious ones, for Frontline Plus than we did for Advantage II for Cats (*Est. $60 for a six-month supply), the other leading topical flea medication for cats. Cat owners are also more satisfied with the effectiveness of Advantage II against fleas. Some say that Frontline Plus does not work for their cats, while others say it once worked but has lost its effectiveness. Also, we have seen warnings about counterfeit or expired versions of Frontline Plus being sold online.
Veterinarians posting at Dogster.com and at the websites of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital and Main Street Pet Care provide professional feedback for Frontline Plus for Cats. The Feline Advisory Bureau, a UK-based organization devoted to the welfare of cats, also weighs in. SimpleSteps.org and the Veterinary Partner website provide their takes on the safety and effectiveness of Frontline Plus for Cats. We found more than 900 reviews of Frontline Plus for Cats from pet owners at Amazon.com and Petco.com. At 1800PetMeds.com, there are lots of reviews for Frontline Plus, but that includes feedback for both the dog and cat versions.
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1. Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
The veterinarians at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital give Frontline Plus for Cats a recommendation. It's safe, fast and stays effective for at least a month, they say.
Review: Flea Control, Staff of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
2. Main Street Pet Care
While some topical flea treatments are acceptable, Frontline Plus for Cats doesn't appear to fall into that category, the vets here say. They do complain that it does nothing to break the cycle of flea reproduction, allowing re-infestations to occur.
Review: Flea and Tick Control, Staff of Main Street Pet Care
Although Dogster.com is a site devoted to dog care, this blog entry deals with flea treatments that can be used for both dogs and cats. Veterinarian Eric Barchas says that Frontline Plus for Cats is one of several flea remedies that rarely produce adverse reactions, and those that do occur are seldom severe.
Review: Vet Blog Discusses Safety and Efficacy of Flea Control Products, Eric Barchas, May 26, 2010
4. Feline Advisory Bureau
The Feline Advisory Bureau is a U.K.-based animal welfare organization dedicated to cats. The site recommends "spot-on treatments," including Frontline Plus for Cats, over collars, powders and sprays.
Review: Tackling Fleas on Cats, Editors of Feline Advisory Bureau, Nov. 2008
SimpleSteps.org gives, Frontline Plus for Cats a risk rating of two paws, meaning that it is a product with moderate risk. This is in line with the site's ratings for other topical flea treatments.
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org
Veterinarian Carol S. Foil discusses how Frontline Plus for Cats protects cats against both adult fleas and their eggs. She notes its effectiveness in this fairly technical article that also covers other popular flea treatments.
Review: Flea Control, Carol S. Foil
At 1800PetMeds.com, there are more than 2,900 user reviews of Frontline Plus, but that includes feedback for both the dog and cat versions. Reviews are so-so, and the overall rating is 3.4 stars out of 5. Most say that Frontline Plus for Cats is easy to use, but we also saw comments that it doesn't work at all or that it loses its effectiveness over time.
Review: Frontline Plus, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com
We found more than 600 user reviews for Frontline Plus for Cats here, plus additional ones on other pages at Amazon.com. Most cat owners say that it works, but some say their cats still have fleas. We also saw several reports of adverse effects in cats, some of them severe.
Review: Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Cats and Kittens, 6 Doses, Contributors to Amazon.com
Frontline Plus for Cats has more than 200 reviews from cat owners at Petco.com. Its overall rating is 4.3 stars out of 5, and 87 percent of users say they would recommend it. However, some complain that the medicine is ineffective or that it has lost its effectiveness over time. We also saw some complaints about side effects in cats.
Review: Frontline Plus for Cats, Contributors to Petco.com