Revolution for Cats gets high marks from cat owners for its effectiveness and ease of use. This liquid is applied once a month to the nape of the cat's neck and controls fleas, heartworm, hookworm, roundworm and ear mites for four weeks -- regardless of baths, shampoos or thunderstorms. Both vets and users say it is very effective, and users like the fact that it dries faster than other topical medications, such as Advantage II for Cats (*Est. $60 for a six-month supply).
However, we also saw more reports of side effects for Revolution than we did for Advantage II, including some that were severe. This may explain why Revolution for Cats requires a prescription from a vet, while Advantage II is available without one. The active ingredient in Revolution, selamectin, can cause skin and eye irritation in humans as well, and the product instructions say to wear gloves while applying it. Although most users say application is easy, a few report that their cats dislike the process and will try to squirm away. If you do not need the parasite protection of Revolution, you may have better results with Advantage II for Cats, which is also less expensive.
Selamectin, the active ingredient in Revolution for Cats, gets a rating of two paws (moderate risk) at SimpleSteps.org, a website on flea control products sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). We found recommendations for this product from vets at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital and veterinarian Larry Cohen at DrLarryPetVet.com. The Veterinary Partner website also has useful information about this product's safety and efficacy. More than 1,000 pet owners review Revolution at 1800PetMeds.com, but reviews from dog and cat owners are mixed together.
SimpleSteps.org is sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action group. In this website's directory of flea products, Revolution for Cats earns a risk rating of two paws, indicating moderate risk to pets and humans. However, the site says that there is "insufficient information to determine toxicity."
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org
2. Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
The staff of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital in West Carrollton, Ohio, recommend Revolution for Cats for its ability to treat a wide range of pest and parasite problems. They note that this product is more effective in cats than in dogs.
Review: Flea Control, Staff of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital, Updated 2010
Veterinarian Larry Cohen describes the pros and cons of the three main topical anti-flea medications. He says Revolution is easy to apply and effective against a wide variety of parasites, but he warns that kids should be kept away from pets after application. However, this report is quite old.
Review: Flea and Tick Products, Larry Cohen, 2001
4. Main Street Pet Care
The staff at Main Street Pet Care in Joplin, Mo., say that they generally do not recommend topical products for flea control. However, they do note that Revolution for Cats may be worthwhile because of its other benefits. They say that the practice has seen no side effects.
Review: Flea and Tick Control, Staff of Main Street Pet Care
Veterinarian Carol S. Foil compares the various flea control products on the market. Foil says Revolution for Cats is slow to kill adult fleas, but it's very effective at eliminating flea larvae and eggs. She finds it most useful for preventing a flea problem.
Review: Flea Control, Carol S. Foil
There are more 1,000 reviews for Revolution at this online pet pharmacy. Reviews for the cat and dog versions of the product are mixed, but they can be sorted by type of pet. Most users say the product is effective, but we did read some reports of harmful side effects, mostly from cat owners.
Review: Revolution, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com