Advantix for Cats: What You Need to Know About this Popular Flea Solution

pill for a cat
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

You’re worried about fleas infesting your feline friend. After researching on the Internet, you found a certain product named Advantix. But you wonder—is it safe to use Advantix for cats? And if it not, what can you do to remedy cat flea infestation?

Flea infestation is a serious health concern for cats. Fleas feed on blood from cats, causing our favorite pets to become restless. It can cause severe inflammation and itching in felines. And it can also harm you and your loved ones. There are many anti-flea solutions for pets, including Advantix. But as you would learn below, the said product is not the solution you’d want to use on your furry friend.

Continue reading as we talk about Advantix for cats and why it is not safe for use on felines. Once we’ve explained why Advantix is not a safe solution, we will provide better anti-flea alternatives. Moreover, you will learn more about how to prevent flea infestation in cats.

What is Advantix?

grey cat itching

Advantix is a topical solution for the prevention and treatment of fleas, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes on canines—emphasis on the “canines.” Manufactured by Bayer, it is safe for use on puppies who are at least seven weeks of age.

It contains two active ingredients—imidacloprid and permethrin. The latter is a classic insecticide classified as a pyrethroid, or a synthetic compound that comes from pyrethrins which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers.

Both pyrethroid and pyrethrins act as neurotoxins, meaning they interfere with the normal nerve function. Thus, permethrin is the ingredient which makes Advantix deadly to our feline friends.

Why is Advantix Dangerous to Cats?

cat doesn't eat

It should be noted that permethrin is generally safe for most mammals like dogs. However, cats are one notable exception as they won’t be able to metabolize permethrin. Permethrin acts as a nerve toxin. When exposed to it, cats could even die after a few days.

Advantix is 50% permethrin. In sharp contrast, anti-flea products generally considered safe for cats contain less than 0.1% of this ingredient. This shows you how dangerous Advantix can be to our feline friends.

The following are some of the symptoms that may appear if a cat has been exposed to Advantix:

  • Drooling

  • Tremors/twitching

  • Depression

  • Loss of coordination

  • Excitability

  • Vomiting

  • Seizures

  • Loss of appetite

  • Extreme elevation in body temperature

These symptoms will generally manifest in a cat who has been exposed to Advantix in a few hours, although it can also take up to three days for these symptoms to become apparent.

Cats can be exposed to Advantix in different ways such as a direct application or close contact with a canine who has been treated with the said flea treatment. The dog could cuddle up to the cat, or the cat could groom the dog. The interaction between the two pets can lead to the cat absorbing enough permethrin to lead to severe poisoning.

It is thus recommended that dogs who have been treated with Advantix be kept away from cats for at least 72 hours.

Advantix can be easily mistaken to be safe for cats. For one, it is made by the same firm as Advantage—Bayer. Also, the packaging of Advantix and Advantage are eerily similar. It does not come as a surprise that many feline owners mistakenly buy and apply Advantix to their pets.

If you take care of both dogs and cats at home, it is not advisable to use Advantix on your canine companions to get rid of parasites on their body mainly because of the risks of accidentally using the product on your cat.

There have been many cases of pet owners accidentally applying Advantix to their feline pets. Because of this, it is best to simply take the risk out of the equation. After all, there are many other flea control solutions available on the market.

And if you insist on using K9 Advantix on your dog, you need to make sure to apply the medication to your dog while your cat is away. Also, the feline should not have access to the area where the dog is. You must also give enough time for the medicine to be fully absorbed into the dog’s skin before allowing the cat to get near the dog.

What to Do If You Accidentally Used Advantix on Cats?

bathing cat

Let’s say that you accidentally used Advantix on kitty. After a few minutes of application, you realize that the medication is not safe for cats. What would you do?

Generally speaking, the best course of action is to immediately bathe your cat with liquid soap. Vets say 2-3 latherings of soap should be used to thoroughly remove the solution from the cat’s skin.

Once you have safely bathed kitty, the next step is to monitor her closely for the next 12 hours. This means you have to check on your cat every 15 minutes. There have been many cases where cat owners thought that their pets were well after thoroughly bathing their cats only to wake up the next morning to discover their pals having tremors or seizures.

In case the kitty starts showing serious symptoms such as tremors or twitches, then forget the bathing solution. Bring her to your veterinarian right away. If you put a twitching cat into the water, there is a very high chance that the cat will be overstimulated, and that will make it worse.

Your vet should be able to sedate the cat, stop the tremors, and safely decontaminate your pet.

You should also bring your kitty to the hospital if she begins to show signs of muscle twitching as this can progress to seizures and tremors. Normally, those conditions can be treated with the use of injectable muscle relaxants. Twitchy cats are also prone to having difficulties in eating and drinking which can lead to dehydration and fatty liver disease, especially in obese cats.

The bottom line is that while the symptoms of permethrin can be serious and fatal, kitties can be saved if treatment is quick and appropriate.

See Also: How to Treat a Poisoned Cat

Alternatives for Advantix

The good news is that there are many safe flea treatments for cats. Here are a few examples.

#1: Advantage

Advantage for cats

Advantage is the feline version of Advantix. It is also simple and easy-to-use for cats infested with fleas. It can stop and kill adult fleas and larvae as quickly as within 20 minutes.

Advantage is reputed to be the only anti-flea product feline owners ever need to break the life-cycle of these pests. By killing fleas in a cat’s surroundings, it provides superior protection for any feline. It is also safe for use in cats of any age.

It contains the active ingredient imidacloprid. Water-resistant, durable, quick-acting, and safe on lactating and pregnant cats and kittens, Advantage is considered one of the best anti-flea products in the market.

However, there are also possible side effects from the use of Advantage on cats. There’s the possibility that hair loss may happen at the application site. But this is often a single occurrence, meaning the hair will grow back.

You should also be careful in using Advantage for cats because it can be harmful when inhaled or swallowed. It can also irritate your eyes. Upon application of the product, wash hands immediately. Also, you should avoid contact with the eyes or inhaling any vapor.

Aside from Advantage, there are other anti-flea treatments known to be effective on cats. One is Frontline Plus for Cats.

#2: Frontline Plus for Cats

Frontline Plus for Cats

This is also a fast-acting and easy-to-apply flea treatment for felines. It can start killing fleas in four hours after application, and reviews indicate that it can totally eliminate the flea problem in 12 hours. This makes the product one of the best preventative treatment and quick relief flea solution for your pet.

It is also easy to apply, with a peel-off packaging and snap-off top that is less likely to leak. The packaging design prevents chemicals from spreading in areas where you don’t want them to be. However, it can also be a bit expensive compared to other spot-ons. It also has a faint chemical smell which may turn off some feline owners.

#3: Sentry Capguard

Sentry Capguard for cats

There’s also Sentry Capguard, a fast-acting oral tablet designed to quickly and effectively destroy flea population. Unlike spot-ons like Advantix, Sentry Capguard delivers the medication right into the bloodstream of cats. Hence, when fleas bite down on our furry friends, those pests will die almost right away.

According to its manufacturer, Sentry Capguard can kill pests in as short as 30 minutes so flea infestation should be eradicated in a day or two.

How to Prevent Flea Infestation

One way to eliminate the risks of permethrin is to prevent flea infestation. After all, you won’t be reaching for Advantage, Frontline Plus, or Sentry Capguard if your kitty is free from fleas, right?

#1: Keep Cats Indoors

cat indoors

One way to prevent cats from getting fleas is to keep them indoors. Fleas thrive and breed outdoors. Thus, cats who are always out of the house have a greater risk of contracting fleas. It is therefore wise to keep your cat indoors so that she won’t come into contact with those pests.

#2: Cleanliness

Cleanliness is also important if you want to prevent fleas from infesting your cat. Do you know that a female flea is capable of laying up to 50 eggs in a day? Those eggs can roll right off your kitty and onto various parts of your house, from the living room to the patio.

Moreover, give those eggs the chance to hatch, and you will be looking at a full-blown flea infestation in your abode. You can prevent this by thoroughly cleaning your home.

Start by vacuuming your place every day. Make sure to clean the carpets, furniture, as well as cracks and crevices where eggs can be stuck before hatching. Vacuuming is also an effective way of getting rid of live fleas. Once you are done, do not forget to throw away the bag or wash out the canister with warm and soapy water.

Also make a habit of regularly washing sofa covers, beddings, and other fabrics that your pet often comes in contact with. Use hot water in washing them so that fleas won’t be able to survive the wash cycle.

You can also clean the yard regularly. Fleas thrive in grassy areas especially those that are moist and hidden from sunlight. Fleas won’t stay in your yard if there are no tall grasses for them to hide in.

#3: Regular Grooming

grooming a cat

Regular grooming can also help your cat become flea-proof. Doing so can enable you to keep an eye out for fleas, ticks, and other external parasites potentially hiding under kitty’s haircoat.

#4: Methoprene

You can also take more serious measures to eliminate or prevent flea infestations in your home. One method is to coat all carpets and surfaces with spray containing the active ingredient methoprene. However, make sure all your family members and pets are out of the house when you do this.

Remember that it is critical to treat fleas as thoroughly and quickly as possible. Fleas can pose serious health issues not only to your pets but also to your loved ones.

Wrap Up

healthy cat

To sum things up, Advantix is not the spot-on flea solution you’d want to use on your kitty. Advantix is a flea treatment product that is designed for use on canines only. The presence of permethrin makes it highly dangerous to our feline friends. Permethrin exposure in cats can lead to excessive drooling, tremors, twitching, and even death.

Fortunately, there are plenty of products that can accommodate the safe and effective removal of fleas in cats. Advantage, Frontline Plus, and Sentry Capguard are some of them. Moreover, you can prevent fleas from infesting your home and victimizing your pet by keeping your home clean all the time.

Has your cat ever come in contact with Advantix? What did you do to prevent a potentially disastrous situation? Let us know your opinion about this article by posting a comment below. We’d also like to suggest that you read our article on how to get rid of fleas on cats for other ways to keep your cat pest-free.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.