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5 Best Cat Flea Collars

Cat wearing a cat flea collar in the grass
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Picture this: You’re on your couch, ready to catch up on your favorite TV show, and your cat hops up on your lap for snuggles. Sounds like a nice evening, right? That is until your kitty suddenly turns her head and begins frantically itching, licking or biting herself. Your heart sinks. Could she have fleas?

The truth is, fleas are incredibly common, especially the type known as the “cat flea” (aka Ctenocephalides felis). Cat fleas love to live on cats (and dogs) and they can affect both indoor and outdoor kitties. All a flea has to do to get inside your home is hitch a ride on another pet or your pant leg — and they can reproduce pretty quickly, leading to an infestation. Since fleas are good at hiding in your kitty’s fur, you might not notice until it becomes a bigger problem, such as if your cat has an allergic reaction that causes intense itching, redness, fur loss, or crusts. Cats can also get tapeworm from accidentally ingesting an infected flea while grooming, and kittens or senior cats with severe infestations may be at risk of flea-induced anemia.

If you notice fleas or flea eggs on your cat, black specks in their fur (known as “flea dirt”), or get bites yourself, try not to panic. While veterinarian-prescribed oral or topical flea treatments are the safest and most effective option, there are over-the-counter remedies that can also be beneficial. 

Our Picks

Best Cat Flea Collar Overall Winner
Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
  • Veterinarian-recommended
  • Starts to repel and kill fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours of initial application
  • Adjustable collar with a quick-release feature for safety
Best Value Flea and Tick Collar for Cats
Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea & Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens
Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea & Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens
  • Offers 7 months protection
  • Affordably priced
  • Kills and repels fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, and ticks
Best Natural Cat Flea Collar
Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Repellent Collar for Cats
Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Repellent Collar for Cats
  • Made with natural peppermint and cedarwood oils
  • Formulated to repel fleas and ticks
  • The collar is adjustable and fits larger cats since it is a 20-inch neck size
Best Budget Breakaway Cat Flea Collar
Zodiac Breakaway Flea Collar
Zodiac Breakaway Flea Collar
  • Water-resistant
  • Made in the USA
  • Has a good break-away design
Best Cat Flea Collar For Multi-Cat Households
ADAMSplus Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
ADAMSplus Flea & Tick Collar for Cats
  • Made in the USA
  • Sold as a two-pack
  • Breakaway design

What Are Cat Flea Collars

Cat stretched out on a bed wearing a cat flea collar

Cat flea collars are collars that are made of materials like plastic or silicone that release a chemical or essential oil over time that repels or kills fleas. 

“They are different from other flea treatments because they are a passive form of treatment,” explains Amy Davis, veterinarian. “They can also be used in conjunction with other forms of flea treatment for an increased level of protection.”

Flea collars are appropriate for most cats—with some brands even being appropriate for kittens over 12 weeks old or senior cats. Read the label to make sure the collar you get is appropriate for your cat’s age. You might also want to check with your vet before choosing a collar, especially if your cat has a specific health condition. 

How Do Cat Flea Collars Work?

Cat laying on the banister on a deck wearing a flea collar

Though it depends on the type of cat flea collar you get and the ingredients it contains, cat flea collars generally work in one of three ways:

  • They release a chemical that kills fleas
  • They release a chemical that repels fleas
  • They release a chemical that interferes with flea egg development

Some cat flea collars will work in a combination of ways against multiple life stages of fleas, killing eggs and adult fleas to give your kitty more thorough protection. However, some flea collars only affect fleas a short distance from the collar. 

Additionally, there can be health risks associated with flea collars. Some flea collars contain chemicals, such as organophosphates, that can result in serious signs of toxicity in cats. Therefore, it’s important to do your research. 

Here are five options to consider.

5 Best Cat Flea Collars 

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Cat Flea Collar: Overall Winner

Our pick: Seresto Flea & Tick Collar for Cats

Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats

For a non-greasy, long-lasting flea and tick collar that is safe and effective, Seresto is your best option. It is also the brand that is most commonly recommended by veterinarians, due to its efficacy and low risk of harmful side effects. While this collar is more expensive than many of its competitors, its formula is effective against fleas, flea larvae, and ticks — and it lasts up to eight months. The collar also has desirable safety features, like a visibility reflector and a quick-release buckle. 

Highlights

  • Veterinarian-recommended
  • Starts to repel and kill fleas within 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours of initial application
  • Adjustable collar with a quick-release feature for safety
  • Minimal smell and not greasy
  • Collar has visibility reflectors
  • Water-resistant formula
  • Effective for up to eight months
  • Suitable for cats and kittens of all weights and 10 weeks of age and older

Things to Consider

  • This collar is significantly more expensive than other options
  • A 2021 EPA report raised some safety concerns about Seresto collars, but they are generally regarded as the safest over-the-counter flea collar option 

Sample buyer review… “We have tried every type of flea topical ointment, and the ointments never worked. The Seresto flea and tick collar does the trick! No more fleas! Only downside is that we have to replace [it] about every 3 months, but still way better than the topical ointment that never worked.” —GMWii

Best Value Flea and Tick Collar for Cats 

Our pick: Hartz UltraGuard Pro Flea & Tick Collar for Cats & Kittens 

Hartz Flea Collar

This option has pretty much everything you want out of a cat flea collar: it kills and repels fleas and ticks, it’s got safety features like a breakaway snap and reflective strip, and it’s affordably priced, so it’s not a big deal if your cat breaks it or slips it off. However, it’s important to note that this collar contains tetrachlorvinphos, an organophosphate. While many cats will tolerate this collar without any problems, tetrachlorvinphos is an organophosphate that may cause signs of toxicity in some cats, as well as in young children who touch the collar. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, and paralysis; remove the collar and contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice these signs. 

Highlights

  • Offers 7 months protection
  • Affordably priced
  • Kills and repels fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, and ticks
  • Reflective strip for visibility up to 450 feet
  • Has a breakaway, safety release snap
  • Water-resistant design

Things to Consider

  • Use with caution, and under careful supervision, due to risk of organophosphate toxicity
  • Keep away from children
  • Not for kittens under the age of 12 weeks
  • Not for cats that chew their collar
  • Breakaway snap is a little sensitive so cats can break it off fairly easily if they want to
  • Hartz offers even lower-priced versions of this collar, but they offer less features, which is why we chose the Pro. The UltraGuard Plus does not have a reflective strip and the UltraGuard does not offer repellency or a reflective strip. 

Sample buyer review… “My cat had no objections to me putting this collar on him and I suspect that it might be because it doesn’t have as strong of a chemical odor as other flea collars. You can still smell the flea repellent but not as overtly as you can with standard flea collars. The reflective strip is appreciated and looks great too. So far, so good.” —M.

Best Natural Cat Flea Collar

Our pick: Vet’s Best Flea + Tick Repellent Collar for Cats

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Repellent Collar for Cats

If the idea of harsh chemicals and pesticides near your cat’s face makes you nervous, you might prefer a more natural option, like this collar from Vet’s Best. It contains natural peppermint and cedarwood oils to repel fleas and ticks. While this can be an advantage for pet parents seeking to avoid chemicals, some essential oils have been associated with harmful effects in cats. Monitor your cat closely to watch for any reaction to the essential oils in the collar. 

Still, it is affordably priced, breaks away if your cat gets caught, and it’s made right here in the U.S. 

Highlights

  • Made with natural peppermint and cedarwood oils
  • Formulated to repel fleas and ticks
  • The collar is adjustable and fits larger cats since it is a 20-inch neck size
  • Has a safety break-away feature
  • Water-resistant collar
  • Affordably priced and made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • Lasts half as long (4 months) as Seresto’s collar does
  • Essential oils can be toxic to some cats

Sample buyer review… “This has worked for my 3-year-old cat. Great flea control. No allergic reaction. Simple to use. Nice minty scent. Easy to adjust. Great price!”

Best Budget Breakaway Cat Flea Collar

Our pick: Zodiac Breakaway Flea Collar

Zodiac Breakaway Flea and Tick Collar for Cats

This affordably priced cat flea collar has a decent breakaway feature, meaning that it will prevent your cat from getting caught on something without being so sensitive that it snaps apart the first time your cat scratches at it. It’s also not greasy and works to kill and repel both fleas and ticks. However, it doesn’t have any ingredients to kill eggs or larvae, and it also contains tetrachlorvinphos, which may cause organophosphate toxicity in some cats. 

Highlights

  • Water-resistant
  • Made in the USA
  • Has a good break-away design
  • Kills and repels fleas and ticks
  • Non-greasy
  • Affordably priced

Things to Consider

  • May cause signs of organophosphate toxicity in some cats
  • Keep kids away from collar due to risk of toxicity
  • Doesn’t kill eggs or flea larvae
  • Works best for prevention but not as good for active infestation
  • Has a strong odor
  • Not for kittens under 12 weeks

Sample buyer review… “This product worked. Our cats both have fleas and we have had them in our home. We sprayed the house and they were still here and still on my cats after their drops. So put the flea collars on and they are now both flea-free and they are no longer scratching. Thank goodness.” —Danielle

Best Cat Flea Collar For Multi-Cat Households

Our pick: ADAMSplus Flea & Tick Collar for Cats

Adams Plus Collar for Cats

This effective flea collar kills fleas and ticks and inhibits growth and egg-laying. It comes with a good breakaway design, and it can easily be adjusted to fit different cat neck sizes. It’s also not greasy and doesn’t have a strong odor. Plus, it’s available in a two-pack, which is ideal for multi-cat households. However, this collar also contains tetrachlorvinphos, which may cause organophosphate toxicity in some cats. 

Highlights

  • Made in the USA
  • Sold as a two-pack
  • Breakaway design
  • Lasts for 7 months
  • Adjustable size

Things to Consider

  • May cause signs of organophosphate toxicity in some cats
  • Not a good choice for households with children 
  • Not suitable for kittens under 12 weeks old

Sample buyer review… “Great product! My cats stopped scratching within the week and we have found no fleas throughout the house. The collars are lightweight. Will definitely purchase again.” —FarmMama

Are Flea Collars Safe for Cats?

Cat walking looking nervous

Flea collars should be used with caution in cats. While the risk associated with a Seresto collar is relatively low, other over-the-counter feline flea collars contain essential oils or organophosphates that can be toxic in cats. In general, your best option for safe and effective flea control comes from veterinarian-prescribed flea preventatives.

If you elect to use an over-the-counter flea collar, read and follow the directions on the label carefully. Do not use a dog flea collar on your cat, for example, as canine flea collars often contain pesticides that are toxic to cats. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t put the collar on too loosely or too tightly, and that it has a breakaway feature to prevent accidental strangulation. 

If your cat tends to chew on things, you’ll also want to be careful. “Some collars contain pesticides that can be harmful to cats if they lick or bite their fur after it’s been put on,” explains Davis. “These collars can [also] be harmful to cats if they chew on them, so it’s important to make sure your cat doesn’t chew on the collar.”

Some cats also have sensitive skin or are allergic to certain ingredients. If your cat has sensitivities or starts developing a rash after wearing the collar, discontinue using it. 

Shopping for a Cat Flea Collar: What to Look For

Cat looking out into the distance outside

When you’re shopping for a cat flea collar, there are a few things to consider.

Active ingredients: First, take a look at the active chemicals. Collars that contain pesticides are generally highly effective at killing fleas and working against active infestations. However, as noted earlier, they are associated with risks of toxicity. Other collars are made with essential oils, which work by repelling the fleas. However, essential oils can also be very irritating to cats, so check with your veterinarian.

Durability: Second, make sure the collar is durable and will last a while. This will help you get the most use out of the collar for the money you spend on it. 

Safety: Third, make sure the collar has safety features for your kitty, like a breakaway feature to prevent accidental strangulation. 

Using Cat Flea Collars: Tips and Advice

Cat wearing a flea collar at home

Make sure that your cat is wearing their flea collar properly. “Collars should be worn high up on their neck, behind the ears, so that they come into contact with as much skin as possible,” says Davis. You’ll also want to make sure that the collar fits correctly. If you can’t fit two fingers under the collar, it’s on too tightly, but if the collar can easily slip off your cat’s head, it’s too loose.

To make the collar more effective, your cat should wear it for at least eight hours a day. Even though some collars are water-resistant, you might want to remove the collar while bathing your cat. 

Finally, monitor your cat closely when using any new over-the-counter flea treatment. While serious toxicities are relatively uncommon, they can certainly occur. The sooner you detect signs of toxicity, the sooner your cat can receive veterinary treatment.

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