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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antiparasitic
  • Form: Topical
  • Prescription required? Yes
  • FDA approved? Yes
  • Brand names: Bravecto
  • Common names: Fluralaner
  • Available dosages: 112.5mg, 250mg, 500mg
  • Expiration range: Varies based on product type; refer to package instructions

Pet parents have many choices when it comes to parasite protection for their feline friends. Highly effective at treating and preventing fleas and ticks, these products are either applied directly to the skin or given orally. Unfortunately, many cats are not kept up to date with this type of prevention. Some pet parents believe that indoor cats are not at risk of contracting these parasites, and approximately a quarter of pet parents think that fleas and ticks are only a threat during warm months. [1] Both of these thoughts are common misconceptions. All felines can benefit from flea and tick prevention year-round — such as Bravecto for cats — to keep them healthy and happy.

Here we’ll discuss both Bravecto and Bravecto Plus for cats, diving into why they’re great parasite prevention choices for your kitty. 

What Is Bravecto for Cats?

Fluralaner is an antiparasitic medication used to prevent and treat fleas and ticks. It’s sold under the brand names Bravecto and Bravecto Plus. Both products are readily available across the country via prescription through a primary care veterinarian.

What Does Bravecto Look Like?

Bravecto and Bravecto Plus are topical spot-on solutions that are thin, oily liquids and clear in color. They both come in a squeezable, single-use applicator tube for easy administration. Bravecto for cats was approved by the FDA in July 2016 and is available in a three-month dose. Bravecto Plus was later approved in November 2019 and is only available in a two-month dose.

What Is Bravecto Used for in Cats?

Bravecto (fluralaner) is used to protect cats from fleas and ticks. This topical solution kills adult fleas and treats and prevents fleas infestations. It also treats and controls tick infestations (kills black-legged and Asian longhorned ticks for 12 weeks and American dog ticks for 8 weeks).

Bravecto Plus also contains a drug called moxidectin, which prevents heartworm disease and treats roundworms and hookworms. Bravecto products may also be used to treat ear mites, though this use is considered off-label. Since there is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats, Bravecto Plus is a great option for pet parents seeking protection for their feline companion.

Flea and tick control can help guard against many other diseases as well. For example, fleas can cause bartonellosis in cats, which is a serious condition. Cats with fleas are also at an increased risk of developing tapeworms and allergies. Diseases that ticks can transmit include Cytauxzoon felis, Lyme disease, anaplasma, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. This is why pet parents should always ensure their feline friends are up to date on flea and tick preventatives.

How Does Bravecto Work

Bravecto works by negatively interfering with the nervous system of fleas and ticks. As a result, these organisms become paralyzed and eventually die. So how long does it take for Bravecto and Bravecto Plus to start working? These products are effective against fleas and ticks between two and 12 hours after application. Protection lasts for 12 weeks against fleas and eight to 12 weeks against ticks, depending on the species of tick. Additionally, Bravecto Plus provides protection against heartworm disease for two months. 

How to Apply Bravecto to Cats

Since Bravecto is only available in topical products for cats, it is typically easier for pet parents to administer compared to oral tablets. However, it’s still helpful to have an assistant (a friend or family member) to keep your cat relaxed while you apply the medication. It is also a good idea to wear gloves during application.

With your assistant holding your cat securely, gently part the fur between your cat’s shoulder blades until you see skin. Slowly administer the liquid directly onto the skin by squeezing the tube until it is empty. To prevent your cat from licking the medication off, make sure it’s not applied too far on his back. You should also ensure that other household cats and children do not contact this area of skin until the medication has dried completely. 

Bravecto topical solution for cats should be applied as a single dose. Doses should be repeated every two to three months, depending on whether your cat is receiving Bravecto or Bravecto Plus. 

For more tips, read How to Put Flea Medicine on a Cat.

Bravecto Reviews

Bravecto Cat
Bravecto Plus for Cats

Bravecto and Bravecto Plus are great preventatives that are tolerated well by most cats. Since they are topical products, pet parents don’t need to worry about the difficulties that come with trying to administer a pill to their cats. Because Bravecto comes in a two-month and three-month dose, pet parents can apply it less frequently than other products that only have one-month options. Bravecto Plus’s extended coverage against heartworm disease and intestinal parasites is also beneficial. 

I have prescribed these products to many patients and have been happy with how effective they are as a preventative. Plus, pet parents appreciate that they don’t have to apply monthly but can still keep their cats protected. 

It can be overwhelming for pet parents to choose which preventative is best for their cats due to the wide variety of options on the market. While these decisions are best made during a discussion with a veterinarian, it’s helpful to note a few similarities and differences between options.

Bravecto vs NexGard Combo 

As mentioned, Bravecto products for cats are offered in two-month or three-month doses, whereas NexGard Combo for cats (esafoxolaner, eprinomectin, and praziquantel) is only available as a monthly preventative. Both options are spot-on treatments for cats. However, NexGard Combo has added protection against tapeworms. 

Bravecto vs Frontline

Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold are topical products that work against fleas, ticks, and lice. They’re only available in one-month doses, so they offer less coverage time than Bravecto products for cats. Frontline products can be used in kittens as little as 1.5 pounds, which may be an option for kittens that do not meet the weight requirements of Bravecto (more on this below). 

Bravecto Side Effects in Cats

Overall, Bravecto and Bravecto Plus are well-tolerated in cats. However, pet parents should watch for side effects, including the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite 
  • Hair loss
  • Sore or itchy skin at application site

The FDA has issued a warning for pet parents using drugs in the isoxazoline class, including Bravecto for cats, as these products may cause neurological abnormalities, such as seizures or incoordination, in some cases. [2

Furthermore, if a cat accidentally licks off some of the applied Bravecto product, pet parents may notice excessive drooling, foaming, or retching by their cat. If this occurs, it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian for assistance. 

Reactions With Other Drugs and Medications

Bravecto and Bravecto Plus should not be used with any other flea and tick preventatives. Although Bravecto products are well-tolerated with many other medications used in veterinary medicine, pet parents should always discuss all medications and supplements with their veterinarian.

Bravecto Dosage for Cats

The dosages for Bravecto and Bravecto Plus are dependent on your cat’s weight. Bravecto is available in the following doses: 2.6-6.2 lbs, 6.2-13.8 lbs, and 13.8-27.5 lbs. Bravecto Plus is available in dosing options including 2.6-6.2 lbs, >6.2-13.8 lbs, and >13.8-27.5 lbs. Both products are approved for all kittens and cats 6 months or older, weighing at least 2.6 pounds. 

Bravecto Cost

The cost of Bravecto will vary slightly depending on the dosage size, but pet parents can expect to spend around $50 for a two-month dose or $65 for a three-month dose.  

Bravecto Storage Instructions

Store Bravecto at room temperature in its original packaging. Be sure to keep it in a secure location out of reach of children and pets. 


  1. “New Study by Merck Animal Health Reveals Many Pet Parents Unprepared for the Dangers Posed by Fleas and Ticks.” Merck Animal Health. (2018 May). Retrieved from: https://www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/newsroom/new-study-by-merck-animal-health-reveals-many-pet-parents-unprepared-for-the-dangers-posed-by-fleas-and-ticks
  2. “Fact Sheet for Pet Owners and Veterinarians about Potential Adverse Events Associated with Isoxazoline Flea and Tick Products.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2023 August). Retrieved from: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/fact-sheet-pet-owners-and-veterinarians-about-potential-adverse-events-associated-isoxazoline-flea