Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Should You Use a Flea Collar on Your Cat?

Pet store flea collars aren’t safe for cats.

Spring is a time when many pet owners turn their attention toward fleas and how to prevent them. One thing many cat owners do is put a flea collar on their pet.

But are flea collars safe for cats?

Are Flea Collars Safe for Cats?

No, flea collars are generally not safe for cats. They work by either emitting gas that is toxic to fleas into the area around the cat's head or by releasing chemicals into the pet's skin.

Many times, these chemicals are carbamates or organophosphates, insecticides that are dangerous to cats. Toxicity is especially common when a person uses multiple flea products on a cat or when the kitty gets some in his mouth and ingests it. Poisoning can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Weakness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Paralysis
  • Death

These chemicals can be ingested by cats through grooming of the area where the flea collar has touched or when a cat manages to get his jaw under the collar in an attempt to remove it.

This article refers to flea collars that are purchased at pet stores, not prescription collars prescribed by your veterinarian.

Flea collars can also irritate the skin in the area where they are lying, causing the kitty to scratch. Further skin damage and secondary infection are common.

Cats are extremely sensitive to chemicals, so they can be particularly sensitive to flea collars.

The use of dog flea products on cats is especially dangerous.

Do Flea Collars for Cats Work?

Most veterinarians feel that flea collars don't work. They may keep fleas off a cat's head, but not the rest of the body, and many of them aren't able to kill fleas.

The best way to prevent fleas in cats is through the use of prescription flea preventatives specifically made for them. Your veterinarian can help you determine which product is best for you and your situation.

One Way to Use a Flea Collar

If you have a flea infestation in your home, you can cut a flea collar up (using gloves, away from your cat) and put the pieces in your vacuum canister. When the fleas are vacuumed up and exposed to the flea collar in the confined space, they'll die, and you can empty the whole thing into the trash, close it, and remove it from your home.

You May Also Like These Articles:

Cat Collar Controversy

Flea Control for Cats

Cat Fleas: Does My Cat Have Fleas?

How to Treat Fleas in Kittens

How to Train Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

Cat Drooling

How to Remove Ticks

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with

Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Then, you will be transferred to a human. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian.