1st Place – Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

Overall Rating
4.8
Speed of Results
Application Frequency
Kills Other Insects
Ease of Application


An Effective, Reliable Alternative to Monthly Topical Treatments
Not all pet owners want to use a monthly topical treatment or have to give their cats pills. For those who want something that is more attach and forget, the Seresto flea and Tick Collar for Cats is perfect. View more.


2nd Place – Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical Drops

Overall Rating
4.6
Speed of Results
Application Frequency
Kills Other Insects
Ease of Application


Kills Fleas, Ticks and Lice
Sentry Fiproguard for cats will take care of your cat’s pest problem, easily getting rid of fleas, ticks, and chewing lice and preventing them from coming back. When summer time hits, fleas and ticks can be a real problem so it’s always good to have a product like this one that will take care of things in an easy to manage way. View more.

Flea Treatment for Cats Comparison

  Fights Against
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

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Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical Drops

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Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control

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Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

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Advantage II

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Frontline Flea and Tick Spray

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Cheristin

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PetsNeedMeds Extra Strength Capsules

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Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

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Capstar Flea Treatment

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Kills Adult Fleas
Kills Flea Eggs/Larvae
Repels Fleas
Stops development of Fleas at all stages
Kills and Repels Ticks
Kills Chewing Lice
Kill and/or Repels Mosquitoes/Biting Flies
  Treatment
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

View
Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical Drops

View
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Advantage II

View
Frontline Flea and Tick Spray

View
Cheristin

View
PetsNeedMeds Extra Strength Capsules

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Capstar Flea Treatment

View
Treatment Dosage One Colar One Tube One Tube One Tube One Tube Until slightly Damp, Not Dripping One Tube One Pill One Tube One Pill
Method of Application Collar Topical Topical Topical Topical Topical Spray Topical Oral Pill Topical Oral Pill
Length of Time to Start Seeing Results Within 24 Hours Within 24 Hours Within 24 Hours Within 1-12 Hours Within 12 Hours On Contact Within 1 hour Within 30 Minutes within 12 hours Within 30 Minutes
Active Ingredients Flumerthrin, Imidacloprid Fipronil Fipronil, methoprene Imidacloprid, Pyriproxyfen Imidacloprid, Pyriproxyfen Fipronil Spinetoram Nitenpyram Imidacloprid, Pyriproxyfen Nitenpyram
Age Reqirement for Use 10 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 4 Weeks 8 weeks 4 Weeks
  Features
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

View
Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical Drops

View
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Advantage II

View
Frontline Flea and Tick Spray

View
Cheristin

View
PetsNeedMeds Extra Strength Capsules

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Capstar Flea Treatment

View
Easy to Use
Application Frequency Every 8 months Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly or as needed Monthly Once per day Monthly Once a Day or As needed
Doses Available N/A 3, 6 months 3, 6, and 12 months 4, 6 months 4, 6 months 8, 16, 32 ounce bottles 6 tubes 6 tablets 4 months 6, 12 Tablets
Waterproof
Gives Application Instructions
Year Round Use Recommended
Use on other Animals No No No No No dogs No No No No
  Cutomer Service
Seresto Flea and Tick Collar

View
Sentry Fiproguard Flea and Tick Topical Drops

View
Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Advantage II

View
Frontline Flea and Tick Spray

View
Cheristin

View
PetsNeedMeds Extra Strength Capsules

View
Advantage II Flea Control Treatment

View
Capstar Flea Treatment

View
Rating 4.8 Stars 4.6 Stars 4.5 Stars 4.4 Stars 4.3 Stars 4.2 Stars 4.1 Stars 4 Stars 4 Stars 3.3 Stars
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Guide to Cat Flea Treatment and Prevention

Fleas are one of the drawbacks to warmer weather, but they don’t have to become a horrible nuisance if you get a head start on them and take precautions to prevent infestations from becoming a problem.  Treating fleas on cats is a bit different than treating them on dogs and you should never use dog flea treatments on a cat due to the danger involved, but there are ways to get rid of fleas that are on your cat that won’t hurt them at all.

My Cat Stays Indoors, How Can It Have Fleas?

One of the biggest surprises to owners of indoor cats is how their pet ended up with fleas. The fact of the matter is that fleas can enter your home through many different means. They can jump onto your clothing when you’re outside, you can have one jump onto you from someone else’s house that has pets that have fleas, and they can even come through the screens of your home.

Even if you have outside pets AND indoor only pets, the fleas can get onto you from the outside pets and can be transferred to the indoor animals with ease. All it takes is one or two and the next thing you know, you’re dealing with a flea problem.

How do I know my Cat has Fleas?

Flea Treatment for Cats1Just because you don’t see fleas on your cat easily doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  Cats groom themselves often and ingest the fleas when they do, so you may not notice them right away.  You may notice them scratching or you may be getting bitten yourself before you notice them crawling around on your cat. There’s a simple way to check your cat for fleas that will let you know for sure if there is a problem to be handled.

Get a white sheet of paper out and set it on a counter or table. Put your cat on the paper and get a fine toothed comb. Comb the cat with the fine toothed comb and note if you see any flea feces (also called flea “dirt”) on the paper and of course the adult fleas themselves may be combed out as well.  You can identify this flea dirt by moistening it slightly which will turn it a reddish brown color.  Since this dirt is dried blood, this is what causes the reddish color.

Why it is Important to get Rid of Fleas

You may not think that getting rid of a few fleas is all that important, but getting rid of them is a necessity for many reasons.  First of all, “just a few fleas” can quickly turn into an infestation both on your pet and in your home and constantly being bitten by fleas is a true annoyance as well as being painful for humans and cats alike.

Fleas don’t live on humans the way they do cats and dogs, but they do bite humans, and anyone who has dealt with constant biting around the ankles or anywhere else can attest to the misery this can cause.  In addition, fleas can cause health problems in your cat that can lead to very serious, potentially life threatening issues.

Fleas have tapeworms.  All fleas have tapeworms and that means your cat can get them too.  Because cats ingest the fleas during grooming, they end up with tapeworm due to the fact that the fleas have them.  Tapeworms can cause deficiencies in your cat, leading to unhealthy weight loss. You may notice rice like objects in your cat’s feces. If you see this, you can assume your cat more than likely is infected with tapeworms and will need treatment.

Fleas can be responsible for transmitting other infectious diseases so it is important to get them removed and under control as soon as possible.  Some of the commonly seen diseases that can be caused by fleas are below along with some information about them.

Flea Infectious Anemia – This is a serious illness that cats can get from bad flea infestations.  It is particularly dangerous to kittens that can contract it much faster due to their small size and weaker systems.  They get infected by being bitten by the fleas that are sucking their blood.  Unfortunately it doesn’t show up right away and can actually take a month before there are enough parasites in the blood so you are signaled that something is wrong.

It is during this first month of infection that is the most dangerous for your cat.  Once they have it, they become permanent carriers of it even if they are treated for, and recover from it.  Stress can reactivate FIA in your cat once they’ve had it. Fleas that are present on carriers can then infect over cats because the fleas jump onto other cats and bite them.  Any cat that has had previous illness of any kind is more susceptible to getting infected with FIA.

While outdoor cats are at the highest risk, indoor cats are not immune in any way. If a mother cat has it when she gives birth, the kittens can have it.  Not every case is fatal by any means and if it is caught soon enough they can be treated and make a full recovery.  You may notice your cat eating litter or dirt to get iron back into their systems. If you notice your cat doing this, you may want to seek veterinary care to rule it out, especially if your cat has had fleas.

Common Symptoms of Feline Infectious Anemia include:

  • Gradual or sudden weakness
  • Pale gums
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Depressed actions
  • Rapid breathing or heart rate
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Doesn’t want to eat

If you cat does have feline infectious anemia and it has been caused by fleas, one of the treatments will be to get rid of the fleas in the home, yard and on the cat itself.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis – This is an extreme allergic reaction to flea bites that can affect cats and dogs.  If your cat has FAD, you will notice hot spots and excessive, painful itching. The itching is so great; sores develop that are usually crusty and oozing.

Cat Scratch Disease –This is a disease that is more dangerous for humans that it is the cats that transmit it.  Fleas give cat scratch disease to another cat when it’s been on one that has it.  It may surprise you to know that 40% of cats approximately will carry cat scratch disease at some time. Infected flea feces that is present on a cat’s claws or fur is given to the person via a lick, scratch or bite. Symptoms of Cat Scratch Disease include:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

If anyone with a weakened immune system contracts Cat Scratch Disease, it can cause them to become seriously ill; just one more important reason to take care of those fleas asap.

The Life Cycle of Fleas

Flea Treatment for Cats4Many people don’t realize that there are several stages to the life of a flea. The adult fleas that are much more visible are both the beginning and end of the cycle in many ways. We’ll explain the life cycle process and that will help you make much more sense of why you have fleas on your cats and how to best get rid of them for good.  You can’t just treat one thing, and you’ll have to treat them more than once to truly get rid of them…here’s why:

There are 4 basic stages of the flea life cycle:

  • Egg
  • Larvae
  • Pupae
  • Adult

Each of these four stages must be dealt with in some fashion to truly eliminate fleas. Once you have brought a hitchhiker into the home and your cat has fleas, this is how the process goes.

  1. The adult flea gets onto your cat and sets up camp. They need a warm blooded host to supply endless food for them, so your cat fits the bill perfectly.  The adult will stay on the cat for a few weeks, sucking blood several times a day and laying an abundance of eggs each day as well. It’s not unlikely for an adult flea to lay well over 200-300 eggs on your cat during this time.
  2. Once the eggs are laid, they can fall off anywhere. Because cats get on pretty much anything and everything from the kitchen counters to your bed or desk, flea eggs will drop off all over the house.  They are microscopic in size, only 1/12th the size of an adult flea, so you can imagine how tiny that is.  Once the eggs drop off, they continue to develop into the next stage, hatching into larvae.
  3. Once into the larvae stage, they are tiny, microscopic worm like creatures that get into the crevices of your floors, your carpeting, your bedding, piles of clothes in the laundry room and anywhere else they can hide. Food for larvae includes dead skin, organic matter, and the feces of adult fleas.  After molting twice, the larvae form a cocoon and enter the next stage of their lives called pupae.
  4. They remain in this stage until environmental conditions alert them that it’s time to come out and start the process all over again as new adult fleas. Heat, vibrations and exhaled carbon dioxide are the triggers that “wake” the pupae up to come out off the cocoon. As soon as they come out they immediately jump onto the host (which was responsible for waking them up) and continue to cycle.

It’s this 4 stage process that makes people feel like they didn’t achieve anything when they treat the adult fleas on their cats and then a couple of weeks later, there are more fleas again, sometimes worse than before. When you treat fleas, it has to be thorough, you have to teat cat, home AND yard and it has to be several times, weeks apart to account for the stages of the fleas. This way you’re getting all of them.

If Your Cat has Fleas, Your Home has Fleas

One common mistake that cat owners can make is treating the fleas on the cat and forgetting to treat the home.  This makes treating the cat futile, as the fleas will still continue to breed, bite you and the cat and multiply.  It is extremely important to treat both the cat AND the home, and if your cat goes outdoors, you’ll need to add treating your yard into the mix as well.  It may sound like a daunting task, but it will be worth it when you get rid of them and stay on top of the problem from that point on. It’s much easier to prevent them than to get rid of them once they’ve become a problem.

Fleas can hide in multiple places in your home.  Common places include:

  • Carpeting
  • Curtains
  • Mattresses
  • Bedding (human’s and pet’s bedding)
  • Cat towers
  • Clothing
  • Crevices of wood floors
  • Under beds, couches and chairs
  • Damp basements
  • Corners of the garage
  • Under furniture cushions

These are all of the places you will need to treat when you are working to de-lea your home. Once you have detected the presence of fleas on your cat and in your home, you will need to take care of it all at one time.  Taking care of the fleas on your cat one day and waiting a few days to do the home results in having to treat the cat again.

Favorite Flea Hang outs Outside

If your cats go outside, you will need to treat your yard as well.  Fleas love dark, damp places so any place in your yard that fits this description is going to be a prime flea breeding ground.  This can include under sheds, lawn furniture, decks and porches, around fences, and around trees and shrubs too.

Cats are notorious for hiding in the bushes and you can bet that there are fleas in there as well. It may seem monumental, and while we won’t say it’s simple, it IS doable.  If you feel your yard has got a major flea problem, you can call on the help of a professional, but there are many things you can do yourself too that will help take care of the problem.

Fleas Can Change Your Cat’s Behavior

A cat that is miserable, trying to deal with a ton of fleas biting them constantly will more than likely be acting out in some way and they will exhibit other personality changes as well. These can include behaviors such as:

  • Hissing and swatting at you or family members who try to pet or pick them up
  • Using the bathroom outside the cat box
  • Biting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constant scratching
  • Irritable
  • Restless
  • Constant, almost aggressive grooming even to point of bleeding
  • Lethargy
  • Eating disturbances

With all of these changes going on, it is easy to see why it is so important that you take action quickly to get rid of the fleas. A cat that is suffering from fleas is not going to be an enjoyable cat to have around. The good news is that as soon as the problem is taken care of and they feel relief, they will be back to their usual selves.

Your Plan for getting Rid of Fleas

Flea Treatment for Cats2Once you have identified that you have a flea problem, you will need to take action to get rid of them and get things back under control.  There are several things that you will need in the way of supplies to tackle the job ahead.  Here is a preliminary shopping list for you:

  • Cat flea shampoo (don’t use dog shampoo or human shampoo)
  • Best flea treatment for cats for after the bath (we’ll go over this more)
  • Flea treatments for your home (more details later)
  • Flea treatments for your yard (more details later)

There are several different things included in the flea treatments, but this will be outlined more for you later and you can find great resources for the best products here on this site as well.

Treating Your Cat for Fleas

You have several options to choose from when it comes to not only getting rid of the fleas on your cat but preventing them from coming back as well.  We’ve outlined the most commonly used types of methods available to you below.

Cat Flea ShampoosThis will be a step that needs to be taken along with a preventative. Flea shampoos are not typically used as a preventative but are needed to get rid of the adult fleas on the cat itself. Whatever flea preventative you choose to use on your cat, be sure to get a good flea shampoo as well so you can start with de-fleaing your cat and then you’ll proceed to the preventative.

Make sure that the shampoo states it is for cats and/or cats and kittens. If you’re treating a kitten you must take extra care to get a shampoo that can be used on kittens and that the kitten isn’t too young. Less than 6-8 weeks of age is generally too young to treat with most over the counter products, so ask your veterinarian if your super young kittens have fleas.

Cat Flea SpraysFlea sprays are used to kill existing adult fleas on your cat but overall are not generally a good choice for preventing fleas from getting back onto your cat.  A good cat flea spray can be used for interim treatments if needed. Be certain that the spray is specifically for kittens and cats and know the minimum age they can be used on.  Also avoid the eyes when spraying.

Flea Powders – Flea powders are another product that is used to kill fleas.  It can be messy and drying to the coat of your cat.  This doesn’t mean not to use them it just means that you will need to ensure that you are not overusing them or using them instead of a longer term preventative that can keep the fleas off your cat.

Monthly Topical Treatments – There are several types of topical spot treatments that can be used on cats and kittens but they must be specifically for cats and kittens. The way spot treatments work is with a vial of liquid that is put in dots along the spine of the cat. You will do this once a month the same way each time. This is a great preventative that can keep the cat from getting re-infested.

Because they are designed for cats and/or kittens there is no worry as to it being harmful if the cat licks it after application. You want to get the treatment as close to the skin as possible so it may be helpful to have two people doing this; one to hold the cat and the other to apply the treatment. One thing to check with your vet is the danger of the cat ingesting the product after it’s been applied. Because cats groom themselves with their tongue, they can become sick unless the product states that it is safe for them to ingest some of when they are grooming.

Cat/Kitten Flea Collars – this work the same way on cats that dog flea collars work on dogs but you can NOT use a dog flea collar on a cat. Collars are a long term preventative that works well after the live adult fleas have been killed and removed.  The collar can be worn along with their regular cat collar and need to be changed once every 3 months or so. The package will specify how often to change them out.

Oral Treatments – There are products out there that can be given orally that kill the fleas on your cat in as fast as 30 minutes. These products can be given as often as once a day, but the directions must be followed exactly, so be sure that the oral product you have states how often they can have a tablet.  If the problem is bad, you may want to opt for more of a preventative method since buying enough for the cat to have a tablet every day can get very costly.

How to Give Your Cat a Flea Bath and Survive

It is much harder to give a cat a bath than a dog for many reasons. In general you don’t find many cats that like water, especially when that water is poured all over them.  Below we’ve outlined the best and safest way to give your cat a flea bath.

  • Gather all your supplies first – Make sure you have your cat flea shampoo, towel and the flea preventative that you are going to put on your cat right there where you are giving them the bath. Also have a few treats on hand to reward the cat with after the bath is done. A cat is not the type of animal you can walk away from to grab what you forgot. They will make a beeline for the nearest place they can get that YOU can’t and then you’ll have a have bathed, very un-impressed cat on your hands.
  • Get a helper – Unless your cat is extremely comfortable being bathed, it will be much easier and safer to have someone hold the cat while you pour the water and shampoo them. Doing this will ensure that you still have skin left on your arms after the bath is finished.
  • Fill the tub or basin BEFORE you get your cat – whatever you’re going to bathe your cat in needs to be filled with 3-4 inches of water before the cat ever comes close to it. The sound of running water is not a sound that will instill peace in your cat and they may try to get away at that point.  If it is already filled when you bring them to it, they will not have to hear anything that will enhance their fears.
  • Suds them up well – The flea shampoo needs to be well applied for it to be effective at killing the fleas. Once the cat’s fur is wet, apply a good amount of shampoo and start working it into the fur all the way down to the skin while the other person holds the cat as still and calmly as possible. Both of you should use soothing tones while bathing the cat; reassuring them that everything is fine.
  • Let it Sit – Once they are soaped up well, let the flea shampoo sit on the fur for several minutes to allow the chemical to kill as many fleas as possible. Once a few minutes have gone by, start taking cupfuls of water and rinse your cat, starting at just behind the ears and working your way down to the tail. Rinse thoroughly because the cat will start grooming themselves with their tongue as soon as they have been released and you don’t want them to get shampoo in their mouths.
  • Towel Dry Thoroughly – After your cat is bathed, put them in the middle of a large towel and towel dry them, rubbing vigorously to get them as dry as possible. Cats may actually like this part although some don’t like to be rubbed hard so it may be easier to have your helped continue to hold them until this part is done as well.
  • Apply the Preventative – Whatever long term preventative you have decided to use should be given now. It IS okay to wait to apply it until your cat has “righted” their fur to their own satisfaction, but take note of the fact that even if you wait until they are dry, as soon as you apply the topical treatment, they will just groom themselves again.  If you’re opting for a collar, this can be applied after they have dried thoroughly.

Treating the House Properly

Flea Treatment for Cats3Now that you have finished treating your cat, it’s time to tackle the rest of the house so the fleas don’t jump right back onto them.  Treating the house is a bit more labor intensive than treating the pet, but you can get several helpers here so many jobs can be done at the same time. The more jobs you get done at the same time, the better chance you have of not re-infesting your cat.  You will more than likely need to repeat these steps several times over the course of the next few days and weeks while the adult fleas are being killed.

  • Wash ALL Bedding – Human AND Pet – You will need to wash all the bedding in your home. Strip the beds and wash sheets, pillow cases, blankets, comforters and mattress pads as well. Everything that comes in contact with your bed needs to be washed.  You will also need to wash all pet bedding but do this in a separate load of just pet bedding.  Use a hot water setting.
  • Vacuum the Mattresses – While all the bedding is off the beds, it’s a great time to get a vacuum with a crevice tool and vacuum it thoroughly. Vacuum the surfaces as well as the crevices and creases. Don’t forget to vacuum the box spring as well.  Do this for every mattress in your home. Beds are a favorite spot of fleas which is why humans can wake up with flea bites in the morning.
  • Vacuum the Entire Home – Vacuuming is a great way to get rid of dropped flea eggs and adult live eggs as well. While you are working to get rid of the flea problem, vacuum every single day, especially carpeted areas, corners, under furniture and in the bottom of closets.  Do not put a flea collar in the vacuum. It can cause toxic fumes when in contact with the heat of the vacuum.  If your vacuum uses bags, you will need to throw the bags away every single time you vacuum until the fleas are gone. They can crawl right back out of the bag if you leave it in the vacuum.  If it is a cup style, empty and clean the cup after every vacuuming. (do this outdoors)
  • Steam Clean the Carpets – This kills and gets rid of any remaining eggs that are left after vacuuming. Steam cleaners can be rented from grocery stores if you don’t have one of your own and if you have wall to wall carpet, it’s cheaper to do it yourself than to hire someone. It is a step that is better not overlooked since it is so important to get those lingering flea eggs so they don’t hatch and start the problem over again.
  • Use flea foggers – For extreme infestations you may need to use flea foggers. You must remove ALL animals and food from the house during this procedure including birds, small animals, cats, dogs and fish. You can hire a professional exterminator to do this but it is important to let them know there are animals, including cats that reside inside the home so they use the appropriate products.

Treating the Yard Properly

Taking care of the fleas outdoors can be difficult but there are many products that you can use to make it easier if you decide to do it yourself rather than hire a professional. The day you work on your yard you will need to keep your cats indoors all day and night.

  • Clean up the yard of “flea attracters” – The first order of business will be getting rid of potential nesting spots in your yard. Mow, weed eat, being sure to get all the tall grasses and weeds cut down, get rid of leaf piles and move wood piles. Anything that can be a breeding ground for fleas will be what you’re on the lookout for.
  • Keep other pets out – Make sure other animals can’t get into your yard. Fix any holes in fences or even put up a fence if other neighbor’s animals are always in your yard.
  • Flood them – Water your yard frequently. This will wash away the feces of the adult fleas which the larvae feed off of. Without a food source they will not be able to survive. For extremely infested yards, you may want to consider flooding the yard.  Water logged eggs can’t survive being flooded.
  • Use Cedar Chips – Cedar chips are a great flea deterrent so using them around your flowers, bushes, trees and your pet’s rest and play areas are a great way to reduce the fleas in your yard.
  • Get some Nematodes – these microscopic non-segmented worms are great for eating fleas and other kinds of insects as well. You mix the nematodes with water and put it in a yard sprayer and spray your yard with it. The exact amounts will be on the package.
  • Chemical Sprays – there are chemical yard sprays you can use, but you will need to consult to package to ensure they can be used around yards with cats. No chemical is safe for a pet, but as long as you keep them inside for a full 24 hours after treatment, it should be fine. Don’t spray chemicals in their sleeping areas.
  • Diatomaceous Earth – A fine silky powder that is non-toxic to pets or people. This product is uses in yards and even in the pets bedding safely to deter fleas.

Even though it may seem like you will never get rid of a bad infestation of fleas, with persistence and determination you will see a progression of fewer and fewer fleas until you have the problem taken care of.  There is no way to completely eliminate them so your cat never gets fleas, but when you’re on top of it and preventing them rather than trying to get rid of them you will have a lot better results and happier cats as well.