Warning: Don’t Share Your Flea Medicine Between Dogs and Cats

If you’re struggling to combat a flea infestation in your home, you may use of chemical-based flea medicines to treat your pets. Fleas — like all parasites — need a host to survive. When you take the host of the equation, their numbers will gradually subside and your home will return to normal.

Frontline, Advantage, Advantix and Revolution are just a few of the leading brands of flea medicine for pets. These products are referred to as either insect growth regulators (IGR) or insect growth inhibitors (IGI) — meaning they break the flea’s life cycle by preventing the development of reproductive organs and defenses. While products such as these are highly effective when used to combat a flea infestation, it’s important for owners to avoid sharing medicine between dogs and cats.

If a flea medicine says “use only on dogs,” you should heed this warning by only using the product on your dog. Placing the medicine on your cat may seem harmless enough, but it could lead to toxicosis and/or illness. Don’t assume that a canine flea medicine is safe to use on your cat just because your cat falls under the appropriate weight listed on the label. Cats posses a very different internal system, and exposing a feline to a flea medicine that’s formulated specifically for dogs could make them ill.

Cats metabolize chemicals in a different manner than dogs; therefore, they require a special type of flea medicine. Even if the canine flea medicine doesn’t trigger any adverse reactions in your cat, its effectiveness may be diminished due to the nuances in metabolism levels between these two animals.

Another common mistake owners make when treating fleas is splitting up large doses into two smaller doses. Rather than purchasing two packages of flea medicine for small dogs for instance, an owner may purchase one package of flea medicine for large dogs and split it into two separate doses. The problem in doing so, however, is that split doses don’t contain the proper ratio of active-to-inactive ingredients.

The bottom line is that you should never share flea medicine between dogs and cats, and you should never split doses. When using a flea medicine on your pet, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to protect your pet’s health and well-being.

Have you shared flea medicine between your pets before? Let us know about it in the comments section below!