Fleas and ticks can infest your cat, no matter how clean your home is. Rodents and wildlife can act as hosting agents for these parasites, which may invade your home, targeting your pet. Used rags, carpets, and furniture also create conducive breeding sites. So, when you see them on your cat, it gets you wondering if there is a lasting solution to end the menace. Luckily, Bravecto® for cats is one of the most recommended topical treatments for keeping these parasites at bay. In this guide, we’re going to address the following aspects regarding Bravecto® for cats: What is Bravecto?, Is Bravecto safe for use on cats? ,How to administer Bravecto topical treatment for fleas on cats, The active ingredients and side effects that come with Bravecto for cats and the Common FAQs on Bravecto for cats
What is Bravecto® for Cats?
Bravecto® for cats is a topical preventative and treatment solution for flea and tick control. Merck Animal Health Company manufactures and is a leading pharmaceutical company in the US. According to the US Bravecto, Bravecto brands vary, depending on the pet. The two varieties for cats include:
- Bravecto Spot-On which kills and protects cats against fleas and ticks (Dermacentor variabilis)
- Bravecto Plus Spot-On which kills and protects cats against fleas, ticks, roundworms, lungworms, and hookworms
For Bravecto for cats to work effectively, the pet owner should apply it on the cat’s skin on the back of their skull. It works by penetrating the skin tissues where the fleas and ticks infest. The parasites will consume the solution and die within eight hours of application. Bravecto for cats is available in three potencies of fluralaner per tube; 112.5mg, 250mg, and 500mg. Unlike other tick and flea topical products, Bravecto is both a preventative and treatment solution. You can apply it to your cat whether they have parasites or otherwise. Long-lasting capabilities are perhaps the biggest selling point that Bravecto has. Other parasite management solutions only last a month or less, meaning you will have to see your vet every month. Bravecto, on the other hand, lasts three months (12 weeks), saving you monthly vet visits and ensuring your pet isn’t vulnerable to fleas and ticks. Kittens aged nine weeks, weighing at least 2.6 pounds, are qualified for this topical treatment.
Is Bravecto safe for use on cats?
Going by holistic clinical research, Bravecto Plus has been proven safe for use on kittens aged nine weeks and weighing at least 2.6 lbs. The product contains Fluralaner, an active ingredient meant for system use and features under the class of isoxazoline-substituted benzamide derivatives. The active ingredient works by inhibiting the arthropod’s nervous system, perpetuating its death, and controlling its life cycle. According to a recent study in a European lab, Bravecto eliminated 100% of fleas within eight hours after treatment. The product also reduced the number of fleas on cats by 98% within 12 hours post-infestation. However, it’s not yet proven if it’s safe for breeding pregnant and lactating cats. Remember that you can’t administer Bravecto on your cat without consulting your vet. If your cat has a history of neurological abnormalities, ensure you use the product after your vet gives you the go-ahead.
How to administer Bravecto topical treatment for fleas and ticks on cats
Your cat’s reaction to topical products determines how you’ll administer it. Some cats won’t mind, while others may display a little anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to prepare your cat to avoid wasting the product or making them irritable. Start by offering some treats and pets. Next, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Open the pouch and remove the tube
Keep in mind that the cap doesn’t come off. The child-resistant pouch houses the tube, which has a twist-and-use cap. Start by holding the tube on one end in an upright position. Ensure the tip faces up. Turn the cap clockwise on one full turn to break the seal and open the tube.
Step 2: Prepare your cat for the application process
Place your cat on a flat surface, ensuring they stand upright. Part the fur on the back of the head/ base of the skull. If your cat is the fidgety type, have someone else gently hold them on their stomach while you apply the Bravecto Spot-on or Bravecto Plus. If your cat weighs more than 6.25 kg, it would be best to apply it in two spots for maximum effectiveness.
Step 3: Apply the product
Squeeze the tube gently starting from the bottom, ensuring you empty all the contents of your cat’s skin at the base of the skull. If the solution starts dripping, stop the application. Instead, choose the second spot at the back of the neck and apply it. Remember, cats are excellent groomers, particularly when they sense something foreign on their bodies. Avoid applying it directly on their skin lesions. If you have more than one cat, they’ll likely groom each other. In that case, separate the cats for 8-10 hours until the product dries up. Treatment using Bravecto can begin at any time of the year without interruption. For example, if you started the application in May, count three more months to schedule the re-application process. Come August, your cat will be ready for the second treatment. According to Bravecto® Topical for Cats, the product contains two active ingredients
- Fluralaner- an insecticide that works by inhibiting the fleas’ nervous system in eight hours, speeding up its death.
- Acaricide- for killing arachnids like ticks
As is expected of medications, Bravecto also comes with side effects. Your cat may experience the following side effects depending on their medical history, weight, current health, interactions with their current medications, and mode of administration:
- Loss of appetite
- Fur loss
While you may be prepared for side effects, the thought of seeing your furry friend struggling with vomiting, lethargy, or even decreased appetite can be frustrating. It’s not easy determining if these side effects signify healing actions or worsening underlying conditions. Another thing to keep in mind is that research about the safety of Bravecto for breeding, pregnant, and lactating cats is still ongoing. Therefore, it’s vital to buy and apply the topical treatment on your cat after seeing your veterinary officer for expert advice.
For how long will Bravecto protect my cat against fleas and ticks?
It takes 12 weeks before you can think of applying Bravecto Plus Spot-on or Bravecto Spot-on on your cat again. Always put reminders to help you schedule a re-application after every three months.
Is Bravecto an over-the-counter topical treatment or a prescription from a vet?
You can buy it over-the-counter, but you can’t apply minus your vet’s approval. Before buying it, ask your vet to come and examine or test your cat for any underlying conditions like neurological disorders. Clinical studies on the effects of Bravecto on breeding, pregnant, and lactating cats are not yet conclusive. You risk making your cat vulnerable to adverse side effects if you apply it before your vet gives you the go-ahead.
What if my cat doesn’t want to cooperate with the treatment?
Buying a Bravecto Plus or Spot-on product is a heavy investment that you shouldn’t leave to waste. Considering how cats are unpredictable and defensive when they get suspicious, it would be best to ask someone for help. If your cat is gentle, you can go ahead and apply it while they are standing upright. For wriggly or defensive cats, get someone to have him lying on his stomach. Apply the product to the skin on the base of his skull after parting the fur. Squeeze its content gently, ensuring it doesn’t drip onto the surface or fur.
Is there a specific time, day, or month for applying Bravecto for cats?
No. You can administer Bravecto on your cat at any time, provided they are past nine weeks and weighing 2.6 pounds. Ensure your vet examines them before applying this product to them.
What’s the worst that can happen if I give my cat Bravecto along with medications for another condition?
According to some studies, Bravecto hasn’t shown any interactions with routinely used medicinal products. However, this doesn’t justify your reason for removing vet visits from your to-do list because they know your pet well.
Is Bravecto a preventive or curative solution
Both. It works for both cats with and without fleas and ticks. It contains an active ingredient called fluralaner, which gets inside the bloodstream. The active ingredient accesses tissue fluids under your cat’s skin, where fleas and ticks mostly target. Upon ingesting the fluralaner, their nervous system will become paralyzed, speeding up their death.
Why does my cat scratch even more despite administering the Bravecto treatment?
One of the main side effects your cat may experience is itchiness. It’s more like their healing action. It comes as a result of dying fleas. As they die and fall one by one, the uncoordinated movements are itchy. You don’t need to worry about your cat scratching their skin after 8-24 hours have elapsed.
Will the fleas permanently disappear after I have administered the Bravecto product to my cat?
It’s unpredictable. Fleas thrive better in regions with temperate climatic conditions. You may notice fleas coming back to re-infest your cat from young life stages to matured adults in your household. Sometimes, your cat may pick the fleas from other homes or come into contact with other pets who’ve been untreated. Unless the 3-month period hasn’t lapsed, nothing to worry about. Bravecto will kill these fleas. As the fleas ingest the product, they will lie helplessly on the tips of the fur in the coat. You should see them falling off, marking the speedy efficacy of the product.
Why are fleas still present in my home despite administering Bravecto?
95% of the flea population is immature, like eggs, larvae, and pupa. The rest of the 5% use your cat as the hosting agent. So even if you apply the topical product on your cat, the 5% will die because they’re already on your cat’s fur. The rest are waiting to mature and start looking for a new host to feed on. They are laying in wait in places like your carpet, furniture, crevices, and even your garden. When you constantly use Bravecto for cats, eventually, the population will go down, and your household will enjoy a flea-free atmosphere. Remember that your cat’s bedding can host fleas in different stages. Therefore, it would be best to wash it in hot water and vacuum areas your pet constantly frequents to control the flea population.
Will using other insecticides to keep fleas under control increase Bravecto’s effectiveness?
Not necessarily. As mentioned earlier, Bravecto is designed to kill adult fleas already perching on your cat. It works by disrupting its life cycle for 3-6 months, depending on its efficacy. For example, if your cat is already on Bravecto treatment, surrounding fleas may get tempted to infest it. Each time they do so, they get killed, and this trend continues until the entire population is controlled. So, there’s no need to use extra insecticides to control the flea population.
Can I use Bravecto Spot-on or Bravecto Plus on my dog?
No. Both products are only designed for cats. The ones meant for dogs are:
- Bravecto Spot-on for dogs (Protects your dog against fleas for six months and ticks for four months
- Bravecto for chew- it is available in a chewable version (Protects your dog against fleas and ticks for 12 weeks)
Your furry friend looks up to you for protection against fleas, ticks, and worms that can compromise their health. These parasites can increase in population when you least expect them. Fortunately, Bravecto for cats has got you covered. Before applying this topical treatment, make sure your vet is aware and has checked out your cat’s current health. Remember, this product will protect your cat from these parasites for three months. So, make sure you set a reminder to help you keep the parasites’ population under control.