How to Choose the Best Flea Medicine for Outdoor Cats

What’s the Best Flea Medicine for Outdoor Cats? Our Expert Weighs In

Some cats were born to be wild, living their best lives in the great outdoors. It’s a given that they’d need flea medicine for outdoor cats. But your favorite indoor feline who occasionally steps outside needs flea control medicine, too, says Dr. Kelly Ryan, DVM, director of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Not only are fleas incredibly annoying, they also carry diseases and parasites, which are harmful for pets and people,” Dr. Ryan says.

If you have a cat who lives both indoors and outdoors, the risk of a flea infestation in your home is much greater, she says. And if your cats live exclusively outside, they’re susceptible to fleas wherever they go, including garages, barns, and anyplace they interact with other animals.

Basically, no matter how much time your cat spends outside, they need flea medicine for outdoor cats.

“It is far easier and less expensive to prevent flea infestations than it is to get rid of them, so consistent flea protection for pets should always be a priority,” Dr. Ryan says.

OK, But What Should I Use?

You’ve got an overwhelming number of flea control options at your fingertips. Here’s how to pick the right one for your cat.

Pick a Prescription

The first step, Dr. Ryan says, is to talk to your veterinarian. Using veterinary-prescribed flea control for cats, such as Comfortis Chewable Tablets or Bravecto Topical Solution, ensures that the medicine you’re using is both safe and effective, she says. Each animal is different, after all, so only your veterinarian can tell you what’s best for you and your cat’s unique needs.

Max Out Your Benefits

Fleas may be your main concern, but many flea medicines for outdoor cats also protect against other pests.

“Some of the topical flea control products, like Revolution or Advantage Multi, also protect against heartworm disease, which is a risk for cats as well as dogs and can often be life-threatening,” Dr. Ryan says. (Did you know cats can get heartworms from mosquitoes? Read more about heartworms in cats here.)

One fringe benefit parents of outdoor cats should look for in their flea meds is tick prevention.

“While all cat lifestyles put them at risk for fleas, outdoor cats often have [a greater] risk of ticks,” Dr. Ryan says.

Consider Your Deadline

Some outdoor cats return to the same home every night. But if your cat’s more of a “see you when I see you” kind of pet, coming and going as they please, you’ll want to make sure they’re protected for the long haul. Look for a longer-acting product for cats who don’t return home consistently, Dr. Ryan says: “In that case, the Seresto 8-month cat flea collar would be a good option.”

Get Grooming

While the best flea treatments for cats are usually chemical, Dr. Ryan says, you can also battle fleas with the Safari flea comb for cats. It’s especially effective for finding fleas that might be trying to catch a ride indoors. And the benefits don’t stop there. “Brushing and combing your cat will also help his coat stay healthy and can reduce the number of hairballs—all great benefits to regular grooming,” Dr. Ryan adds.

Clean House

If your cat does bring fleas into your home, they can be difficult to eliminate. Fleas can live for 2-3 months without a host, and they love dark hiding spots like carpets, furniture, closets and even your bed, Dr. Ryan says.

In addition to using a medicated flea preventative on your cat, Dr. Ryan says, you should vacuum all floors extensively and wash all bedding, including any surfaces your cat uses to sleep. You can also use a flea-killing spray on spaces where they’re likely to hide out—but be sure to read the label first, Dr. Ryan warns.

“Particularly take note if the product is safe to use around cats,” Dr. Ryan says. “Some of the products for [home] flea and tick control may be safe around dogs, but they can be toxic to cats.”

Vet’s Best Cat Flea & Tick Home Spray, for example, is safe to use around cats. In fact, you can even spray it directly on your cat to kill pests, too.

The bottom line? Your cat needs flea protection, period.

“Don’t forget to keep administering the flea treatment as directed,” Dr. Ryan says, “whether you are actively seeing fleas or not.”

The best flea prevention and treatment for cats

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  • Fleas can pose serious risks to your cat’s health.
  • With the right flea treatment for cats, you can keep your cat or kitten safe from fleas.
  • Effective over-the-counter flea control products are available in the form of topical preventives, collars, shampoos, sprays, and oral options.
  • The best flea control product for cats is Bayer Advantage II, a monthly topical preventive that guards against fleas in all life stages, is highly effective, easy to apply, and completely waterproof.
  • Before starting your cat on any flea treatment or prevention, you should consult your veterinarian.

If your cat has fleas, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Cats that go outside are more likely to pick up fleas, but even indoor cats can get fleas, either from the family dog or when they go to the veterinarian or a boarding facility. Fleas can even hitchhike indoors on your clothes or shoes.

Signs of fleas in cats include scratching, skin irritation, and the presence of dark red or black specks on your cat’s skin, fur, bedding, or furniture. These specks, about the size of grains of black pepper, are called «flea dirt» and are flea feces (or digested blood). To confirm that what you are seeing is flea dirt, place some on a damp paper towel. If the paper towel turns red, it is flea dirt.

To check your cat for fleas or flea dirt, run a flea comb (a small, very fine-toothed comb) through their coat or part their hair with your fingers to examine their skin. If you find live or dead fleas or flea dirt, you can be assured your cat has a flea infestation.

See also:  10 Effective Home Remedies for Cat Fleas, Organic Facts

Fleas are more than just a nuisance; these parasites can pose a threat to your cat’s health. A severe flea infestation can seriously damage your cat’s skin and could even induce an allergic reaction or cause them to become anemic from blood loss. Fleas also have the potential to transmit diseases like Bartonella henselae bacteria, which can lead to cat scratch disease, and are responsible for cats contracting parasites like tapeworms.

Types of over-the-counter flea control products

When it comes to flea control, prevention is always the best medicine. Not all flea control products are created equal though. Here’s a breakdown of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) flea control products for cats:

  • Topical preventives are usually applied to the skin, typically in one spot on the back of the neck, once a month.
  • Flea collars are worn around the neck, where they deliver flea preventive medication to your cat’s skin and coat.
  • Flea shampoos kill fleas that are currently on your cat and are different from other medicated shampoos.
  • Flea sprays are applied to the skin and coat but are generally less effective than other flea prevention treatments.
  • Oral flea control: Oral flea control products, or «flea pills,» are given to your cat by mouth to kill fleas.

Important note: No matter what flea control product you choose for your cat, never use a product that is labeled for dogs. Cat flea control products and dog flea control products are not interchangeable. Using a product labeled for dogs on your cat can make them extremely sick; in some cases, it can even be deadly. Read labels very carefully before using any flea control product on your cat.

We’ve done the research to find the best OTC flea control products. Below you’ll find our top picks for flea products for cats that do not require a prescription.

Here are the best OTC flea prevention products and treatments for cats you can buy:

  • Best OTC flea control product for cats overall: Bayer Advantage II
  • Best flea collar for cats: Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
  • Best flea shampoo for cats: Natural Chemistry De Flea Pet Shampoo
  • Best natural flea spray for cats: Jasper Flea and Tick Spray for Cats by Mdx Concepts
  • Best OTC oral flea control product for cats: Novartis Capstar Flea Control Tablets

Prices and links are current as of 3/06/2020. Updated pick for the best natural flea spray, which was previously Vet’s Best Natural Flea & Tick Spray. Added additional information about types of flea control products and how to check for fleas.

Best Shampoo for German Shepherds 2019


Best Dog Food For German Shepherd

The Best Muzzle For German Shepherd

Best Dog Crate For German Shepherd

Coat or fur is defined as hair that covers a German Shepherd’s body. Initially developed for herding and guarding, GSDs have double coats so they can easily adapt to extreme weather conditions. Popularly known as working dogs, GSDs can be very active and can do various tasks such as digging through anything and searching. Just imagine how much dirt and bacteria may stick on an active German Shepherd’s coat. These will affect their skin and eventually their quality of life.

GSDs can shed all throughout the year. Bathing as a remedy can be harmful to them as this will only leave their skin dry, flaky and itchy. This article aims to help you as GSD owners and would-be owners to choose the best shampoo for German Shepherds and how to bathe them properly.

Choosing the best shampoo for German Shepherds is quite tricky. Especially for owners who are very impulsive and will just grab the first dog shampoo that they will see. Before getting a hold of just any dog shampoo, there are many factors to consider for your beloved German Shepherd.

It is always best to check what’s inside each bottle to be sure that it will not be harmful to your GSDs. Natural ingredients are best if you want to be certain about your GSD’s skin health. Natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Oatmeal can help moisturize the skin and can greatly reduce severe itching.

A GSD’s pH level is between 6.5 to 7.52, which makes their skin more sensitive than human beings’. Shampoos with lower pH levels may be too acidic for your GSD and will make their skin dry and itchy. A higher pH level will encourage microbe growth and will eventually make your GSD sick.

Naturally scented shampoo for GSDs will not only make them smell great but will also keep them clean. Chamomile, Lavender, Lemongrass, etc.,are great scents that can act not only as deodorizer but are also beneficial for GSD’s skin.

  • German Shepherd Puppy Shampoo

Puppies have more sensitive and delicate skin compared to adult dogs. Furthermore, their immune system is still developing, which makes them susceptible to germs and pests. Being very active and curious, they can rummage through garbage, run, and roll in the mud and get covered with all sorts of dirt. With these said, they need regular bathing. Most GSD puppy owners have a big question in their minds. Can I use baby shampoo on my German Shepherd puppy? The answer is, “NO”. Baby shampoos might be mild and tender for human babies, but with a pH level of 5.5, it may be too acidic for GSD puppies. This will leave GSD puppy skin dry and itchy. Their coats may become brittle as well. Using a mildly scented shampoo with natural ingredients formulated for puppies is the best choice. It can not only clean them but also keep their delicate skin moisturized.

Daily shampooing might strip GSD coats from natural oils. But using a normal GSD shampoo with conditioner can help maintain cleanliness without drying their skin. Some normal shampoos may contain de-shedding ingredients that will help lessen hair fall in GSDs.

For GSDs with tick and flea infestation, they will be needing tick and flea treatments. The first line of defense is the tick and flea shampoo. It helps in getting rid of tick and flea eggs but it should be used together with anti-tick and flea topical creams to stop the infestation. An anti-tick and flea shampoo should be used once a month for prevention.

GSDs with very sensitive skin can use hypoallergenic shampoos or anti-allergy shampoos. GSD allergies may be caused by exposures to environmental hazards, food intolerance, and other shampoos. An anti-allergy shampoo will help relieve itching and strip away shampoo residue.

Medicated shampoo is best for GSDs with Pyoderma or skin infections due to rashes, skin allergies caused by tick and flea bites, fungus and open wounds. Medicated shampoos for GSDs have anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal ingredients that are formulated for skin inflammation.

GSD owners will most likely get very confused when choosing the best shampoo for the fur babies. Knowing the important things to consider in choosing shampoos and the kinds of shampoo that might suit their GSDs, it is best to be guided on which brands to choose.

Rocco and Roxie Calm Hypoallergenic Shampoo – Best Shampoo for German Shepherd Puppy

Rocco and Roxie is an American family-owned business. They specialize in selling quality dog and cat products in the U.S.A. Calm Hypoallergenic Shampoo is an all-natural puppy shampoo, proven safe and effective for German Shepherd puppies and adult GSDs with skin problems. Every bottle of this shampoo has Rosemary extracts which serve as an anti-inflammatory agent and moisturizer. It also contains Aloe Vera to soothe and heal the skin and Chamomile extracts that promote skin health. It doesn’t contain any heavy perfume scent that may harm GSD puppies’ sensitive skin. Bathing is as easy as 1-2-3 with their lather- rich, easy-rinse formula. Plus, it is paraben-free, dye-free and alcohol-free. And did we mention that Rocco and Roxie offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee? How’s that for an assurance of quality?

See also:  Where do bed bugs come from? Rentokil Pest Control

What we love about it:

  • Gentle and safe for GSD puppies
  • Also suitable for GSDs with skin problems
  • Mildly scented
  • Natural ingredients
  • Rich-lather, easy-rinse formula
  • Can heal skin infections
  • Makes coat soft and shiny
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee

What we don’t love about it:

  • Some dogs may develop skin allergies to one or more of the natural ingredients

Healthy Breeds Herbal Avocado Shampoo for Dry Itchy Skin – Best Shampoo for Itchy German Shepherd

Are you looking for a breed-specific shampoo that can relieve your GSD from scratching like crazy? There might be a lot of reasons why GSDs itch but with the Healthy Breeds Herbal Avocado Shampoo, itching will be history. This shampoo contains avocado extracts that can calm the skin from severe irritation. It is formulated to clear away dead skin cells and crusty scales caused by tick and flea infestation and environmental allergies. As it moisturizes your GSDs’ skin, it also makes their coat soft, manageable with a hint of warm avocado scent.

Frequent bathing can cause dry, itchy skin in GSDs but thanks to its chemical-free and soap-free ingredients, bathing your GSD every day is now possible. This specially formulated shampoo for GSDs has Almond oil that will not strip away the natural oil from your GSD’s skin.

What’s great about this product is that it is made in the U.S.A. and they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. What more can you ask for?

What we love about it:

  • Specially formulated for German Shepherds
  • Soap-free, chemical-free
  • Avocado extracts and almond oil that relieves severe itching
  • Moisturizing, hydrating
  • For frequent bathing
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

What we don’t live about it:

  • Not for severely damaged skin

Lilian Ruff Flea and Tick Shampoo – Best Flea and Tick Shampoo for German Shepherd

GSDs have a double coat that keeps them warm, which is also the perfect breeding environment for ticks and fleas. These nasty critters will feed on your GSDs blood that will make them feel very itchy. Flea bites may cause allergies and will pose health problems. As GSD owners, our first instinct is to buy an effective anti-flea and tick shampoo that will stop the infestation and prevent it from coming back. Lilian Ruff Flea and Tick Shampoo can take on these challenging tasks. Formulated with nature’s powerful pesticide, Lemongrass, Peppermint Oil, Wintergreen, Thyme, Lavender oil, it can destroy flea, tick eggs and larvae effectively. Prevention is easy with Eucalyptus and Citronella oil in its ingredients which are known as natural insect and pest repellants.

Most anti-tick and flea shampoo are drying but this shampoo has Rosemary oil and Aloe Vera that can soothe, moisturize and relieve GSDs from the itchy flea bites. It is proven to be an effective formula, and if you are not satisfied with the results, they offer a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. This is a big assurance for a product made in the U.S.A from a cruelty-free company.

What we love about it:

  • Made from natural plant extracts and essential oils
  • Kills and prevents ticks and fleas effectively
  • Powerful yet moisturizing
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Cruelty-Free, paraben-free, dye-free, tear-free

What we don’t like about it:

  • Needs repeated usage for severe tick and flea infested GSDs

Top Performance Shed Patrol De-shedding Shampoo – Best De-shedding Shampoo for German Shepherd

Regular loosening and lifting away dead hair and debris might not be enough for heavy shedders like GSDs. To minimize shedding, they need to have a shampoo that can curb shedding. Top Performance Shed Patrol contains wheat germ oil and vitamins A, D and E that will leave their coat healthy, free from mats and tangles.

Most de-shedding shampoos make GSDs’ sensitive skin dry and scaly but with Aloe Vera and Camomile, Top Performance Shed Patrol is a complete package that is safe even for puppies and kittens over 6 weeks old. What’s more, is its fresh citrus scent that you and your GSD will surely like.

What we love about it:

  • Mild citrus scent
  • Can effectively minimize shedding
  • Contains natural oils
  • Mat and tangles control
  • Safe for puppies and kittens over 6 weeks old

What we don’t love about it:

  • Some GSDs might develop allergic reactions to one or more of its components.

4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo with Conditioner – Best German Shepherd Shampoo and Conditioner

If you are looking for the best organic GSD shampoo and conditioner, why not try 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo and Conditioner. This shampoo is food-grade which means the ingredients are all-natural. You don’t need to fear about accidental ingestion of shampoo suds or residues since it is free from detergent, sulfate, and paraben.

Have you noticed how some shampoos will clean your GSD but still has a doggy smell and would leave their skin dehydrated and itchy? With 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo and Conditioner, you can put all of these problems behind you because this product is formulated with Cedar oil, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint to nourish, moisturize as it leaves your dog smelling fresh. It also has anti-bacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory agents to aid in skin infection healing. Plus, it makes your GSD’s coat healthy and soft.

What we love about it:

  • Certified organic
  • Food-grade
  • Anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory
  • Natural oil for skin and coat health
  • Detergent-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free
  • Safe for GSDs with cancer
  • GSD owners with cancer can safely use this on their GSDs

What we don’t love about it:

  • The essential oil may leave a sticky feel

Now that you are decided on which GSD shampoo is best for your GSD, it’s time to learn some tips on bathing your fur baby. GSDs are naturally clean but their activeness and curiosity will surely get them really dirty.

  1. When bathing GSD puppies, you have to make your puppy feel comfortable first, then give it time to get acquainted with the bathwater, shampoo, etc. GSDs have naturally good memory retention. You don’t want to give your pup the impression that bathing is a punishment.
  2. Get your GSD ready by brushing its hair to loosen mats and tangles. This will lessen the time spent in the water.
  3. Refrain from getting water or shampoo in your GSD ears to avoid ear infection.
  4. Always start from the back of the neck down to the tail.
  5. When blowdrying your GSD’s coat, always brush opposite their coat’s direction.

How often should a German Shepherd be bathed?

GSDs have a tendency to easily get dry skin, therefore it has always been said that GSDs shouldn’t be given frequent baths. GSDs without any skin and coat problems should be bathed once every 2 to 3 months. However, if your GSD’s skin and coat are in jeopardy, it is still best to bring your GSD to the vet. The vet will advise you how often your GSD should be bathed and what medications, topical or oral, should be given.

Choosing the right GSD shampoo according to your GSD’s skin and coat condition is a significant factor in grooming your fur baby. There are specific shampoos for your GSDs specific needs. Our review’s goal is to help you understand the how’s, what’s and why’s in selecting the best shampoo for your GSD.

See also:  5 Effective Pest Control Methods

Aside from bathing, your GSD can also benefit from regular grooming. There are a plethora of grooming tools for GSDs available in the market. You only need to read our articles to be armed with knowledge and be able to choose wisely.

Homemade Pet Shampoo That Kills Fleas

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Making Homemade Pet Shampoo That Kills Fleas is super easy and really works too! You just need three ingredients and a few minutes to mix up your own batch! This recipe was recommended by our vet, and is safe for puppies too!

If you are a regular reader here at Mom 4 Real, then you have probably already “met” or heard me talk about our sweet Bostie, Nash. We’ve had him for a little over a year and love him sooo much! After dog sitting for a friend a few times, we decided that it would be a good idea to add another Boston Terrier to our family so he would have another dog to play with.

This fall, we added his little brother, Bentley to our family, and they have been the best of friends since! I shared this sweet photo of them napping together on Instagram ( FOLLOW HERE for more cute puppy pics and behind the scenes shots of our daily life). The only problem that we had when we brought sweet Bentley home with us was that he brought some extra friends home with him…namely, fleas.

We called our vet and asked what would be the best way to clean Bentley and rid him of the fleas, and she suggested making our own flea killing shampoo using a couple of things we already had in our pantry. I love our vet, because she doesn’t try to sell us crazy expensive pet products, and only suggests that we use heart worm medication and flea and tick preventative medicine. Other than that, she suggests going as natural as possible when caring for our sweet pups, which is right in line with what I believe. This flea killing pet shampoo worked great and was super gentle on both of our dog’s skin and fur!

Homemade Dog Shampoo Recipe

While most of these items can be purchased at your local grocery store, I like to provide Amazon links to the products as well, just in case you’d like to purchase them there. If you click any of the affiliate links to Amazon in this post and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.

  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar ( Purchase HERE )
  • 1/4 cup of Dawn dish liquid ( Purchase HERE )
  • Soap dispenser with pump ( Purchase HERE or use an old hand soap dispenser )

Pour the water, vinegar and dish liquid into a soap dispenser and shake well before each use.

How to Give a Puppy a Bath Video

I put together a quick video showing how to make the shampoo and bathe your puppy too!

How to Use Homemade Dog Shampoo

  1. Wet your dog’s fur.
  2. Massage soap into the dog’s fur. The amount of shampoo you use will depend on the size of your dog. For our small dogs, I typically use 3-5 tablespoons.
  3. Let sit for 3-5 minutes…you can totally massage your dog during the wait time to keep them calm.
  4. Rinse your dog’s fur. If there are dead fleas, rinse them down the drain. You may need to use a comb to remove any dead fleas that are stuck in the dog’s hair.
  5. Towel dry your sweet dog…they’ll be so happy to have no more fleas!

Homemade Pet Products

I’ve also got some other easy pet remedies and easy ways to clean up after them…find them all below!

Got cats that like to scratch up your furniture and urinate in unwanted areas? Find my Homemade Cat Deterrent Spray HERE! This stuff works wonders!

Got pet odor issues? Eliminate unwanted odors and stink with my Homemade Odor Neutralizing Spray!

Stinky carpets making you crazy? This Homemade Carpet Sprinkle is so easy to make and helps neutralize odors that may have seeped into the fibers of your rugs and carpets.

Have areas where your pet has had accidents and created nasty stains on your carpets? Use this super easy Cleaning Hack for Removing Carpet Stains…you won’t believe what you can use to get rid of old stains and new in seconds!

I hope these cleaning tips and ideas will help you keep your pets and home clean and odor free!


The best pet shampoo is ZOTE soap from Mexico. It has Coconut Oil and Citronella Oil in it and it is very mild. It is mainly used for getting stains out of clothes, but it is a great soap for everything. It doesn’t dry your skin, kills fleas, smells wonderful and even helps whiten the tear stains around white dogs eyes. I gave a bar to my groomer and she couldn’t believe how great it worked on the white dogs. It left their fur soft, smelling great and soothed their skin. I also give it to my cleaning lady to use with a “Chore Boy” stainless steel scrubbing pad (doesn’t scratch) to clean fiberglass, chrome, the oven, etc. No need to use harsh chemicals.

Great information! Thanks for sharing, Bonnie!

How can I get this product in Australia please.

Hi, Beryl! You should be able to find white vinegar, and you can substitute the Dawn with whatever soap you use to wash your dishes. Hope this helps!

Beryl, if you’re referring to the Zote soap from the first comment, check They sell it there. Then perhaps you will be find it locally sourced or somewhere cheaper once you have seen it and know what it is. Hope this helps.

Jean Youngblood says

I’ve seen it at Walmart

Liza Herbst says

Good day. Do anyone have a recipy for this ZOTE soap? It’s almost full summer with us and flees and tics will be a major problem! Thank you much. Liza. ☺

Anything for cats with fleas? I try not to use poison. Thanks!

Hi, Christina! You can use this on cats as well. We have a cat that is badly allergic to everything, so we don’t even treat her for fleas. We just keep her in and use this every once in a while. Hope this helps! xoxo Jess

Do you have anything for dog urine smell in carpet?

Hi, Diane! The best way to get rid of dog urine smell that is embedded in carpet is to use a carpet cleaner and enzymatic solution. You can rent carpet cleaners at places like Lowes and even at some grocery stores. I know it sounds like a pain, but it’s the only way to really pull the urine smell out. Hope this helps!


Hi Jessica,
Do you have to bathe the cat to use this or can you do a damp washcloth wash?

Hi, Julia! I’m afraid, washing is necessary to get to the fleas that are in the fur. xoxo, Jess



I have a 18yrs old Griffin who recently has been eating his feet and legs

So how do we use the bar of zone soap in the shampoo? How do we make it into the liquid?

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