How I save over 90% on Topical Flea Control for my Multiple Cat Household

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Jeffie in the garden, one of the rescued kittens

I don’t like using topical flea meds, but when you have two dogs and ten cats sometimes diatomaceous earth just isn’t enough. When I took in an abandoned cat and her litter a few months ago, they came with fleas. Despite my best efforts dusting with DE, washing bedding and vacuuming; after a couple months everyone had fleas.

Since I was rehoming Mama and most of the kittens once they were ready, I had to make sure they didn’t bring an infestation to their new homes. The only problem: A six dose package of Advantage for cats under nine pounds from my local vet costs $82.94 plus tax. This works out to about $14.50 per cat. A single dose works for about four weeks if you’re lucky. So, for ten cats, I was looking at $145 a month for flea control. NO WAY.

I decided to do a little bit of research. It turns out that the Advantage cat and dog formulation is the exact same thing. The active ingredient in both is imidacloprid 9.1%.

In other words, buy the package for small cats and get a total of 2.4ml of medication, good for 6 cat treatments. Buy the package for extra large dogs and get ten times that amount, a whopping 24ml of the exact same medication, enough for 60 small cat treatments!

The kicker is that the package for extra large dogs costs only a little bit more than the one for cats. At my vet, it’s about $100, dropping our cost per cat dose down to $1.60. That’s much better!

However, you really don’t have to pay $100 either. Since I’m in Canada, I discovered I can take “advantage” of the low price of Advantage in Australia by ordering online. (This particular product is not available to the USA). A bit more research later and I had found by recommendation what looked like a nice little online shop: Pets Megastore. A 6 pack of Advantage for extra large dogs there is $55.91 CAD and shipping is about $6.  I placed my order and they shipped that same day. My order arrived in good shape with no duty owing about two weeks later.

DSC_0013So now I have managed to drop the price per small cat dose down to $1.03. That’s a savings of almost 93 percent!

All you need to do is get a small glass vial and a syringe with no needle designed to squirt medicine into your cat’s mouth. (Note, you WILL NOT be squirting Advantage into anyone’s mouth! It is applied externally between the shoulder blades directly onto the fur.) Simply empty your extra large dog dose into your glass vial, and use the syringe to get the correct dosage out for your cat (or smaller dog). Here is a handy weight to dosage chart that applies to both cats and dogs:

0-10 lbs = 0.4ml
11-20 lbs = 0.8ml
21-30 lbs = 1.2ml
31-40 lbs = 1.6ml
41-50 lbs = 2.0ml
51-60 lbs = 2.4ml
61-70 lbs = 2.8ml
71-80 lbs = 3.2ml
81-90 lbs = 3.6ml
91-100 lbs = 4.0ml

An added benefit here is that you can tailor your dosages more precisely to your pet’s actual weight. This can save you even more money and is healthier for your pet. Keep your unused medicine well-marked and tightly sealed in a safe place that is also cool, dark and dry. Shake it up well before using again as the active ingredients may settle. It won’t lose potency until the expiration date, so mark this down as well. Be careful not to get this medicine on your skin, or wear latex gloves if you’re worried. Wash your syringe out very well with soapy water before storing. Do not use on kittens or puppies under 8 weeks of age.

If you have a multi-cat household, this tip has the potential to save you a lot of money which you can then spend on your lovely, flea-free friends. Consider a home with three small cats who get treated every month. The yearly cost of buying the small cat sized vials from the vet would add up to $522. The cost of ordering the extra large dog vials online would be $37.08. Throw in the cost of the syringe and vial and let’s say $40. You’ve just saved $482. That’s enough to feed those three cats a high quality grain-free canned food (let’s say $3 per can, one can a day) for over 5 whole months.

(I’d like to add that I haven’t been paid or reimbursed by any of the companies mentioned above. Just had a good experience shopping online and wanted to share. Also note, this information applies to Advantage and Advantage II products only. Do not use the newer, K-9 Advantix or Advantage Multi for Dogs products on cats.)

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