What Is the Difference Between Frontline for Cats & Dogs?

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Frontline is formulated differently for dogs and cats.
Frontline is formulated differently for dogs and cats. (Image: Puppies of the spitz-dog and cat in studio image by Ulf from Fotolia.com)

Frontline is a non-prescription medicine for dogs and cats that provides flea and tick protection. The medicine kills adult fleas within a day or two and kills eggs. It also kills major tick varieties, including ones that may transmit tick diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The protection against ticks and fleas lasts about four weeks. The medicine is sold in dosages according to a pet's weight.

How Frontline is Applied to Dogs and Cats

Frontline is a liquid medication that is packaged in individual vials. You apply the medication to dogs and cats in the same way. It is applied directly to the pet's skin between the shoulder blades, with hair parted out of the way. The location is to keep your pet from licking the spot where medicine is applied. It is applied once a month.

Ticks and fleas are a common problem for both dogs and cats.
Ticks and fleas are a common problem for both dogs and cats. (Image: The spitz-dog and cat on a neutral background image by Ulf from Fotolia.com)

Differences Between Frontline for Dogs and Cats

While the ingredients are the same for Frontline for dogs and cats, the ratio of ingredients is different. Directions specify that the medicine is to only be used on the type animal the packaging is for, and that it is not to be used on rabbits or other animals. The active ingredients in Frontline for dogs is fipronil, 9.8 percent, and (s)-methoprene, 8.8 percent. Inert ingredients for dogs are 81.4 percent. The active ingredients in Frontline for cats is fipronil, 9.8 percent, and (s)-methoprene, 11.8 percent. Inert ingredients are 78.4 percent. The first active ingredient kills the adult fleas and ticks, and the second active ingredient is an insect growth regulator, which kills eggs and larvae.

How and Where Frontline is Sold

No prescription for Frontline is required. Packaging typically comes in a three- or six-month supply. Many veterinary offices sell Frontline to patients. It can often be bought at pet supply stores and online. You will want to make sure you buy from a reputable seller to ensure that the medication you think are buying is in reality what you receive. Bulk pricing is often available for pet owners who prefer to buy in larger quantities.

Frontline Differences from Other Pet Products

While the tick and flea protection is similar to other products sold for pets, the reasons that other flea and tick treatments might require prescriptions is that those medications may also offer protection against heartworm and ear mites. Frontline is only to protect against ticks and fleas. It is also approved for use for puppies or kittens at least 8 weeks of age.

Itching because of fleas can lead to raw skin and an infestation in your home if left untreated.
Itching because of fleas can lead to raw skin and an infestation in your home if left untreated. (Image: cat back scratch image by Sirena Designs from Fotolia.com)

Other Frontline Products

Frontline is also available as a spray. It is typically used to treat a severe infestation of fleas and ticks, and then is followed up with the monthly dosage. However, if you dog or cat has a severe infestation of ticks and fleas, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian as to how best to quickly rid your pet (and your home) of fleas and ticks. Sometimes, a more intensive treatment, like a flea dip or other remedy, might be recommended.

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