How Long Does Revolution Last on Cats?

Whether you’re a seasoned cat parent or new to the feline world, the welfare of your fur baby is a priority. Revolution, a popular flea, and heartworm preventative is a go-to for many cat owners, but how long does it really last? Let’s dive into the specifics of this treatment, its longevity, effectiveness, and best practices for application.

Understanding the Mechanism of Revolution

Revolution, scientifically known as Selamectin, is a monthly topical parasiticide designed to treat and prevent various parasites in cats, including fleas, heartworms, ear mites, and certain types of ticks. It works by penetrating the skin and entering your pet’s bloodstream, where it specifically targets these unwelcome guests. For maximum effectiveness, it’s essential to understand the duration and frequency of the application.

How Long Does Revolution Last?

Contrary to some beliefs, Revolution isn’t a one-and-done solution. It’s designed to last 30 days following each application. That means to maintain continuous protection against parasites, you must reapply Revolution every month. Even if signs of infestation are no longer visible, adhering to a regular application schedule is crucial to prevent recurrence.

How Effective is Revolution?

When applied correctly, studies show that Revolution is highly effective against parasites. The active ingredient, Selamectin, kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching for one month. This same compound is effective in preventing heartworm disease, with an efficacy rate nearing 100%.

It’s important to remember that it may take a few days to see noticeable results, especially with larger infestations. In some cases, particularly with severe flea infestations, it may require up to three consecutive monthly applications to completely eliminate the pests.

Applying Revolution: Best Practices

To ensure maximum absorption and effectiveness, Revolution should be applied directly to the skin, typically at the base of the cat’s neck. It takes around two hours for Revolution to be fully absorbed, so try to distract your cat during this period to prevent them from licking off the medication. Once absorbed, Revolution is water-resistant, so your cat’s regular grooming or the occasional bath won’t impact its efficacy.

After applying Revolution, remember to wash your hands and avoid touching the application site until it’s dry. If you have more than one pet, they should be kept apart until the treatment has dried to prevent them from grooming each other and potentially ingesting the medication.

The Difference Between Revolution and Revolution Plus

If you’ve heard about Revolution Plus, you might be wondering about the difference. Revolution Plus includes an additional ingredient, Sarolaner, which broadens the spectrum of protection to include ticks. Just like the standard Revolution, Revolution Plus is applied once a month and continues to protect your pet for 30 days.


In the battle against parasites, Revolution proves to be a trusted ally, providing a month of protection with each application. Remember, though, that its effectiveness relies heavily on regular, correct applications and a consistent schedule. Consult with your vet for the best parasite prevention strategy for your feline friend, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re protecting their health.


Q: How Long Does It Take for Revolution to Start Working?

A: Revolution begins to work within a few hours of application. However, it may take a few days to notice a significant reduction in fleas, ear mites, or other parasites. For heartworm disease prevention, it works by eliminating the immature form of the heartworm larvae that your pet was exposed to in the preceding month.

Q: Can I Bathe My Cat After Applying Revolution?

A: Yes, you can bathe your cat after applying Revolution, but it’s advisable to wait at least two hours to allow the medication to be fully absorbed. Once absorbed, Revolution is water-resistant, so your cat’s regular grooming or an occasional bath won’t reduce its efficacy.

Q: Can Revolution be Used for Kittens?

A: Yes, Revolution is safe for kittens as young as 8 weeks old. However, always consult with your vet before starting any new medication, especially for very young or small animals.

Q: Why Am I Still Seeing Fleas After Applying Revolution?

A: After applying Revolution, it’s possible to still see fleas on your cat for a short time. These are likely to be new fleas that have recently jumped onto your pet. Rest assured, these newcomers will be killed within 36 hours. If the problem persists, it might indicate a larger environmental infestation requiring additional treatment.

Q: Can I Use Expired Revolution?

A: As with any medication, it’s best to avoid using Revolution past its expiration date. While it might still retain some effectiveness, it’s not guaranteed. To ensure your pet receives full protection against parasites, always use Revolution within its expiry date.

Q: Is Revolution Effective for Indoor Cats?

A: Yes, Revolution is just as important for indoor cats as it is for outdoor ones. Indoor cats can still be exposed to parasites through humans or other pets in the house. Consistent protection is key in preventing infestations.

Q: Is It Necessary to Separate Pets After Applying Revolution?

A: It’s a good idea to separate pets for a couple of hours after applying Revolution. This helps prevent them from grooming each other and potentially ingesting the medication before it’s fully absorbed.

Q: What if My Cat Ingests Revolution?

A: While Revolution is intended for topical use, it’s generally considered safe if a cat ingests a small amount. However, if your cat ingests a substantial portion or shows signs of illness after application, contact your vet immediately.

Q: How Can I Avoid Overdosing My Pet with Revolution?

A: Always use Revolution as directed by your vet, who will prescribe the correct dose based on your pet’s weight. Avoid the temptation to apply more than recommended, even in the case of severe infestations, as this could lead to adverse reactions.

Q: What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Revolution?

A: If you miss a dose, apply Revolution as soon as you remember. Afterward, continue with your regular monthly schedule. It’s important not to apply two doses at once or within a few days of each other.

Q: Can Revolution be Used Alongside Other Medications?

A: Revolution can generally be used alongside other pet medications. However, it’s essential to inform your veterinarian about all medications and supplements your pet is currently taking. Certain combinations could have unforeseen side effects, so always consult with a professional before beginning a new treatment regimen.

Q: How Does Revolution Work Against Parasites?

A: Revolution works by penetrating the skin and entering your pet’s bloodstream. The active ingredient, Selamectin, systematically circulates within the bloodstream and tissues, killing parasites by overstimulating their nervous system.

Q: Are There Any Side Effects to Using Revolution?

A: Revolution is generally well-tolerated by cats and dogs. However, in rare cases, some pets might exhibit temporary hair loss at the application site, mild digestive upset, or skin irritation. If these symptoms persist or your pet seems unwell, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Q: Can Revolution Protect My Cat Against Ticks?

A: While Revolution is highly effective against many parasites, it doesn’t provide protection against all types of ticks. For comprehensive tick prevention, consider Revolution Plus, which includes an additional active ingredient, Sarolaner, specifically targeting ticks.

Q: Does Revolution Kill Parasites on Contact?

A: Revolution kills parasites upon contact in the bloodstream and tissue, not necessarily immediately on application. After applying Revolution, parasites that feed on your pet’s blood will ingest the medication and be eliminated.

Q: What Happens if I Overapply Revolution?

A: While Revolution is generally safe, overapplication may lead to mild, transient side effects such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, or temporary loss of appetite. Always apply the prescribed dose to avoid such incidents.

Q: How Long Should I Wait Before Letting My Pet Swim After Applying Revolution?

A: It is advisable to wait at least two hours after application before allowing your pet to swim or bathe. Revolution is water-resistant but needs time to absorb fully.

Q: Can I Use Revolution on a Pregnant or Lactating Pet?

A: Yes, Revolution is considered safe for use in pregnant and lactating pets. However, always discuss this with your vet to ensure it’s the best option for your pet’s circumstances.

Q: What Should I Do If Revolution Gets Into My Pet’s Eye?

A: If Revolution accidentally gets into your pet’s eye, rinse it gently with water. If irritation persists, contact your vet immediately.

Q: Does Revolution Prevent Parasite Eggs and Larvae from Developing?

A: Yes, Revolution effectively breaks the life cycle of many parasites by killing adults and preventing eggs and larvae from developing.

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