Revolution Plus for Cats vs. Frontline

As a pet parent, it’s crucial to ensure your feline friend stays healthy and free from pests like fleas and ticks. Revolution Plus and Frontline are two of the most popular flea treatments on the market, but which is the best choice for your cat? We’ve done the legwork to provide a thorough comparison to help you make an informed decision.

What is Revolution Plus?

Revolution Plus is a monthly, spot-on treatment that’s designed to protect your cat from a range of pests. It’s praised for its effectiveness against fleas, ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms. The primary active ingredients are Selamectin and Sarolaner. It’s available for cats and kittens aged eight weeks and older.

Benefits of Revolution Plus

  1. Broad Spectrum Protection: Revolution Plus provides comprehensive coverage against six major parasites, offering protection beyond just fleas and ticks.
  2. Easy to Apply: Revolution Plus is a spot-on treatment, meaning it’s simply applied to your cat’s skin once a month.
  3. Heartworm Prevention: Unlike many other treatments, Revolution Plus prevents heartworm, a potentially fatal condition for cats.
  4. Safe for Kittens: Kittens as young as eight weeks old can safely use Revolution Plus.

What is Frontline?

Frontline is another spot-on treatment option. Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold, its two main variants, protect against fleas, ticks, and lice. The primary active ingredients are Fipronil and (S)-Methoprene. Frontline can be used on cats and kittens that are at least eight weeks old.

Benefits of Frontline

  1. Flea Lifecycle Control: Frontline controls the entire life cycle of the flea, eliminating adult fleas, larvae, and eggs.
  2. Lice Control: In addition to flea and tick prevention, Frontline also combats lice.
  3. Waterproof: Frontline continues to work effectively even after bathing, swimming, or exposure to sunlight.

Revolution Plus vs. Frontline: The Comparison

Now, let’s compare these two treatments on crucial factors to help you understand their differences better.

Spectrum of Coverage

While both medications cover fleas and ticks, Revolution Plus takes the lead with its wider range of protection. It protects against more parasites, including heartworms, which Frontline does not cover.


In terms of efficacy, user feedback suggests that Revolution Plus might have a slight edge. Some pet owners have reported decreased effectiveness of Frontline in certain regions, likely due to fleas and ticks developing resistance over time.


Both Revolution Plus and Frontline have excellent safety profiles when used as directed, and are safe for kittens from eight weeks of age.


Revolution Plus tends to be slightly more expensive than Frontline, primarily because of its broader spectrum of protection. But considering the potentially fatal risks associated with heartworm disease, many pet owners find the additional cost worthwhile.

Application and Administration

When it comes to applying these topical treatments, both Revolution Plus and Frontline score points for ease of use. The treatments are applied directly to the skin on the back of the cat’s neck, where they can’t easily lick it off. This ensures the medication is absorbed into the bloodstream and skin, providing protection from pests. It’s crucial to part the fur and apply the treatment directly to the skin for maximum effectiveness.

Duration of Protection

Both Revolution Plus and Frontline offer a full month of protection with each application. However, consistency is vital to maintain this protection. Administering the medication around the same time every month is recommended to ensure no lapse in the protection it offers.

Side Effects

Like all medications, Revolution Plus and Frontline carry a risk of side effects, though these are generally rare and mild when the treatments are used correctly. Potential side effects can include temporary hair loss at the application site, digestive upset, or skin irritation. More serious side effects like seizures are extremely rare but have been reported. Always monitor your cat closely after administering a new treatment and consult with your vet if you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms.

Suitability for Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats

While many people believe that only outdoor cats require flea and tick prevention, indoor cats are also at risk. Pests can be brought into the home on clothing, other pets, or even human skin. Therefore, both indoor and outdoor cats can benefit from regular flea and tick treatments.

Given Revolution Plus’s broader protection spectrum, it might be particularly suitable for outdoor cats, which are more likely to encounter a variety of parasites. On the other hand, Frontline can be a solid choice for indoor cats, offering robust protection against fleas and ticks.

Resistance Concerns

There’s growing concern about flea and tick resistance to certain treatments, particularly in certain geographic regions. Some pet parents have reported Frontline becoming less effective over time, which may suggest local pests have developed resistance to the active ingredients. This seems to be less of an issue for Revolution Plus as of the time of writing.

Additional Considerations

Revolution Plus is also available in a variant for smaller kittens, making it a flexible option for households with cats of different ages and sizes. Frontline, too, provides options for different weight classes but doesn’t offer a specific kitten variant.

It’s worth noting that while both products offer robust parasite protection, neither of them should replace a comprehensive approach to your cat’s health. Regular vet check-ups, vaccinations, and a balanced diet are also vital for your cat’s well-being.

FAQs: Revolution Plus vs. Frontline

Can I Use Revolution Plus and Frontline Simultaneously?

Both Revolution Plus and Frontline are potent flea and tick treatments, each with their unique active ingredients. Using both simultaneously could lead to an overdose, potentially causing harmful side effects. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s medication regimen.

What if My Cat Has a Reaction to the Treatment?

While rare, cats can have allergic reactions to flea and tick treatments. Symptoms can include excessive itching, redness, rash, hair loss, vomiting, or lethargy. If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms after treatment, you should wash the medication off your cat with a mild, non-irritating soap and contact your vet immediately.

How Quickly Do These Treatments Work?

Revolution Plus begins killing fleas within 36 hours, while Frontline claims to start killing fleas in just four hours. Both treatments achieve over 98% effectiveness within 12 hours.

Are Revolution Plus and Frontline Safe for Pregnant or Lactating Cats?

Yes, both treatments are considered safe for pregnant and lactating cats when used as directed. However, it’s always recommended to discuss any medications with your vet if your cat is pregnant or nursing.

Will Bathing My Cat Affect the Effectiveness of the Treatment?

Frontline is waterproof and remains effective even after bathing. However, it’s recommended to avoid bathing your cat within 48 hours of applying the treatment. While Revolution Plus is also considered water-resistant, frequent bathing or exposure to water may reduce the duration of protection.

Can I Use These Treatments for My Kitten?

Both Revolution Plus and Frontline are safe for kittens over eight weeks old. However, for very young kittens or those under 2.6 lbs, a vet consultation is advised before starting any flea and tick treatment.

Are These Treatments Effective Against Fleas in My Home?

While both Revolution Plus and Frontline can kill adult fleas on your cat and prevent new infestations, they don’t directly treat the home environment. For a complete flea control program, you might also need to treat your home and yard, particularly in the case of severe infestations.

Does My Indoor Cat Really Need Flea and Tick Treatment?

Yes, indoor cats are still at risk of flea and tick infestations. Fleas can easily hitch a ride on your clothing, shoes, or other pets, while ticks can be found in potted plants or come in on rodents. Regular preventative treatments are the best way to keep your indoor cat pest-free.

Can I Skip a Month of Treatment in Winter?

Fleas can live comfortably indoors year-round, and certain ticks are active even in winter. Therefore, it’s recommended to continue with monthly treatments throughout the year for comprehensive protection.

What Should I Do if the Flea Infestation Continues After Treatment?

If you’ve applied the treatment correctly and you still see fleas on your cat after a couple of days, it might be due to new fleas jumping onto your cat from an infested environment. Both treatments will kill these new fleas within 24 hours. However, if the infestation persists, it’s wise to consult with your vet. They may recommend an additional environmental treatment for your home.

How Can I Ensure the Treatment is Applied Correctly?

To apply these topical treatments, part your cat’s fur at the base of the skull until the skin is visible. Apply the product directly onto the skin, not on the fur, as it needs to be absorbed into the skin to work effectively. Do not rub the treatment into the skin, and avoid touching the wet product. Also, prevent your cat from licking the area until the application site is dry.

How Can I Choose Between Revolution Plus and Frontline?

Your choice between Revolution Plus and Frontline may depend on several factors including your cat’s lifestyle (indoor vs. outdoor), the prevalence of certain parasites in your region, your cat’s health status, and your budget. You should discuss these factors with your vet to determine which product is most suitable for your cat.

My Cat Hates Spot-On Treatments. Are There Other Options?

Yes, there are other options for flea and tick prevention apart from topical treatments. Oral medications, flea collars, and injectable products are available. However, each of these options has its own pros and cons. Discuss with your vet to find the most comfortable and effective solution for your cat.

Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects of These Treatments?

Long-term side effects are uncommon with both Revolution Plus and Frontline when used as directed. However, as with any medication, some cats may have individual sensitivities or reactions. If you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors in your cat, it’s best to consult with your vet immediately.

Can These Treatments Interact with Other Medications?

While interactions are not common, they can happen. Always inform your vet about any medications, supplements, or over-the-counter products your cat is taking before starting a new flea and tick treatment.

What Happens if I Miss a Dose?

If you miss a dose, apply the treatment as soon as you remember. Then, continue with the regular monthly application schedule. Do not apply two doses at once to make up for the missed one.

Are There Natural Alternatives to These Treatments?

While there are natural alternatives on the market, such as essential oils and diatomaceous earth, they are generally less effective and may still carry risks, especially if used improperly. Always consult with your vet before starting any new treatment regimen.

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