Flea Shots For Cats

With the start of spring, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief that the tight grip of winter has finally given way to warmer temperatures. However, with warmer temperatures comes the nuisance of fleas for our beloved cats. Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) are tiny external parasites that cause big problems. Because they feed on a cat’s blood, fleas can cause intense itching that leads to incessant scratching and skin wounds that can become infected. Fleas can also cause anemia and spread diseases like tapeworm. In addition, while adult female fleas feed, they lay numerous eggs that fall off the cat and develop into mature adult fleas. These new fleas are hungry and ready to jump onto an unwitting (and unwilling) cat, continuing the cycle.

Current cat flea treatments rid both the cat and environment of fleas. To treat an affected cat, a veterinarian will prescribe long-acting topical medications that contain insecticides, which kills the fleas, or insect growth regulators (IGR), which disrupts the flea’s life cycle. Treating the environment entails frequent and thorough cleaning, spraying IGR-containing products inside the home, and possibly even hiring a pest control company. Plus, flea control products aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.


The most common flea found on cats and dogs is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), although any species of fleas, including fleas from rabbits, squirrels, or other wildlife, can be found on cats. PROGRAM (lufenuron) 6 Month Injectable for Cats is available in two syringe sizes for subcutaneous administration to cats and kittens according to their weight (See Dosage). Each preloaded syringe is formulated to provide 4.54 mg/pound (10 mg/kg) body weight of lufenuron. The active ingredient of PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats is lufenuron, a benzoylphenyl-urea derivative with the following chemical composition: N-[2,5-dichloro-4-(1,1,2,3,3,3,-hexafluoropropoxy)-phenylaminocarbonyl]-2,6-difluorobenzamide. Benzoylphenyl-urea compounds, including lufenuron, are classified as insect development inhibitors (IDIs).

Mode Of Action

Lufenuron, the active ingredient of PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats, is an insect development inhibitor which breaks the flea life cycle by inhibiting egg development. Lufenuron’s mode of action is interference with chitin synthesis, polymerization and deposition. Lufenuron has no effect on adult fleas.

After biting a lufenuron-treated cat, the female flea ingests a blood meal containing lufenuron which is subsequently deposited in her eggs. Lufenuron prevents flea eggs from hatching and developing into adults and thus controls flea populations by breaking the life cycle. (See Efficacy.)

Flea treatments and preventives for cats

To find the best flea treatments for cats, we conducted research using the quick product reference guide published by the independent, nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council. This handy reference, which includes all FDA and EPA-approved parasite control products for small animals, lists each product’s active ingredients, how the product is used, and which parasites it controls.

For additional expertise on treating and preventing fleas in cats, we consulted with three veterinarians: Herman Jeffer, a veterinarian with Cornwallis Animal Hospital in Durham, North Carolina; Ashley Bourgeois, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist with the Animal Dermatology Clinic in Portland, Oregon; Colleen Sawyer, a veterinarian with Rolesville Veterinary Hospital in Rolesville, North Carolina; and Keith Harper, a veterinarian with VetnCare Alameda in Alameda, California. Our veterinary experts did not specifically endorse any of the products included in this guide unless explicitly mentioned in direct quotes.


PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats is indicated for use in cats, six weeks of age and older, for the control of flea populations. Lufenuron controls flea populations by preventing the development of flea eggs and does not kill adult fleas. Concurrent use of insecticides may be necessary for adequate control of adult fleas.

Prices of Flea Shots For Cats


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