How to Apply Frontline to a Cat

Written by martin malcolm Google
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How to Apply Frontline to a Cat
If your cat's always scratching, it may have fleas. (scratching cat image by Lucid_Exposure from

Frontline, available from veterinarians, is a product that kills the fleas and ticks that infest cats. Left untreated, such parasites can cause diseases, or make your cat scratch itself until it gets open sores.

Applying Frontline sounds easy---snap the tip off the applicator and drip the stuff on---until you try it. At the first drop, the cat dives, the applicator goes flying and Frontline squirts all over you. Worse, you may cover the cat's coat in Frontline, but the medication may not have reached the skin underneath. To be effective, Frontline must be absorbed by the oil glands in the skin, so it spreads all over the cat's body. Happily, you can avoid any fuss with a little preparation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Frontline
  • Scissors
  • Cup
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Remove one applicator containing the Frontline from its childproof packaging, using scissors to cut it free.

  2. 2

    Hold the applicator firmly and snap off the tip, aiming it away from you in case any drops spray out.

  3. 3

    Stand the Frontline applicator upright in a cup to prevent it rolling about or leaking once it is open. Set the cup and applicator aside for later.

  4. 4

    Choose a time when your cat is relaxed and drowsy, perhaps after it has eaten or come in from outdoors. Lay a towel over your lap in case of any spills. Encourage the cat to settle down on the towel for a nap. Ensure the cup with the Frontline is within easy reach.

  5. 5

    Stroke the cat as it snoozes, until it is completely relaxed. If it is wearing a collar, remove it.

  6. 6

    Part the fur on the back of the cat's neck, between its shoulder blades, so the skin below is exposed. Part the fur so the Frontline will reach the skin and absorb when it is applied. The point at the back of the neck is hard for the cat to reach when grooming, so it will not be able to lick off the Frontline later.

  7. 7

    Take the applicator and hold it inside your closed fist for a minute or two. This will warm the liquid, so it is less of a shock to your cat when applied.

  8. 8

    Stroke the cat gently with your free hand as you squeeze the applicator with the other hand, squirting the Frontline onto the exposed patch of skin. If your cat wriggles or tries to escape, let it do so. Return the tube of Frontline to its cup and wait for another opportunity to apply it. Do not grab at your cat or try to restrain it. If you do so, the cat will struggle and the Frontline will spill.

  9. 9

    Repeat steps 3 to 7 if you need to, until you have used all the Frontline in the applicator. Your cat needs the full dose for the Frontline to be effective.

  10. 10

    Allow 24 hours for the Frontline to absorb completely before letting your cat get wet. If your cat wears a collar, do not put it back on until the back of the cat's neck is dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Always follow the guidance supplied with Frontline about how frequently to apply it.
  • Make sure your cat is dry before applying Frontline.
  • The manufacturer of Frontline recommends storing it at room temperature, sealed in its original packaging.
  • Alternatives to Frontline are available; a pet shop or veterinarian can supply you with advice about these products.

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