Revolution for Cats – A Complete Overview

Updated March 5, 2019
Cat scratching an itch

Revolution® flea treatment for cats is the first FDA-approved, topical parasite control product of its kind for cats. It controls six major pests to make cats healthier and more comfortable - indoors or outside.

How Revolution for Cats Provides Flea Protection

According to the Revolution website, this product kills adult fleas and prevents their eggs from hatching for about one month. The product is recommended only for cats over eight weeks of age, but it is safe to use on pregnant and lactating cats. It is suggested that the product be applied once a month to give your cat continued protection from:

How Revolution Works on a Cat

There are many flea prevention products on the market, each, like Revolution, with their own method of action and ingredients.

Active Ingredient

According to the product overview, the active ingredient in Revolution is Selamectin. It is known as a "macrocyclic lactone compound." The substance is known to prevent the development of heartworm when it is given within a month of exposure to the Dirofilaria immitis larvae. When Revolution is applied to a cat's skin, the selamectin enters the bloodstream. it will then relocate within the body to protect the feline from heartworm and other parasites.

For example:

  • Fleas and mites: Selamectin travels from the bloodstream to the skin to treat adult flea infestations.
  • Worms: These parasites are killed when they feed on the animal's blood and ingest the active ingredient.

Applying the Product on Your Pet

The directions indicate that an owner should:

  1. Locate a spot directly at the back of the cat's neck just above the shoulders.
  2. Part the fur.
  3. Squeeze the entire tube directly on one spot.

The correct dosage, based on each cat's weight, can be found in a table on the Revolution website under the Administration directions.

How Long Does It Take to Work?

The manufacturer claims that fleas and other parasites will start to die within 36 hours of applying the medication.

Possible Revolution Side Effects

Close-Up Of Cat Scratching

In the same product overview, the manufacturer claims side effects are rare and offers the following facts.

  • Less than one percent of cats experience digestive upset.
  • About one percent of felines also had hair loss at the site where the medication was applied, but the loss was temporary.

The warnings on the product itself indicate that some pets may experience the following side effects, but that these issues are temporary and usually occur immediately after application.

  • Stiff or clumping fur
  • Slight discoloration
  • Powdery residue

According to, the product was tested on six-week-old kittens in dosages of up to 10 times the normal dose. Even at the highest dosage tested, no adverse reactions were noted in the studies. This extreme dosage was given for testing purposes only. You should always follow package instructions for how much to administer to your cat. If you are uncertain of the correct dosage, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.


Make sure that you only use Revolution formulated for cats on your feline friend. Using a similar product for dogs could produce a toxic reaction in a cat. Pfizer, the maker of Revolution, offers a number of suggestions to help avoid unwanted side effects and ensure that the medication is as effective as possible. A few of these warnings include:

  • Make sure the entire contents of the tube is emptied.
  • Do not administer more frequently than once a month.
  • Do not skip months because your cat will be unprotected from parasites.
  • Do not apply to skin that is irritated or has an open wound.
  • Do not apply if the cat's fur is wet.

If you miss a dose, apply as soon as you when you remember. Do not give a double dose. Never apply two different kinds of preventative at the same time.

Revolution for Cats Reviews

Unfortunately, reviews are very mixed, with some indicating more cons than pros. Some reviewers have even claimed the product hurt or killed their cat. For others, it seems like it is just a waste of money. However, on some websites, the reviews have been incredibly positive that the product does a fabulous job treating fleas. In particular, they love that the product does more than help with fleas - but also other types of parasites and worms. With such a mixture of feedback, it is best to discuss the risks with your vet and compare options. Most likely the product can be successful in treating your cat as long as you consider any unique situations with your cat's health.

Where to Buy Revolution for Cats

Most veterinary offices keep the product in stock, so you should be able to purchase it directly from your local vet's office. It's a good idea to work with your veterinarian the first time you treat your cat with a new product and watch closely for any side effects. Once you determine the product's safety and effectiveness for your pet, you may want to shop around for the best price. If you prefer to order online, you can order from one of the following sources.

Do You Need a Prescription for Revolution?

You will need a prescription from your veterinarian to purchase Revolution. If you decide to shop around to find cheaper prices online, most online pharmacies will be able to contact your veterinarian to verify your prescription, or they may have you email or upload a copy of your valid prescription.

All Cats Can Benefit from Protection

Some owners may believe that their pets don't need protection from fleas, mosquitos and other pests because they keep their cats indoors. However, parasites can make their way into homes and infest pets. A study of cats in North Carolina diagnosed with heartworm found that only 28 percent were indoor only cats. So in the long run, it may be best to err on the side of prevention rather than wait for your pet to develop a problem. Ask your vet for advice.

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Revolution for Cats – A Complete Overview