How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry?

By Phil / June 29, 2019
How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry

If you have an outdoor cat it’s inevitable that you will have seen fleas on them at some point. The thing is, it’s tricky finding the best flea treatment that works well and you’re comfortable using.

If you’re here for answers to some of the common questions about applying flea treatments to your cat, you’re at the right place.

In this article, the main questions I’m answering are:

  • How long does it take for flea medicine to dry?
  • How do I kill all the fleas on my cat, and in my home?
  • How long does it take for flea medicine to work on cats?
  • Why does my cat have greasy fur after flea treatment?

The battle between pet owners and fleas has been raging on since pets first became domesticated. This year in particular has been a tough year for me and my cats, but I got it under control and so can you.

How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry on a Cat?

The type of flea medicine that takes time to dry is the liquid form treatment that comes in a pipette. Also called ‘spot-on’ treatments. Frontline and Advantage are probably two of the most well-known brands, and in my experience are two of the best.

Both of these treatments should usually take around 30-45 minutes to dry once you’ve applied them. I tend to avoid stroking or touching the area for at least the rest of the day to be on the safe side.

If you want to give your cat a flea bath, a good brushing, or anything else it’s going to me and you’re coming into contact with the area and the back of their neck. I recommend waiting at least 48 hours.

How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Work on Cats?

How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry on Cats

Spot-on flea treatments work through a process called translocation. Translocation basically means that the treatment moves around your cats body. It’s able to do this because it is mixed with a carrier oil, which helps the solution flow around your cat’s coat.

In regard to how long it takes spot on flea medicines to work, there are a few things to be aware of. Fleas or ticks that come into direct contact with the treatment will die shortly after. So, if you’re dealing with an infestation you’ll see dead bodies hitting the floor straight away.

The time it takes to kill all fleas, eggs, and larvae on your cat varies depending on the brand you’re using. But most manufacturers will tell you that all active fleas on your cat should be dead within 24hrs.

Well, the manufacturers usually state the treatment will kill around 98 to 100% of fleas. Which is to cover themselves if you spot a couple on your cat after thinking the treatment should kill 100%.

Treatments usually last for a cycle of 30 days. This is something you can check on the packaging or instructions. Just be sure not to apply another treatment before the recommended time has passed, even if you’re starting to spot fleas again.

Related: You need a flea collar too. I use the Seresto Flea and Tick collar < check my review.

Greasy Fur After Flea Treatment – Is This Normal?

It is normal to have a greasy patch where you applied the treatment. Flea treatments are mixed with a carrier oil to help them spread throughout a cat’s coat quicker more effectively.

As I mentioned above when explaining how long it takes for flea treatment to dry, after 48 hours you can wipe and clean up the area if it’s still greasy. The chemicals that kill the fleas will have been absorbed into the body by then. 

How Long Does It Take for Advantage to Dry?

I’ve used Advantage and Advantage II numerous times. I’d say that it’s pretty much dry in the usual 30-45 minute time bracket. But again, as I mentioned above, try not to touch the area with your hands for 24 hours to be on the safe side.

How Long Does Frontline Take to Dry?

Same drying times apply to Frontline as Advantage. Give your cat a good 30 to 45 minutes for the treatment to be surface dry, but don’t touch the area for at least 24 hours.

If you have more than one cat it’s best to keep an eye on them or separate them so they don’t lick or groom each other for the first 48 hours.

How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry Around the Home?

How Long Does It Take for Flea Medicine to Dry Around the Home

If your cats have had fleas, you can be almost certain that there are going to be fleas camping out somewhere in your home. Usually in the areas where your cats spend most of their time sleeping or hanging out.

The most effective way to quickly rid your home of fleas is with a flea spray. You’re going to have to read the instructions carefully for whichever brand or product you settle on.

But to give you a general idea, after spraying your sofa, your cat’s bed, carpet, etc, you will typically need to leave the room for an hour to let the fumes clear and the area dry.

If you want a dry flea killing solution I recommend checking out diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring product that is formed from microscopic algae that have fossilized over millions of years.

Sounds kind of cool doesn’t it? And it is. Diatomaceous earth looks like a white powder, and you simply spread it everywhere you suspect fleas or flea eggs are. It’s estimated to take around 4 hours for the fleas that have come in contact with it to die. I usually hoover it up after 8 to 10 hours.

In Summary

If you came here looking for the answer to how long it takes for flea medicine to dry on your cat, the answer is that it typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes for spot-on treatments to dry.

This doesn’t mean you can get straight back to stroking, petting, or letting your cats groom each other within this timeframe. You need to give flea treatments at least 24 hours before you touch the area at the back of their neck where you applied it.

If your cat’s neck it’s greasy and you want to clean them up, or you want to give them a bath or groom them. Leave it 48 hours after you applied the spot-on treatment to be 100% it’s had time to be fully absorbed.

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