May 042012

I believe this is Studly Dudley (my bad – I forgot to label which black cat this is)

I have seventeen cats, a dog and one fish (if you want him, you can have him – no offense, I’ve had enough of fish – they just aren’t for me!).  Today, I want to tell you how you can save money on flea and tick meds. With as many furry animals that I own, I’m sure you can just imagine the fleas they encounter if not treated.  And those fleas – they can cause tape worms.

At one time I didn’t have all seventeen cats and I was buying the over the counter flea and tick topicals/spot-ons that one finds at Wal-mart.  However, buying those came to a quick halt when one of my kitties had a severe reaction to one of these spot-ons for cats from the permethrin, which is extremely toxic to cats – so I learned after the fact. That’s all it took for me to look for an alternative.

In consulting with the vet, the vet ordered me a bottle of Frontline spray.  Yes, that was cost effective BUT a nightmare to work with.  It was so difficult to spread through the fur of the cats and they detested me spraying it on them.  They became so flea infested that it was awful. This cause me to search for other alternatives.  I went online, and much to my amazement, I learned that I could use Frontline Plus for dogs on my cats as well as Advantage Blue for Dogs for dogs.

*** It’s VERY important that you note there are only certain dog flea and tick topicals that can be used on cats – please if you decide to go the route I have – make VERY sure you are getting the right product. ***

I actually used Frontline Plus for dogs for quite a few years until it became where the product wasn’t working any longer as it should.  In consulting with the vet, the vet told me they’ve heard just what I expressed from other pet owners and believe the reason to be that it’s due to our location and the fleas are immune to the Frontline products.

However, if you are able to use this product – here’s what I did – I bought the Frontline Plus for dogs in the largest vial available which is Merial Frontline Plus for Dogs, 89-132 lbs. – 12-Pack now if you don’t have as many fur babies as I do – you can get away without buying a 12-pack.  The 12-pack was the cheapest way for me to go with having all the cats and the dog.  Our dog alone, weighs nearly 80 lbs., which used up nearly one vial every 3 weeks to a month (Frontline is safe to re-apply after 3 weeks).

You’ll need:

  • The Frontline Plus
  • A syringe with no needle that has a measurement on it of  .50ml for cats. You can use the same syringe for dogs – you might just need to draw up a couple syringes depending on the size of your dog and the size of the syringe.
  • A glass jar – preferably one that is dark in color with a cover, but if you don’t have that a clear one will do – just store the remainder in the jar in a dark place.

FOR DOGS: Open one (or several) of the vials of Frontline Plus and put it into the glass jar. Using the chart below, determine how much you’ll need to draw up in the syringe of the Frontline Plus for the size of your dog:

  • Dog 0-22lbs = 0.67ml (You’ll have a 6 month supply for a dog this size if you purchased the vials for dogs 89-132lbs)
  • Dog 23-44lbs = 1.34ml (You’ll have a 3 month supply for a dog this size if you purchased the vials for dogs 89-132lbs)
  • Dog 45-88lbs = 2.68ml (You’ll have a 1.5 month supply for a dog this size if you purchased the vials for dogs 89-132lbs)
  • Dog 89-132lbs = 4.02ml (You’ll have a 1 month supply for a dog this size if you purchased the vials for dogs 89-132lbs)
  • Regardless of the size of your cat – the dosage for a cat is .50ml

You certainly can buy the Frontline Plus for the smaller dogs and do the very same thing – it just wasn’t cost effective for me to do it that way.  Simply determine your needs and what you can afford at the time.  When all was said and done, the cost of each dose per cat was roughly $1.15 depending on what the price of the Frontline Plus was that I purchased at that time.  Sometimes, I figured the cost to be roughly .85 cents per cat if I got a real good deal on the Frontline Plus.  Regardless, $1.15 approx. was a huge difference from $12 -$16 a dose for one cat if I purchased the Frontline for cats.

Another tip…I don’t buy from my vet.  I buy from an online retailer such as and even Ebay.  You can actually buy the generic Frontline Plus – PetArmor Plus for Dogs 89 – 132 lbs which you can get online and in stores.  I have found it to be cheaper online than in any brick and mortar store in my area.

Okay – say you want to use Advantage Blue for Dogs – which is what I use now and is working real well.  The downside to this product is that it doesn’t cover ticks.  For the dog, I use this during the winter months and will buy her one with tick prevention for this summer.

For the cats – no one knows what ticks do to cats so I have decided where this product is controlling the fleas real well; I will continue on with this product for the summer.  I really don’t like the thought of putting another poison in my cats systems.

Using Advantage Blue for Dogs:  Again, you’ll need the tools that you’d need for using the Frontline Plus – the syringe and the jar/vial to store it in.

The dosages are as follows: For Cats:

  • Cats under 9 lbs use .40ml – You’ll get 10 monthly doses out of a vial of Advantage over 55lbs.
  • Cats over 9 lbs use 0.80ml – You’ll get 5 monthly doses out of a vial of Advantage over 55lbs.
For Dogs
  • Dogs 1-10 lbs use .40ml – 10 monthly doses out of a vial of Advantage over 55lbs.
  • Dogs 11-20 lbs 1.0 ml – 4 monthly doses out of a vial of Advantage over 55lbs.
  • Dogs 21-55 lbs use 2.5ml – 1.6 monthly doses out of a vial of Advantage over 55lbs.

Again, you can purchase the Advantage Blue for dogs weighing less that 55lbs., you just won’t get as many doses from that purchase.  I also purchase this online opposed to a brick and mortar store as I find it cheaper online.

I feel I really need to reiterate – make sure you’re getting the right product!  Getting the wrong product could kill your cat.  If you’re confused – I’m here to help you if need be.

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of the links, an FCS team member, may make a small commission. 

  11 Responses to “How to Save Money on Flea and Tick Meds”

Comments (9) Pingbacks (2)
  1. What a fab post thankyou, I have two dogs, a border terrier and a border collie 🙂 Thanks for all the info x

  2. Thanks I thought this was possible I am glad for the info

  3. When I saw “save money” I was instantly reeled in. Having 3 cats and 1 small dog is a feat. I can’t imagine having 17 cats!! You definitely can be slated as an expert on the subject in my humble opinion! I’d love more frugal tips for pets.

    On another note, how do you keep your dog from eating cat food and is cat food bad for dogs?

    • It’s like this Melissa – cats have their dry food on the counter BUT if the dog sees the bucket open of the cat food – she’s right there. She also loves it when the cats tear open a new bag of food if I don’t put it in the container first. When it’s wet food feeding time – Gracie (dog) is right there. She gets the empty can and gets to lick the cookie sheet of what’s left over (which isn’t much I’ll tell ya!). Then, Gracie expects a treat. If the cats get catnip – Gracie wants a treat too…she’ll stand right at the treat cupboard until you give her one.

      Cat food is bad for dogs and vice-versa. Cat food usually has more protein and dogs don’t require much. In addition, there are vitamins and amino acids our kitties need, that dogs can produce on their own, which is added to cat foods.

      The feat that you refer to is the dog alone. She’s up my butt 24/7 but won’t listen to me. She only listens to men. If I give her a command – I get a defiant look and she continues on with what she had planned to do. I don’t think I will ever own another dog – she stresses me out way too much!

  4. Im now up to 3 kittes. We adopted the Harly in 2005 – he was the run of the litter on a farm. We rescued jewel in 2007 when she was 3 and Oliver was a stray kitten we found in January of this year that we took in.

    When harley was younger we would take him outside on a leash and let him play in the grass so I was buying Flea collars. He had ONE bad reaction that cost me a fortune in emergency vet bills so after that I only buy it from the vet. Now all my cats are indoor only so we don’t really need it

    • Diane …you have such a kind heart. Your kitties are blessed to have you 🙂 When Itty Bitty Spitty had the bad reaction to the over-the-counter stuff…it was during the night and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up going online to see if I could find answers. Luckily, I found several people that had recommended the same thing – wash it off with water and a bit of dish detergent. I watched him all night long making sure he didn’t seize, could walk etc. I was never so scared.

      That didn’t end up costing me a fortune – but recently Possum has cost me a small fortune. She had the weirdest series of symptoms over a period of about a month – that ended up where the vet thought she had an inguinal hernia – after saying she was experiencing a false pregnancy – in the end it was actually a huge tumor. The vet said he never saw anything like it – from start to finish. Over a $1000 later – she’s now doing much better. We go back in two weeks for a re-check….I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I chose to have the tumor sent to pathology – I feel I need to know what the tumor consists of in case she has more issues.

      Possum has turned out to be my kitty – normally, I don’t take to the females like I do the males – but she is something special I’ll tell ya. I’m sure part of that special bond is from taking over as her mother when her mother disappeared when she was three weeks old. My daughter and I bottle fed her and her two siblings for the next 6 weeks – gave them body warmth by letting them sleep with us, if I was at my desk – I made a pouch in my shirts for them. I kept two of the three kittens – my heart was just too attached at that point to let them go. The one I did let go – lives next door – so I am good on knowing she has a great family 🙂

  5. I know I’m late to the party but splitting up the flea meds has given us a huge savings. Thank you so much for sharing this great tip with us.

  6. I have read you are never to put a flea collar on a cat as there is a good chance it will be toxic
    . http://www.Allvetmed com

    • Yes, I have heard the same – particularly if they get wet. I also never use collars on my cats – even the break-away collars. They are dangerous in a way that if they get hooked on something – the cat ends up choking. Another blogger nearly lost her cat from a break-away collar not breaking away – just recently.

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