Can I Use Cat Flea Spray On My Dog? [You’ll Be Glad You Checked]

Fleas. They’re the plague of your existence – if you’re a dog owner, that is. Once you notice your dog scratching, it’s time to take action. If you have a cat too, you probably already have some cat flea spray in the house. Maybe you’re at the store and cat flea spray is on discount, or the only option available. Naturally the question arises; can you use cat flea spray on your dog, instead? Well, here is all you are going to want to know, and consider.

So, can I use cat flea spray on my dog? You shouldn’t use cat flea spray on your dog. While it is generally safe to use, it’s not going to be effective (due to a combination of ingredients/strength). Thus, dog flea spray should actively be sought out and used.

Interestingly, it’s a lot more dangerous the other way around. Ingredients in dog flea spray are extremely dangerous for cats.

And then there are products out there that serve both dogs, and cats.

So it get’s a little confusing.

But here’s the thing. And if you take one thing away from reading this here today, let it be this.

If you have a dog and they have contracted fleas; opt for a dog flea spray designed for dogs.

If you are looking for a recommendation, I wouldn’t look past this one from Amazon.

Otherwise, you can get a recommendation from a vet, or even use one they prescribe.

As we shall discover as we continue to explore below.

Can You Use The Same Flea Treatment On Cats and Dogs?

You shouldn’t use the same flea treatment on cats and dogs. This is because dog and cat flea sprays have different ingredients, formulated to combat different species of flea. Hence, cat flea spray isn’t strong enough to eliminate fleas on a dog, and dog flea spray is typically toxic for a cat.

Cat flea sprays are formulated to be safe for cats, while dog flea sprays are made to be safe for dogs. You shouldn’t use cat flea spray on dogs, and vice versa.

While the ingredients in cat flea sprays are usually safe for dogs, they aren’t going to be strong enough.

An example is pyrethrins. These chemicals are safe in small amounts in dog flea sprays but never for cats.

Pyrethrins are dangerous for cats because of feline liver metabolism. Cats cannot metabolize these chemicals.

As a result, cats can experience ataxia, tremors or in worst cases, fatal seizures, if the dose is high enough.

But you are here today regarding your dog, so how will they respond if cat flea spray is used? Keep reading to find out! 

What Can Happen If You Put Cat Flea Spray On Your Dog?

If you put cat flea spray on your dog, you will find that it doesn’t get rid of the fleas. It could even result in skin irritation or even poisoning should you use an inappropriate amount.

So at best your dog continues with their fleas, but doesn’t encounter any adverse affects.

But if you put too much of any kind of flea spray on your dog, it could end up with poisoning.

This is especially a danger if you have a small dog. If you think your furry friend has poisoning, it’s an emergency. Contact a vet immediately for help.

Some potential signs of poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking and trembling
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures

If you suspect any of the above, or perhaps have even used cat flea spray on your dog, it is recommended to get in contact with your vet imemdiately.

Take note of everything you can; from the product you used, when and how much.

Relaying this information to your vet can result in a much faster, effective response.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Fleas On Your Dog?

If you have identified fleas on your dog, you should first and foremost schedule in an appointment at the vet to check for an infestation.

Your vet can provide you with special treatments to get rid of (and prevent) fleas.

Or they can at least point you in the right direction for safe products to get.

Just consider, when it comes to getting rid of fleas on your dog at home, you should only use treatments that are appropriate for canines.

Ask For A Prescription

There are both oral and topical prescriptions available for flea infestations on canines.

Oral medications are medications that your dog swallows.

Topical medications, on the other hand, are applied to your dog’s fur and/or skin.

Always follow the instructions that your veterinarian provides.

If your dog has a severe or persistent infestation, you may well need a prescription.

Prescription flea treatments are more effective than the ones you can buy commercially over-the-counter.

Use A Spray Designed For Dogs

Whatever you use on your dog should be specifically made for canines.

Using a spray made for another animal, such as a cat, won’t get rid of fleas on your dog if you use a safe amount.

Shampoo Your Dog Regularly

If your dog has fleas, you should wash him frequently until you’ve gotten rid of the problem.

This should be at least once a week, and you should do this in tandem with other flea control measures.

Once you’ve dealt with the flea infestation, you should still shampoo your dog at least once every two weeks, and preferably more often than that.

Shampooing will help to remove fleas and their droppings, and the right shampoo will soothe your pet’s skin.

Look for a flea shampoo formulated for canines.

Look for one that contains aloe or oatmeal, as those ingredients help with skin irritation.

Flea shampoo contains medicinal ingredients to kill fleas and help to repel them from getting onto your dog.

However, these ingredients don’t stay active for long, so flea shampoo alone won’t be enough to deal with a chronic flea problem.

Regularly Wash Your Dog’s Bedding

No matter whether or not your dog has signs of fleas, you should wash your pet’s bedding on a regular basis, ideally every week.

Wash the bedding in hot water and detergent. The hot water is necessary to kill the fleas and their eggs.

The water needs to be a minimum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That is necessary to kill fleas and their eggs. Put your dryer on high heat.

Other Tips For Getting Rid Of Fleas On Your Dog

Here are some additional tips for dealing with your dog’s flea infestation.

Use A Flea Comb

Make a good flea comb part of your flea-fighting arsenal.

A flea comb has narrowly spaced teeth.

When you use it on your dog, it’s extremely effective at removing flea dirt and eggs, as well as the fleas themselves.

When you use a flea comb, you should use it in the direction that the fur grows.

Have a container of water nearby. You’ll need to dip the flea comb in there regularly. It’s best to do this every time you take two strokes.

Remember that fleas like to hide.

You’ll have to use the flea comb all over your dog, including in areas like the tail base, ear base, on the neck, around the groin, and even in the armpits.

Get A Better Vacuum

Do you have any carpets in your home?

You’ll need a powerful vacuum to suck up all the fleas, eggs, and larvae that are hiding in them.

If you have a dog, especially a dog with longer hair that sheds a lot, you’re going to need a good vacuum anyway.

If your dog sheds, a vacuum is a must anyway!

Consider A Flea Collar

If you want to put a flea collar on your canine companion, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

As your dog will be exposed to the collar all the time, you should make sure it’s safe.

Some experts dislike flea collars.

They disapprove of making a dog constantly exposed to the chemicals in the collar.

That is why if you put a flea collar on your dog, you should just make it temporary.

Clean Your House More Often

You’ll need to clean and disinfect your house more often until you’re sure that there aren’t any fleas left.

If there are still some of these insects in your house, they will re-infest your dog.

If you’re able to rent a steam cleaner, that is a great idea.

The steam will be extremely effective at killing fleas and their eggs and larvae, and it’s great at disinfecting.


So, you shouldn’t use cat flea spray on dogs.

Cat flea spray has different ingredients than dog flea sprays because they are designed to remove a different species of parasite altogether.

And as such, it will not be effective.

Ultimately, if you’re going to use a flea spray on your dog, make sure it’s formulated for them!

Related Questions

Is there a difference between cat and dog flea spray?

There is a significant difference between cat and dog flea spray. From what they are made from, to their strength to when and how they are best used.

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