Cat reacts funny to topical flea medication – What did I do wrong?


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Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Debra – love your site. I just put a topical flea medication (Revolution®) on my cat and he ran across the room and started trying to groom himself. I put it high on her back/neck where she can't reach it. Did I do something wrong?

Michael K. Bridgeport, CT.


Hi Michael– thanks for your email. I don't think you did anything wrong Michael. Most cats don't like to have their hair messed up and will react that way. Most cats will briefly run away, look at you as though you did something wrong, try to lick at the site, run a little more, then eventually calm down as the liquid dries on their skin.

A couple articles that might be helpful to you is How to Apply Topical Medication to your Cat and a drug profile on Revolution.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.