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How to Apply Dog Revolution® (Selamectin) to a Cat

Every cat needs to be on monthly flea and tick prevention medication – even indoor cats. There are many options available, so talk to your veterinarian about which option is right for you.

These medications can be expensive, and some owners will try to manage the cost by using a dog flea medication on their cat. We cannot stress how careful you should be when using a dog flea medication on a cat, because some dog flea/tick prevention medicines (like Advantix for dogs) can kill cats.

Applying dog flea and/or tick medication on a cat is NEVER recommended, due to various toxicities associated with certain ingredients. However, dog Revolution® is safe for cats if dosed properly. If you plan to split dog Revolution® for use on a cat, we strongly recommend that you first discuss it with your veterinarian. If you decide to proceed, this article will help you understand how to do it, if necessary.

Just remember that this is an off-label use of the product, so there won’t be any company support available to you if you do it – you’ll be on your own.

The active ingredient in dog Revolution®, also known as selamectin, is the same as in the cat product, only at a different volume and, in some cases, concentration. The dosage is based on weight, so the volume varies with the size of the animal.

A cat-specific Revolution® product is available, but it can be rather expensive. Some veterinary practices help cat owners with multiple pets by splitting a dog Revolution® prescription to help save money. A large dog Revolution® product has the potential to treat upwards of five cats.

PLEASE NOTE: Revolution® is approved for cats eight weeks of age and older.

STORAGE CONDITIONS: Store below 30°C (86°F).

What Is Revolution®?

Revolution® is the first FDA-approved topical anti-parasite product for dogs and cats.

It is prescribed to:

In the U.S., Revolution® requires a prescription. If you are purchasing Revolution® from another country, proceed with caution.

What Tube Sizes Does Revolution® Come In?

PLEASE NOTE: The 360 mg/tube with 3ml is the most cost effective size to use on multiple cats.

How Is Revolution® Dosed in Dogs and Cats?

A dose of Revolution® (selamectin) is based on the weight of the dog, and pipettes are available in 0.25 ml (15 mg/tube) for dogs up to 5 pounds, 0.25 ml (30 mg/tube) for dogs 5.1 to 10 pounds, 0.5 ml (60 mg/tube) for dogs 10.1 to 20 pounds, 1 ml (120 mg/tube) for dogs 20.1 to 40 pounds, 2 mls (240 mg/tube) for dogs 40.1 to 85 pounds, and 3 mL (360 mg/tube) for dogs 85.1 to 130 pounds. One pipette is applied topically every 30 days.

For cats, pipettes are available in 0.25 ml (15 mg/tube) for cats under 5 pounds, 0.75 ml (45 mg/tube) for cats 5.1 to 15 pounds, and 1.0 ml (60mg/tube) for cats 15.1 to 22 pounds. One pipette is applied monthly.

How Is Dog Revolution® Split for Cats?

Revolution® is color coded to reflect the different sizes. For example: teal color dog Revolution® contains flea prevention medication for a large dog. It is the same mediation used on cats, but at a higher quantity. It contains 2 ml of fluid total. The larger size contains 3 ml of fluid.

The dose for a cat 5 to 15 pounds is 45 mg, which is 0.375 ml. So, the 2.0 ML liquid dog vial will be enough for 5 treatments for a cat that is in the weight range of 5 to 15 pounds.

What you need:

Step-By-Step Instructions for Splitting Revolution® for Cats

We will describe how to collect and split the 240 mg/tube with 2 ml/tube (concentration 120 mg/ml):

  1. The challenge in splitting a dog Revolution® product is collecting the 2 ml and allocating it into cat doses. There are three ways you can do this:
    1. One method is to place the 2 ml of fluid in a sterile test tube (such as an empty sterile blood tube). Then draw out 0.4 ml in a small syringe. It is easiest to do this with the needle, but that is only to get the medicine in the syringe. DO NOT INJECT THIS MEDICATION. Only use the needle to pull up the medication.
    2. You can use a special adapter called a Fluid Dispensing Connector (FDC) that will allow you to exchange the Revolution® from a reservoir syringe to the syringe you will use to apply the medication topically to your cat. To use: Uncap one end of the FDC and attach the 3 ml syringe to the end. Leave the cap on the other end. Pull out the plunger of the 3 ml syringe and pour the dog Revolution® into the syringe. Here’s the tricky part: insert the plunger and gently invert the syringe, removing the cap off the other end of the FDC and slowly releasing the air out of the syringe. This should leave you with 2 ml of dog Revolution® in the 3 ml syringe. Now, attach the 1 ml syringe so that you can pull up a dose for your cat.
    3. If you are going to be able to use the entire tube now – you can keep it really simple and dump the contents of the dog Revolution® into a small bowl or glass. Pull up the amounts you need for your cats into the syringe and apply. Do this until you have used the entire amount. (This medication is alcohol-based, so it evaporates quickly. If a tube of Revolution® is not used completely and it is not stored properly, it will evaporate. If this happens, you may find that your medication has magically disappeared.)
  2. REVOLUTION® IS ONLY TO BE APPLIED TOPICALLY (ON THE SKIN)! Part your pet’s hair to see the skin over the back (high up toward the neck in an area where your cat can’t lick). Apply medication on the skin. DO NOT INJECT Revolution®.
  3. Apply monthly to prevent parasites. Revolution® treats gastrointestinal parasites, ear mites, as well as preventing heartworms and fleas.

What Is the Dose of Dog Revolution® for a Cat?

If you are using the large dog Revolution®, the concentration is 240 mg/2ml, which is 120mg/ml.

WARNING: Some dog flea medications are NOT Safe to use on cats. Only use dog flea medication on cats with the approval of your veterinarian.

For more information on selamectin for cats, click here.