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Vectra for Cats

By | Last Updated : 3rd March 2018

What is Vectra

Vectra is a topical medication used for killing adult fleas and controlling their eggs, larvae, and pupae, thereby stopping them from coming back. It helps in preventing diseases like tularemia, bartonellosis, tapeworm, and ear mite infections, as well as managing allergic dermatitis (itchy skin condition) associated with flea infestations [1, 2].

Can Vectra be safely applied to cats

While veterinarians may prescribe Vectra for treating fleas only in cats and kittens, Vectra 3D (primarily meant for dogs) [3] should never be applied to cats because it contains Permethrin, an insecticide considered toxic to them [1, 4].

Quick Information

Vectra for Cats

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Generic name (Active ingredients)

Dinotefuran and pyriproxyfen [5]

Brand name

Vectra®

Type

Monthly spot-on flea treatment [1]

Availability

Prescription medication [1]

Who is it used for

Cats and kittens [2]

Form

Topical solution

How does Vectra work in cats

The active ingredients in Vectra, dinotefuran, and pyriproxyfen have antiparasitic properties, which help in killing fleas in the fur coat or on the skin. As an insecticide, dinotefuran acts on the nerve receptors of the flea, thereby disrupting their bodily functions. On the other hand, pyriproxyfen is a growth regulator that causes the insect to produce infertile eggs, also stopping juvenile fleas from developing into adults [6].

Vectra dosage for cats

Make sure to follow your vet’s instructions properly. Like in case of all flea medications, the dosage usually depends on the weight and age of your cat [7, 8]. Vectra is available in two sizes, 0.8 ml (for cats & kittens over 8 weeks or 2-9 lbs),  and 1.2 ml (for adult cats over 9lbs) in 3- or 6-dose packages [10].

Directions: How to apply Vectra

  • Keep the applicator upright and pointed away from your face, with the index finger and thumb placed around the tip beneath the large disk. Hold the part of the applicator above the small disk with your other hand. Pierce the seal by pressing down on the small disk [1].
  • For easy application, let your cat be in a standing position. Part its hair and apply the entire content of the tube at the base of its neck [1].
  • Avoid applying it superficially to your cat’s hair. It should never be used more than once within a month; your vet might suggest reapplying after 30 days [1].

Keep an eye on your pet to make sure it does not lick the medicine, as it might be toxic when swallowed. According to several clinical studies, Vectra starts working within 6 hours of applying [1, 9].

Vectra side effects

Your cat should be monitored for the following signs of discomfort:

  • Slight redness or erythema [1, 8]
  • Intense itching or pruritus (your cat scratching its body all the time) [1, 8]
  • Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea with vomiting [8]

If the above signs occur and persist, call your vet for advice.

The vet may consider some alternatives like Advantage II (ingredients: imidacloprid and pyriproxyfen) or Advantage Multi (ingredients: imidacloprid and moxidectin) if Vectra is causing serious side effects or is not working as well as expected.

Contraindications: When not to use Vectra in cats

Notify your veterinarian about any medical conditions your pet might be suffering from. Vectra is usually not prescribed to cats which are:

  • Aged or debilitated [1]
  • Pregnant or nursing [1]
  • Allergic to medicines with pesticide [1]

For minimizing the risks of possible drug interactions, consult a vet before applying on cats that are already under any medication or health supplement [1, 8].

Warnings: Adverse reactions in humans

Vectra may be harmful when accidentally swallowed or absorbed through the skin. In case of contact with eyes, rinse gently and thoroughly with water for at least 20 minutes. If your skin is exposed or your clothing is contaminated, wash it immediately with soap and plenty of water. Call your doctor or the Poison Control Center (at 1-888-426-4435) for emergency treatment advice [1].

References

    1. Vectra for Cats – Drugs.com
    2. Product Information – Vectrapet.com
    3. Vectra 3D – Petcarerx.com
    4. Vectra 3D Toxicity in Cats – Petplace.com
    5. Dinotefuran and Pyriproxyfen – Vetdepot.com
    6. Vectra Felis – Ema.europa.eu
    7. Product Label for Vectra for Cats and Kittens – Fleascience.com
    8. Pesticide Product Label, C708.0 (Vectra Cat Plus Tick) – Epa.gov
    9. FAQS – Vectrapet.com
    10. Introducing New Feline Topicals Vectra For Cats & Kittens And Vectra For Cats – Ceva.us

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