How Long Does Revolution Last On Cats? (Important To Know)

cat using revolution

As pet owners, wanting the best for our cats and dogs and we do the best that we can for them. I am always very particular about what I put on my pets and feed them especially when it comes to strong medication like Revolution.

I’ve used Revolution on both my cat and dog a couple of times without any issues. I’ve actually used it more on my cat due to his flea and ear mites infection when he was a kitten.

One important question that I usually need answering is how long does revolution last on cats? According to the manufacturer, one dose of Revolution can last up to 30 days for cats. This would mean that you only need to apply it to your cat on a monthly basis. A re-dose is recommended if the parasite still exists.

You might come to this article just looking for this answer but I’m covering many other important aspects of Revolution that is is important for cat owners to know about.

What Is Revolution For Cats?

parasitic worms in pets

For those of you cat owners who have yet to use Revolution, it is a one-stop solution for getting rid of fleas, ear mites and many common parasitic worms that are found in cats.

These worms are:

  • Tapeworms
  • Roundworms
  • Hookworms
  • Heartworms

Your cat can get these parasitic pests from other animals, when it roams outdoors or ingests contaminated food.

Does The Revolution Solution Smell Bad?

Each vial of Revolution contains an almost colorless liquid that is slightly yellowish in color.

Due to the presence of alcohol in the solution, it does give off a slightly strong alcohol odor but not up to the point of being pungent.

How Does Revolution Work In Cats?

revolution in cats

The main powerful active ingredient in Revolution is called Selamectin.

It is an antiparasitic compound that is effective in eradicating all these gross bugs and parasites living off our precious cats.

When Revolution enters your cat’s bloodstream after applying it to the skin, it gets distributed widely and quickly throughout the fats and organs.

You’ll be glad to know that the medication doesn’t get to your cat’s brain.

If your cat has very bad kidneys, Revolution might not be suitable for cats with chronic kidney disease as it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

Your cat’s kidney has to work harder to eventually remove the chemicals from the body.

It would be best to check with your vet before applying Revolution to your cat.

The parasites in and on your cat’s body will ingest the solution when they start feeding on your cat.

Once the active ingredient enters the parasite, it does a good job of paralyzing them.

They will start to fall off your cat’s body or get excreted via the cat’s poo.

Another thing to note is that not only does the active ingredient work on the adults but it will also destroy the eggs to prevent future infestations.

How Long Does It Take For Revolution To Work?

Many Revolution users are pretty surprised to find out that it can work pretty fast in cats.

I remembered seeing dead fleas on my cat’s fur in the morning after applying it to my cat before bedtime.

So that’s less than 12 hours.

The absorption of Revolution is a lot faster in cats than compared to dogs.

It is said that it can take only 12-15 hours to see results in cats. Whereas for dogs, it can be as long as two to three days.

The peak level of selamectin in cats is also found to be higher than in dogs which means that Revolution can eliminate parasites faster for cats.

Revolution For Cats Side Effects

Regardless of how safe such medication can be for our pets, there will be some cats who can be more sensitive to the active ingredient or the alcohol.

Some known side effects of Revolution are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid breathing
  • Skin irritation

Most of these side effects tend to clear up after a few days once your cat’s body gets used to the medication.

But in cats that show severe adverse effects, please stop all future doses until you speak to your vet.

To put your mind at ease, safety studies were done by the manufacturer of Revolution that tested 10x the recommended dosage on puppies and 6 weeks old kittens without any ill effects.

I seriously doubt any of our cats will reach that level of dosage unless they ate the contents of the Revolution box.

Then again, no cat would find the taste and smell appealing in the slightest.

Is Revolution Safe For Pregnant Or Nursing Cats?

pregnant cat on the floor

Studies have found that it is still safe to use Revolution on cats that are pregnant or nursing their kittens.

Though I would have a word with the vet first before applying Revolution to such cats.

The only times when Revolution was found to have side effects on such cats is when high doses are given frequently. It can cause fetal death as well as fetal and maternal toxicity.

Are There Any Cats That Should Not Be Given Revolution?

If your cat is a kitten that is less than 8 weeks old, please do not apply Revolution on it. The cat needs to be at least 8 weeks or older to use it.

Cats that are sick, in poor health or vastly underweight should not be given Revolution as well as the active ingredient might be too strong for the body to handle in its current state.

Is Revolution Safe For Cats If They Lick It?

cat licking paws

Revolution is generally safe for cats even if they were to lick it. However, users are instructed to apply the solution to an area where the cat can’t reach like in between its shoulder blades.

If you can is able to reach that area, please send me a video. Your feline friend should be in the Guinness Book of Records.

I’ve never tasted Revolution personally and I don’t wish to but based on how it smells from my fingers, I reckon it will taste very better.

When cats taste something bitter, they will start to foam at the mouth.

This foaming helps the cat expel anything which might be poisonous or toxic to them.

Revolution isn’t poisonous to most cats at that dosage but the bitterness of it will make them think so.

If you ever feed your cat liquid medication with a syringe and it starts foaming at the mouth, don’t double up on the dose thinking that the first dose has been purged.

There’s a strong possibility of an overdose.

What If Revolution Gets Into My Cat’s Eyes?

Not all cats are going to quietly sit still and let your squirt some foul-smelling liquid on them.

Given how sensitive your cat’s nose is, the alcohol smell will be very pungent to them.

If your cat struggles during the process and you accidentally squirted some Revolution into your cat’s eye, you need to thoroughly flush your cat’s eye with water as the alcohol is going to sting.

If you are not confident of flushing your cat’s eyes, I would strongly recommend that you have it done at the vet.

Another important point to note is to always remember to wash your hands after applying it on your cat. You don’t want traces of it on your hands when you touch your cat.

How Long Does Revolution Plus Last?

The effectiveness of a single dose of Revolution Plus is about 30 days. Revolution Plus includes the removal of 3 types of ticks:

  • Deer tick
  • American dog tick
  • Gulf coast tick

One safety point to take note of is that Revolution Plus has not been tested on pregnant and nursing cats so please do not use this on them.

Do Cats Need Revolution Every Month?

It depends on the lifestyle of your cat and the number of cats that you have at home. Indoor cats are less likely to contract fleas and other parasites if they live in decent conditions.

My cat is strictly an indoor cat and I’ve not used Revolution on more than three occasions on him.

Cats that are allowed to roam outdoors can interact with other animals that have these parasites.

Your cat is also at risk of being infected if it eats contaminated prey or steps on contaminated soil.

Many studies have shown that continued usage of Revolution helps build a high level of effectiveness against such parasites.

If your cat is allowed outside then you might want to consider more frequent usage of such medication.

Do note that cats that are allowed to roam outside are at risk of running away or getting hurt in an accident.

If your cat really likes the outdoors then put it on a proper cat leash and supervise it at all times.


When it comes to medication like Revolution, there are always two sides to the coin.

Some cat owners swear by it while others treat it as poisoning their cats.

Ultimately, it boils down to what you feel is best for your cat but if your cat has an existing flea or parasitic infection, it needs medical attention before it’s too late.

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