Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to fleas and your cat. It’s far easier to prevent an infestation than to get rid of fleas once they’ve taken over your cat and your home! Sure, there are many products you can find in stores and from your veterinarian that contain harsh chemicals that kill fleas and ticks, but did you know there are also natural, safe and chemical-free remedies that really work?
These remedies are particularly great for cats who are sensitive to traditional flea treatments, those with compromised immunities, or for those cat parents who prefer to lead a more natural lifestyle. Check out these natural flea remedies for cats:
Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is a fine white powder made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It’s perfectly safe for humans and animals, but it causes insects – like those pesky fleas – to dry out and die of dehydration because it’s microscopic sharp, abrasive edges cut into the bug’s exoskeleton.
It’s important that you only use food grade DE when treating your cat for fleas. Any other kind isn’t approved or safe for use in pets, not to mention it won’t be effective at killing the fleas. Food grade DE is safe enough for your cat to ingest, so you can sprinkle it directly onto your cat’s fur and rub it in once a day to treat for fleas on his body. Sprinkle DE onto your cat’s bedding weekly to treat for fleas there. To treat your home, dust your carpeting with DE, work it into the fibers with a stiff broom, leave it for several hours and then vacuum it up.
Lemons naturally contain the compound d-limonene, which is often used in insecticides. Here’s how to make your very own all natural insect repellent that fleas hate: Slice a couple of whole, unpeeled lemons into thin slices, add the slices to a pint of boiling water, turn off the heat and let the slices steep for at least 3 hours.
Use a spray bottle (if your cat will tolerate it) or a sponge to apply the lemon juice to your cat’s fur and work it all the way down to his skin, being careful to avoid your kitty’s eyes. Don’t rinse it out, but allow it to dry naturally. This repellent will work for about 24 hours and you can reapply it every day.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most natural home remedies to treat fleas (and a host of other maladies, too!). To treat those pesky fleas, mix one part organic apple cider (with “mother”) and two parts water. Use a spray bottle or sponge to apply the vinegar mixture to your cat’s fur. The vinegar won’t kill any fleas on your cat, but it will repel them for 2 to 4 days.
Fleas can’t swim, so never underestimate the power of a good old bath with soap and water! Regularly bathe your cat with natural cat shampoo to keep fleas at bay.
Use a flea comb as part of your daily grooming routine to remove the occasional flea that has jumped onto your kitty. Dip your flea comb in your lemon juice or apple cider vinegar mixture before using it and you’ll add a flea repellent at the same time.
According to Wikipedia, a study by the University of California showed that vacuuming catches about 96% of adult fleas! No, we aren’t suggesting you vacuum your cat – but regularly vacuuming your home will catch most of the fleas before they jump onto your pet. Just be sure to get rid of your vacuum bag or, if you use a bagless vacuum, empty the canister after each use so those fleas don’t jump right back out – and onto your cat.
Now you’ve got a few alternative natural means of combating fleas in your home and on your cat. Remember, however, that a flea infestation is not only uncomfortable but can cause health issues for cats. Fleas can not only cause tapeworms but in severe cases can cause anemia. If natural remedies don’t prevent fleas, it’s best to talk to your veterinarian about the safest option to keep your kitty pest-free.
What natural remedies have you used to keep fleas away? Tell us below! Then, see this article for other ways to go green with your cat!