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Oh no! fleas!

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I think our cats have fleas. They do not itch much, but I've found some "flea dirt" on them and one flea, I think, though I'm not positive what they look like; we've never had this experience before.

My partner and I are hippies (and thus our cats are a bit too), so we're wary of things such as frontline, which basically puts insecticide on their skin. Also, my younger cat has some health problems, so I don't like to do anything for him that is not natural or a prescription.

Any ideas about natural/holistic/herbal flea repellents for cats?

post #2 of 2
Nothing works as well as frontline or advantage even if you only dose occasionally such as I'll do mine every other month in the summer and not at all in the winter. However there are a few herbal based repellents that are at least mildly effective and harmless. I'm not sure if they make a cat version but I have Sentry Natural Defense for my dog to use when the mosquitos are really bad or when we are going to an area high in ticks and I haven't applied frontline that month. It has the following oils: Cinnamon, Peppermint, Lemon Grass, Clove, and Thyme suspended in isopropyl alcohol. It is not waterproof and only lasts about 2 days but it would repel adult fleas living on the animal during that time.

Preventing fleas from living in your house and yard is even more important especially if your cats aren't allowed to roam. There are plenty of natural solutions for that. I had a list somewhere that I'll try to find. At the top is applications of diamateous earth which is harmless to our skin and supposedly even safe to ingest but I don't suggest purposely feeding it to anything. The only danger it really poses to pets or humans is breathing in the powder. Be careful while applying and don't over apply. To fleas and other small bugs it is sharp enough to cut and eventually kills them. Borax is the second most frequently suggested solution but there are a few arguments that it can be toxic if ingested and occasionally causes skin irritation along with the same warning of do not inhale. Aside from that vacuum and wash everything frequently. All pet blankets or beds and every fabric item should be washed often to kill the adult fleas. Steam cleaning carpets once a year during flea season will also kill eggs as well as adults. Keeping the lawn mowed shorter helps prevent fleas, mosquitos, and other critters from living there.
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