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Dawn to get rid of fleas?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I remember reading on here about using some brand of dish soap with lemon in it to bathe your kitty in to help get rid of fleas. I think it was Lemon Dawn that was recommended but I couldn't find any at the store. Am I thinking of the wrong dish soap? I couldn't find the post when I searched the forums. Thanks!
post #2 of 13
I think it's Dawn Original.
post #3 of 13
I've used the blue original dawn and it works very well... When we rescued our two feral kittens (@4 weeks old) I washed them with dawn ~ 3 times each. It seemed to paralyze the fleas, which you can then rinse off with water or comb out with a flea comb. It is not a long-term solution though, as the fleas will re-infest from eggs, etc.

Art
post #4 of 13
Please don't count on Dawn solving a flea problem. I don't believe Dawn itself kills the fleas. Or if it does, it doesn't kill the eggs waiting to be hatched (as artgecko said). And once they hatch you're going to have a problem again. I'm not saying 100% it doesn't work but just be aware.
post #5 of 13
I think the most important thing about Dawn is that it is SAFE to use on the cats. It is not a "flea shampoo". I personally would avoid any flea shampoos anyway as they could cause harm.

The very best thing you can do to get rid of fleas is see your vet for proper flea treatment (Advantage or Revolution, etc.), sprinkle diatomaceous earth in all carpeting, cut up a flea collar and place in your vacuum (NEVER put a flea collar on your cat), vacuum daily and empty the vacuum outside after each use.
post #6 of 13
Dawn works well. I don't think you need to really worry about which smell - just use a plainer one (not the antibacterial).
post #7 of 13
I heard that it was only the "blue" (original) one that worked and not the others?? Could it be the colorant?

We used the dawn because the kittens (at 4 weeks) were way too young to use a topical like advantage. We had to rebathe about 1 time a week (at least) and comb them to keep the fleas down until they were old enough to put advantage on them. It wasn't 100%, as we would still see fleas ocassionally, but it did get the majority of them.

I don't know if it kills the fleas outright or just paralyzes them temporarily...We didn't have any flea problems in the area where I washed the fleas down the sink, so I think that it must have killed most of them on contact.

I currently keep a bottle of dawn just in case Even though my cats are on advantage.

I think that you could definately use dawn as a preventive measure, when first bringing a new cat into yoru home to take care of any fleas they were carrying on them at the time and then use a monthly topical.

And yes, dawn must be very safe...as I said, we rinsed each kitten 2-3, even 4 times (they were crawling with fleas!). We lathered them up good, let it set for a while, then rinsed very well and repeated... With no ill effects.

Art
post #8 of 13
OK - Again, Dawn is NOT a flea shampoo. It does nothing more than any soap or shampoo would do during a bath - get rid of the current fleas on the cat which we assume would be washed down the drain and you could comb the rest out with a flea comb because they would be wet, and stunned from the soap. It is recommended ONLY because it is SAFE for cats. So folks, please don't be under the illusion that Dawn is a FLEA shampoo.

As soon as kitty is dry and running around, other fleas from the carpeting and upholstery in the house will jump right back on kitty for "lunch/dinner".
post #9 of 13
Yosemite- I know that it is not meant as a flea shampoo and that a monthly topical is needed to prevent reinfestation... That said, I have not seen the same effects on fleas from other "normal" soaps/shampoos (i.e. regular human shampoo). It appeared to paralyze the fleas, which stayed unmoving for quite some time afterward. I thought that perhaps it just happened to be one of the ingredients in dawn that (albiet unintentionally on behalf of the makers of the product) paralyzed the fleas.

If any other soap would work in the same manner, I am not sure why people would specifically reccomend dawn instead of, say, palmolive.

Have you tried other shampoos/soaps/etc and had them work just as well? If so, I would be glad to hear of it.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
We are doing all we can to get rid of the fleas. I was using Frontline TopSpot on my cats for fleas. The vet recommended I switch to Advantage since they are both indoor only. But I read that Frontline Plus kills ALL stages of fleas (I realize ticks too even though that does not apply to my kitties). My question is which one do switch to...Frontline Plus or Advantage?

Thanks.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Yosemite- I know that it is not meant as a flea shampoo and that a monthly topical is needed to prevent reinfestation... That said, I have not seen the same effects on fleas from other "normal" soaps/shampoos (i.e. regular human shampoo). It appeared to paralyze the fleas, which stayed unmoving for quite some time afterward. I thought that perhaps it just happened to be one of the ingredients in dawn that (albiet unintentionally on behalf of the makers of the product) paralyzed the fleas.

If any other soap would work in the same manner, I am not sure why people would specifically reccomend dawn instead of, say, palmolive.

Have you tried other shampoos/soaps/etc and had them work just as well? If so, I would be glad to hear of it.
We've had misunderstandings with newer and older members that saw similar posts about Dawn and then got very upset when they washed their cat with Dawn once and expected no more flea problems. It just plain old didn't work. That's the only reason why we tend to clarify this and try to make valued members understand it is not a cure all (as you said). Kind of a buyer beware disclaimer. I don't think our moderator (Yosemite) was implying there was another soap or shampoo that was going to work.
post #12 of 13
missourigirl- I use advantage and have had NO flea problems. From what I can tell, frontline is better because it kills ticks as well, but my cats are indoors, so I am not too worried about those. Also, if it is a consideration for you, about the cheapest I've found frontline plus is ~$10+ a month. I can get advantage for ~$7.50 a month if I shop around (I usually go with Amazon). Plus, advantage is supposed to work faster (I believe) than frontline... Not that that matters much in the long run.

mzjazz2u- I was posting to clarify that I knew that dawn was not meant as a flea shampoo and that I knew that it was not a long-term solution (in case that was unclear in my original two posts). I thought that yosemite might have used other soaps, etc. with the same results because of what she posted and I was interested in knowing if other soaps worked in the same manner as dawn (for my future reference).

Art
post #13 of 13
I remember many years ago Alaska has some massive oil spill that Dawn came out and donated their product to the wildlife organization to help clean the oil off of marine wildlife animals. I remember seeing commercials about it too! That being said, I think Dawn (original) is known to be safe to use on animals but in terms of how effective it kills fleas, that's still up in the air.

I heard that fleas can actually survive under water as their body forms a layer of oil to protect themselves. Dawn, a powerful degreaser, sheds the protective oily layer so that water can get to the fleas and drown them.

I'm sure you can find other shampoo that can degrease and also pet safe just that Dawn seems to be a common household product so people would use it.

I wash my indoor cats with Dawn and they are not on any flea medication. It's important to keep your house clean and keep your cats furniture/ bedding clean. Oh, I also use this IGR spray on their common hang out place in the house every 3 months.
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