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Non-Medical Flea Treatments

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello,



My husband just brought home a new 4 month old kitten yesterday, poor thing was a former house kitten who was kicked out to the barn because her owners had too many cats. She's a gray & white (scewbald, can I call a cat that? ), her name is Peaches & she's been very sweet with all my poking and prodding.

Anyway, so I'm removing her fleas (about 3 dozen already ) by hand with a flea comb. I don't want to use any drugs or poisons because we have a young son who wuvs kittehs! and is constantly all over them.

Does anyone have suggestions for getting the last 2 or 3 fleas?
Those guys are tricky little buggers!!

They really bury themselves into her coat, and because she's so skinny it's really hard to comb her properly!* I did get her to eat a little garlic today, and I'm going to keep that up. Is roasted garlic Ok or should I give her plain?

How frequently should I comb her? I was thinking everyday for 2 weeks, and then maybe once a week to make sure I get them all for a month or so - does that sound like enough?

*She only drinks milk right now because she came from a dairy farm, I got her to eat a little canned food today but she wouldn't touch the chicken I offered, so it maybe a long journey getting some real weight on her.

I'll have to wait until tomorrow because after a bath, two ear cleanings, saline in the nose, saline in the eyes, combing and combing and combing, and more general poking & prodding she's retreated behind the couch for some well deserved rest!

Peaches seems so thankful for bringing her into the house, she's only bitten me once today (and that was after 3 warning nips & me still combing her belly) - I really deserved it! I'm quite impressed - none of our other 2 cats are that patient!

Thanks for any suggestions!
post #2 of 21
I'm not really sure about a good way of getting the last few fleas off, but I have always read that you should not let cats eat garlic. From here:

According to Dr. Randy Kidd, the use of garlic, as well as onions, shallots, and chives, has been shown to cause damage to feline red blood cells which can result in hemolytic anemia and eventual death. Raw garlic and onions can also cause ulcers and irritation of the mouth, esophagus and stomach.

His recommendation: Avoid giving garlic and onions to your cat!


Someone please correct me if I am wrong about this.. I'm always up for learning!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know that's true for dogs & onions (and probably cats & onions too then) but I was under the impression that garlic was widely recommended for the treatment of worms & fleas in both dogs & cats (although I'm not convinced it actually works on worms).

If I can't use garlic, what about yeast?
post #4 of 21
You can try yeast. It might work or it might not. Frontline and Advantage are fairly safe once they've dried on the cat, shouldn't be a risk to your little guy. You can ask your vet, though. Garlic is a cumulative toxin, and even vets don't quite agree on what constitutes a safe dose. Best to stay away from it in general, because it has been linked to Heinz Body Anemia in cats. Daily flea combing is the best non-chemical thing you can do. That's what I used to do with my cats before safe and effective spot-ons were invented.
post #5 of 21
If it is OK for you with daily combing, it is surely no bad method!

A non poison alternative is diatomeus earth (make a search, there are threads here on forums about it). Di-atoméer is a sort of algae with silicon shells/crust.
This silcon crust in entirely harmless for mammals, but cuts the intestinals of worms and bugs.
Old layers of them are leaved as a sort of earth...

Works both on the outside parasites and bugs, and also on the inside worms.
Make sure it is a good quality, the s.c. human grade or food grade.


Garlic? Garlic is supposed to be poisonous. But it cant be VERY poisonous, as there is also high quality cat food with garlic... So bevare, but a small try out shouldnt be dangerous. "medical purpose"
post #6 of 21
to use a topical flea killer. As soon as it dries on their fur, it is ok. Just make sure you buy it from your vet. Many OTC brands are no good. I have snuggled my animals as soon as it is dry with absolutely no problems. Safer than having flea bites on your child. Good luck. PS I agree, no garlic.
post #7 of 21
Welcome. Firstly, don't give garlic as it can cause anemia and the fleas are already causing some anemia.

If you kitten has been allowed free range in your home already, there will be fleas in your carpeting and upholstery by now and they can live in that environment for up to a year. Fleas are harder to get rid of than most any other bug.

Stephanz was right - diatomaceous earth (ground diatoms from the sea) is a wonderful product. The human/food grade is safe for human (mammal) consumption and does a great job. You can even rub some into your kittie's fur. It will not hurt your small child. Some people even eat a tsp. a week to take care of any internal parasites they may have.

The only thing you must be careful of is to avoid breathing it in when you are applying it. It will not hurt you medically but it can be uncomfortable in your lungs. DE can be found at some garden centres, feed stores (farmers often add some to the feed for internal parasites in their animals), or online. If you search DE in this forum you will find much information about it.

Also when you are combing for fleas, have a container of dish soap (Dawn is often recommended) and dip your comb after each run through the fur. Any fleas on the comb will drown.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll look into the diatomeus earth (I've actually seen it before for fish tank purposes), I was under the impression you couldn't feed it to cats, but I'll look into it.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys - I'll definitely put a halt on the garlic. She only ate one little piece anyway and she smelled like garlic all last night - I don't want to keep that up!

We've had fleas before (on the dogs) and they never last long around here so I'm not too worried. I'm not sure if it's that we don't have allot of carpet or loose blankets or just that I vaccume & steam-clean way too often because of the little man; but we just flea-collared the dogs & went on as normal and the fleas were gone in a week. Plus I think I got 95% of them off her now, she's not scratching at all! What a happy kitten

Yose I'm not using dish soap, I found water with a drop or two of baby shampoo is working just fine & I feel allot better about a little of that getting on her coat then sunlight .
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
I'll look into the diatomeus earth (I've actually seen it before for fish tank purposes), I was under the impression you couldn't feed it to cats, but I'll look into it.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys - I'll definitely put a halt on the garlic. She only ate one little piece anyway and she smelled like garlic all last night - I don't want to keep that up!

We've had fleas before (on the dogs) and they never last long around here so I'm not too worried. I'm not sure if it's that we don't have allot of carpet or loose blankets or just that I vaccume & steam-clean way too often because of the little man; but we just flea-collared the dogs & went on as normal and the fleas were gone in a week. Plus I think I got 95% of them off her now, she's not scratching at all! What a happy kitten

Yose I'm not using dish soap, I found water with a drop or two of baby shampoo is working just fine & I feel allot better about a little of that getting on her coat then sunlight .
I'm not sure if the DE used in the fish tank is the same or not - I'd check with someone who would know.

You mentioned flea-collaring the dogs - do NOT put a flea collar on your cat, Hartz flea collars have been known to kill a kitten and Sargeant's aren't any better. The only good place for a flea collar is cut up and put in a vacuum cleaner bag.

Yes, any soap really that would have a soap film will catch and hold the little beggers.

PS - she's a sweet little girl. I love her colouring.
post #10 of 21
What a little beauty!

I had a milk addict cat once (separated from mama cat too soon) who I got to eat dry food by pouring milk on it, which we called "kitten cereal," and reducing the milk over time.

As for the fleas, other people have already said pretty much everything I can come up with. Make sure that every animal has some kind of anti-flea measures going on, of course, so that they don't pass them back and forth.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hubby tried to get her a flea collar, I said not to waste the money because I'd just cut it off her while he was at work - it would go STRAIGHT into my son's mouth! (he's only 15 months btw). It's not happening but I understand I grew up with flea-collars too, but I've always hated them.

I'm so happy! I just combed her again, I got allot of dirt but 1 FLEA! Yippie! (I'm not so naive to think I've killed them all, it's just better then the 3 dozen I got off her yesterday). They problem is the little buggers keep hiding on her belly, where (not surprisingly) she doesn't enjoy me combing, not really sure what to do except wait for them to come back to the hot-spots (neck/tail, although I know they love between the legs too).

I've being doing quick combs on the other animals as well but no one is scratching. The only problem is I can't catch Tasha* but she's staying in her basement anyway so I'm not too worried.

The milk cereal is a good idea, I should try that! My big trick for sick/young cats is to mix the dry food with a little water then microwave for 10 seconds - stinks up the entire house! She is doing a little better with the wet food but just doesn't really get it yet - I'm sure she will soon. I'll have to get her some kitten dry food, but we'll have the same problem we did all last year which is fatty mc. fatty getting into the kitten food & gobbling it down till she's big as a house! (that would be Ms. Kitty)

The only problem now is Peaches keeps getting her nails caught in the carpet but I can't make up my mind about trimming them. Our other cats aren't trimmed (one uses hers outside everyday, the other I can't catch to do*) so if there is a fight I was Peaches to be able to hold her own. They are pretty long though, maybe I'll just trim them a little, I don't know - I can't make up my mind.

She needs another ear cleaning but I'm giving her a day off so she doesn't get too annoyed with me. Peaches has been unbelievably patient & I really don't want to wear that out - she's already bitting the comb and giving me nasty looks.

Although she's so happy she's been laying down in the living room with her paws underneath her, and if you meow at her she'll need the ground still laying down!!

Either way she look 100% better today.



*(The Tasha Story in 20 seconds: Got her from the OSPCA last year as a kitten, we didn't know she hadn't been socialized so just let her go in the house... big mistake! She hid for MONTHS - she's finally come around to me enough I can pet her if she comes to me, but is TERRIFIED of my husband. I can't catch her to do nails/other medical treatments yet as our relationship is still pretty fragile. However, I've worked with LOTS of shy cats - I will win her over eventually! For now she's very healthy, been spayed had all her shots & is indoors so being a little wild really isn't too much of a problem. Funny enough she loves both our dogs & our DS15mons. Funny she's not scared of him at all & he's the one that pulls her tail!!)
post #12 of 21
If she is getting her claws caught in things I would trim them. I wouldn't worry about her being able to defend herself if she needs to - she'll manage.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
I'll look into the diatomeus earth (I've actually seen it before for fish tank purposes), I was under the impression you couldn't feed it to cats, but I'll look into it.
This for fish tank purposes is surely a low grade sort. Thus it is surely unsuitable for cats... You are right!
The trick is the human / food grade... This is useful for cats, dogs, humans...
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Stef you're probably right I'm sure we have a health-food store around here somewhere! Is it still Ok if I'm pregnant? (I'm assuming that is a yes, but you know I have to check).

Maybe I'll trim her nails after she wakes up

post #15 of 21
DE is an excellent product. I used it for years on my parents farm, and it really does work. It kept down everything from fleas to worms to flies. dusting a little around cracks and baseboards in oyur house even kills cockroaches and ants! And it was totally safe for my special needs brother.
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post

Maybe I'll trim her nails after she wakes up
If she is reluctant to triming nails, it may be easiest to do it while she is half-asleep. 1-2 at a time...


About the safety of DE for unborn baby:
Make a search, here on forums and on google, that is the best way for you to learn the product and safeguard yourself.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
I had to cut off 3/4 of a nail that had grown around and back into her paw as soon as DH brought her home, she was excellent! I don't foresee we'll have any problems with nails

Of course I am going to have to FIND my nail clipper...
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
Is it still Ok if I'm pregnant? (I'm assuming that is a yes, but you know I have to check).
It works by cutting the bugs open, not by poisoning them, so there's nothing to soak into your skin or lungs, so I would think that external uses ought to be safe. I don't know about eating or drinking it since that might have unexpected effects on digestion or something.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebrillblaiddes View Post
It works by cutting the bugs open, not by poisoning them, so there's nothing to soak into your skin or lungs, so I would think that external uses ought to be safe. I don't know about eating or drinking it since that might have unexpected effects on digestion or something.
DE is like a fine talc to mammals but is like sharp shards of glass to bugs. It cuts the exoskelton and the bug dies. Many farmers add it to the feed for their animals and some humans even have a tsp. full maybe once per week and some more often (human/food grade only of course). If ingested by a human it will work to rid the human of any parasites that may exist in their digestive system and is completely safe. It would have no effect whatsoever on a foetus.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, you know I had to ask! I'm going to buy some in the next few days (I have to get to the health food place before it closes), I think it would be good for all the pets.

Peaches is doing FANTASTIC! We're down to getting single fleas off her at a time; either by combing or the second bath she had yesterday. She's such a good girl! I've never had a cat that was so easy to bath (except my girl who used to come in the shower ) not that peaches enjoys it, just that she submits to it.

She's actually decided she's going to eat dry food after all, so she suckered us in with the milk thing! I'm glad though because she is desperately skinny (probably partly because of the flea infestation).

Peaches' eyes have almost completely cleared up & although we're still getting allot of nasal discharge it's clear now. I'm keeping up with the saline & tissues and that helps allot.

She's also perked up allot, and while she's not quite up to full steam she's been running around exploring, playing & chasing the birds out the window. Peaches' has been official adopted by our son, he LOVES her (even more then M.K.) and she's been very sweet about putting up with him squeeze and pushing her all over (he's trying to teach her Tag ).

I'm still trying to find my nail clippers but one day I will clip her nails! (or give in and go buy a new one)

The other cats have decided she isn't so scary after all, and all three of them were in the same room together when I came down this morning!

Actually everyone is doing well, hubby found Tasha under our son's bed yesterday and had her purring!! Then later he surprised her coming around the corner and she pooped... (we're thinking of medication now, I really don't want to but this is getting silly!). Tasha also tried to sleep on the bed last night but couldn't make up her mind, I think she still slept in our room - a BIG step forward!! I guess she's jealous of the new kitten so she's going to be a sucky-pants!!
post #21 of 21
I rescued a dog that got out of it's yard, and was wandering the streets. Long story short he brought fleas into our home. My cats are indoor cats and they got fleas. I fought with this for 4 months, and it costed me several hundred dollars in just revolution for all my cats, and they still would not go away from my house. As soon as the revolution wore off the fleas were at it again. I finally took action to treat my house of the pests, I bought food grade diatomeus earth from garden harvest supply, http://www.gardenharvestsupply.com/p...rth-food-grade and I bought flea bombs from my vet. I had to board the cats for 3 hours while I bombed the house. The flea bombs didn't stink up the house or cause any side affects with the cats or us. I wish I could remember the name of the Bombs. I have not had any problems with fleas for months!!!! Yay. I have also heard you can use Borax, the 20 mule team kind that you get in the laundry section. I don't know enough about Borax and the side affects it may have. Good luck with your flea control!!! It can be beat!!!
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