I’m so worked up about natural flea control that I wrote a whole little book about it, but here are my key prevention tips one handy post.
Surprising facts about cats and flea control
Does your cat hate getting a chemical flea treatment? Do you worry about the safety of flea treatments? You are not alone.
- Even the EPA has started questioning the safety of chemical flea treatments.
- Even the product manufacturers will tell you not to use chemical flea treatments on animals who are ill or elderly, but so often our cats don’t show they are ill until it’s too late.
- The flea treatment could really cause serious damage if their immune system is compromised by something else.
- Only recently has it come to light that a couple of popular natural flea remedies are also toxic to cats in particular. I’m referring to garlic and to essential oils.
- Cats are deficient in a liver enzyme called glucuronyl tranferases that is essential to a detoxification process called glucuronidation. Glucuronidation is what most animals, including humans, use to safely process things like the terpenes in essential oils.
- This means that components of essential oils, and many other types of toxins, can rapidly build up in cats bodies and become toxic to them. Essential oils may be toxic to cats through skin and even through breathing.
An easy natural flea repellent for cats
I stumbled on the B-vitamin repellent method long ago and, to my surprise, it worked. Many years ago I was giving my cat a B-vitamin tablet made for pets and she didn’t get fleas even though another cat in the house had them.
The product we were using at the time doesn’t exist anymore, but I found a new one that I’m even more excited about because they have a money-back guarantee. It’s called Flea Treats and you can order it on Amazon.com, or Fleatreats.com, or get it at holistic pet food stores.
Here’s how to safely and naturally prevent fleas:
- Flea Treats are easy to use because most cats love the taste. Just give it to them with their food each day – especially during flea seasons — and the repellent ability kicks in about 10 days later.
(Don’t worry–I do not sell Flea Treats and these are not affiliate links.)
I can alternatively recommend brewer’s yeast as a B-vitamin repellent, though I don’t know as much about its track record. Be very careful not to give cats any brewer’s yeast that includes extra iron or additives. That could be toxic. The only really “clean” brewer’s yeast I’ve found for cats so far is Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast. Mix 1 teaspoon in food 1-2 times per day, at least during flea seasons.
But does your cat have a yeast allergy? Flea Treats have yeast in them. A few pets, like people, have allergic reactions to yeast (eg, digestive issues or skin flare-ups). If this is the case with your cat, you can use a simple, clean B-complex instead: Mix a 1/10th capsule of Jarrow B-Right into food daily (divided over 2 meals is ideal), at least during flea seasons.
If you are in the middle of a flea outbreak right now
In the middle of a flea outbreak, you should start the B-vitamin method, but it takes 10+ days to start repelling fleas so you’re going to need something more.
Here’s what to do in an outbreak:
1. Get that B-vitamin thing going, as described above.
2. Put a flea trap in one or two infested places. (These are usually dark places.)
Flea traps are cheap and easy and they really do catch fleas. You can get a good one for less than $15 online.
3. Get a flea comb (inexpensive at pet stores or online) and comb your cat daily until you no longer see fleas or flea eggs on the comb. Each time you catch fleas or flea eggs in the comb, dip it in some warm natural soapy water and wipe the comb off thoroughly.
After 10+ days the B-vitamins will start making your cat unattractive to the fleas, and many fleas will be already be eliminated by the combing and trapping. Any straggling fleas, including any new hatchlings, will find their way out of the building because they need food.
- For what to do in case of a severe flea infestation, and for a complete guide, see my booklet, Natural Flea Control for Cats Made Simple.