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8 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats

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Au Naturel

There are a lot of different options available for cat owners who are being faced with fleas. There are even some options available that are considered more nature-based. Here are a few ways to eliminate fleas on cats the natural way.

1. Prevention, Not Elimination

You may find that some of these “home remedies” work great the first year and then become less effective over time. While these methods are safer, you will find that they are more effective at preventing flea problems than killing or getting rid of established flea infestations. Also, no single method is going to work 100 percent, so it may be necessary to combine a few different methods to reduce the level of infestation present in your home and on your cat.

2. Limit Outdoor Exposure

If your cat spends lots of time outdoors, you will probably have more difficulty controlling fleas naturally, since they may be strongly established in the yard (or wherever your cat frequents) as well as in the home. Be aware that not every flea control method will work for every situation. You may need to use one method for the yard, another for the home and yet another for your cat’s body.

3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Your cat can benefit from a simple and thorough rinse with cool water to expel fleas from the body and hair. Following the water bath, using a cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, or citrus-infused shampoo may help to keep fleas at bay – they are all known flea repellants. Adding extra omega-3 fatty acid supplements to your cat’s diet will improve skin health, too. This is especially helpful for protecting the skin from drying out when you are using regular shampooing for eliminating fleas from the haircoat.

4. Flea Comb it Out

If your cat hates water, try using a flea comb. You will need to make sure the comb gets down close to the skin, but you will need to work slowly, as the comb may pull on the hair while you are dragging it through. While combing, concentrate on the areas of your cat’s body where fleas like to hide, like the groin, armpits and base of the tail. Also, have a bowl of soapy water nearby when you use the comb so you can drown the fleas as you remove them.

5. Don’t Forget the Home

Adult fleas will lay eggs in your cat’s bedding, deep in the carpet, and almost everyplace your cat frequents, so you won’t be able to get rid of the entire population of fleas by simply combing and washing your cat. You will need to be sure to also clean and treat the household and yard when fighting fleas. Cedar and diatomaceous earth, for example, can be used in the home to repel fleas from areas where your cats sleep.

6. Vacuum Diligently

You will need to be very diligent in vacuuming and cleaning the inside and outside of your home when dealing with fleas, and you will need to do it frequently in order for it make a real difference. You may wish to initially have your carpets professionally cleaned to help remove some of the deposited eggs and larvae, but this will not eliminate the problem entirely. You will need to vacuum all of the surfaces of your house every few days (disposing of the vacuum bag at least weekly) and wash all of your cat’s bedding almost as often.

7. Use Salt

Salt may be sprinkled into the carpet to work as a desiccant (drying agent) to kill flea eggs and larvae deep in the fibers of the carpet. However, salt would not be a good solution for those who live in areas of the country with higher humidity levels (such as Florida), as it can absorb water and result in mildewed carpet. Be sure to vacuum your carpets and any treated areas afterwards to make sure the eggs and larvae are removed and to be sure that the salt does not absorb water and cause future problems.

8. Treat Your Yard

The outside yard will also need to be kept free of debris (piles of leaves, etc.) to help reduce places for fleas to congregate. Planting certain herbs and plants, such as lavender, eucalyptus, fennel, marigold, in the yard may help direct fleas away from your property, and using cedar chips around the yard, especially areas where your pet spends time, can help keep fleas at bay. Food-grade diatomaceous earth can also be used to treat the yard without chemicals. It acts as an abrasive and drying agent, much like boric acid does. Just keep in mind that you may need to reapply it after a particularly heavy rain as it can be washed away. But excessive rain and flooding of the infected areas can also help wash away the eggs and larvae.


Comments  13

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  • Bugged
    03/20/2015 12:48am

    Something is bugged to where you cant click next. Basically this page was useless to me, sorry.

  • 06/21/2016 10:32am

    I'm having the same issue. I can't page through the article.

  • This is only about cats.
    03/08/2016 10:39am

    This is only about cats, What about dogs? What is there to use mainly to keep tics off of dogs naturally? I use a spot on but it needs extra protection. We go to the parks all the time and I want a natural tic and mosquito repellent

  • 03/08/2016 05:01pm

    Hi, Nancy. We have lots on natural flea control for dogs. Here are a few to get you started:





  • diatomaceous earth
    03/13/2016 10:41pm

    I see that this article recommends using diatomaceous earth. Personally, I would NOT recommend using this, because it can cause serious respiratory problems in both humans and pets if it is inhaled.

  • Getting rid of fleas
    06/21/2016 09:00am

    in the carpet and house. I had been taking care of several stray cats that hung around outside, one of the cats (a female) I named Squeaky and she was pregnant. I guess Squeaky trusted me enough to give birth in my place. Since she was a outdoor cat she had fleas and brought them inside with her. I could not use any kind of poison because of the kitten and as the kittens grew older (around 5 weeks) I began to check then for fleas and gave all of them a bath with warm water and Dawn dish soap but that still left the fleas in my carpet. In did a lot of research on how to get rid of the fleas without using poison and settled on a Victor Flea Trap. It is shaped like a dome has a 7 watt light in the top of the dome and a sticky pad in the bottom of the dome and to say the I was shocked at the number of fleas it caught would be an understatement. It worked so well I have bought a second one for my bedroom, so if you do not want to use poisons give a flea trap a try.

  • 06/21/2016 12:00pm

    Also, another remedy would be to vacuum both your rugs and floors really well and sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borox all over your rugs. Leave it alone for two weeks, making sure to grind it into the rugs and then vacuum up. You can also use the Borox on bare floors if you want, but it tends to be a bit messy and slippery. I sprinkle some in corners as well. After you vacuum the borox up, sprinkle a bit more down and leave it. It works and works for a long time. Don't, however, sprinkle it on your pets.

  • 07/01/2016 10:58pm

    This is a simple, safe, inexpensive solution that really works. I lived in Florida where fleas were the norm. After using toxic flea bombs, several times, I found out about Mule Team Borax. Sprinkle it on and into the carpet, pet beds, furniture, etc. I takes about 3 weeks to notice the difference, but it works for up to a year. The larvae feed on the granules and dry up, preventing adult fleas. Once the existing adult fleas die off, the flea problem is solved. If you have fleas in the yard, the pet will bring fleas in, but they won't reproduce. I no longer use topical products or flea bombs.

  • 07/02/2016 04:41am

    another thing is Gold Bond medicated body powder, I buy the Dollar General brand and it kills fleas also. I found that out when after using it on myself my cat would come running in and roll around in the powder that was on the floor. Before I bought my flea traps I used the medicated body powder on my bedding because of the fleas and it got rid of them. Every time I come in from outside I vacuum then use my steam mop to kill any that vacuuming did not remove along with the eggs and larvae and at night I use the flea traps.I live in lower Alabama twenty miles from the Gulf of Mexico and fleas are the norm here also.

  • 06/21/2016 02:09pm

    My kitten is only 10 weeks old so I try not to use anything that might harm him. Now I do have a steam mop that I also use as the steam is hot enough to kill the fleas, their eggs and larvae.
    My biggest problem is that I live in lower Alabama and we had a very mild winter not even one hard freeze so the fleas are everywhere, after the last time I mowed my lawn and I took off my shoes my socks were covered with fleas so it is impossible to avoid them but between the flea traps my steam mop and vacuuming daily I am slowly (very slowly) winning the war with the fleas.

  • Food Grade?
    06/21/2016 03:10pm

    What is food-grade diatomaceous earth? I just purchased a large bag to treat our yard in areas where our cats like to lie when they go out.

  • 07/02/2016 04:46am

    I have seen it and my guess and I am only guessing is that it would not harm you are maybe your pet it that ate a little of it.
    Again I am only guessing.

    06/21/2016 09:46pm

    I haven't used poisons on my pets for years. I found a natural flea preventative on line. It's a squeeze on that you use once a month just like the poisonous ones. Some people say it doesn't work, but I think that's probably because the pet already has fleas. This stuff won't kill fleas, but it will prevent your pet from getting them. You need to use it BEFORE they get fleas. It's from Only Natural Pet. I love this stuff. No more poison for us.