Diatomaceous Earth for Cats: A Natural Flea Treatment
Keeping fleas off of your cat is important for your pet’s health, as well as your own sanity—after all, you don’t want fleas hopping around all over your house and getting on you either!
When it comes to preventing flea infestations and getting rid of any fleas that have already taken hold, there are a lot of products to choose from, which is a good thing. But this also means that selecting the right remedy could be confusing.
For those who want to take a more natural approach to their cat’s care, diatomaceous earth might seem like a great option. Is it worth trying? If so, how do you go about using it? Check out the information below to learn more.
The Basics About Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth can be used by just about anyone who is hoping to prevent or remove a variety of pests, from spiders and bed bugs to fleas and ticks. If fleas are affecting your environment or your furry companions, and you want to try a non-toxic product, this might be a good place to start.
It basically works by drying out the insects, which causes them to die. However, to ensure that all of the fleas are gone, it’s recommended that you continue treating your pet and his environment for a few weeks. Doing so can help remove any fleas that have hatched since you started treating your cat.
If you want to give this product a try, though, it is imperative that you purchase high-quality, 100% food grade diatomaceous earth from a reputable source.
Want to Give Diatomaceous Earth for Cats a Try? Here Are Some Tips
For purposes of getting rid of fleas that have gotten on your cat, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of using diatomaceous earth, as you might be able to apply diatomaceous earth on your pet and in your pet’s environment.
Wait, why should you talk to a vet first? Why can’t you just go out and buy diatomaceous earth to use on your cat? Well, you need to exercise caution, as this absorbent powder can irritate the lungs, mouth, eyes, and skin. And it can even cause irritation if it’s used around people and pets who have respiratory problems, such as asthma. Therefore, it’s a great idea to consult with your veterinarian before you opt to use diatomaceous earth in any way. You want to be sure that it will be safe to use on and around your pet, and you also want to be sure that you’re applying it correctly and using the right amount for safety and effectiveness.
If your veterinarian tells you that you can safely use diatomaceous earth on your cat, you might be told to rub it into your pet’s coat, making sure you aren’t going near the mouth, nose, and eyes. After that, you might be able to leave it for one day before giving your cat a gentle bath using a natural, feline-appropriate shampoo. This, along with the use of a flea comb, may help remove any dead fleas that are on your cat’s body, as well as help keep your pet’s skin from getting too dry.
When you have the difficult task of getting rid of all of the fleas in your home, it’s necessary to be strategic and diligent. For example, to eliminate fleas from your environment, be sure to keep your house as clean as possible. Vacuuming thoroughly every day can help remove flea eggs. Your vet might even advise that you shake some diatomaceous earth onto any areas where your kitty spends a lot of time, such as the cat tree and cat bed, and you might also decide to try this in your home by shaking some onto your floors.
Know the Drawbacks of Using Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Fleas
Again, we recommend talking to your veterinarian before using diatomaceous earth, and getting instructions from your vet on how to use this product correctly. It does come with some risks, so taking precautions is necessary.
Also, when it comes to natural treatments to get rid of fleas, it’s important to keep in mind that they don’t always work as well as you would expect or want them to. The same holds true for diatomaceous earth. You might come across people who say it worked well for them, while others may complain that it wasn’t effective enough.
Things to consider if you’re thinking about using diatomaceous earth on your cat:
While some veterinarians might tell you that you can use diatomaceous earth on your cat or in her environment, others may tell you that it’s a bad idea. These vets believe that the risks of it being ineffective or adversely affecting your pet are greater than the odds of the diatomaceous earth working safely.
Your vet might tell you that you shouldn’t put any diatomaceous earth on your cat’s body because, if your pet ingests it or inhales it, it may be harmful. Also, if it gets into your kitty’s eyes, it can cause irritation. And if you apply it to your pet’s skin, it may cause the skin to become dry or irritated.
Things to consider when using diatomaceous earth inside your home:
When using diatomaceous earth to kill fleas inside your home, keep in mind that it is easy to use too much of it or to use it in the wrong way. And, if you don’t use it correctly, your flea infestation will likely get worse instead of better. Yikes!
Also, if you are worried about exposing your kitty to this product, you might opt to use it in areas of your home where you know your pet won’t come into contact with it, just to play it safe.
Another thing to remember about diatomaceous earth is that it will only work on killing adult fleas. If those adults had already laid eggs in your home, those eggs will end up hatching if you aren’t able to vacuum them up in time, and you’ll be dealing with new fleas all over again.
An Option to Consider with Care
There are quite a few natural remedies out there when you need to work on getting rid of fleas, but it’s important to be sure that any product you choose to use will be safe and effective.
Diatomaceous earth might be what you’ve been searching for if you’ve been looking for a more natural and non-toxic way to get rid of fleas, but there are many pros and cons to consider before you make the decision to give it a try. And, as with any other product that you’re thinking about using on your pets, consulting with your vet first is always recommended.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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