Fleas can be a real pain, and they can multiply and spread through your home quite quickly. However, many conventional methods contain dangerous chemicals that can harm your cat as well as other animals in your home. If you are looking for alternatives to chemical repellants, keep reading while we list several different DIY methods that you can use instead. For each method, we’ll include a short description so you can see if it’s right for you.
However, before we go any further, we want to point out that home remedies are not an alternative to professional medical advice. If your pet has a serious issue, please consult your vet immediately.
Home Remedies for Getting Rid of Fleas
1. Cedar Chips
Most cats hate the scent of cedar chips, so you won’t want to use them in areas that the cat frequents. However, fleas and many other things hate them as well, and many people have found success by spreading cedar chips along the perimeter of their property to create a barrier to keep them from coming into the yard. Cedar chips will also repel cockroaches, ants, moths, mosquitos, and more, so they provide quite a benefit to the homeowner.
An effective method of killing fleas that are on your cat is to use citric acid. An easy DIY approach to acquire citric acid is to add a few sliced lemons, skin and all, to a pot of water and allowing it to simmer for several hours at a time. Once the boiling is complete, you can remove the lemon pieces and discard them. Run the remaining water through a fine sieve to remove as many small particles as possible and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray it on the cat as you use a flea comb to kill and remove fleas.
The downside to citric acid is that your cat will also hate the smell of it and might not like when you spray it on them. Most cats don’t even like it when you spray them with plain water, and many owners use it as a deterrent to keep them from misbehaving, so you will need to spray tiny amounts of water at a time to keep from spooking the cat.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is another effective way to get rid of fleas on cats. However, unlike citric acid, apple cider vinegar will only repel the fleas and not kill them. Getting the fleas off your cat can help make the remaining ones easier to eliminate. Like citric acid, you will mix the apple cider vinegar with water and add it to a spray bottle. We recommend a solution of ¼ cup apple cider vinegar to ¾ cup water.
4. Dish Soap
Most brands of dish soap are effective against fleas because it breaks down their exoskeleton and kills them quickly. It works well diluted in water, and ½ teaspoon per 16 ounces of water should produce an effective flea-killing solution. The primary downside to using dish soap is that it can also break down important oils that protect the skin, drying it out, causing itching, scratching, and increased shedding and dander.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the best DIY methods you can use to control fleas. It’s fairly inexpensive and will kill the fleas on your cat and the rest of your home. It works y dehydrating the flea larvae, so they don’t get the chance to grow into adults. Using baking soda to kill fleas will provide several other benefits as well. Cats usually aren’t as afraid of it as the other methods we have looked at so far, and baking soda can be a great way to eliminate odors and freshen the carpet.
Sprinkle the baking soda over the carpet and rub it into the fur of our cat. Allow it to sit for an hour or two and use a brush to remove the baking soda and fleas from the cat. Use a vacuum to pick up the baking soda from the rug where much of the flea larvae reside.
Did you know that baking soda is also a great way to keep ants away from your cat’s food?
6. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is extremely similar to baking soda, and it works the same way. It’s a soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is highly absorbent and can even dehydrate and kill adult fleas. The downside to diatomaceous earth is that it’s considerably more expensive than baking soda, and it might dry out your cat’s skin.
While these home remedies are quite effective, one of the best ways to keep fleas out of your home is to use a commercial product like Frontline. These products are safe and kill the fleas as they get on your pet, long before they become a problem. If you are against those products and insist on an alternative, we recommend using the baking soda once per day until you no longer see any fleas. Cedar chips can help protect your property, and if there is a large number of fleas on your cat at the same time, the dish soap method will eliminate them in a few minutes.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this guide and found the answers you needed. If we have helped you manage the persistent pests, please share these six home remedies to get rid of fleas on cats on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Susan-Santa-Maria, Shutterstock
Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.