Essential Oils for Fleas: Can Essential Oils Get Rid of Fleas?

Published Categorized as About Fleas

Fleas can be a real nuisance.  They cause your cat or dog to be itchy and uncomfortable, can spread diseases, and can transfer between different animals in your home to quickly cause a huge infestation.  Getting rid of fleas quickly as soon as they’re identified is important.  

If you’re like many pet owners, you might prefer natural treatments for your dog or cat.  If you are asking “how to get rid of fleas on cats naturally” or “how do you use essential oils on dogs for fleas,” you’ve come to the right place. 

We’ll share some essential oils for fleas that can help you clear up an infestation on your dog or cat.  So, what is the best essential oil to get rid of fleas?  Keep reading and you’ll find out!

essential oils for fleas

Why Use Essential Oils for Fleas?

Essential oils are a natural and cruelty-free flea control option.  When used correctly, essential oils offer a safe alternative to over the counter flea medications. 

Flea medications are in most cases the best course of action, but there may not be the ideal choice all the time, after all. Some dogs or cats may not tolerate medications; some pets face breathing issues, skin problems, or vomiting caused by flea medicines.  With repeated use, fleas may become immune to some medications. This may mean your dog or cat still has to deal with a flea infestation, even if you’ve been making sure they get their flea preventative medication.

Fleas don’t like the scent of many essential oils.  This allows the oils to work very well as a natural flea repellent. 

Using essential oils to get rid of fleas on a cat or dog can also offer additional benefits.  The essential oils can help calm the pet’s skin and decrease inflammation and irritation caused by flea bites.  Some essential oils even have antiseptic properties, which means they can help prevent skin infections as well.

Precautions to Take When Using Essential Oils on Your Pet

Before discussing what essential oils repel fleas, let’s talk about some important precautions to take if you plan to use essential oils on your dog or cat. 

You must always confirm that the specific oil you are planning to use is safe for your pet. This applies regardless of whether you’ll be diffusing the oil or applying it to your pet’s skin.  Many essential oils are toxic for cats and/or dogs. Take the time to confirm whether you can use the essential oil without concern.

Always dilute essential oils before applying them topically to a cat or dog. Carrier oils, such as coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or grapeseed oil can help you safely dilute the essential oils before use.  You can also consider diluting with water to make a flea spray or mixing a few drops of essential oil in with your pet’s shampoo.

As a general rule, consult with your veterinarian before using any essential oils on your dog or cat.  This will give you some peace of mind that the oil you choose is safe. You can also confirm that your pet doesn’t have any health concerns that may prohibit using essential oils.

What Essential Oils are Good for Fleas on Dogs?

When planning a dog fleas essential oils recipe, make sure the essential oil you choose is safe for your dog.  Some essential oils are toxic for dogs, so you’ll want to ensure you use one that is safe. 

The essential oils listed below are not considered toxic for dogs. However, you should still consult with your veterinarian before beginning any treatments. 

While not listed as toxic, take care to ensure that your dog does not ingest any of these oils; only use diluted essential oils as topical treatments.

  • Lavender:  Can I use lavender oil on my dog for fleas?  Yes, lavender oil is considered a safe essential oil to use on dogs, WHEN DILUTED.  In addition to its calming scent, lavender can prevent new flea eggs from hatching.  Fleas do not like the scent of lavender, so it can also work to repel live fleas.  As an added benefit, lavender oil works to calm irritated skin.  It can also help protect against skin infections.
lavender for fleas
  • Lemongrass:  Fleas do not like the way lemongrass oil smells, which allows it to work as a natural flea repellent.  Diluting lemongrass oil with water and using it as a flea spray for your dog is one effective way to use this essential oil.
lemongrass for flea
  • Rosemary:  Rosemary oil is another essential oil that can work to repel fleas.  Fleas don’t like its scent, so applying a bit to your dog’s bed or collar or mixing it in with his or her shampoo can help keep fleas away.  Rosemary oil can also help heal any flea bites your dog may have.
rosemary for fleas
  • Neem:  Neem oil is considered safe to use with dogs.  It can be effective at repelling both fleas and ticks.  As with other essential oils, be sure to properly dilute neem oil before using it on your dog.  To effectively rid them of fleas, you’ll want to use neem oil in their shampoo or diluted with a carrier oil a few times a week.
neem for fleas
  • Geranium:  Geranium oil works well as a deterrent for fleas.  Fleas do not like this oil and tend to stay away from dogs when it is applied to their skin (always be careful to keep it away from areas where your dog may lick it and ingest it).
geranium for fleas
  • Cedar oil:  Finally, you should also consider using cedar oil.  Cedar oil is generally safe for pets and can be very effective when used as a flea or tick spray.  
what essential oils are good for fleas on dogs

What Essential Oils are Good for Fleas on Cats

As with dogs, there are some essential oils for fleas on cats that are effective.  You’ll notice the list of safe essential oils for cats is shorter than the list for dogs.  This is because cats tolerate a smaller number of essential oils than dogs do and could be more negatively impacted by some oils.  This is because a cat’s liver doesn’t have as many liver enzymes to metabolize the oils.  Consulting with your veterinarian is important before using essential oils on your cats.  Remember, that cats also groom themselves more than dogs, and you’ll want to make sure your cat doesn’t ingest the oils.

  • Neem:  While many essential oils are safe for cats, neem oil is generally seen as a safe option.  Fleas and ticks don’t like neem oil, and applying it (in diluted form) to your cat’s skin can help repel the pests.
  • Lavender:  Can you put lavender oil on cats for fleas?  Yes, lavender oil is also a safer essential oil for our feline friends.  Lavender oil for fleas on cats can help repel adult fleas, keep flea eggs from being able to hatch, and calm a cat’s skin while protecting it against infection.
  • Cedar oil:  As we mentioned above, cedar oil is a safe essential oil for pets, including cats.  It can help keep fleas and ticks away from your furry friends when used as a spray, added to a carrier oil, or diffused in a home dealing with a flea infestation.
essential oils for fleas on cats

Unsafe Essential Oils to Avoid for Dogs and Cats

Some natural flea remedies may also be unsafe for dogs and cats.  As we’ve mentioned, some essential oils are not safe to use with pets.  Here are a few essential oils you should stay away from when trying to repel or treat fleas on your dog or cat.

  • Peppermint:  “Can I put peppermint oil on my cat for fleas” and “will peppermint oil kill fleas on dogs” are two common questions.  Peppermint oil for fleas on cats is not a good solution.  It can be toxic to cats if ingested.  Some individuals recommend peppermint oil for fleas on dogs, but you’ll have to exercise extreme caution.  If peppermint oil is not properly used on a dog, it can still cause harm or even death.
  • Tea tree:  Is tea tree essential oil safe for cats?  No tea tree essential oil is toxic for both dogs and cats.
  • Cinnamon:  Cinnamon essential oil is toxic for pets; do not use this oil for fleas.
  • Pine:  Pine essential oil is another dangerous oil that you should avoid using on dogs and cats.
  • Wintergreen:  Do not try using wintergreen oil on your pet.  It is toxic to cats and dogs.
  • Ylang ylang: Ylang ylang oil is not a good option to consider when looking for essential oils for fleas.  It is also toxic for pets.

Safely Using Essential Oils on Your Pet

If you plan to use essential oils on your pet, doing so in a safe manner is very important.  Even the essential oils that are considered ‘safe’ for pets should not be ingested, so you’ll need to take care with how they are applied.  

One option is to try an essential oil flea spray recipe.  How do I make a cat fleas spray with essential oils?  Diluting 5 drops of an essential oil with water and spraying it on some areas where your cat won’t lick their fur can be effective.  You can also use these diluted essential oil sprays on dogs as well.

Where to rub essential oils for fleas on dogs is another common question.  First, remember that you always want to dilute essential oils before using them on a pet.  Consider one of the carrier oils listed above, such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil.  Consider placing the oils on the back of your dog’s collar or rubbing a few oils into their bedding.

Another option to consider when using essential oils for fleas with your pets is to dilute the essential oils into their shampoo before giving them a bath.  Mix five drops of the essential oil you choose with their shampoo, then wash and rinse them as normal.

Finally, you can also consider diffusing some of the essential oils that are considered safe for dogs and cats in your home.  This will get the oil’s scent into the air, which can be effective at repelling fleas, and you won’t have to worry about your dog or cat ingesting the oils.  Just make sure that you use a safe essential oil and keep the diffuser where your dog or cat won’t be able to access it.

What is the best essential oil to get rid of fleas?

Final Thoughts on Using Essential Oils for Fleas

Essential oils to kill fleas and ticks can be an effective solution for dogs and cats.  However, it is important to remember that some essential oils can be toxic for pets, so you should always consult with your veterinarian before beginning an essential oil treatment for your cat or dog.  If you do use essential oils, ensure they are properly diluted with a carrier oil or spray before applying them to your cat or dog’s skin.


What essential oils are good for fleas and ticks on dogs?

Some essential oils that can be effective for treating and repelling fleas and ticks on dogs include lavender oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, neem oil, geranium oil, and cedar oil.

Can I use Frontline on my dog when I’ve been using essential oils on them for fleas?

Using Frontline following essential oil use should be fine for a dog, but it is best to consult with a veterinarian to ensure the safety of your pup.

Can I use essential oils on my cat?

Cats are more sensitive to essential oils than dogs and humans, so many veterinarians do not recommend using them with cats.  A cat has few liver enzymes that work to metabolize essential oils, which means they can pose a serious health risk.  Some essential oils, such as neem oil, lavender oil, and cedar oil are safer for cats.  You may be able to safely use these oils with your cat if you follow proper dilution instructions and make sure your cat does not ingest the oils.

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