If your cat has ever had fleas, you know it is very uncomfortable for them. Your cat will probably itch themselves frequently, which is not fun for you or them. Some animals are even allergic to the bites of fleas, so it is vital to get them treated as quickly as possible before it turns into an infection.
There are many options on the pet care market these days of ways to manage your pets fleas, or even completely eliminate them. Natural flea treatments are always at the top of my list, because they do not contain toxic ingredients that may contribute to causing chronic disease in your beloved cat companion.
Tackling fleas head on requires a two-step plan:
Step 1: Tackling Fleas Naturally on your Cat
Diet is Important!
For helpful tips on improving your cat’s diet, check out this article from WebMD on cat nutrition.
Improve Diet & Strengthen their Immune System – At the beginning of any flea treatment routine, just like when looking into other problems your pet may be having, it is always good to look at first supporting the immune system. Having a strong immune system increases your cat’s chances of being able to fight off any nasties such as fleas and parasites wishing to live off him or her. The best way to do this is to ensure your cats immune system is strong by ensuring their diet is rich in natural foods he or she would eat in the wild. For your cat this should be at least 40% organic protein and the remainder being organic vegetables. Remember fleas are an external parasite, and if your cat can host external parasites there’s a strong chance they have some internal ones too so addressing diet will have a positive effect inside and out.
Foods that can promote a strong immune system for cats are:
Spirulina – A blue green algae from the ocean, that contains a very long list of vital vitamins, minerals and omegas that may be lacking from your cats diet
Pet Probiotics – The first part of the immune system actually starts in the gut, from where the food has left the stomach and hits the bowels. So it is vital the bowels are lined with plenty of good bacteria to take care of any bad bacteria that can cause disease or weaken your cats immune system.
Milk Thistle & Dandelion – Two great herbs that promote correct cleansing to take place in the body. The better your cat can cleanse itself of toxins on a daily basis the better its body (and mind) can function for many years to come.
Healthy Weight & Exercise – If your cat is overweight, then your cats body will not be able to cope with the amount of work it has to do on a daily basis, let alone work on cleansing the body of toxins and parasites such as fleas. So, by ensuring your cat gets out enough, or walked and played with daily will go a long way to helping your pet reach its optimal weight. Plus, although exercising itself does not build immune system cells it can help circulate them to where they need to go! To read more about the optimal weight for your pets, check out the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
CC Image courtesy of Silverblee on sxc
Buy a Flea Comb – Sounds simple enough but not enough people tackle the eggs which are buried right at the root of the animals fur. It is the eggs that are the biggest problem not the adult fleas you see so much. The flea comb can be used dry or at the same time as washing your cat – I would suggest both for best results.
Natural Flea Shampoo – This can help soothe your pets skin and help remove some of the adult fleas.It won’t help much to get rid of the eggs as they seem to cling really well to hair. But you will remove a lot of adults will which stop your pet from being bitten so much.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – This is a fine flour-like powder, the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms, a type of algae. It works by dehydrating the flea so no need to use any type of chemical poison on your cat. It should be noted that you MUST buy the FOOD GRADE version of this product as this is the safe and non-toxic version to animals. For best results rub this powder into the pet’s coat after they are bathed and dry, and DE will kill fleas and other pests. Be careful not to breathe in too much of the DE yourself, as breathing in large amounts could cause problems. Available in most countries, simply check your search engine and your area for details of where to find it closest to you. I also like this product because it not only works very quickly, but it is pretty cheap.
Step 2: Natural Flea Control for your Home
When it comes to fleas, I have found personally that the quicker you act, and the more techniques you use the quicker you will beat the flea problem – for your cats sake and your sanity. Some of these techniques may sound simple and too good to be true, but believe me I have had results with all the above techniques when I was living out in South Africa where fleas are rampant!
Wash Bedding Regularly on HOT – This step alone can make a massive difference to reducing the amount of fleas you have in your house, and therefore how many live off your cat. In the pets bedding will be the flea egg. By washing the bedding several times a week on a really hot wash (i.e. 60 degrees centigrade at least), you will kill off the eggs, and any adult fleas living there.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – As well as applying this to your pet, it should be applied to all clean cat bedding, and around the floors and edges of your home daily to prevent flea eggs hatching. It should also be applied outside in your garden where the fleas will be breeding in the dirt daily also.
Vacuum Regularly – Again, get rid of those eggs before they hatch is the key to this flea ridding process. Remember to empty and rinse the vacuum bag (or change it if it is not a reusable bag) every time you use it else the fleas will simply breed in your vacuum and get out again! We need to contain these bad boys ASAP. Remove any rugs or carpets that you can in the process of getting rid of fleas. These areas are a fantastic breeding ground for fleas.