Fleas are pesky little critters that can sneak into your feline friend’s lives. Whether you have a cat that likes to explore the outdoors or a cat that loves to snuggle with their canine friend, a flea can easily make their way onto your cat’s body and cause trouble. Essential oils are safer than prescription flea treatments for cats, as many cat owners now use them instead.
While we appreciate the desire to use natural products with your feline friend, there can be risks associated with essential oils for cats. In this article, we’ll discuss the safe options for natural flea prevention in catsDiscuss the dangers of using essential oils to control fleas in cats as a replacement for prescription flea treatments.
Do Essential Oils for Fleas work on Cats
Fleas are tiny parasites that live off the warm blood and warmth of their hosts. Since fleas don’t have specific requirements when it comes to their host preferences, virtually any warm-blooded creature can become a flea’s new home. This means that if your feline friend brings a flea to your environment, they can also bite you.
Fleas will often find a hiding spot on your cat’s body and survive by biting the skin and ingesting their blood in tiny increments.
Flea bites can cause skin irritation, itching, severe skin irritation, and even anemia. With so much risk involved with their presence, it’s important to try your best to prevent these tiny critters from making your cat their home.
How do I know if my cat has fleas?
Aside from seeing a flea crawling across your cat’s skin, there are a few signs that point to your cat having fleas. These are some of the most obvious signs of fleas in cats:
- Excessive scratching
- Shaking their heads
- Reddened or irritated skin
- Hair loss
- Chewing on their skin
- Flea dirt (black specks on their fur that look like dirt).
The Dangers of Fleas for Cats
Fleas are not only a nuisance that can cause discomfort for your cat, but they can also carry some serious risk that can impact your feline friend’s health. Though fleas are most known for causing itching and irritation, there is a long list of complications that are possible once a flea makes their way into your cat’s fur.
Itching:Your cat can be seriously harmed by fleas. Your cat’s skin can be severely damaged by fleas because their only defense is to scratch at their fur. Cats don’t understand when they need to stop itching to prevent sores and irritation, so they will continue to scratch no matter the harm it causes.
Skin infections Cats will often scratch at their fur and bite it to the point that they can cause severe skin irritation. Cats can often get skin infections from continuing to irritate their skin. Some skin infections can cause severe complications that require medical attention.
Intestinal parasites: Aside from their ability to irritate your cat’s skin, fleas can also cause intestinal parasites. The parasite known as the tapeworm is actually acquired through the flea and can infect your cat once they’ve ingested an infected flea. This parasite, which is zoonotic, can cause GI problems in your pet.
Flea-borne disease:Fleas are a vector for many diseases that can make cats very sick. These diseases can not only affect cats but can also be transmitted to humans.
Anemia:Anemia can be caused by fleas sucking blood from our furry friends. Anemia can be defined as a lack of red blood cells in the blood. It can cause serious and even life-threatening symptoms. Anemia can lead to respiratory distress, pale gums and weakness, as well as collapse and death in severe cases.
If you fear that your cat is suffering from any of the complications above, it’s best to contact your vetAs soon as you can.
Essential oils and cats: The dangers
With how popular essential oils have become in the wellness industry, it’s no wonder so many pet owners are curious about their use in cats.
Many cat owners are now using essential oils to repel fleas. Essential oils have been used for pest control on humans. Some scents are effective in repelling crawling animals, but others have not been proven to be effective. These essential oils can be dangerous for cats and have no benefits.
Amber, a Licensed Vet Tech, who works in emergency medicine, reports multiple cases of toxicity caused by essential oil use in cats. Among the most common symptoms she sees are:
- Excessive drooling
- Severe skin irritations and burns
- Respiratory distress
- Disorientation and unsteady gait
- Slow heart rate
- Liver damage
Though many believe this can only happen when a cat is exposed to a potent dose of essential oil, that’s simply not the case. Even high-quality essential oils can cause severe respiratory distress in cats.
The thought of using essential oils on a cat’s skin to prevent fleas is quite frightening due to the potential of serious toxicity. Having a scent on your cat’s skin can be extremely overpowering and uncomfortable for them, as well as the danger of having the essential oil absorb into their skin and make its way into their system.
Although there are many pet blogs out there that recommend essential oils for pets, we encourage you to consult accredited veterinary organizations. If you are looking for natural flea prevention for your cat that is actually harm-free, we’ll list a couple of our favorites below!
Safe & Natural Flea Prevention for Cats
Essential oils are not the only option for your feline friend. There are many natural flea prevention products on the market, and we’ve listed some of our favorite ones below to help you in your search!
Arava Natural Flea & Tick Prevention:This collar uses essential oils for prevention, but without the risk. This collarIt is infused with natural scents that repel ticks and fleas. It is extremely popular with pet owners who have cats who spend a lot of time outside.
Beloved Pets Natural Flea & Tick Prevention: This natural flea collar and tick collar also uses natural scents to discourage crawling animals from riding on your cat. This collar has a light scent that doesn’t bother your cat but has enough power to repel fleas and ticks for up to 6 months.
How to Get Rid of Fleas Quickly & Safely in Cats
While the above options are great ways to prevent fleas for cats, sometimes you have to get rid of the fleas that your cat has. There are many options. shampoosThese products, along with other products that claim to kill fleas fast, are often loaded in harmful chemicals.
Flesh-free treatment for cats is the best and easiest way to get rid of them. giving them a bath in dawn dish soap. Dawn dish soap kills all the adult fleas that live on your cat. This will give you a clean slate from which to start your natural flea prevention.
Dawn dish soap is safe to use on cats or kittens, but it can cause skin irritations. dry out their skin if it’s used too often. Keep an eye on your cat and check for skin irritations in the next few days.