Cat owners have a lovely time with their felines; they get cuddles, a soft body to pet, and a charming companion the minute they get home. However, owning a cat also comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Staying updated on licenses, permits, vaccines, and checkups are just a few tasks that you can tick off on a regular basis.
The more challenging issues, though, are the ones that can crop up at any time. We’re talking specifically about fleas here, as you can never be absolutely sure that your pet would never have that problem. Unfortunately, fleas can jump quite a long way and land on your cat at the most inopportune moment.
If you do discover that your cat has fleas, the first steps should be focused on home remedies and natural treatments. These are much safer for yourself, the animals, and the environment. Try out these methods before calling in the experts:
1. Make a Flea Trap
One home remedy for dealing with your pet’s fleas is to make a trap with water and regular dish soap. Fill a bowl or deep plate with some warm water and put a few drops of dish soap inside it. Mix up the soap and water, and then place the container in whatever corner seems to have the most fleas.
This remedy might take some time and patience, but eventually, the solution will attract and trap all the fleas in the vicinity. You’ll have to refresh the contents of the plate or bowl every single day until the fleas are all gone.
This process also works best at night, as fleas are mostly nocturnal.
2. Make an Herbal Spray
If you don’t want to go for chemical sprays for whatever reason, a homemade herbal one might do just as well. You can use non-toxic ingredients that are relatively cheap and easy to find. What’s best is that these components are unlikely to harm your pets and kids. One recipe is to take two liters of water, four liters of vinegar, 250 ml of witch hazel, and 500 ml of lemon juice. Mix all these up and pour the resulting solution in a spray bottle. You can use a large bottle or more than one bottle to store the solution.
Once you have thoroughly vacuumed your home and cleaned any fabric that might contain fleas or their eggs, spray this solution all over your surroundings. This should cover all your furniture, carpeting, bedding, pet supplies, floors, window sills, etc.
3. Sprinkle Baking Soda
Vacuuming is among the most efficient ways of getting rid of those pesky fleas for good. If you’re vacuuming regularly, you’re removing the fleas from the fibers of your home. For even more thorough cleaning, try sprinkling baking soda on surfaces before vacuuming them.
All this takes is putting down some baking soda on furniture, carpets, and any other place where you suspect an infestation of fleas. Use a hard, bristled brush to rub the soda into the upholstery or fabric. After this, turn on the vacuum and use it rigorously. Make sure to empty the vacuum outdoors immediately afterward and put the contents in a trash can outside.
4. Use Cedar Chips or Oil
Fleas hate certain smells, and cedar chips are one of them. If you spread some of these chips around the areas frequented by your cat, they might be able to make the fleas jump off the animal’s body.
Of course, there’s the very real possibility that your cat might hate that particular smell too. Try spreading the chips around your pet’s bedding or in the garden. Alternatively, apply a bit of cedar oil on the cat’s own coat. This should be a non-toxic, natural essential oil. You can also prevent fleas in the first place by putting some of this oil on the cat’s collar. If the cat gets aggressive or petulant at the use of cedar, you might want to look for another option.
5. Spraying With Lemons
If your cat is already infested with fleas, you might be able to use a natural lemon spray for relief. Citric acid is among the more effective types of neutral flea killers, so try this once before looking at other remedies.
You can make a potent lemon spray by boiling a few cut lemons in some water. Make sure you let the pieces steep for some hours after the water reaches a boil. Once your solution is ready, put it in a spray bottle and use it on your cat’s coat. You’d also have to manually work in the lemon spray, especially if the cat has thick fur. Make sure you avoid the cat’s eyes, or the reaction might be brutal!
Again, keep in mind that cats don’t really like the smell of citric acid. Test a small area of their coat first and see if they’re able to tolerate the lemon solution. You may also have to monitor the animal for any irritation, redness, or other worrisome symptoms afterward.
Another factor to remember is that cats usually don’t like to be sprayed with anything liquid. If your kitty shows an especial aversion to the spray, try dipping a comb into the spray solution and using that to brush out the cat’s coat. This way, you’d be able to brush out the annoying fleas, their eggs, and also prevent a repeat infestation in the near future. Finally, add a dash of lemon juice to the laundry when you’re washing the bedding your pet uses.
6. Using Spices
Spices might be one of the most potent natural ingredients that you can have on hand for fighting fleas. Oregano oil is one of these, as it has a compound name carvacrol. The latter is a natural component that can effectively remove fleas very quickly. All you have to do is mix a teaspoon of this oil into three teaspoons of olive oil. Apply some of this mixture to places where the fleas seem to gather, such as the cat’s neck, tail, stomach, and ears.
Fleas would also run away at the smell of rosemary, so use this knowledge to your advantage. Grind a few leaves of this herb and sprinkle the powder in any place where the fleas might congregate.
Your cat might not tolerate topical treatments. If that’s the case, try mixing a little cumin into your pets’ food. You can try crushing it into a powder to hide it better. This spice may not kill off the fleas, but it will make the cat’s skin quite repulsive to them. However, make sure the amount of cumin doesn’t reach or exceed a full teaspoon.
7. The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar
It sometimes seems like there’s no limit to the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Again, this won’t kill off the bugs, but it can cause them to jump off your pet’s body. This makes it easier for you to hunt down and kill the fleas as they abandon ship.
You have to mix two parts of apple cider vinegar with one part of water. Since fleas are quite stubborn, you may have to try out this method after adopting more immediate measures such as vacuuming, cleaning, etc. After that, spray the solution on the cat’s coat consecutively for several days.
If none of the methods discussed above seem to make much difference, it might be time for a harsher alternative. You can look towards more chemical treatments or even call in the experts to get rid of the flea problem. At all events, we can’t afford to ignore a flea problem for any amount of time. That could be a costly mistake, as fleas might easily spread to other animals, furniture, and cause disease as well.