Natural Home Remedies for Cats with Fleas

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When a cat begins to furiously scratch, their owner should investigate the source of their discomfort at once. If your cat is not suffering a skin infection, the root of the problem is most likely the cat flea, which becomes increasingly possible when your cat likes to roam about the great outdoors. It is this destructive pest that is known as one of the most widespread of flea species in the world. This often makes the cat owner in distress readily welcome any home remedy before spending a large amount of money on commercial products and professional assistance.

What are Cat Fleas?

The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) primarily attacks the domesticated cat, but also causes trouble for dogs, humans, rabbits, rodents, and other animals [1]. Once a female flea comes in contact with a cat, she lays her eggs, which become dry and later fall to a more protected shelter on the host. As the eggs hatch into larvae, the immature fleas feed on the organic substances they find on the cat, including adult flea waste and dried blood.

Next, a process of metamorphosis takes place, where the larvae then spin a cocoon and enter what is called the “pupal stage.” This process varies, as a young adult flea only emerges when signs of a viable host are present, such as warmth, movement, and carbon dioxide production [2]. After a newly emerged flea breaths its first swallow of fresh air, it is motivated to jump about its host, where it takes minutes for the new flea to feed on blood.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

When a cat suffers a flea infestation, you will notice scratching and a noticeable discomfort on their part. A sure sign of cat fleas is seen when your cat walks away from the places they sleep or rest and small grains resembling “salt and pepper” are left behind. This is an indication that fleas are reproducing on your pet, as these remnants are actually flea eggs and droppings. While most cats live life as usual with a few fleas, untreated infestations may cause a variety of problems.

While cat fleas do not typically find a home on humans, they still bite cat owners who have a habit of picking up and stroking their cats. Human cat flea bites produce small, red, itchy bumps that often plague the ankles and lower legs. If a person suffers an allergy to flea bites, they experiences extreme rashes, hives, or generalized itching [3]. Usually, an allergic reaction to flea bites appears 12 to 24 hours after a bite and may last more than a week.

Risk Factors and Negative Effects of Cat Fleas

Cats face the higher risk of fleas when felines are placed in environments that promote the growth and spread of these common household pests. When left untreated, cat fleas have the ability to pose medical concerns and affect the humans living within the same space. Below you will find a wide-range of risk factors and negative effects associated with cat fleas:

a) Heavy Infestations:

The repeated bloodsucking that accompanies heavy infestations of fleas can cause iron deficiencies and anemia in cats. This is especially seen in young felines, which eventually leads to the death of some pets. Heavy infestations also mean that the fleas have spread to other parts of a household, often biting human occupants.

b) Disease:

Cat fleas are known to transmit other parasites to their host, including cats, dogs, and humans. Common diseases include Bartonalla, tapeworm, and murine typhus.

c) Hair Loss:

When a cat frequently scratches and licks at their flea bites, their hair may fall out.

d) Flea Allergy Dermatitis:

Cat fleas are responsible for causing flea allergy dermatitis (also known as FAD) in both cats and dogs. This type of allergy is believed responsible for more than 50% of all the dermatological cases reported to veterinarians.

e) Stray Cats:

When a stray cat has kittens under or close to an uninfested home, the chances of suffering a flea infestation becomes much greater. Cats who live in a heavily flea infested home will also sometimes escape their surroundings to seek relief, usually bringing an infestation to an uninfested residence when rescued as a stray.

f) Weather:

In the outdoors, cat fleas thrive when the weather is humid and rainy, which causes the southern parts of the United States to suffer flea infestations more than the north. The summertime also sees a high population of cat fleas.

g) Dormant Flea Cocoons:

Houses or apartments that have been unoccupied for a long time may suffer a flea infestation when new tenants or homeowners move inside and “awaken” dormant flea cocoons.

h) Frequent Outdoor Visits:

A cat that frequents the outdoors will heighten the risk of bringing fleas into their home environment.

Home Remedies for Cat Fleas

When it comes to using home remedies to treat cat flea problems, you should know that the fleas present on your feline only represent a minute piece of the entire flea population within your home. This is why it is important to follow home remedies associated with both your pet and household. Popular cat flea home remedies include:

a) All-Natural Flea Collar Vacuuming:

A regular vacuuming of carpets, upholstery, and pet bedding helps remedy flea infestations and aids in removing flea cocoons. Since vibrations trigger the emergence of new adult fleas, you may use the clipped ends of an all-natural flea collar as a deterrent. Simply place the flea collar clippings inside of your vacuum bag, which will destroy new fleas on the spot. It is important to use all-natural flea collars, as toxic fumes may arise when using other selections.

b) Yard Cleanup:

Since fleas thrive in moist, wet environments, you may treat the exterior of your house to lower the flea population outside of your home. To create a drier yard, you should cut the grass, trim shrubs, and avoid leaving piles of gravel and sand about the house for long periods of time. Additionally, remove any unnecessary organic debris, including leaves, grass clippings, and straw, which easily becomes a haven for fleas.

c) Promote Spider and Ant Populations:

Ants and spiders serve as great enemies to the flea by eating their eggs and larvae. When mowing your lawn too short, you help fleas to thrive within the outdoors. Lawns kept shorter than two inches encourages a lowering of the population of ants and spiders in a yard, who become susceptible to ground-feeding birds.

d) Birds [4]:

While ants and spiders put a dent in the flea population, so do birds, such as songbirds, sparrows, and starlings. If you encourage birds to settle in or close to your yard, you will also help lessen the fleas outside of your home because birds consider them a fine source of food. You should offer seeds, water, and shelter throughout the year to promote birds frequenting your yard.

e) Vinegar and Water:

In a spray bottle, place equal parts of white vinegar and water, which is then used to mist flea-infected bedding, pets, and carpets.

f) Cedar Shavings:

The local home improvement, home and garden, or feed shop can provide homeowners with cedar shavings, which makes an effective remedy for cat fleas. It is suggested to sprinkle the shavings about the house, in the garden, and inside flowerbeds. You may also fill a pillowcase with cedar shavings and sew it shut for your cat to lie on.

g) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Some individuals have found results when placing their cat in a tub and administering hydrogen peroxide to their coats. It is important to avoid getting the liquid in their eyes, nose, or mouth. In the end, you should see fleas dropping into the water. This home remedy should be avoided if you are worried about lightening the coat of your cat, which may last for a couple of weeks.

h) Borax:

Applying borax to cat bedding and surrounding floor spaces, carpeting, rugs, and furniture is known as an effective home remedy for fleas [5].

i) Routine Pet Bedding Washing [6]:

It is suggested to wash your pet’s bedding and treat surrounding areas with a product that prevents the growth of fleas. This especially comes in handy when your cat frequents the outdoors. As a rule of thumb, regular checks and cleaning of the basement, garage, car, and pet carrier is needed to remedy any possible flea infestations.

j) Flea Combs and Detergent Water:

When it comes time to remove fleas, many cat owners underestimate the power of a good flea comb, which provides a great non-toxic method of ridding your pet of cumbersome cat fleas. The proper way to use the tool is to comb your pet and then place dislodged fleas into a bowl of water filled with detergent, which kills the pests. Be sure to set aside a chunk of time to complete this home remedy. Effective combs should provide 32 teeth per inch.

k) Summer Maintenance:

Since fleas tend to thrive under warm conditions, it is suggested to wash pet bedding in hot, soapy water once per week, followed by a session in a hot dryer. You should always keep in mind that 90% of fleas in a household congregate where your pet sleeps. Rugs and carpeting should be vacuumed every two to three days.

l) Soap Detergent, Water and Light:

Place a pan filled with water and a few drops of dish soap in the center of a room infested with cat fleas. Next to the pan, situate a bright light onto the water as the only source of light in the room. The cat fleas are attracted to the light, causing them to jump into the water and drown because of the added dish soap. Without the dish detergent, the fleas will simply bounce back out.



  • amber

    take 1 bar of irish springs bar soap and wet your cat down then rub a heavy layer of irish spring soap and rinse off.

    note:very safe for kittens.if you have trouble washing your cat boot its feet with masking tape.

  • C.Middleton

    Although it may seem a little messy inside the home, banana peels repell fleas. They can be shredded and put in the grass or flower beds around the outside of your residence. They do not like the fragrance or consistency of banana peels.
    As for treating carpets for fleas, in addition to borax from the pharmacy department, you can use Twenty Team Borax laundry detergent booster. Sprinkle it generously yet as evenly as possible across the carpet and let it stay there overnight. Vacuum the next day and either discard the bag or clean out the canister when you are finished.

  • Leighann

    bathe cat in dawn dish liquid to kill fleas. spray bedding and carpets with vinager water.seems to work well with my cat.

  • UnbittenRemainsOfDWilson

    Soapy water in a dish or pan does kill ’em quick. The perfect dishes are from the Simply Asia microwave lunches. I ate these all the time for lunch at work. The empty dishes are just the right size, and apparently transparent to infrared.

    I fill the dishes 3/4 full of water, add half a squirt of liquid hand soap in the bathroom, and keep them near my desk where I work. If i catch a flea on my foot, I grab it and flick it into the water, and laugh as they struggle against certain death, which pleases the evil madman in me.

    Without a lamp involved, I can catch 10-20 per hour, at the cost of distraction every time a feel a tickle on my leg. With a compact flourescent desk lamp, adjusted for the bulb to be about 8 to 9 inches above the floor, centered over the dish, the li’l bastards happily commit suicide! Maybe 20-30 in the last hour, and fewer jumping on me, and that higher kill rate takes no effort. I haven’t tried incandescent bulbs, but suspect they’d be too hot to work as effectively.

    Of course this merely reduces the population of active adult fleas. I’m going to try borax on the carpets soon for a longer-term solution.

  • Savannah M.

    O.k… I am experimenting apple cider vinegar and water and sprayed it on the carpet NOTE: SMELLS LIKE FEET!! EEEWWWWWWWWW! I am 11 years old and finding a way to save my cats life from being killed by fleas. Callie (my cat) is in constant pain and it looks like mange. Do not spray on cat please. My occur pain on cat if he or she has open soars.

  • Kerry

    Does shaving your cat make it easier to get rid of fleas? because I have a long haired cat

  • Dan V

    At our last house we worked in borax into the carpet and after 6 weeks the fleas stopped for more than a year. We don’t have any carpet and only a few rugs at our new house so the animals must be bringing them in from outside now. I am going to put borax on the lawn before i go to the do-it-yourself-pest control to get liquid death for the lawn. Diatomaceous earth is suppose to work but kills the earth worms too so i am not ready for that but it is cheap in the pool supply area. I also read salt is a good killer in the carpets. Wife at store now getting borax. Also, you have to vacuum every day to get the eggs up. Don’t underestimate vacuuming, it gets the flea eggs that haven’t bit you yet, consider it a preemptive strike.

  • Rose

    Iodized is the most effective and easiest way to get rid of fleas in your home. Simply coat your carpets and floors with it. Cheap effective, since the salt kills the eggs. The life span of an adult flea is short, so this remedy addresses the source of the problem. Leave the salt on your floors for 3-5 days to ensure the adults do not reproduce, then vacuum up. It feels weird to walk on the salt but is a minor discomfort when dealing with fleas.

  • Rose

    I forgot to write the word salt. Use iodized salt.

  • heather

    Someone said to use vegetable oil and dish soap to get rid of fleas on my cat, I did. It didn’t work.

  • Darrell

    My wife and I bathed 7 puppies and 2 adult dogs today in Dawn Dish detergent today. When we started washing the detergent off…. hundreds of Dead fleas per dog were washing off. Its like the Dawn killed them on the spot. That was a few hours ago and The poor things are covered again. We are going to buy Ceder Chips and Lime to treat our yard and pin area tomorrow! I have heard that These two things will get rid of fleas for good if you put them out every 6 weeks during the summer months.

  • Chantelle

    I read somewhere that a bath with salt and vinegar water will work. It has so far but I stopped for awhile and they are back, I am trying to find away to help heal the sores she is developing from an allergic reaction to the fleas before I continue bathing. But anyways I usually take a large bowl of boiled water add about a cup of salt (usually use a mixing bowl) and about 3 tablespoons of vinegar then let it cool to a warm temperature, something that is comfortable to the touch. I soak my cat in water and then apply the mixture generously with a cloth. I dont rinse, being as the last time I did, The whole thing didn’t work well.. make sure your cat has ALOT of water because it will be thirsty from licking off all the salt. Hope it helps!

  • Stella Gusman

    Diatomaceous earth does work for fleas, BUT, you have to make sure it’s the “food grade” type. The one sold for pools is toxic to pets. It must say “food grade” so that it is safe for humans and pets. Some garden stores carry it, but you’ll mostly find it on line through sites that sell “natural” products which are safe for people and the environment.

  • Jenn

    I used a vinegar/water mixture and added dawn dish soap ( unscented)in a spray bottle. It kills the fleas on contact. Or so it seemed to for my cats.

  • Michelle

    Steinernema carpocapsae is a Nematode that kills the larve of fleas but should only be used outside. Look it up on the internet.

    BORAX is great for indoors. Terrible for outdoors cause it kills the grass or plants.

  • racefan

    We discovered our cat had fleas we used lemon scented dawn dish soap gave her a bath every other day. And we sprayed whole apt. with lemon and water mixture is working so far. 1 pint of water to a good size lemon boil water with lemom slices in it and leave over nite to make solution.

  • racefan

    i forgot to add that we sprinkled table salt on carpets and vaccumm every other day or so.

  • Karol

    I have a cat and three kittens i did the dawn dishsoap thing and it started ta work and it seems the baby kittens have gotten even worse HELP they we need to get rid of them in 2 weeks what do i do????????

  • Nancy

    I would say that some people think of this as a one time treatment. If it did not work the first time or did then they were back. Do it again. Keep doing it until it works. If you read the stuff above and understand it. The fleas have a cycle to complete. Adult-egg-larva-pupa-flea….etc. I would guess it could take a couple of weeks to a month to complete the cycle! DON’T give up on your pet! Natural is the best way to go.

  • Heather Smith

    We have a flea infestation every spring with the one indoor cat we own. I have tried many different approaches including Front Line and chemical toxic dip baths. I have small children and live in the country where our gray water runs into our field so for this reason we look for non-toxic alternatives. I have used diatomaceous earth on our hard wood floors- left for 2 days. It helped but didn’t kill my flea problem. It did create a nice film of dust everywhere and dried our feet out horribly, almost burned. We left a nice layer in our mud room where we clean up from yard word and it has cut back the fleas majorly there. The biggest help I have found is Ivory dish detergent (for hand washing dishes). Apply the concentrate directly to your cat’s or dog’s DRY coat. Use a little water if necessary to sud it up. Do not use on face or ears. It’s best to do this in the tub starting with the neck and down to help control fleas that jump. Fleas will race to the face so create a soap barrier at neck first. Use a flea comb and tweezers on face to remove additional fleas. Let soap sit on coat for 5-10 minutes. Wash and repeat for bad infestations. I do this every week to two weeks during flea season and this keeps down the majority of fleas on my cat and the house. It is also necessary to vacuum every day to every other day paying close attention to where your animal stays. This is just as important. Add borax, baking soda, diatomaceous earth or some other natural type of flea deterrent/killer to your vacuum bag to finalize fleas and eggs that end up there. Finally, use a flea comb and tweezers to frequently comb your animal to remove additional fleas. Put these fleas in a glass filled with water and THEN a few drops of dish soap. You don’t water bubbles in the glass, but the detergent will cause the fleas to sink to the bottom where they are poisoned and drowned.

  • Shelby

    Baby oil on the animal while combing helps to get the stubbern fleas and eggs off. using that plus vasoline to keep then from jumping away and boiling water to put the fleas in works great…. and the baby oil is good for their skin and coat.

  • scoobydoo

    i tried the dawn dish soap method, and it didn’t seem to help. but where my kitten has most of his fleas is by his ears, mouth, and eyes. i want to try the hydrogen peroxide method, but if they hydrogen peroxide gets in his eyes or mouth, it could be dangerous. what is a very good and safe way to get rid of fleas in those areas?

  • Chris

    Thank goodness someone commented that if you use diatomacious earth you MUST use “food grade”. The kind you can get in garden shops and pool supply stores are indeed, toxic to humans and pets. They can get it on their paws and lick it. The food grade is safe for humans and pets. Sprinkle it in their fur, where they sleep, on the carpet. In their food it also takes care of parasites (worms).

  • Sammykoru

    I have two cats who are pulling out their fur. I took one to the vet and he gave her a shot and some pills for them both. Whatever he gave me worked really well. It helped my girls out alot. That solves the itchy scratchy problem. So what do i do about the fleas? My dog is covered and she brings them in the house causing the cats to get them. I need something that works and is completely safe.

  • danielle

    hi i have two 9 week old kittens and have just noticed one of them has a few fleas, i gave them both bob martins flea drops sprayed my house through out with the spray and even bought their shake n vac for the carpets and put a flea collar in my vacuum bag. 24 hours later that kitten still has fleas, but my other one is completely clear, what the hell is going on? How do i get rid of them? Im from the uk by the way and have no idea what dawn dish soap is?

  • Mark

    Fleas suck

  • Saby

    For those with animals with tiny livestalk taken resisdance,I agree with most of the above remedies, I know when i had fleas on my girls in 2007, i stuck everything cloth i could into plastic 20gal storage cantainers and put it in the corner i could keep the cleanest from fleas, but becarful when you put things in storage, the eggs stay for sometime years from what I am told and when russeled or disturbed, and in a warm enivironment they can repop up and continue thier evil reign, but it was effective for keeping the basement apartment cleared of easy hiding spots for them.

    *Also I don’t recall if i read it above or not, but little coffee dishes full of water dish soap in the corners of your room are effectivewith everyday changing.

  • Lauralight

    I think I’m going to try garlic water. If they don’t like sulphur, …I’ll put i on very weak being the neck like you do with advantage. I know it can be harsh on skin, but maybe a tiny dab in lots of water may make a difference.

  • Kristin

    I washed my cat with a special spap we got from the store and it didnt help at all. It was berry and coconut scented. The fleas are still there. I will try to use the dish soap and the pan of water and a light. My cat has had fleas for mabye 5 months but they dont seem to be big enough for me to see them and catch them. Strange that thats happened with everyone else. But thanks for the tips! I hope my cat and your cats get better!

  • Kristin

    whoops i ment to say soap not spap.

  • KrazyKatMa

    To Kill fleas on kittens, cats or even dogs… Use Citrus type of Dawn. My favorite to kill the fleas is to soak the cat in dawn and be very generous to use a lot to get the fleas!

    After the cat is rinsed I pick off all the dead fleas and see a much happier cat!

  • KrazyKatMa

    I use Anti Bacterial Dawn – Orange

  • Monique

    Hi everyone and thank you for all your different tips, many of which are safer than others. Do read as many comments as poss. in different sites to get the general safer way. Anyway, l have been using an electronic flea comb regularly, it detects and kills adult and young fleas on contact, it’s chemical free (obviously), and it’s safe and effective on all cats and short haired dogs. The “Flea Zapper” (it is called) emits an extremely low electronic charge, enough to kill the fleas but mild enough so that most pets do not feel it.Simply comb your pet and watch fleas being eliminated. This flea zapper is effective by itself, or as an adjunct to any control program. Batteries operated. The unit will stop every time a flea is detected and killed, a little electrocution can be seen at times on the flea. All sound wonderful and it is as l’ve got one, BUT where do you get it, is another story as l do not remember where l got mine as l have it for many years. (It doesn’t even have an email adress). My friends want one too and the only thing l could do is to give them the details on the box. So good luck in finding one! OK! it’s from: Kensicare Pet Products – Item #FZ 1001 – This product is manufactured and sold under one or both of the following patents, and on additional international patents: U.S. Pat. 5,072,746 and 5,178,168 – Additional patents and design registration are pending worlwide. – Made in Israel – MEPRO Co. (1987) LTD. and in a corner of the box, it says EPIVET tm with a little logo above it. l hope this will help! l bought it here in Australia where l live and there is an address where it is distributed by: ToLife Electronics, 14 Casino Street, Welshpool, Australia 6106. (Don’t know if the business is still going) but you can try. Get those fleas out!!! Did my best!

  • lorraine

    Try adding a small amount of crushed garlic to your cats soft food. Fleas don’t like the scent of garlic.

  • Tadege

    I also have the electric flea comb, it really does a great job, but be prepared for a wait to get one. Go to ebay and search it, lots of them available about $10 with shipping. Now to the bad part, they have not been approved for sale in the US. So you’ll have to order from China or Hong Kong, I’ve always received my orders but it will take from 3 to 4 weeks so do it today. You may want to order a couple, one for a friend. No I’m not the person selling these, they just work better than anything else I have ever tried. 1 time a week and your problem is over in less than a month and your cat will love the attention.

  • Heather

    Do NOT use garlic in your cats food. Chocolate, grapes, garlic, and tomatoes are all toxic to cats and dogs x

    • Crystal

      Garlic is not taxic to all dogs im sure it would be if your dog had a reaction to it but i forget what the reason being but i had to give a dog garlic powder on lunch meat once a week to a dog and nothing happened to the dog i believe garlic is suppose to help kill worms im not 100% sure but ive tryed it and like i said my dog is still around not sick or anything but if anyone is scared to try something dont do it there is always a chance your animal can have a reaction to something and harm them

  • alisa

    Diatomaceous earth is a terrible idea. It is very dangerous for your lungs. The tiny bits go in and do NOT come out. It lodges in there the way fiberglas or other sharp non-disolvable things do.

    Do not use it! It never comes out!!!

  • glen

    there is no hope you will fight fleas as long as you own pets it should be a top consideration if someone is choosing to become a pet owner good luck

  • Jen

    I have a Robi Lice comb that I got for kids at CVS, it works great on fleas! The kids love to use it. It’s battery operated and it humms until it hits a flea then it stops. You can see the fleas dead between the teeth. No need to order from Australia or ebay.

  • Cynthia Summers

    The very best remedy I have found for fleas is pennyroyal oil. Buy a small bottle and then put in maybe a tablespoon into a half gallon glass container. The unusual portion keeps forever it seems. Wet down the cat and then the bedding. Voila! No more fleas! However, do not use full strength as it is toxic.

  • heather

    I just wanted to point out that Dawn Dishsoap (a US brand of handwashing dish detergent) is not natural, especially the antibacterial type. They are full of chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic and in other ways harmful.

    I have an herbalist friend who suggested the powdered herb calamus as an effective and safe remedy, although he said it tastes awful and your cat might be angry at you. Of course, what cat loves a bath in general? but you don’t need any water for the calamus, just heavily sprinkle it on and work it into the kitty’s coat really well.

    I haven’t had to try it yet. the last time I had trouble, I tried the pert plus suggestion that was going around at the time, no results. I now know it’s not exactly natural either, just a different set of chemicals. I used the advantage stuff and it did work but it made me cringe.

    I would also try the borax next time, it worked on the little tiny sugar ants when I used it.

  • Jen

    I have never had flea problems with my cats until this year. They turn 7. We have alot of Mint in our grass naturally. But, I think this year is the year of the bugs. All Bugs! I’m reading alot about Borax, Lemon, Eucalyptus. This is what I’m going to try. Borax and sprinkle Lemon oil, Eucalyptus, and some tea tree oil in the Borax. shake it up and sprinkle on the carpet upstairs and the steps. We removed most of our carpets thank goodness. I sprayed the furniture and bedding today with eucalyptus and water mixture. might add some lemon and tea tree oil to that too…

  • Stacey

    Interested in the Iodonized Salt option in the carpet – would leaving it in carpets be harmful to cats?? I also worry about some of the other suggestions on leaving out bowls of water w/detergent in corners of the room – my cats like to try everything that looks like food.

    We have lots of hardwood floors – anyone have thoughts on that. I will try the borax and other ideas for vacuum bags b/c we vacuum the hardwood but if there are other suggestions I am willing to try anything.

  • Ann

    To rid my home of fleas, I dissolve Borax in hot water (1 cup Borax to 1 quart of water), let it cool, then pour it into a spray bottle that you can adjust to “mist”. I then mist every inch of my floors, carpets and any place my cat likes to sleep. I do this every time I vaccuum. As for my cat, at the first sign of fleas in early summer, I give him a pill (Capstar) from either a Vet or I order it online from 1-800-petmeds. The dead fleas start falling off of him within 20 minutes. Repeat with another pill the next day or so after the new eggs have hatched. This with the Borax mist is by far the best solution for me.

  • jodi

    I have tried both and they work equally as well. The Iodized salt coated on carpet & floors Leave 3-5 days then vacum up!!! or 1 cup borax in 1 quart hot water mist every inch of floor carpets and whereever the cat sleeps vacum regularly and the first sign of fleas in summer call 1800MEDS get CAPSTAR give 1 pill fleas start dropping off in 20 min give 1 more 2 days later and Awesome

  • RITA

    Wi my cats were kittens one of them would get rashes from the flea bites. I called the SPCA , told them my problem and they said to use J&J Baby shampoo on my kittens. Guess what, It works,Its not lasting but it is gentle, kills the fleas that are on the cats, It is cheap and if your kitty needs a bath leaves the fur fluffy and smelling great.I have many kittens as a ferral cat has adopted me and layed 2 litters on me. love these kittens and this works as each time they get a bath, dead go the fleas. Hope this works for all animal lovers.

  • page

    Thanks for all the tips – we have always had indoor / outdoor cats, NEVER had a problem, took in a new kitten and bam… we are apparently flea’d- our vet says 4-10 fleas is not an infestation, we are freaked out! Seeing one or two on each cat, combing NIGHTLY! (and that’s WITH two weeks of frontline!) (we also feed and take care of about 11 spayed/neutered not so feral ferals outside) (perhaps the problem, they sit on windowsills outside) windows open, etc… yeah, we got that. Our long hair had the worst of it…believe me, dawn dish water doesn’t kill them after you get them off, IF you get them off and have enough time to get them into a glass before they JUMP somewhere.. Neither does straight alcohol or even straight liquid frontline! as far as furniture? -have tried Sterifab, carpet spray, vaccuuming like a fiend! going to try and be armed with cider vinegar, peppermint oil and lavendar (at least it will smell better than toxic chemicals!) i dont know if you can get Borax in ny anymore! thanks all…

  • Christina

    Tea tree oil is poisonous to cats. On their skin even if diluted. Or if inhaled!! Do not use tea tree oils at all! Pretty much any kind of dish soap works. I use the regular green palmolive not green apple. Works better than other soaps I’ve tried. Better is left on for atleast 5 to 10 mins on each cat or kitten. Make sure you lather n keep scrubbing through the whole 5 to ten minutes. It loosens the fleas n eggs that burrow under the hair and stick on hair and skin. it doesn’t eliminate them from coming back but gives the cats much relief from biting and itching. It is also normal when bathing them that you may see blood or even smell it while bathing as the fleas leave dry blood on the cats from biting.

    If you have lice combs it may be time consuming but combing them with the soap and after helps fleas and eggs slip out easier. If repeated weekly with regular cleaning of carpets n beddings etc eventually you should be able to rid the fleas. Even if they are not infested from what you know, even a bath for the cats once or twice a month can help reduce them from coming back. If your bathing an out door cat it’s best not to let them out for atleast 24 hours as you have washed off thief natural scent.

  • cougar tracks sells several models of electronic pet flea combs.

  • Addie

    I washed my cat w/ baby shampoo then dipped her in a little mineral oil very diluted in water. The mineral oil leaves just enough slip/film on the skin & fur that fleas don’t adhere. Also cleared up any dermatitis.

  • cat lover

    Firstly – do NOT use tea tree, eucalyptus or citrus inc lemon, or lavendar – very toxic to cats.
    This is what works >
    Sprinkle a lot of iodised salt on carpets, upholstery, bathroom floors, bedroom floors and anywhere that is frequented by your cat. Leave it for 3 days then Vacuum. Do this again a couple of days later. Then do once a week for 4-5 weeks. (Note changes in temperatures will bring new fleas in so keep up the routine).

    On your actual cat mix up apple cider vinegar and water and place a little on your cat at the base of neck where they can’t touch. Watch closely over them for 24 hours then make up mixture again and bath cat with it. Baby shampoo apparently works also though have not personally used this. Note – you need to try first as although this is safe, you should always try in small doses anything on a cat as sometimes they’ll have a reaction to something other cats are fine with. Just like us, some people get reactions to things others don’t. This is really important and will stop people from harming their cats. And yes have lots of water around and encourage your cat to drink lots of water.

    What I do next is to get a collar around the cat’s neck and attach a cut out icecream container – your cat will hate it but is much safer – and then I shake lots of iodised salt on the cat and leave for a few hours. This then kills the eggs on them. You will need to make sure you brush them thoroughly to remove all the salt before taking the neck collar off. Cats should not be left to lick the salt off themselves as mentioned by someone earlier – this can be very harmful for them and is seriously possible it could kill them.

    Hope that helps you all. I’ve tried and researched for years and this is now what works for me and my cat.

  • john

    jeez .. doesn’t anyone here realize that dish washing liquids main purpose is to dissolve grease/oils .. i would think that it would really dry out the cats skin if used to much or even just once to strong.. and then, besides the fleas, now you’ve got psoriasis problem too …i’d say really watch out with that stuff ..

  • sassy

    Regular combing of your cat’s coat with a flea comb will help you catch the fleas before they become a problem. I think I heard somewhere and I wish I could remember where that one flea makes ten fleas very quickly. I use a flea comb and keep a dish of soapy water on the side of you so you can put the comb in there and get the hair out of the comb and if there happens to be a flea in there they will die in the water. If you didn’t catch the beginning of fleas then in no time you will be infested. YOu will normally find red blood spots on the toilet behind the seat if you keep your lid down, that is a tell tale sign there are eggs on your cats.

    If the cat has long fur it can end up all matted and the best thing to do is to shave it and then from there forward comb it at least every other day, make it fun for your cat as you do this. they will get used to it and start lining up if you have more than one. We have 13 and when I pull out the comb I get a lineup of 6 or so wanting to get combed at the same time. You can cut the mattes off if they are not right against the skin but be careful to not cut their skin. If you can trim the bulk of it off bring them to the vet and ask them to shave the rest of them off. You may only have to shave the belly and not the whole cat. The fur will grow back but be diligent in combing them from then forward. Treat them monthly with a spot on flea med and keep the fleas away!

    • dinky01

      A nit comb works great.

  • Vik

    I spray my yard with a hose sprayer and put 1 cup of lemon fresh joy and 1 cup of listerine mouth wash..I have been doing this for years and have never had a flea , tick or ant problem..Pest don’t like a clean lawn. Do this in the morning while the grass still has dew and the sun drys it.
    I do this once a month during the flea season.

  • Letty

    omg I have a cat with a major flea problem! Im trying to go natural so im going to try the dawn wash down and the borax. My daughter and myself seem to be getting the worst of it red bite marks all over our bodies if there are any more remedies out there PLEASE keep posting cause im still going to be searching till i find something that works indefinatally!!

  • Gale Jones

    If you can get a hold of a banana stalk this is your solution. Take the banana stalk and put it in the yard near the house or throw it under the house. The fleas are attracted to the smell and crawl inside and cannot get out. This method works great in South Texas. I recommend getting several stalks and place them around the outside of the house for better results.

  • sally schell

    hi everyone much like u i have flea problems i havea small dog and two elderly cats about ten yrs old. i recently bought a home but unbeknowing to me it is infested w fleas they had stay animals here and in the home so it looks like im going to try the borax wwater and spray the heck out of everything and i also use johnsons baby shampoo to bathe my pets it doesnt dry them out and it shouldnt hurt thier eyes if it gets in so if anyone has any ideas please e mail me .i can not bomb cause i cant get my pets out of the house for that long im disabled. thanx guys and good luck to everyone.

  • Cheryl

    Use cinnamon and baking soda if you have rugs. Take a couple of cinnamon sticks and put in a shaker top type jar and fill with baking soda. Let sit for a few days to allow the cinnamon to infuse with the baking soda. Sprinkle on the carpets, bedding, etc. anywhere you can vacuum. Allow it to sit for at least a half hour or longer. The best kind of vacuum cleaner to use is one that does not have to many filters and baggless. To keep flea eggs from living in your vacumm, put a cinnamon stick in the bag or tape it to the dirt cup of your bagless vac. I have used this trick for a long time and it works.

    I do have a question, however. I use Frontline on my dog and flea shampoo on my cats. Can you use the Dawn dish soap method on animals that have been already treated with another flea preventative?


  • Darlynn

    Dawn Dish Soap is a good one however it will dry out your pets skin so use sparingly. I also discovered that a cheap bottle of head & shoulders dandruff shampoo kills them on the spot!!! smells good also and there skin don’t seem to dry out as bad as it does with the dawn. 🙂

  • Tommi

    I have 2 indoor cats, my boyfriend has a dog. My cats are scratching frantically and have developed sores around their necks. I went online for home remedies, needless to say I’m thrilled! Dawn dish detergent killed the fleas instantly! I made a collar of soap around their necks so the fleas couldn’t run to their face and layered heavily on the body. Fleas are dead! Simply amazing. Tomorrow salt and vinegar mixture for the house and carpet perhaps a little borax (if I can find it). Thanks everyone:)

  • Pat

    I was going to the Vet and buying Frontline Plus, pretty pricey stuff over $16 a tube. But, it really wasn’t working that well for my cat. So I give him a bath with Johnson’s head to to Baby Wash. It has the No Tears formula and I can wash my cat’s face and behind his ears. I figure if you can use it on a baby…you can use it on a cat. And, it works pretty good. The cat smells good and he licks his coat but I’m not worried about him ingesting something bad because if it won’t hurt your eyes, it won’t hurt a cat’s stomach. He comes out pretty silky and smooth when he’s fully dried. I also use the flea collar in the vac bag trick to get those fleas hiding in the carpet.

  • Pat

    Sorry – Head to Toe Baby Wash

  • Chris


    I had a really major flea problem but greatly reduced it by using a “turbo brush” on the vacuum cleaner. This uses the vacuum itself to cause a brush to rotate and beats the carpet as it sucks.

    Cleaning the carpet with 1001 carpet cleaner (cheapest in UK is at Poundland, enough to do the whole house for £1 (about US$1.50) is said to help, but I don’t think wet cleaning made much of a difference; in fact, no noticeable difference at all. I’m sure it was the turbo vacuuming that really had the most effect. The chemical didn’t seem to kill them either.

    I bought over £40 worth of Johnson’s 4Fleas Fogger but if the flea trap is anything to go by, it killed them for a day but left the next day’s hatchlings so it wasn’t a long term solution, contrary to the claim on the instructions.

    You can also set up a very simple and cheap flea trap like this one (photographed after seven days): . That trap just uses a 24 hour candle (two for £1 at Poundland in the UK), set on an upturned glass in the middle of a Royal Worcester turkey plate. It doesn’t have to be Royal Worcester, but killing the fleas in a quality dish is the equivalent of giving them a nice funeral; they deserve that, at least.

    It is important that you fill the platter with a strong and well-mixed solution of dishwashing liquid (like Fairy in the UK or Dawn in the US, etc.) and water because they will jump off plain water but the dishwashing liquid destroys the surface tension, stops them swimming to the surface if they sink and positively drowns them (if drowning can ever be deemed to be a positive experience, that is).

    Well the fleas are down to being caught at the rate of one or two a day now due to the additional precautions of feeding a daily pill-sized piece of garlic to the cat, hidden in the jelly of his tinned food. From tomorrow, we will also be spraying with an infusion of lemon and garlic – made with a diced whole lemon and one clove of garlic, boiled and simmered for 30 minutes in about a litre (a couple of pints) of water and allowed to cool.

    In short:
    0. READ about the life-cycle of the flea. It really helps to understand it. This is really a sort of foreword, but I wanted you to read it, so I called it point zero. J

    1. DAILY vacuuming using a turbo brush

    2. COMB the cat with a flea-comb (I’m tempted to get one of those electric ones)

    3. DAILY vacuuming the carpet – don’t forget the corners

    4. WASH the cat bedding (and anywhere else he sleeps) in as hot a wash as it will allow (90ºC+ for cotton/linen). Do this at least WEEKLY.

    5. DAILY vacuuming and don’t forget under furniture

    6. SPRAY everywhere with lemon and garlic infusion

    7. DAILY vacuuming and SEAL the bag each day (I use a small spray can top – see picture at . They are cunning little critters and tend to breed in your vacuum cleaner bag when you’re not watching them and will jump out at the first opportunity.

    8. MAKE flea traps and leave them all day, every day, in each carpeted room, moving them around, but don’t leave near anything flammable or where paper ma fall on them of course. Don’t let the pet in while you are out for fire safety reasons!

    9. DAILY vacuuming and BURN the used bag on a bonfire or seal it very tightly (with a double knot) in a bin liner bag – don’t use a plastic carrier bag as they usually have small holes in them.

    10. DOSE the cat with a flea pill which will last about 24 hours several times during the Flealimination time – just makes the rest of the process easier.

    11. DAILY vacuuming and don’t forget to go over all the soft furnishings too.

    12. Er … oh, that’s about it, I think. Did I mention that it’s a good idea to VACUUM CLEAN daily, preferably using a turbo brush (£10 or $15, post free from eBay).

    I hope this helps someone somewhere …

  • pat

    I’ve had a breakthrough with the flea situation. Even though I would give Mercury (the cat) a bath with the Head to Toe Baby Wash, and some fleas would come off he was still scratching. I bought a flea comb (under $3). Comb your cat and have a saucer of rubbing alcohol nearby. As soon as you take a couple of passes on the cat, dunk the comb in the alcohol and I use an old toothbrush to scrape off the comb. Holy Cow! Do you get the fleas! They only live about a half minute in the alcohol and then wipe the comb off and repeat. It takes a couple of days of doing this, but by the end of the week, the fleas are getting fewer and smaller. You’re catching the young ones that haven’t even had a chance to breed yet. My cat loves it! He purrs when I comb him. He’s stop the scratching (which is good because he doesn’t have claws anyway). And I’m going to shampoo my carpets in about two weeks (when I’m on vacation) and I’m going to put a good slug of OxyClean in the carpet shampooer and that should get the dirty little buggers!

  • Tay

    We don’t even have pets!! But our neighbors “friendly” cats have shared their fleas with our yard and unfortunately have been tracked in on our children’s clothes and shoes. What can we do?!? I’m beyond freaked out!

  • Kerry Richards

    Before you even notice your cat is in discomfort and the snow is melting away start adding a quarter of teaspoon of brewers yeast to your cats food once a week. Continue this through out the spring, summer and fall then when the cold weather comes in stop. As many of my fellow feline lovers have said make sure your home and your pets home has been cleansed. This treatment works well on dogs also but they require half a teaspoon of brewers yeast once a week.

  • Marlene

    To Darrell about the lime: Lime is used for gardening and disinfecting and drying out moist, smelly areas. It is a component of calcium carbonate and is used to enrich the soil or disinfect barns. It is not harmful to animals or insects of any kind. It is not a pesticide as some think. It only enriches the soil and helps vegetables or fruit grow better. Calcium Carbonate is a dietary supplement that many people take daily for their bones. However, do not eat lime as I’m sure the taste is awful. Anything in extremely large quantities will hurt anyone or anything. If your dog or cat licks it, rest assured they won’t do it twice.

    Read more:

  • Vanessa

    So I just got a cat from someone and they neglected to tell me that my poor marley was covered in fleas. What Home remedies can I use to get rid of the and not hurt my marley. PLease Help.

  • Ash

    DO NOT USE VINEGAR ON CATS! This is great for dogs, but a cat’s body cannot break down the vinegar if they lick it and it can kill them.

  • Jacky

    We recently bought a steam mop and that is helping a lot, also a hand held steamer. With 4 cats and 1 dog in the house, plus 4 kids we needed something to help. Haven’t had so many fleas until this year. Thanks for tip on head-lice comb above. I do have one but never thought to use it on the pets. frontline and spot on have not seememd to help this year and have cost me a fortune, so will also try the brewers yeast remedy. thanks folks

  • morgan

    Brewer’s yeast really helps the cats
    Got a flea infestation in the apartment which did not come from my two cats. They never had a problem until I apparently brought the fleas in from outside. The cats started scratching all the time. Each morning I started doing the following: Put about 1/2 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast powder into half of the wet cat food, mixed it in and put some new wet food on top. They were really scratching but after doing it each morning for about 3-4 days there was no longer any problem – no scratching (and I didn’t have to bathe them or do anything else). The fleas just can’t stand the taste or the smell of brewer’s yeast. By the way, for myself, I put about a teaspoon full of brewer’s yeast into my own oatmeal in the morning. I also drink about 2 teaspoons worth of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water once a day, and use vitamin B1 pills when I have them (fleas can’t stand B1) or B complex when I don’t. It all seems to help. Getting rid of the fleas in the apartment is another matter.

  • Gail

    I don’t know if its ok to use on cats, but it works wonders on our dog…. Avon Skin So Soft (original). Mix 1 1/2 ounces with a gallon of water, pour it over the dog rubbing it into their skin… Do not rinse! You can towel dry. Fleas cannot stand the smell and it keeps the coat nice and soft. I dip my dog once a month to keep the fleas at bay.

  • smokiey

    this should help alot thank u 😉 ;0

  • Mary

    NEVER feed garlic in any form to your cats! It will destroy their heart.

  • Elizabeth

    1). I’m confused about Borax. Do you sprinkle it dry on the carpet and vacuum or mix with water and spray. It’s so muggy here right now that the carpet and furniture would prob stay damp , but okay if that’s what it takes. How long do you leave it on?
    2)Pennyroyal : I’m reading that pennyroyal is no longer recommended for cats but it seems to be in all the herbal collars and I was going to put one in my vacuum cup. FYI…DON’T GO NEAR PENNYROYAL IF YOU’RE PREGNANT!! It’s NOT an urban legend, it happened to my cousin.
    3)speaking of vacuum cups, anybody used mothballs?
    4) Furniture: what’s the best thing to spray on/under furniture?
    5) anybody used those bombs? Apparently they aren’t an insecticide ) to which fleas are notoriously immune> but are a growth disrupt or that prevent hatching/ breeding.

  • Jo

    We washed our cat with head and shoulders shampoo; worked wonders for getting all the eggs and larve off, also killed a hugh number of the fleas, we then salted the house and used pet store flea treatment for 3 months to ensure all were dead! problem solved!

    Head and shoulders is great for the inital attack but you do need to follow up with a treatment and house remedy!

  • Megan

    Droncit tablets from your vet works wonders with in a couple of hrs the fleas fall off dead! Then you just have dead fleas to sweep up…good for kittens too!!

  • Megan

    Also Adams flea and tick spray…works great for all animals puppy’s and kittens!