Flea Control for Cats

Fleas are one of the most successful parasites on Earth, so they're a problem in many temperate climates. With over 2,500 species, it's no surprise than many of them want to feed on our feline friends. Dex P. writes:

Which flea & tick medicine do you think is best? There are so many out there. I have a few cats that can go outside, but most are indoors. Thank you!

Dex, we don't particularly care for any of the commercially available topical flea treatments because the chemicals used often have side effects, some of which can be disastrous for individual cats. There's just no way to know who will have a reaction and who won't.

We recommend a more organic approach. Organic flea control is best achieved when the little nasties are attacked on multiple fronts.

First, you should make sure all the cats are healthy and are being fed a species-appropriate diet. Given a choice, fleas will be drawn to the least healthy hosts. See our top food recommendations here.

 
 

Next, use a flea comb to go through your cats' fur on a regular basis. To be most effective, slowly run the comb through their fur and then dip it into a glass of soapy water to clear it. If you find fleas, they'll end up in the water which you can then flush away.

 
 

You'll also need to address your entire home. Most experts estimate that only 10% of an infested home's flea population lives on pets. Fleas exist in three forms - as adults, larvae, and eggs. The adults will mostly be on your cat but the larvae and eggs can be anywhere. You'll need to vacuum your home at least once a week, focusing on your cat's hangouts and carpeted areas. Empty the vacuum into a bag and take it directly to the trash. You may not even see the eggs and larvae, but you'll be ridding your home of them with every vacuuming.

 
 

Finally, use a deterrent product like food grade diatomaceous earth directly on your entryways and under baseboards. We used to recommend dusting your cat's fur as well, but there is some risk from breathing the dust from DE. It's perfectly safe when it's settled.

Dex, we're confident that the organic approach can be just as effective as the chemical bombardment method, but it does take diligence and it works best before a major infestation takes place. We wish you and your cats all the best!