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Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

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Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians. But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work!

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin, pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth, moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very frustrating phenomenon.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Blogs, Cats, Celestial Musings, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Green, Health, Natural Pest Control, Natural Remedies, Pests, Pets, ,

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.

95 comments

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9:25AM PDT on Aug 30, 2015

I have tried every holistic method under the sun to treat my outdoors cats when I had them, as well as my pups, and in this rural area of high grass, lots of shrubs and trees, they simply didn't work.

4:41PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Oh, and I also vacuum and use DE too!

4:39PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Thanks for the tips. I have been combing my kitty twice a day now and getting lots of fleas and eggs off of her. She looks forward to the grooming now and looks in the bowl when I'm finished.

I also bath her once a week with a mixture of Dawn and Apple Cider Vinegar. There is a more natural flea shampoo that I will be ordering in the not too distant future.

8:32AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

Thank you Celeste, for Sharing this!

3:45AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Thank you for the tips.

6:06AM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

IF YOU HAVE CARPET...POUR SALT ALL OVER THE CARPET ...LET IT STAY FOR 24-48 HOURS BEFORE VACUUMING AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF THE FLEAS IN THE HOUSE. i HAVE 5 CATS, WITH 2 OF THEM THAT LIKE TO ROAM A FEW DAYS AND THEN COME HOME AND SOMETIMES THEY HAVE THE HITCHHIKERS WITH THEM.

10:22AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Good information. I also found out the collars don't work and putting those drops on them only does more harm. I tried one of those flea drops on my cat and she went absolutely nuts and screaming meow. I quickly washed the stuff off, apparently it was causing her some pain on the skin. I stay away from all those chemical stuff and try to give her a bath, check for fleas, vacuum. After all would we want those chemicals on us.

11:07AM PDT on May 22, 2012

This news article provides some very helpful tips but I prefer all natural methods like the ones at http://www.squidoo.com/natural-ways-to-get-rid-of-fleas-for-cats
i really do struggle to get out the fleas it really bugs me..

10:46AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Thanks

10:43AM PDT on May 17, 2012

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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