Fleas not only annoy your kitty, but they can also carry many diseases. If your flea infestation is not severe, you may prefer to fight it without using chemicals. Fortunately, some essential oils naturally repel fleas. You can help keep fleas off your cat by using these oils to make an herbal flea collar.
What You Should Know
Essential oils can be toxic to cats, so you must use a highly diluted solution for the flea collar. Never apply essential oils directly to your cat's skin or fur and only buy therapeutic-grade oils to avoid potentially harmful additives.
According to WebMD, several herbs pose an extreme threat to cats. These herbs must never be used on your cat in any form. For example, pennyroyal has been linked to seizures and death in some animals. In addition, geranium, lavender and eucalyptus can cause severe allergic reactions in both pets and humans.
The National Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Green Paws Pocket Guide lists these essential oils as low risk for use on cats:
These typically cost between $10 and $20 per ounce and can be purchased at natural-foods stores and online retailers such as Mountain Rose Herbs.
Things You'll Need
To make a flea collar, you'll need the following items:
- Fabric cat collar
- Small glass mixing bowl
- A high-quality diluting oil such as almond or grapeseed
- One of these therapeutic-grade essential oils: cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary or thyme.
- In the mixing bowl, blend two tablespoons of the diluting oil with 12 drops of your selected essential oil.
- Soak the collar in the solution for 20 minutes.
- Remove the collar from the solution and let it air dry.
- Once it's dry, you can put it on your cat. As with all cat collars, keep it loose enough for you to fit two fingers between the collar and your kitty's neck. That way, if the collar gets caught on anything, he can easily pull his head out of it to free himself.
- If your cat shows any sign of allergic reaction to the flea collar, immediately discontinue use.
When to Repeat
Essential oils disseminate fairly quickly. You'll need to re-soak the collar about every two weeks or whenever you see signs of fleas on your cat. Since the collar has to dry after soaking, you may want to consider making two homemade flea collars so you always have a spare collar ready to go.