I have two inside cats and one black lab dog that goes in and out, and I just noticed a flea on one of the cats. I need a natural remedy for all three. My daughter has asthma and we want to get away from chemical treatments. We live in an old farm house and we have used peppermint oil to ward off mice. I have plenty of oils that we use for almost anything but I am worried about using them on the animals. I also wonder about ear mites for the cats?
Helen from Stanton, MI
FLEA AWAY DOG BISCUITS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup brewer's yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil
1 cup chicken stock, or beef or vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 2-3 baking sheets. In a medium bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic and oil. Alternately, add the flour mixture and the stock into the oil and garlic, beating until the dough is well mixed. Shape the dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 12-inch circle. Using a two-inch biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds. (Or use a cookie cutter with a dog-biscuit shape.) Transfer the biscuits to greased baking sheets. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are well browned. Turn off the heat and allow the biscuits to dry in the oven for several hours or over night. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Makes about 2 dozen biscuits.
Maybe you could make a batch of tiny ones for the cats as well. I know tea tree oil repels fleas, but it is poisonous to cats and can irritate dog's skin full strength. Maybe soak cotton balls with it and place where fleas can hide (couches, beds, pillows). (01/22/2006)
If your daughter has asthma, you shouldn't have any animals inside of the house. It's the animal's dander.
Best of luck. (01/23/2006)
Get some cheap baby shampoo, dilute it, and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to it. Bathe the cats and dog with this, it'll repel and kill the fleas. You can buy a eucalyptus castille soap at a health food store, but this is easier and cheaper.
By the way, tea tree oil as a topical is not poisonous to cats, but they are EXTREMELY sensitive to it, and it MUST be diluted in a carrier oil. And yes, once diluted, it will take care of ear mites. (01/24/2006)
I have read that adding brewer's yeast to their food will help. I adopted a stray not too long ago and he had fleas. I had to go to the vet for a prescription of advantage and we have been flea free ever since. I didn't hear about brewer's yeast until later. (01/24/2006)
Ref: Fleas - I give my 2 dogs each a garlic oil capsule each morning. It's been several years now and no more fleas. It should work on cats too. It's been awhile, but I think it took about a week before I could see the difference when I first started.
Ref: Your daughter's asthma - Try bathing them regularly and brushing them out good & wipe them down with a damp rag or paper towel. A friend had asthma and it was the dust and dandruff in their hair, and not the animals themselves that were bothering him. (01/24/2006)
By c. tejas
Mixing white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritzing your dog will repel fleas. Spray this same mixture on your outside trash cans and it repels cats and raccoons. They hate the smell!
Also, sprinkling salt or borax in your carpets dries out fleas but be careful with the salt. Too much can ruin your carpet. Let the salt or borax sit overnight and vacuum the next day. (01/24/2006)
I don't have a 'natural' remedy for fleas other than spraying your dog with a mixture of white vinegar and water, but my dog is on 'Program', a once a month tablet for fleas. This medication doesn't allow the fleas to lay eggs and we don't have flea problems at all and all of our neighbors have dogs. (01/24/2006)
Holding claws tightly, pour vinegar over cat in bathtub, rub into fur (we were doing tiny kittens), and we then dried them and placed them into tub for a few minutes - the fleas jumped off and we then washed them down the drain. Repeated about a week later and that seemed to do it for the kittens. We couldn't use chemicals as the kittens were only about 2 weeks old (they were rescued ferals), and a couple were so badly infected that the water turned reddish and one's white fur turned so red that I spent a lot of time looking for a wound before I finally decided that it was just a bad flea infestation. (01/24/2006)
By Karen Howell
For ear mites I've heard that you can swab ears with mineral oil or vitamin E oil. Think the oil suffocates the mites but I've never actually tried it, but it can't hurt them so might be worth a try. (01/25/2006)
By Karen Howell
Can't help you with any natural cures on the fleas. However, the vinegar sounds like a good idea.
As for ear mites - mineral oil works great. You can put some on a Q-tip or cotton ball and rub the inside of their ears and it will clean their ears and get rid of the ear mites also.
Hope this helps,
We used 20 Mule Team Borax laundry powder in the carpet. Just sprinkle it on the carpets, brush it in with a broom and let it set. Then when you vacuum your carpets it will pick up the dead fleas. It worked great for us. (01/28/2006)
Hello, I also have severe asthma, and the other posts are right, it is the dander that will cause an attack. However, for the posts that say not to have dogs, I have 2 Labs that are house dogs. I recommend getting a good vacuum with a hepa filter on it for starters. Once a week I make sure to brush, then rinse my dogs in the tub with vinegar. I then let them air dry. This keeps the fleas away, and keeps me attack free. I also have them both on Sentinel Spectrum-It is a wormer, but also helps with the fleas. It is a chewable tablet they eat once a month. Good luck. (02/01/2006)
I just got an email that recommended putting a few drops of Dawn dish detergent in the animal's bath water to get rid of fleas. Rinse well so as not to irritate the animal's skin. I don't have pets so have not tried this, but it sounds easy if it works. (03/07/2006)
You can take some essential oils (e.g. a combination of any of the following: rosemary, lavender, citronella, lemongrass, rose geranium, eucalyptus) and mix a few drops in water, then put in a spray bottle. Shake every time before using. 50ml of water you need about 10 drops. Never apply essential oils undiluted. (03/09/2006)
Grind the peels of at least three oranges in a blender with water to make a nice pourable "dip", pour over animal and the citrus and oils will get the fleas every time. (03/13/2006)
If your animal and your house is infested, getting rid of fleas is not going to happen over night. I would start washing your animals in orange dawn soap, it will kill every flea on them. I would NOT do this often because frequent use could dry the coat and skin out.
Also, the vet sells a little pill called capstar, it runs about $5 and in a few hours every flea will be dead. I would vacuum every room and remember to change the bag. Wash all the animal's bedding. Treat your yard with spectricide from home depot, and you will have to treat your house with a fogger. I would repeat in about 2-3 weeks. Good luck, fleas are not fun. (05/14/2006)
I've been having a similar problem lately. My boyfriend and I have 6 indoor cats and a black lab. Like yourself, I won't use chemicals. About 7 years ago was the last time I had a problem with fleas (only had 2 cats and a rabbit then, living in a small apartment). At that time, I used skin so soft oil as a bath for the animals and combed them out thoroughly. I also vacuumed my place and washed any fabric (clothing, bedding, etc.). Depending on how bad the fleas are, it might work for you. I'm still trying various things at this point. Someone mentioned baby shampoo earlier and it didn't help me in the least. (10/08/2007)
After reading everything regarding home flea remedies on this site, I tried this for my 1 week old kittens:
1 gallon of warm water, 2 TBS of table salt, 5 TBS balsamic vinegar (I think white is too harsh), 1 TBS Refreshing Tangerine Suave Shampoo, and a handful of dried spearmint leaves from last years garden.
I mixed everything together in a large metal bowl, then dipped each kitten, one at a time, in up to it's neck ONLY, keeping them in and rubbing them gently for about 1 minute. Then I rinsed each one with warm water out of the sink to get all of the dead fleas off. Rinsing each for about 3 minutes each.
Afterward, I dried each off with a soft warm towel from the dryer, and gave it back to the mommy. The fleas died quite instantly, the water rinsed off the dead fleas along with the vinegar smell, and the mommy accepted each back with no problem! I'm surprised and happy this worked for my little ones!
Please try this for your little ones before spending money on harsh chemicals from the vet. If I need to try this again, I am going to omit the shampoo, I don't believe it had anything to do with the fleas dying. (07/14/2008)
By Karen, in West Virginia
When you have asthma and have a cat, it doesn't work out. There is something in cat's saliva that triggers asthma attacks. I too have asthma and had a cat, and my doctor told me to get rid of it. Since then I have had little trouble with my asthma. Hope that helps. (08/14/2008)
Please do not use garlic for cats. They are allergic to garlic. It can be quite harmful for cats (01/02/2009)
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