When using essential oils around cats, keep in mind that their sense of smell is incredibly sensitive. Watch for signs that may indicate that you’ve used too much and dilute immediately with a good massage oil or even a cooking oil. Water will not adequately dilute essential oils!
Signs of “too much” include: squinting eyes, confusion, extreme sleepiness, disorientation, vomiting, acting drunk or unusually violent.
Lavender is the safest and most excellent “all around” and versatile essential oil to use with pets.
To catch fleas in the home: Fill a large plate or shallow bowl with soapy water and position a bright lamp over the plate/bowl at night. The fleas are attracted to the light and jump towards it. They land in the soapy water and cannot get out.
The Top 20 Essential Oils for Dogs (from Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell):
Valerie Worwood suggests a simple flea prevention strategy which may also repel ticks and mosquitoes, and as a bonus, it will keep your dog's coat in good condition. If your dog's coat is suitable for this, wrap a wire brush with several layers of cheesecloth or a similar loosely woven fabric so that the wire bristles protrude about 1-inch, more or less, depending on the length of your dog’s coat. In a bowl of warm water, combine 4 drops of Cedarwood and Pine oil (or you could use any of the following: Citronella, Geranium Rose, Palmarosa, Tea Tree, Clove, Eucalyptus). Dip the brush into this mixture, then brush the coat. This treatment conditions the coat and picks up parasites and their eggs. Thoroughly rinse the brush every few minutes, soak it in the essential oil mixture and continue brushing.
For cats, Lavender or Neroil Hydrolat are highly recommended (Veterinary Aromatherapy, Nelly Grosjean). Hydrolats contain essential oils in suspension (unlike merely adding drops of oil to water where they float). Even oils not recommended for internal use because of potential toxicity (see above) can be safely used as a hydrolat internally and externally with cats, including pregnant, nursing and infants. The standard dose for an animal of 110 pounds is 3-4 tablespoons hydrosol per quart of water. Adjust the proportions to suit the weight. Grosjean says, “It should be remembered that frequent doses repeated during the course of the day will be more effective than one strong dose once a day.”
According to Grosjean, essential oils for:
Respiratory issues work well through a diffuser – let the diffuser run between one and two hours per day (cycle on and off with a timer)
Sedatives or tonics – internally or applied topically
Digestion – are best taken with food
Dip the cat’s flea comb in a mixture of water and a few drops of Cedarwood or Pine essential oil, and then brush your cat thoroughly.
1. I had a horrible flea problem in my home but did not want to use harsh chemicals, so I massaged one - two drops of Lavender essential oil on the back of my dog's ears. I also added several drops with water in a spray bottle and sprayed it over her dog's bedding. (Shake the bottle frequently.) Within hours the fleas were gone.
2. I put a few drops of Purify in a spray bottle with water and spray my dog and his bedding daily. No more fleas!
3. A sweet little Maltese (long, white-haired dog) found me a few years ago. We lived on a farm in southern Texas near the coast, so warmth and humidity made for perfect “flea breeding” ground. This little dog had more fleas on his little body than I had ever seen in my life! His snowy white coat was dingy brown, and his first three baths were horrible. The rinse water ran with fleas’ refuse and blood (from the flea bites). It was truly awful. I didn’t have flea shampoo, so I mixed a drop or two of Peppermint essential oil with Dr. Bonner’s baby mild soap so that I didn’t irritate his skin any further. The fleas died instantly. I bathed him three times with this mixture and then bathed him morning and night for the next six days (for a total of a week) to make sure no new fleas hatched out. I think consistency is very important. Bathing once a week with a mild shampoo and a little essential oil should keep the fleas away!
[HEO's Comment: Peppermint is an aromatically strong scent that may overwhelm your dog. Be sure it is well diluted.]
3. We have five cats, and I alternate using Lavender, Cedarwood, Citronella. I rub a few drops into my hands, and then I rub my hands through the cats’ fur vigorously daily. We have no flea problems at all – not even a single one.
4. We are leery to use straight essential oils with cats, but hydrolats are great. Fleas hate Lavender, so I purchased 4 oz. of the Lavender Hydrolat and put this into a spray bottle. I spray the cat’s bedding several times weekly.
5. I was at a friend’s house and saw fleas crawling all over her Dalmatian. I had some Peppermint essential oil with me and put a few drops in my palms and then stroked his fur. The fleas stopped crawling, but were hopping off of him. I put a few drops into some shampoo so she could bathe him with it, and it virtually took care of the flea problem. He is now flea free.
6. I’ve used both Purify and Lavender during flea “season” and they have worked very well. I put 20-25 drops of Lavender in a spray bottle with water (shake frequently). I spray my dog and her bedding daily. Lavender Hydrolat works great too.
7. To keep fleas off our indoor cat, I use a couple drops of Lavender in a shaker jar of 20 Mule Team Borax sprinkled on carpeting after each vacuuming. Also on throw rugs or wherever or wherever the kitty hangs out.
8. If essential oils alone don’t get rid of fleas, crush a garlic clove once a day and add to the food.
9. We alternate Lavender and Cleansing daily (one oil one day and the other the next day) on our dog. We have also used Purify. We just put a few drops between the dog’s shoulder blades as flea season starts. Some other oils that I’ve noticed work are: Peppermint, Lemongrass and Spearmint.
10. We use a mixture of equal parts of Lemongrass, Cedarwood Atlas and Purify [NO MORE FLEAS!]. About once a week I put 2-3 drops of this blend in my palms and then stroke the spine, especially between my dogs’ shoulder blades, and that is all it takes. We live in the country with horses and turkeys, next to woodlands and grasslands where they are prevalent, and we have no flea or tick problems.
11. I think fleas consider Orange oil “orange-a-cide.” I found this quote on the Internet: “Orange oil breaks down the wax in their exoskeletons almost right away, and they die fast. I noticed that within five minutes of using it, most of them were dead; within 45 minutes, I had 100% kill rate.”
12. Thank you for No More Fleas blend. It really works! My poor little poodle was constantly being bitten by fleas. I have tried shampoos, monthly topical flea medication and other expensive flea treatments with no success. I saw No More Fleas, and I was skeptical but thought I would give it a try. I gave him a few doses spread out over a few days, washed him and all of his bedding, and much to my delight the fleas were gone and still are. - Angela