How to get rid of fleas on cats

Got cat fleas? These tiny biting insects can cause serious annoyance for you and your cats—and they can be tough to get rid of, especially if you prefer natural remedies that minimize the use of chemicals in your house. Don’t despair! Try these five natural options for getting rid of cat fleas, and say goodbye and good riddance to fleas.

1. Cats inside—fleas out

Limit your cat’s exposure to fleas by keeping your feline friend indoors. Removing your shoes before you head indoors can also help prevent tracking fleas inside your house. If you have dogs or other pets that might bring fleas inside, you may need to take extra steps to avoid a flea infestation.

2. Vacuum, launder, repeat

Frequent vacuuming of rugs and upholstery will go a long ways towards keeping fleas at bay. Be sure to empty the vacuum and dispose of dust outdoors. And don’t neglect your cat’s favorite lounging spots. Cover cat beds and furniture with towels or blankets and launder with hot water every few days.

3. Comb away cat fleas

If your cat does pick up fleas, you can help get rid of them without chemicals by using a flea comb. Comb slowly and thoroughly, working the comb thoroughly into your cat’s fur. Dunk the comb in a bowl of soapy water to rinse and drown fleas as they come off. Do this daily until the fleas are gone, then about once a week to keep them from coming back.

4. Wash the fleas away

A good bath with cool water can help get rid of cat fleas. Try a shampoo with natural oils known to repel fleas, such as cedar, lavender, eucalyptus, or citrus. A diluted solution of apple cider vinegar may also help get rid of fleas. If your cat hates baths, try these tips for making the experience more pleasant for both of you.

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5. Create a flea-free yard

If you suspect that fleas are getting tracked in from outside, you can treat the area around your house to keep them away. Remove debris and leaves regularly, and plant fragrant herbs like lavender and fennel to repel fleas. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in the soil to kill fleas and their eggs without chemicals.

Treating an active flea problem takes persistence, so whatever method you choose, keep at it. If you still can’t get rid of your cat’s fleas, visit your vet to discuss a flea control program that may include a long-lasting medication to prevent fleas.

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