One of the biggest headaches a pet owner can endure is a flea infestation. Once a small colony of these pests sets up shop on your cat, it can be a nightmare getting rid of them. Although there are expensive creams and pet prescription medicines that promise to get rid of the infestation, some cats have sensitive skin or allergies that react strongly to these chemically based creams. Fortunately, there are some home remedies you can use that utilize the natural flea-repelling properties of lemon juice.
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Lemon flea spray for cats
Lemons and other citrus fruits contain d-limonene, which is mostly concentrated in the peel of the fruit. It helps kill and repel fleas with its citrus scent. Lemon juice, especially freshly squeezed juice, may have a similar effect on fleas and other insects.
Create a lemon juice spray for cats using one part freshly squeezed lemon juice and three parts water. Spray it on your cat's fur and use a flea comb to get rid of the fleas that emerge on her coat. After you've combed out the fleas, wash your cat using a shampoo containing d-limonene to remove any fleas remaining on the coat.
Best flea treatment for home
Even if you manage to kill all of the fleas on your pet, chances are good that there are still some living on your furniture or carpet, just waiting for an opportunity to jump back on your cat. Fortunately, there is a lemon juice mixture you can make to help get rid of fleas in these areas.
Slice a lemon and place it in a pint of water. Boil the lemon for a few minutes and then let the lemon slices steep in the water for several hours. Strain all the lemon particles out of the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle. Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to amp up the pleasant scent of the home flea treatment.
Spray fabric areas thoroughly. If you have a fragile fabric, such as velvet, test the solution on a small, out-of-sight area of the fabric first to ensure that the lemon juice solution does not damage it.
Lemon juice for laundry
A third home remedy using lemon juice involves using it to get rid of both fleas and their eggs on your cat's bedding and collar. Unfortunately, every time your cat lies down on his bedding, there is a good possibility that it is becoming reinfested with fleas.
To remedy this, place your cat's bedding along with his collar and any other frequently touched fabric items, (such as toys) into the washing machine. Set the wash temperature to its hottest setting and add a full cup of lemon juice to the load. The hot water will kill the fleas and their eggs, while the lemon juice imparts a fresh scent that will help deter the fleas from coming back.
Lemon juice and cat safety
Lemon juice is acidic and could irritate your cat's skin if it is simply sprayed on the skin and left there. That's why washing it off after applying it is a good idea. You can also take the lemon juice and water solution and dip a flea comb into it after brushing your cat. The lemon juice in it will help kill the fleas and drown them.
Note that lemon essential oil may be toxic to cats. Never apply products made with lemon oil to your cat's skin or use a spray made with lemon oil on your cat's fur. For the same reason, never use lemon-based flea products that might not be safe for cats on dogs.
- Country Living: How to Get Rid of Fleas: 7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas in the House
- MDPI: Insects - Recent Advancements in the Control of Cat Fleas
- Bed Bug Exterminator Pro: What Do Bed Bugs Hate? Seven Ways to Deter Them From Your Home
- Sage Journals: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery - Disinfectant Choices in Veterinary Practices, Shelters and Households: ABCD Guidelines on Safe and Effective Disinfection for Feline Environments
- Ingenta: Outlooks on Pest Management - Large-Scale Monitoring of Insecticide Susceptibility in Cat Fleas, Ctenocephalides Felis