Fleas are unwanted pests that can plague your cat, causing myriad health problems and itchy, irritated skin. If you've found fleas on your feline friend and don't have any flea shampoo on hand, you easily can make your own homemade flea shampoo for cats using items you probably already have around your house.
Additionally, using a homemade flea shampoo is safe for very young kittens and older cats, unlike some commercially available flea products. Determine how to rid your cat of fleas in no time.
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Homemade flea bath for cats
The base for any homemade flea shampoo for cats should be dish soap, as dish soap is good at breaking down grease and grime. Because of its grease-fighting abilities, it also helps break down the waxy coating on fleas so they drown when you wash your cat. Otherwise, these pests can survive in the water during the bath and even hop out of the water onto you. Because dish soap can be drying to your cat's delicate skin, it's best to add a bit of vegetable glycerin to your flea shampoo. Glycerin will help moisturize your cat's skin during the bathing process.
To create a DIY flea bath for cats, combine equal parts dishwashing liquid with apple cider vinegar. About 1 cup of each should be enough for a bath. The vinegar will help to repel the fleas, and the soap will suffocate and drown the fleas. Mix the vinegar and dish soap with 4 cups of water.
Add in 1/3 cup of vegetable glycerin to make the soap a bit more moisturizing to your cat's coat. If you don't have any glycerin around, you can also use uncooked oatmeal. Simply pulverize the uncooked oatmeal in a coffee grinder until it becomes a powder. Add about 1/3 cup to the DIY flea bath. The oatmeal will also soothe your cat's skin from any flea bites.
How to bathe your cat
After mixing your homemade flea treatment for cats, you're ready to give your cat a bath. Use a pitcher filled with warm water to gently wet down your cat before applying the soap to his coat. Work it into the skin gently so that you get all of the fleas off the coat. Avoid wetting and putting soap on your cat's face. Instead, use a damp washcloth to wipe off any fleas that you see scurrying to this area.
Allow the soap to sit on your cat's fur for around 10 minutes. This will give the dish soap a chance to fully suffocate and drown the fleas on the coat. Gently massage your cat's fur during this time to keep your pet calm and to encourage the fleas to fall into the water. After 10 minutes, rinse off your cat using the pitcher and dry him with a towel.
Note that this homemade flea shampoo for cats won't continue to repel fleas like the ones you'll find in a pet supply store, but it will get rid of the adult fleas on his coat. Note also, that you may want to have some helping hands to keep your cat still while you're bathing her.
After the cat flea bath
Once your cat is washed and dried, it's time to get to work on removing the fleas from her environment. That's because these pests lay eggs wherever she's been, which will hatch and reinfest her coat. For this reason, you'll need to vacuum thoroughly around your home and wash all of your cat's bedding in hot water.
To increase the effectiveness of your vacuuming, sprinkle a bit of baking soda over any areas where your cat hangs out the most. You can also lightly spray down any areas where your cat likes to sit with a flea-repelling citrus spray made from a sliced lemon boiled in 2 cups of water. Allow the areas to dry before letting your cat back to these spots.