In today’s Beanietoe’s Q&A we’ll be talking about diatomaceous earth and how you can use it to help protect your cat from parasites. This not only includes nasty buggers like fleas and ticks, but it can even be effective as a worm treatment!
“Can I put diatomaceous earth on my cat?”
YES! You can directly apply an all-natural diatomaceous earth product like this one to your cat safely. However, you should make sure that it is food grade in order for it to be safe for animals and humans. These products are labeled as DE. We recommend this brand from Chewy.
Keep reading to find out more about this great all-natural parasite treatment for cats and to learn how to use it safely to kill fleas and worms on your cat. Plus, learn how to use it to keep pests out of your house and yard too!
What is diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural substance that is made from the remains of phytoplankton and minerals. This powder is harmless to humans and mammals, but it’s deadly to insects.
This is because these particles actually have very tiny sharp edges. While this doesn’t really impact humans or cats, it does cut tiny holes in the outer membrane of insects.
When this happens, the insects then dry up and they die. Other than being all-natural, the benefit of using this method over a commercial chemical based treatment is that fleas can’t become immune to it, and so it will always work.
It can also be used to fight off a wide variety of other creepy crawly pests too. Anything from fleas to bed bugs will fear this all-natural killer that makes short work of them.
It’s easy to apply, has a wide variety of applications and when used correctly, poses no harm to humans or cats. Here’s how you can use it to achieve a flea free home without chemicals.
How do I use diatomaceous earth to kill cat fleas?
Using diatomaceous earth to treat fleas on your cat is a simple process, albeit a bit messy. The reason for this is that it’s very dusty, and it can get everywhere pretty easily.
Unfortunately, in order for diatomaceous earth to be effective against fleas it needs to be put on their fur. If you’d like an option that’s a bit less messy, then we’d actually recommend cedar oil over diatomaceous earth. It accomplishes the same goal but without the dusty mess.
Step 1: Pickup food grade diatomaceous earth
Only use food grade products on your animals to protect them. There are some for sale that are meant purely for garden or pool usage. These are not safe for your cat. Get one like this instead.
Step 2: Wear gloves to prevent dehydration
While diatomaceous earth is safe, it can dry out your skin. Using gloves can keep this from happening, and you’ll want to make sure to keep it away from your eyes and nose to prevent irritation.
Step 3: Carefully apply it directly to your cat’s fur
Diatomaceous earth can be applied directly to your cat’s fur, but it can cause the skin to become dry if you over do it. Instead, lightly dust your cat’s fur with it, being careful to avoid getting any into their eyes, mouth or nose.
The idea is to work it into the fur and then gently wipe off any excess. The powder will settle and your pet will be less dusty once you’re all done.
Step 4: Re-apply as needed and for prevention
Diatomaceous earth works as both a flea killer and a repellent. You’ll likely want to apply once per week if your cat currently has fleas, but you may be able to do it less often if they do not currently have fleas, especially if your cat doesn’t go outside.
PS. Don’t forget to apply it to carpets and pet bedding! You can apply it to rugs and carpeting by waiting for 12 to 24 hours and then vacuuming up the excess.
How to use diatomaceous earth to treat worms in cats
If you don’t want to use one of the numerous traditional cat dewormers on the market, then your diatomaceous earth purchase can double as an internal parasite preventative.
Step 1: Figure out how much your cat weighs
The dosage for this product will depend on the weight of your cat.
|Small Cats and Kittens (2-6 lbs)||½ tsp of food grade Diatomaceous Earth|
|Full Grown Cats (7-13 lbs)||1 tsp of food grade Diatomaceous Earth|
|Large Cats (>13 lbs)||1 ½ tsp of food grade Diatomaceous Earth|
Step 2: Decide what kind of food to add the diatomaceous earth to
Wet food will be the easiest for this, because you can hide it. You can try to sprinkle it on their dry food, but some cats may avoid any strange substances on their foods.
Step 3: Repeat as needed for prevention and deworming
If you are simply looking to prevent worms, then you should feed your cat a dose of diatomaceous earth every three months. If you are currently trying to kill worms, then you may need to give them a dose one per week until the worms are totally gone.
Worms are often not killed on the first dose and you’ll need to kill any new ones that hatch as well to get rid of them.
What else can I do with diatomaceous earth?
Diatomaceous earth is actually pretty flexible! Not only can you use it for killing parasites on your cat, but you can even use it in other areas.
When applied to your garden it can be used to drive off slugs, beetles and other insects that want to make a feast of your fruits and veggies, and it can be used as a barrier to keep roaches and ants from making your home their home.
However, it should be noted that diatomaceous earth does not discriminate. It can also kill beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, and so you’ll need to be careful with your applications when using it outside.
If you’d like a bee safe alternative, then you might consider using cedar oil instead. It works much the same way as diatomaceous earth, but it does not endanger bees or butterflies.