My cat got fleas and we tried the flea collar and it didn’t work. Is it okay to use tea tree oil mixed with a bit of vinegar on her? I don’t want to burn her skin or anything but I’m running out of options and the damn things are driving me crazy! PLEASE HELP!


  1. Bob N

    Here is how I tell people to deal with fleas, it is what we do –
    First get Frontline, Advantage, or Revolution from the vet to treat the cats. These products are intended to be used once a month to keep fleas off the cat.
    Then, if you need to treat the house – which is often the case – use a product which not only kills adult fleas but also prevents eggs from hatching.
    When we have bad flea years (haven’t had one in along time – knock on wood 🙂 we use Raid products for the house.
    They make a fogger called Raid ® : Flea Killer Plus Fogger…
    They also make an area spray called Raid ® : Flea Killer Plus Carpet & Room Spray…
    We have had very good results with those products.
    Remember, you want a product that not only kills adult fleas but also prevents eggs from hatching. If you use something that does not prevent the eggs from hatching, when they hatch you are back where you started.
    There is a product, Capstar which is a pill you give the cat. It kills all of the fleas on the cat within about 5 hours.
    It does not provide long lasting protection – it merely kills all the fleas on the cat.
    You can use it to kill all the fleas on the cat and then treat the cat with Frontline, Advantage, or Revolution, and then treat the cat.
    Ask your vet about Capstar and using it in combination with other products.
    Capstar is available only by prescription.
    We have used it to kill all the fleas on feral cats who we could not handle to apply something else. We transfer them to another cage or carrier, move them out of the room, fog the room, give them the Capstar in food, and then put them back in the main cage.
    Capstar is like magic – it really will kill all of the fleas on a cat very quickly and it is safe enough that you could use it every day, if need be – though that would be an expensive way to control fleas, day to day.
    Indoor cats can get fleas that people carry in on their clothes. If you think that might be happening, get an insecticide you can spray on the yard to kill fleas.
    You will probably need to get a sprayer. The ones that attach to the end of a hose might be the type you could use.
    Ask the people at a garden store, Lowes, or Home Depot, or similar store for help picking an insecticide and a sprayer.

  2. Cherokee

    I have heard that Tea Tree Oil can be toxic to cats. Please do not try it. I personally use Dawn dish washing liquid to bathe my cats. I do spray vinegar on my carpets which surprisingly worked well. I have heard also that if you boil lemons let them steep, Pour the water with lemons that has been boiled into a spray bottle which you can spray on your cats for the fleas. I am in the process of doing this right now after my beloved cat suddenly died after applying Frontline. I now prefer to use home remedies that are safer for my cats than pesticides that can harm or even kill them. I wish you luck!

  3. Herbie

    Sorry but you’re going to have to use some FrontLine on her. Remember that when you’ve killed the fleas that are alive at the moment there will be eggs and larvae in the house, so vacuum carefully especially in all the nooks and crannies down the backs of chair cushions and between carpet and wall etc.

  4. Asaad

    no no no !!!!!!
    dont you ever do that it wold bern them and only make bugs and ringworms come to them if you do that you are a crimnal !!!!

  5. Ocimom

    NO – tea tree oil is very toxic for cats. That is why you don’t use dog shampoos on cats as many contain the tea tree oils.

  6. get back ex boyfriend

    Tea Tree oil (oil of Melaleuca alternifolia, Oleum Melaleucae) is often promoted as pretty much the best thing since flu jabs as far as cats are concerned. It is a colourless or pale yellow oil obtained by steam distillation of the freshly harvested leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia (Australian Tea Tree). The main active ingredients are cyclic terpenes.
    Tea Tree oil is promoted for the treatment of many skin problems and to control external parasites. Tea Tree oil lotions, shampoos and wipes are readily available from pet stores. It has been tested on humans and has been found to be effective on larger animals such as horses and sheep. In humans, it has been used in dentistry. However, animals and humans have been poisoned (sometimes fatally) from topical use or accidental ingestion of tea tree oil. Use of tea tree oil to control fleas has resulted in the death of kittens. There are case studies at the end of this article where cats have died following its use : Buddy and Foxy and Tiger and Miss Charlotte who were both made seriously ill.
    2008: Cedar Oil, also being irresponsibly promoted as a natural flea treatment, is also highly toxic to cats and can be absorbed through the skin or licked from the fur and ingested. Laboratory toxicology demonstrate it to be poisonous.
    Claims For Tea Tree Oil
    The oil is reputed to have mild antibacterial and antifungal properties and is marketed as a natural remedy in veterinary and human medicine. It has proven antiseptic, antibacterial and fungicidal properties. It is sold in cat skin-care products for cleaning, healing, soothing and relieving itching associated with allergies, insect bites, hotspots, burns, abrasions, minor rashes and irritations. It is claimed that Tea Tree oil is an effective deodorizer, fur detangler, external parasite repellent and that it restores lustre to fur. It is actively promoted for its ability to penetrate the skin. The oil is highly lipophilic (attracted to fats, solvent) and is rapidly absorbed through intact skin (even faster through open wounds). It may also be ingested or absorbed orally through mucous membranes when a cat self-grooms.
    Many cat owners claim to use Tea Tree oil without any adverse effect, however, there have been reports from the US that Tea Tree oil is toxic, to cats. There are unconfirmed reports of cats which have died following the its use. In the US, cat owners are advised to seek the advice of a vet before using the oil on cats. A Californian producer of the oil was reportedly unhappy about its Tea Tree product being promoted for use on cats due to concerns over its potential toxicity. In the UK there appears to be no mention of possible ill-effects or contra-indications and little awareness of its toxicity.
    An American expert in the use of essential oils (who has used Tea Tree oil successfully to treat skin infections in cats) recommends that the oil should not be used where the cat can lick it off, This addresses the hazard of ingestion, but not of absorption through the skin or through wounds (such as unhealed flea bites).

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