Skip to content

Essential Oils for Fleas- Are they effective and do they work?

Essential oils

You may have had to deal with fleas if you’re a cat owner. These tiny pests cause discomfort and can lead to health problems for your cat. There are plenty of flea medications on the market. Still, many pet owners turn to natural remedies like essential oils because the chemicals in some medications are toxic to their cats. Essential oils work just as well to keep fleas away. One thing to remember is that essential oil products can take longer to work than their chemical counterparts.

With so many essential oils, it’s hard to know which ones are safe and effective for cats. We will look at the best, safest, and most effective essential oils to help rid your cat and home of fleas.

Can You Use Essential Oils on Cats for Fleas and Ticks?

Essential oils are often touted as an all-natural solution to pests like fleas and ticks. The question is, can you use essential oils on cats? Yes, you can, but you must use caution.

Essential oils used correctly can effectively repel and kill fleas and ticks. Some of these oils shouldn’t be applied directly to a cat’s skin — even diluted — as they can cause irritation and other health issues.

Please note that not all essential oils are safe for cats. Tea tree oil, pennyroyal oil, and citrus oils like lemon, orange, or grapefruit can be toxic to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian to ensure any oil is safe for them.

Carrier Oils

You must use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil when using essential oils. Diluting your essential oil with carrier oil makes applying it safer to your cat’s skin. Some common carrier oils used for cats include:

  • Sweet almond oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Apricot kernel oil
  • Sunflower oil

One or two drops of essential oil at a time is plenty. Test it on a small patch of your cat’s skin before using it on their entire body. Doing this patch test will ensure you don’t end up with your cat’s whole body reacting badly to an oil.

Essential Oils Safe for Cats

Warning: All essential oils must be diluted before use on or around your cat!


Cedarwood oil is a popular choice for flea prevention in cats. It has a woody aroma that can help repel fleas and other insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Cedarwood also has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy.


Rosemary oil is an excellent natural remedy for fleas on cats. This potent oil helps repel and kill fleas while providing many other health benefits for your pet. Rosemary has calming properties that can reduce stress in cats. It’s also anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial. Used topically on your cat’s skin, this oil helps soothe itching caused by fleas.

Essential Oils Toxic To Cats

Many essential oils are toxic to cats because their livers can’t process and break down these oils even if they are rubbed on the cat’s skin. So, many more oils are bad for your cat than good for them. However, that being said, the products with chemicals in them can’t be any better for them.

Many essential oils advertised as flea and tick preventives for cats are toxic to them. These oils include but are not limited to ingredients like:

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus
  • Pine
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Tea tree
  • Oregano
  • Thyme oil
  • Lemongrass

Using Essential Oils for Fleas on Cats

Here are some tips for using essential oils safely on cats:

  1. Make your essential oil safer for your cat by diluting it with a carrier oil.  
  2. Apply the mixture to your cat’s coat using a cotton ball or soft cloth. Avoid their eyes, nose, and mouth.
  3. Use a flea comb to spread the oil through their coat.
  4. Let the oil remain on your cat’s fur for ten to fifteen minutes, then rinse with warm water. Rinsing helps ensure any fleas are killed.

Other Ways to Rid Your Cat of Fleas

  1. Comb your cat: Use a flea comb to remove fleas and eggs from your cat’s coat by dipping the comb in soapy water to kill the fleas as you comb them out. Dispose of dead fleas and dirt by wiping your comb on a paper towel and throwing it away.
  2. Bathe your cat: Fleas do not like water, so bathing your cat with mild, unscented shampoo can help remove fleas and soothe irritated skin.
  3. Clean and Vacuum regularly: Fleas and their eggs hide in carpets, furniture, and bedding, so vacuuming and washing can help remove them.
  4. Use natural flea sprays: Use these sprays to repel fleas. That way, once you get rid of the fleas on your cat and in your home, you can keep them at bay, and you won’t have as much trouble with them in the future.


Only a few essential oils seem safe for your cat’s skin and fur. A few others may be safe if diluted enough to diffuse around the house. The reason most of these aren’t safe for your cat is that their liver can’t process many of these oils, and it can make them sick or cause death. There is the fact that many of the chemical repellents and flea killers can be much better for your cat. So, what is the choice? What do you do? Consult your vet about what essential oils would be safe for your cat. Now, we turn to you, our readers. Have you had any experience with essential oils? Do you know of other safe oils or oils that can be diluted to use around your cat? Leave us a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *