Non-natural ingredients in chemical flea killers can be dangerous for your kitten. Kittens are especially vulnerable to being overdosed on chemicals that are introduced into their bloodstream. In addition, fleas attack animals which are ill, have weak immune systems, or are young, which kittens obviously are. Natural repellents meet this threat without harming the kitten.
Kinds of Natural Repellents
Many natural repellents will keep fleas away from your house, kill them if they get inside or remove them from the kitten. The most popular ones are cedar chips, eucalyptus leaves, traps and garlic. Checking for fleas is an important part of making sure your efforts are working, so include combing and regular baths to take care of your kittens.
Method of Application
Spread cedar chips around the perimeter of the house. Fleas are cut on these chips, somewhat like diatomaceous earth. You can place eucalyptus leaves inside the house in various spots. Their smell repels the fleas. Spread garlic into the kitten's food, in the drink or onto the skin. Fleas dislike the presence of garlic in the kitten's blood, and so they will abandon her as a host. Another natural remedy is a simple trap: Set out a bowl of water mixed with soap and put a lamp facing it. The heat and water attract the fleas, which die in the bath of soap. Though this is a natural remedy, it may still be toxic to kittens, so make sure you keep the kitten in a room with the door locked when you try this method.
Each type of natural repellent has its advantages. The trap is nearly free. Garlic is inexpensive at the grocery store. Cedar chips are harder to come by but are available at nurseries and pet stores in bags. Eucalyptus leaves may be the most expensive remedy. The essential oil can be around $10 a pound. A florist will sell the leaf or branch itself, though it may be hard to get in a large quantity.
The main issues with these remedies is that they are not guaranteed to kill all of the fleas, an essential factor when dealing with an infestation. You may have to use a combination of some or all of these methods to rid your house and kitten of the pest. In addition, you'll have to add a rigorous routine of vacuuming and cleaning your house to scour away the larvae, eggs and mature fleas.
When looking into flea repellents for kittens, consider how safe it is for the animal. Just because an ingredient is natural doesn't mean it's non-toxic. Diatomaceous earth, for example, is considered a natural flea killer, yet many pet owners won't use it with their pets around because it irritates the skin, eyes and lungs. Furthermore, a kitten is such a small creature that repellents, if overused, can be harmful: natural eucalyptus oil, garlic oil, or cedar oil will be hazardous if the kitten ingests too much of it. Use common sense whenever leaving these ingredients around the house and serving them to the flea-ridden kitten.
kitten image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com
Matt Scheer began writing professionally in 2005. His work has appeared in "The Daily Texan" and "The New York Tribune." Scheer holds a B.A. in English and a B.A. in history, both from the University of Texas. He is also a certified Yoga teacher and Web designer.