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7 Best Natural Flea Treatments for Cats in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks

cat scratching behind head

Many cat owners face an ongoing battle against their tiny foes: fleas. It seems that no matter how careful we are, these little critters always seem to find a way into our houses. Besides being annoying, fleas can impact your cat’s health, so it’s important to take steps to protect your furry friend.

Even if your cat lives indoors, they can still get fleas! Trips to the vet or visitors from a flea-infested house can cause your cat to pick up fleas. While flea treatments using synthetic chemicals are effective, you might be looking for a more natural solution. The good news is that there is plenty of natural flea treatments to choose from. These use a blend of plant-based ingredients, like essential oils, to help deter or kill fleas.

If you’re investing money in a product, you want to know that it works, and many natural flea treatments end up promising more than they can deliver. But don’t worry! Our reviews have rounded up the best and most effective natural flea treatments for you to choose from.


A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray
  • No synthetic chemicals
  • Safe for kittens
  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray
  • Great value for money
  • Works for up to 7 days
  • Suitable for kittens
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Flea Treatment Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Flea Treatment
  • Easy to apply
  • Each tube lasts for 4 weeks
  • Pleasant smell
  • TropiClean Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Cat Treatment TropiClean Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Cat Treatment
  • Soothing formula
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Pleasant scent
  • Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent Collar Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent Collar
  • Works for up to 4 months
  • Suitable for kittens
  • Veterinarian approved
  • 7 Best Natural Flea Treatment for Cats — Reviews 2020

    1. Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray — Best Overall

    Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray

    If you’re looking for the best natural flea treatment, then we highly recommend the Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray. The ingredients include a blend of oils that have been used by the indigenous populations of the Amazon rainforest for centuries. This blend includes lemongrass oil, cinnamon oil, castor oil, and sesame oil. These are blended with purified water and vitamin E as a preservative to create an easy-to-use spray.

    While the strong smell of this spray is what deters ticks and fleas, many reviewers enjoy the fresh lemony scent. Unlike flea and tick repellents that use harsh synthetic chemicals, this spray is gentle enough to be used on sensitive kittens. All you need to do is spray this generously over your cat or kitten’s fur, making sure to also cover their stomach and legs. Use your hands to work it into their coat. You can reapply this as often as needed, but every 2-3 days is recommended. Because it’s not waterproof, you’ll need to remember to reapply if your cat happens to get wet.

    Pros
    • No synthetic chemicals
    • Safe for kittens
    • Pleasant scent
    • Veterinarian formulated
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Not waterproof

    2. Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray — Best Value

    Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray

    If you’re looking for the best natural flea treatment for cats for the money, then the Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray is our recommendation. This spray contains a blend of cedar oil, cinnamon oil, and clove oil, so it’s designed to deter fleas using natural essential oils. This long-lasting spray lasts for 7 days once applied. It can be used in conjunction with spot-on flea treatments, which is recommended if your cat or kitten is suffering from a major flea infestation.

    Reviewers like the pleasant scent of this spray and the fact that it quickly gets to work deterring fleas from making a home on their cat’s coats. The essential oils also kill fleas on contact. Once you’ve got an infestation under control, you can use this to continue to keep your cat and home free from fleas. This can also be used on your cat’s bedding, soft furnishings, and carpets to help keep your whole house a flea-free zone.

    Pros
    • Great value for money
    • Works for up to 7 days
    • Suitable for kittens
    • Can also deter flies, mosquitoes, and ticks
    • Pleasant fragrance
    Cons
    • Does not kill flea eggs or larvae

    3. Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Flea Treatment — Premium Choice

    Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Flea Treatment

    If you’re looking for a premium natural flea treatment, we highly recommend the Only Natural Pet Squeeze-On Flea Treatment. This squeeze-on treatment includes a blend of botanical essential oils, including peppermint, thyme, and geranium. These are combined with almond oil, which creates a soluble base to spread the oils throughout your cat’s coat. This pack contains three squeeze-on tubes, each of which provides up to 4 weeks of protection.

    This is effective against adult fleas, as well as ticks and mosquitoes. It doesn’t affect flea eggs or larvae, though, so if you need to clear an infestation, you’ll need separate products to deal with those. It’s also a good idea to treat your cat’s bedding, carpets, and soft furnishings at the same time. The smell is quite strong, which some reviewers like but their cats didn’t enjoy. It’s also a little greasy, but you can use a brush to distribute the oils through your cat’s coat.

    Pros
    • Easy to apply
    • Each tube lasts for 4 weeks
    • Also effective against ticks and mosquitoes
    • Pleasant smell
    Cons
    • Not suitable for kittens
    • Expensive

    4. TropiClean Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Cat Treatment

    TropiClean Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Cat Treatment

    The TropiClean Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Cat Treatment is designed to be applied after you’ve shampooed your cat’s coat with a flea shampoo. You then cover your cat’s coat in this liquid, massage it in, and leave it for 3 minutes before rinsing it off. Rather than working as a flea deterrent, this treatment is designed to soothe your cat’s skin if it has been irritated by flea bites. The combination of oatmeal and cocoa butter helps promote healthy skin, keeping your cat comfortable.

    You can use this treatment alongside other flea and tick treatments, which is recommended if your cat has been suffering from a serious infestation. Reviewers have found that this treatment helps soothe their cat’s skin and makes their fur soft. The only downside is that it needs to be left on for 3 minutes before rinsing. Some cats will tolerate this quite well, while others will be less keen!

    Pros
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Soothing formula
    • Does not deter fleas
    • Pleasant scent
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Doesn’t deter fleas

    5. Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent Collar

    Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent Collar

    If you prefer to use a collar for flea treatments, then the Dr. Mercola Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent Collar is an excellent choice. This collar is infused with the botanical essential oils of wintergreen, almond, and geranium. This collar should last for up to 4 months, making it excellent value for money. The strong smell will start to fade, and once you can no longer smell the essential oils, it’s time to replace the collar with a new one.

    This collar doesn’t have a breakaway section, but reviewers do note that the collar breaks quite easily. This is a good thing if your cat happens to get caught up on something, but it’s not so good if they lose it outside and you need to keep replacing it. This collar is waterproof, so if your cat gets caught in a downpour or needs a bath, you don’t need to worry about compromised efficiency.

    Pros
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Works for up to 4 months
    • Suitable for kittens
    • Veterinarian approved
    Cons
    • Breaks easily

    6. Beloved Pets LY-84 Natural Flea Treatment

    Beloved Pets LY-84 Natural Flea Treatment

    The Beloved Pets LY-84 Natural Flea Treatment contains a blend of five different essential oils: rosemary, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, and soybean. These help repel fleas and ticks and soothe irritation and itching. This pack contains three spot-on pipettes, all of which offer protection for up to 1 month. It’s easy to apply, but take care to do so in a well-ventilated area, as reviewers do comment that the liquid is incredibly strong smelling.

    We can’t find any information as to whether this spot-on flea treatment is waterproof, so you may want to reapply it after your cat has had a bath or otherwise got wet, just to be on the safe side. This treatment also doesn’t affect flea eggs or larvae, so if your cat has a serious infestation, you’ll need to use it alongside another product designed to target those.

    Pros
    • Each pipette lasts for 1 month
    • Suitable for kittens
    • Recommended by veterinarians
    Cons
    • Does not affect flea eggs or larvae
    • Strong smelling

    7. Vet’s Best Cat Flea & Tick Gentle-Mist Spray

    Vet’s Best Cat Flea & Tick Gentle-Mist Spray

    The Vet’s Best Cat Flea & Tick Gentle-Mist Spray is a great choice if your cat doesn’t like the spray from a traditional-style spray bottle. This mist spray will gently coat your cat’s coat, and they’ll hardly even notice it. It can also be used on your cat’s bedding,  soft furnishing, carpets, and rugs. This mist contains a blend of the active ingredients of peppermint oil, eugenol, and sodium lauryl sulfate. It also contains the inactive ingredients of water and sodium benzoate.

    Unlike many of the natural flea treatments available on the market, this one does kill flea eggs. It’s also made in the U.S.A. with certified ingredients. One downside is that it doesn’t last as long as a traditional spray bottle, so on a cost-per-application basis, it ends up being expensive.

    Pros
    • Suitable for nervous cats
    • Works on adult fleas and flea eggs
    • Also repels mosquitoes and ticks
    Cons
    • Doesn’t affect flea larvae
    • Not suitable for kittens
    • Doesn’t last long

    Buyer’s Guide

    All cats are susceptible to picking up fleas, even cats who are kept indoors! Besides causing skin irritation from their bites, fleas can also cause bacterial infections, allergic dermatitis, and even tapeworm infestations.

    Flea infestations are dangerous for kittens, as the blood loss caused by multiple bites can quickly lead to them developing anemia. Kittens also don’t have such a robust immune system as adult cats, so they can suffer from other health complications. Many flea treatments that use synthetic chemicals aren’t recommended for kittens, so natural alternatives are a better option.

    Before buying any new flea treatment, especially for kittens, it’s worth asking your vet so they can advise you on dosage.

    Is natural better than synthetic?

    Synthetic flea treatments can contain insecticides, and others can contain insect growth regulators. Both are potent chemicals that can cause a range of side effects.

    If you’d prefer not to use synthetic treatments, you may want to look at natural flea treatments instead.

    What to look for in a natural flea treatment

    When you’re looking for the best natural flea treatment for your cat or kitten, there are a few things to look for:

    • Method of application. Some natural flea treatments can be sprayed onto your cat’s coat, while others are a liquid that you apply to the back of their neck, similar to a synthetic chemical spot-on treatment. You can also find natural flea treatments, like collars, powders, or even shampoos and wipes. Choose the application method that suits you and your cat best. If your cat hates being bathed, then a shampoo will be difficult to apply and cause you both stress. Spot-on treatments are generally popular because they’re easy to apply.
    • Part of flea life cycle targeted. The flea’s life cycle is broadly split into three stages: egg, larvae, and adult. Some flea treatments only target one section of the flea’s life cycle, while others will target all three. Many natural flea treatments are only effective against adult fleas. This means it will take you longer to get rid of all the fleas because you’ll have to wait for the eggs and larvae to mature into adult fleas before you can target them. You may choose to use another flea treatment at the same time that targets those specific stages of the life cycle.
    • How often to apply. Some natural flea treatments only last 2-4 days, while others will last for around a month. Choosing a longer-term treatment is a good idea if you don’t want to have to remember to apply something multiple times per week. Just remember to make a note of what date that you will need to reapply the following month.

    What do natural flea repellents contain?

    There is a range of different plant-based chemicals used in natural flea treatments. These are usually essential oils and include:

    • Geraniol
    • Clove oil
    • Lemongrass
    • Sesame oil
    • Cedar oil
    • Castor oil
    • Cinnamon oil
    • Peppermint oil
    • Thyme oil
    • Wintergreen oil
    • Rosemary oil

    Certain essential oils are toxic to cats, so we wouldn’t recommend trying to blend your own flea treatment using essential oils. Choose the wrong oil or too high a concentration, and it could trigger a toxic reaction, and your cat may need extensive veterinary treatment.

    Some of the essential oils used in natural flea treatments can be found on the Pet Poison Helpline’s list of poisonous substances, but the concentrations used have been extensively tested to cause no harm. In fact, these formulations are often veterinary approved. If you’re unsure, though, always ask your vet for advice about the treatment that you’re looking at purchasing.

    How do I know if my cat has fleas?

    cat scratching head

    You may see your cat scratching or patches of red and dry irritated skin. You might also notice “flea dirt,” which are small black spots on the skin that do look like dirt. These may be clustered under your cat’s chin or spread throughout their fur. This is actually flea poop and contains blood cells that have been digested and passed.

    If you’re not sure if it’s flea dirt or plain old garden dirt, place a few of the spots on a damp piece of paper towel. If the paper towel under the spots turns red, you’ve got a flea infestation on your hands.

    Remember to treat your home too

    Once you’ve bought your chosen natural flea treatment and put it on your cat, don’t forget to treat your home as well! Flea eggs can lie dormant for years, so you may find that your cat keeps getting re-infested with fleas unless you deal with the root cause. Flea eggs can collect in your cat’s bedding, carpets, soft furnishings, and anywhere else that your cat goes!

    Make sure to wash all fabrics on a hot wash. Regular vacuuming can also help remove flea eggs or larvae from carpets and soft furnishings. You can also buy natural flea treatments that can be sprayed onto things that can’t be washed, like carpets. Getting into the habit of regularly treating your house at the same time that you treat your cat, to keep fleas to an absolute minimum.

    cat scratching ear
    Image Credit: fotovictoria, Shutterstock

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    Conclusion

    As the best overall natural flea treatment on the market today, the Pet Naturals of Vermont Flea + Tick Spray is a clear winner. This veterinarian-recommended formula is safe for all ages of cats, including kittens. It contains a blend of lemongrass oil, cinnamon oil, castor oil, and sesame oil, all designed to repel fleas and keep your cat feeling great.

    If value for money is your number-one priority, then the Natural Chemistry Natural Flea Spray won’t disappoint. This spray contains a blend of cedar, cinnamon, and clove oils. Besides doing a great job of deterring adult fleas on your cat, it can also be used to freshen up soft furnishings, pet bedding, and carpets.

    Choosing the best natural flea treatment for your cat can feel like an uphill battle, especially as some formulations aren’t as effective as you might have hoped. We chose seven treatments that we found to be the most effective and included them in our reviews list. Choosing one of these is a great start for getting rid of those pesky fleas and keeping your house and cat insect-free zones!

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    Featured Image Credit: Susan Santa Maria, Shutterstock