Bad Flea Problem in Cattery
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Jenna Armstrong
Posted on: July 24, 2008

It’s that time of year again! Run a cattery, and usually get fleas at this time of year. I am using Advantage on most of my cats, but I can’t on my pregnant and nursing mother cats, and the helpless kittens, which the fleas love. What herbal product can I rub on them to keep the fleas away? Several people have mentioned pennyroyal -- but isn’t that toxic if taken internally? I worry that they would lick it off of their fur and become sick.

Also, what can I rub or spray on myself? The fleas seem to love me -- I have anywhere from 150-300 bites at any point in time. It’s horrible -- I am like candy to them! No one else I know gets bitten at all. I have even tried changing my diet, but no luck!

As far as your cats go, please have a look at the following entries found on the Richters website archives:

http://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=./QandA/Animals/Animals.html

under the titles: "Animals and Fleas", "Cats, Fleas and Pennyroyal Oil" and "Pennyroyal, Dogs and Fleas" (information for cats there as well).

For you, well, you have several choices: Richters sells a couple of pest control products under their "Herb Wild" label like "Take-A-Hike" and "Bug-A-Bug". These may prevent your being bitten in the first place. If however, you do find a spot or 100, I would suggest you try homeopathic Ledum palustre in either a 6C or 30C potency. At the first sign of itching take five pellets under the tongue. Do not take another dose unless the itching returns, where at that time, take one more dose, and so on. I have also found that a salve made of fresh Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) flowers works wonders to heal the bites and decrease itchiness.

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