will tea tree oil kill fleas on cats

When diluted and used safely, tea tree oil can kill and repel fleas. But it is among the herbal treatments listed as “especially risky” in the Merck Veterinary Manual.

Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Fleas?

The effectiveness of whole tea tree oil in killing fleas has not been scientifically proven, however it has been demonstrated to kill other arthropods, including certain species of ticks and lice. Furthermore, it’s commonly believed that tea tree oil as a whole will work well against fleas because limonene, one of the oil’s natural constituents, has been demonstrated to be effective in this regard.

Is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Pets?

Tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed, so it should never be administered orally to a pet or person. If a pet licks tea tree oil that has been spilled or sprayed elsewhere, it could be very harmful. Additionally, if tea tree oil is applied to a pets skin in large quantities or undiluted, it may cause muscle tremors, weakness, a low body temperature, drooling, and problems walking. The Pet Poison Helpline has reported that as few as seven drops of undiluted tea tree oil on a pets skin has caused serious issues so undiluted oil can be very dangerous.

Conversely, diluted amounts of tea tree oil can be found in some pet products and are safe, but these dilutions shouldn’t go above 1%. It is best to avoid using stronger solutions and to make sure that diluted products still contain the beneficial terpenes 1,8-cineole and limonene, which have the potential to be effective against fleas.

How Does Tea Tree Oil Work?

Certain elements of tea tree oil called terpenes have been shown to have advantageous properties. Terpinen-4-ol, one of the terpenes in tea tree oil, is known to activate white blood cells, which gives it antibacterial and antifungal properties in humans. Another terpene found in tea tree oil, 1,8-cineole, has been demonstrated to be somewhat successful in eliminating a variety of parasites, and limonene, a different terpene, has been found to specifically eliminate Ctenocephalides felis, the flea species most frequently found on pets.

Plants contain a variety of terpenes, which are also in charge of giving a plant its scent. This indicates that terpenes are what give essential oils their potent scents and are also involved in the body’s endocannabinoid system. Numerous body processes are regulated by the endocannabinoid system, but more research is needed to fully comprehend how this system operates. Tea tree oil may be a useful complementary treatment because of its terpenes.

FAQ

Can I rub tea tree oil on my cat?

Although recent scientific studies have found that tea tree oil may be extremely beneficial for treating a variety of conditions in people it is NEVER appropriate to use on your pet. Even though tea tree oil is very toxic to cats and dogs it can still be found in a variety of pet products.

What is the best home remedy for killing fleas on cats?

Lemons. Because of the high level of citric acid, lemons are one of the most effective and natural ways to kill fleas. By spraying or brushing lemons onto your cat’s coat to help get rid of the fleas. Slice a lemon and let it steep in boiling water then drain the water when cooled into a spray bottle.

How do you use tea tree oil for fleas?

A few drops of tea tree oil may be added to bath products, or it may be used as a spray on bedding, upholstery, carpets, and other fabrics. Essential oils can be used to make a homemade flea repellant spray. Common oils used include eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, rosewood, cedar, citrus, or lemongrass.