A year ago last week our 15 year-old cat, Kenobi, passed away, and I still miss him. I’m grateful for the companionship, the loyalty, the connection we can have with animals, especially our pets. Though I can’t quote the sources offhand, I’ve read in many articles quoting studies that show animals help lower blood pressure, relieve stress, even increase our life span. A purring cat on my lap in the evening makes for a nice transition to sleep time.
The animals who give us so much and who depend on us for food need to have their nutrition needs met much as we do. Kenobi lived on canned cat food, dry cat food, and maybe the occasional mouse he caught. I don’t know that he actually ate any of them, only that he brought us presents now and then. It’s the human equivalent of the Standard American Diet, and the last couple years of his life he wasn’t nearly as healthy as the first ten. Even being older, I could see arthritis, unhealthy weight loss, and right before he died, the vet said he was so anemic that she would recommend a blood transfusion. I didn’t even know there was a cat blood bank.
It was during his lifetime that my food knowledge evolved toward much more plant-based, raw, whole foods. While cats are carnivores, they also need the enzymes available in raw food, and the famous Pottenger cat study showed that feeding them all cooked foods, as I did, results in many of the same chronic diseases people get. Kenobi was a case in point. It also showed that the effects can be cumulative over just three generations, so that the third generation eating all cooked food had much higher disease and infertility rates. As in there was no fourth generation.
All this to say, the next cat or dog we have will get a much healthier diet, as well as more natural flea control and other pet products.
I found a couple things to help control fleas without resorting to the nasty, nasty chemical options, though I must confess I have used those in a large flea infestation. One is a spray of essential oils and water.
Flea Bane Spray
4 oz. water
3-5 drops certified pure rosemary essential oil
2 drops certified pure lemongrass essential oil
Place all ingredients in a 4 oz. glass spray bottle and shake before using.
Chances are you will not get a cat to let you spray them. But when I shake the bottle, spray it in my hands and then pet, scratch, and generally rub the cat all over, they will tolerate it. I pet until the cat is completely dry, and our current feline resident will wait for me when he hears me spray my hand.
Here are do-it-yourself flea collar instructions using essential oils.
Please note that cats cannot metabolize essential oils like humans or dogs, so they can build up to dangerous levels unless very diluted in water or fixed oils. I’ve used them successfully on my daughter’s cats, so as long as you know the cautions, they are wonderful options.
DIY Natural Flea Collar for Cats
2-3 tablespoons witch hazel or water
3 drops certified pure rosemary essential oil*
3 drops certified pure lemongrass essential oil*
1 cloth pet collar
Combine the liquid and oils. Soak the collar in the mixture for several hours or until absorbed. Let it dry completely before using.
* Instead of rosemary and lemongrass, you can use 3-6 drops of other insect repellant oil blends, such as certified pure TerraShield.
- Certified Pure means no fillers, pesticides, or chemicals added.
- I suggest breakaway collars so pets don’t hurt their necks if the collar catches on something. Our cat had that happen a couple times. You can get them at PetSmart.com.
Enjoy your pets flea-free.
They certainly add….
…To Amazing Life!