HEALTH & CARE

How Much Diatomaceous Earth for Cats: For Worming and Flea Control

cat itching herself
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Diatomaceous earth is known for its various benefits. It’s used for gardening and housekeeping. And it’s also used to get rid of fleas on pets. If you’re wondering how much diatomaceous earth for cats should be used, we’ll give you great tips on the topic.

Diatomaceous earth is generally considered as free of side effects. However, this is not to say that anybody can just use it indiscriminately. To guarantee your pet’s safety and health, it’s always better to know how much exactly you should use on your pet. You’ll also find it useful to know how to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of any worms and internal parasites your pet may have.

First, we’ll talk about what diatomaceous earth is and why it’s great for pets. Next, we’ll discuss how your pet can benefit from diatomaceous earth. We’ll then give you tips on how to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas on your cat through external application. And then we’ll also talk about using diatomaceous earth for worming your pet. We’ll also give you some tips on how to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas inside your home.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is known by many names. Some call it diatomite, diatomaceous powder, Bann clay, or by its more exotic name, which is kieselgur. The reason why it’s called diatomaceous is due to the fact that it’s derived from diatoms, which are plants that are similar to algae.

Diatomite is used for various purposes, but for pet parents, it’s best known as a flea-control solution. To your pet, and even to humans, diatomaceous earth is just like any other white, chalky powder. However, to fleas or any insects like cockroaches or bed bugs, diatomaceous earth is quite deadly.

First off, diatomite is actually very hard; if diamonds are rated 9 for hardness, diatomites are rated 7. Of course, you and your pet won’t feel its hardness at all. However, tiny and even microscopic insects and parasites will definitely feel how hard diatomaceous earth is.

Moreover, at a microscopic level, the edges of a single diatomite particle are actually very sharp. If you were to imagine a sharp-edged diamond-like substance rubbing against your skin, you would rightfully get unnerved.

Diatomaceous earth destroys the waxy layer protecting the bodies of insects and parasites. And when the protective waxy layer is gone, moisture from the bodies of these microscopic pests easily evaporates. Thus they get dehydrated and die. This is basically the number one reason why diatomaceous earth is great for your pet.

How Your Pet Can Benefit from Diatomaceous Earth

Using diatomite on your pet is great not just for getting rid of flea infestations. Your pet can also gain other benefits from diatomite. Moreover, since it’s natural, you will not need to worry about your pet inhaling or getting in contact with toxic chemicals.

#1: Flea Control

flea

Diatomite is one of the best natural pest-killer you can use on your pet. If your cat is suffering from flea bites, rubbing diatomaceous earth on your pet’s coat will easily get rid of the pesky pests.

#2: Worming

Diatomaceous earth can help get rid of parasites inside your pet’s tummy. Roundworms, pinworms, whipworms, and hookworms all fall prey to the deadliness of diatomaceous earth. But the great thing about it is that diatomaceous earth is not toxic to your pet at all!

See Also: How to Tell If Cat Has Worms

#3: Joint and Bone Health

Diatomaceous earth contains silica, which is needed by the body for proper functioning of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones. When your pet consumes diatomaceous earth, it will help strengthen their joints, bones, and muscles.

For older pets that have joint problems, supplementation with diatomaceous earth can help your pet.

#4: Detoxification

healthy cat lying

People actually use diatomaceous earth to detoxify. The good news is that you can use it on your pet for the same purpose, too.

Diatomaceous earth acts like a magnet for hard metals in the intestines. Moreover, diatomaceous earth helps get rid of internal parasites in pets.

So when you give your pet diatomaceous earth, you not only keep your pet’s digestive system clean and healthy, but you also help get rid of toxins in your pet’s body.

#5: Improved Overall Health

Diatomaceous earth contains a lot of minerals. Aside from silica, the other minerals found in diatomaceous earth include calcium, iron, magnesium, and sodium. When you give your pets diatomaceous earth, it’s like giving them a mineral supplement.

#6: Odor Control

Let’s face it. Cat litter doesn’t smell so nice. When you’re sprinkling diatomaceous earth in the areas inside the house where your cat often spends her time, make sure you also sprinkle some in your cat’s litter box.

This will help absorb the odor, so you won’t need to worry about how your house smells if you happen to have guests coming over.

Using Diatomaceous Earth on Your Pet’s Coat

Diatomaceous earth is very effective for getting rid of pesky fleas on your cat. And it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part! Here’s how you should do it.

#1: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Make sure that you buy food grade diatomaceous earth if you’re planning to use it on your pet. If you accidentally use filter grade diatomaceous earth on your pet, it can cause harm to your pet’s skin and lungs.

Filter grade diatomite is usually used in pools, so it contains more silica. Food grade diatomaceous earth, however, is safe to ingest, both for your pet and you. In fact, you can even consume it for detoxification purposes!

#2: Masks for You and Your Pet

cat weaing a mask

Although this is an optional thing, you can choose to wear a mask or to put one on your pet when you’re working with diatomaceous earth.

Although food grade diatomite is considered safe, there are people and pets who are quite sensitive to fine powder. If this is the case for you or your pet, you may want to bring out the masks.

#3: Grab a Pinch of Diatomaceous Earth

Put it on your palm and then rub your hands together. Then rub the powder onto your pet’s head. Make sure you avoid the nose, the eyes, and the mouth.

After you’ve massaged the powder on your cat’s face, apply it behind the ears. Then work your way down to the neck and your pet’s chin.

#4: Pour a Small Amount of Diatomaceous Earth on Your Palm

Massage the powder into your pet’s coat, making sure you get the powder applied on your pet’s skin. Fleas love staying close to the skin, so that’s where you should apply the powder.

Massage the powder down your pet’s back, working your way towards the tail. Don’t forget to apply the powder on your cat’s tail, then work on your pet’s haunches and legs. Lastly, apply the powder to your pet’s belly.

#5: Do Not Bathe Your Cat Immediately After Application

Fleas normally die within four hours after coming into contact with diatomaceous earth. Just to be sure you get all the fleas on your pet’s body, don’t bathe your cat for the next 48-72 hours.

#6: Bathe Your Cat After 72 Hours

bathing a cat

Thoroughly bathe your cat 72 hours after you applied diatomaceous earth on your pet’s coat. This will help get rid of the dead fleas on your pet’s coat. Make sure that you use a moisturizing pet shampoo since diatomaceous earth can cause dry skin.

See Also: DIY Cat Shampoo

#7: Use a Flea Comb

After you’ve bathed your pet, thoroughly dry your pet’s coat. Then use a flea comb to brush off any remaining fleas or flea eggs.

#8: Once a Week for A Month

Fleas lay so many eggs, and flea eggs are not as susceptible to diatomaceous earth as adult fleas. To make sure you get them all, follow the procedure once a week for four weeks.

Adding Diatomaceous Earth to Your Pet’s Food

Adding diatomaceous earth to cat's food

Since food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to consume, many pet owners prefer adding diatomaceous earth directly into their pet’s food. This will help get rid of worms and other internal parasites that your cat may have. This will also help detoxify your pet.

Here’s how you can mix diatomite to your pet’s diet.

#1: Dosage Guide

defining the dosage of diatomaceous earth

Kittens which have already moved to solid food may be safely given half a teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth daily. Cats that weigh two to six pounds should also be limited to just half a teaspoon daily.

For full-grown cats that weigh 7 to 13 pounds, you can give them up to a teaspoon daily. For large cats that weigh more than 13 pounds, a daily dosage of 1 1/2 teaspoons is recommended.

#2: Simply Add Diatomaceous Earth to Your Cat’s Food

You can simply mix the powder in or sprinkle the powder on your pet’s food. If you’re feeding your pet with dry food, you may dissolve the appropriate dosage of diatomaceous earth with 1/4 cup of water and pour it over your pet’s dry food.

#3: Feed Your Pet Diatomaceous Earth for At Least a Month

This way, you get to target not only the adult worms inside your beloved pet’s tummy but also their hatching eggs. You can also get rid of the smaller worms that are found both in the stomach and the lungs.

How to Get Rid of Fleas Inside Your House Using Diatomaceous Earth

covering carpet with diatomaceous earth

The great thing about diatomaceous earth is that fleas die just from coming into contact with it. Thus, you can use it not only on your pet’s coat but also in spots inside the house where your cat loves to stay.

Moreover, diatomaceous earth also helps get rid of other pesky insects like bed bugs and cockroaches, so it’s a great idea altogether to sprinkle some of this beneficial white powder all over your home.

#1: Identify Your Target Spots

Think of it as a mission wherein your objective is to exterminate all the bugs inside your house.

The first thing you want to do is identify the spots and areas all over the house where your cat loves to spend time. This would include your pet’s bed, the cat tree, or your pet’s favorite rug. These will be your main targets.

If you’ve got carpets on the floor, those should be considered as target areas, too.

#2: Vacuum

vacuuming off flea eggs

Before you sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your target areas, it’s a good idea to vacuum those spots first. Vacuuming will help collect flea eggs which are not susceptible to diatomaceous earth.

#3: Dusting

After you’ve vacuumed your target areas, it’s now time to dust them with diatomaceous earth. You can simply manually sprinkle them on the target spots; just make sure you wear gloves because the powder might cause your skin to become dry.

If you prefer using tools, you can use a diatomaceous earth applicator which you can buy online or from pet supply shops. If you haven’t bought one, using a sieve is a great alternative.

#4: Leave the Powder for At Least 3 Days

It’s best to leave the powder for at least three days before vacuuming. This will help ensure that any eggs that may have hatched after you sprinkled the powder would also be killed.

But it’s also not a good idea to leave the powder lying around for a very long time. Moreover, you’ll need to vacuum anyway to get rid of the dead fleas. It will also help get rid of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae that may have survived the dusting.

#5: Repeat the Process Once a Week for a Month

After you’re done with your initial dusting, it’s best to repeat the process every week for a full month. This will help ensure that the flea infestation will not recur.

Wrap Up

happy and healthy cat

Diatomaceous earth has so many uses, both for cats and cat parents. Do you know of any other way to use diatomaceous earth on cats? Perhaps you have some tips or suggestions on how else cats can benefit from diatomaceous earth. Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with us.

If the flea infestation is really bad and you want to be thorough, you may have to shave your cat. Check out our article on how to shave a cat.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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