The presence of fleas in cats and kittens leads to extreme discomfort and sickness. It should be addressed immediately to prevent further infestation. The use of diatomaceous earth is a safe and effective way to treat fleas among felines. Opt for the food-grade kind that is labeled as GRAS or “generally recognized as safe” by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Is diatomaceous earth safe for kittens?
Yes, diatomaceous earth or is generally safe for kittens as well as for other animals. It can be used directly on the kitten when treating her for fleas. Make sure that the product is the food-grade kind and not filter grade.
Diatomaceous earth: Benefits and Uses
Diatomaceous earth or DE is a very fine white powder that comes from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. The skeletons of diatoms are composed of silica and these fossilize in the rivers, oceans, and lake sediments over the years. The resulting sedimentary deposits that are mined are what we know now as diatomaceous earth.
The food-grade type of DE is considered safe for human and animal consumption because it is 85 to 95% amorphous silica and only contains 0.5 to 2% crystalline silica. Filter grade DE is not edible but has many industrial uses. It contains 60% crystalline silica which makes it toxic to animals and humans.
Benefits and uses diatomaceous earth
These are the benefits and uses of DE for kittens and cats:
1. It prevents and eliminates parasites.
Diatomaceous earth may be used as an organic dewormer for kittens and cats. It may be used to eliminate hookworms, roundworms, pinworms, and whipworms that are infesting your feline. Use ¼ teaspoon of DE for kittens while for adult cats, one teaspoon will do, which should be given at least for a minimum of two months. As soon as you have started deworming with DE, do not take any breaks since the infestation of dead dying worms emits toxins that may be toxic to your pets.
2. It eliminates and prevents ticks and fleas.
DE is an effective flea and tick control product for kittens and cats. It may be used directly on kittens and there are no adverse side effects should your kitten ingest it. DE works by dehydrating fleas through their exoskeleton, killing fleas within 24 hours.
Be cautious when applying DE to your kittens and make sure to keep it away from their mouth, eyes, and nose. If your kittens have open sores or wounds, make sure not to apply DE on it. Shampoo the kittens within 12 hours and once they are dry, comb the coats well to get rid of dead bugs and eggs. Repeat the process for at least two weeks to complete the flea treatment.
DE may also be sprinkled on beddings, furniture, carpets, and other items where fleas usually thrive. Thoroughly vacuum the areas and repeat the process weekly for at least a month to make sure that the adult fleas, eggs, and larvae are destroyed. For a more detailed discussion, you may also check our earlier article on how to apply diatomaceous earth to cats.
Other uses of DE
- it may also be used as an all-natural cat litter
- it eliminates and prevents bed bugs
- it may be used to eliminate chicken mites
- it may be used to eliminate and prevent house lice among humans
- it is also an important ingredient of products like beverages, medicine, food, toothpaste, skincare, water filters, paints, and as anticaking material in feeds
- it is also useful as a detox solution, colon cleanser, and digestive aid because studies reveal that it also absorbs endotoxins, viruses, and e-coli
Recommended diatomaceous earth brands
These are our recommended DE brands that garnered good reviews among customers:
1. Safer Brand 51704 Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – 4 lb
2. Lumino Home Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, Pure, 1.5 Pound
3. HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade, 5lb with Powder Duster Included in The Bag
What you should know before using DE
While food-grade DE is safe for kittens, always use it with extreme caution because it may act as an irritant to you and your pet’s skin, mouth, eyes, and lungs. If mishandled, DE could result in side effects like skin, nose, and eye irritation, cough, shortness of breath, and potentially may lead to silicosis, a chronic inflammatory lung disease. Take proper precautions and consult your vet on the right usage and dosage. You should also store DE in a dry, clean, and sealed container or bag so that it will last long.
Diatomaceous earth or DE is a safe option for flea control and internal parasite elimination. It is generally safe for kittens so long as you use the food grade kind which is labeled as GRAS or generally recognized as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, always handle the product with caution and consult your vet on the right usage and dosage to ensure your kittens’ wellbeing.
Image: istockphoto.com / Spitfire1973