Is your kitty persistently bothered by fleas and intestinal worms? If so, you're probably thinking about using diatomaceous earth for cats.
However, is diatomaceous earth safe for cats to eat or to be used topically? In this article, we’re going to look into the benefits of using diatomaceous earth on cats.
Of course, we’re also going to probe the potential side effects of diatomaceous earth for cats.
Does it get rid of fleas and parasitic worms? Are there any other benefits it provides aside from being a parasite-repellent?
More importantly, we will also give you a list of recommended brands of diatomaceous earth that will help you find the perfect product.
Many people are in the dark about diatomaceous earth uses for cats. However, that's about to end now because we're going to educate you about diatomaceous earth for cats.
First and foremost, what is diatomaceous earth and what are its uses?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a unique type of sand that is made from the fossilized remains of aquatic algae called ‘diatoms.'
These diatoms mostly contain a chemical compound called ‘silica' which is commonly found in nature.
Silica comes in two forms: crystalline and amorphous. Depending on the application, manufacturers have the option to adjust the ratio of these two forms.
Crystalline silica offers several industrial applications.
However, a high concentration of crystalline silica is toxic to both humans and animals.
This is why commercial DE products are categorized according to their concentrations of crystalline silica.
Filter grade DE contains more than 60% crystalline silica and is not intended for consumption.
Instead, these types are commonly used in many industrial applications such as dynamite production and water filtration.
Food grade DE contains less than 2% crystalline silica which is considered safe for human consumption.
These types are mainly used as insecticides and anti-caking agents in the food and agricultural industries.
If you’re planning to use diatomaceous earth for cats, choose the food grade type.
Its effectiveness as an insecticide has benefited humans and other mammal species for centuries.
Veterinarians are acknowledging the power of DE as a natural way to get rid of internal and external parasites in animals.
Unlike other pesticides, food grade DE doesn’t make use of any harsh chemicals to kill parasites.
So, if you're looking for a safer alternative to eliminate parasites in your kitty entirely, you should consider diatomaceous earth for cats.
Diatomaceous Earth Uses for Cats
Flea infestation is widespread in felines. Hence, why Diatomaceous earth for cats is used mainly as a natural flea killer.
Using chemical insecticides on your pet comes with many health risks. That is why some pet owners are skeptical about using these harsh products.
Moreover, here comes food grade DE, a natural alternative that can also kill external parasites as chemical insecticides do.
How does diatomaceous earth for cats work to combat flea infestation?
Diatom fossils in DE are microscopic materials that have cutting, sharp edges that can penetrate an insect's exoskeleton.
Fleas and most bugs thrive because they are covered with oils that keep them hydrated.
DE has a property of being attracted to the slippery wet lipid layer of an insect’s body. When DE comes in contact with an insect, its sharp edges pierce through the exoskeleton while absorbing the oils and fats.
Since insects need these oils for hydration, they can no longer obtain and retain water because all of their body oils have been absorbed.
Fleas eventually dry out and die when all of their oils have been sucked out.
So, you see? There’s a natural way to deal with fleas without using harmful chemicals.
Apart from fleas and other external parasites, food grade DE can also be administered to get rid of internal parasites.
It works the same way to eliminate tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms that are infesting the gastrointestinal walls.
Using Diatomaceous Earth on Cats
For fleas or ticks, apply DE topically and rub the powder into your kitty’s coat. Be careful not to get the powder near your kitty’s eyes and nose.
There are also pet flea shampoos that make use of DE as their main ingredient. You can use these products during bath time to get rid of pesky bugs.
For intestinal worms, use only food grade DE by mixing the powder into your pet's regular food.
However, before administering it to treat parasitic infections, talk with your vet first to ensure that you're carrying out the method correctly.
Furthermore, there are specific dosages and usage duration for each kitty. You may need to discuss your pet’s condition to the vet first to learn the right method of administration.
Due to its insecticidal property, many pet owners are even considering to use it as an all-natural cat litter.
Amazingly, premium DE is 50% more absorbent and neutralizes odor better than traditional clay litter.
Whichever you want to use it, diatomaceous earth for cats will undoubtedly save your pet from parasitic infestations.
Additionally, it will also save you money that is supposed to be spent on expensive dewormer and chemical insecticides.
However, take note that the market has a multitude of DE products to choose from. It is important to choose high-quality food grade DE to ensure the safety of your pet and the effectiveness of the product.
Top 5 Brands of Diatomaceous Earth for your Cat
As pet owners, it is essential to make sure that our pets are free from both external and internal parasites.
Moreover, it is crucial to scrutinize the products that we're going to use on them. Our pet's well-being and safety are at stake, and this is when our decision matters.
In choosing diatomaceous earth for cats, please make it a good rule of the thumb to choose only food grade type.
These types of DE are safe for humans and animals to ingest. Also, select products that are certified non-GMO.
However, don't worry because we'll make it easier for you. Here are our top 5 recommended brands of diatomaceous earth for cats.
1. Diatomaceous Earth.com Food Grade
This product uses 100% freshwater food grade DE that is safe to use on your feline pets. It is made up of fossilized diatoms that have accumulated over millions of years in freshwater lakes.
The pure deposits are then ground into fine powder to be used on many different applications such as natural insecticide and anti-caking agent.
Additionally, it comes in a recycled paper bag that you can quickly open and fold close to keep the content pure.
It guarantees the safety of your pet as certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Available in 2 lbs, 5 lbs and 10 lbs net weights.
When used internally on pets, mix the powder in your pet’s food in an amount not exceeds 2% by weight of total ration.
2. Aspen Naturals Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder
This product comes from an incredibly pure, fresh water deposit in the western United States.
It is made up of food grade amorphous silica which is considered safe for human and animal consumption.
Effectively provides a toxic-free way of eliminating fleas in your feline pet. Just rub the powder onto your pet's coat and distribute it evenly throughout.
Avoid getting the powder near your pet’s eyes and nose as it may cause eye and respiratory irritation.
Add this powder to their food to promote healthy digestion by getting rid of intestinal worms.
At 3 lb net weight, it comes in a resealable bag that perfectly fits in your cupboard.
3. Vi-Olivia Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder
A natural product made from the fossilized shells of ancient microscopic planktons (diatoms), it contains 89 to 95% amorphous silica.
Vi-Olivia food grade DE makes a safer choice for your pets to get rid of pesky fleas and harmful intestinal worms.
Its pure white form is a manifestation that it doesn’t contain any impurity such as clay or iron.
From the purest deposit obtained from freshwater lakes in the US, it is included in the OMRI list of safe products for organic use.
The products come packed in a big plastic bag with a net weight of 6 lbs.
4. Fossil Power Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade Powder
A natural pet insecticide 100 million years in the making, this pure DE uses amorphous silica. This form of silica is known to be safe for both humans and animals to eat.
When applied topically on your pet’s coat, it effectively kills fleas and other external parasites residing in your pet’s fur.
Moreover, it can be mixed into your kitty’s food or water to flush out parasitic worms that are preying on the gastrointestinal wall.
Fossil Power food grade DE is available in 5 lbs, 2 lbs, and 1 lb net weights. Packed in a resealable bag to protect the content from moisture and other impurities.
5. Harris Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Last but not the least, this brand is made of pure freshwater DE with absolutely no additives or fillers.
Harris Food Grade DE mined in the freshwater lakes of Nevada and packaged in Georgia, so it is entirely made in the US.
You can guarantee that you’re using 100% organic diatomaceous earth for cats as certified by OMRI.
Whether you apply it externally on your pet’s coat or administer the powder internally, you can ensure that your pet is safe.
It comes in a 10 lb resealable airtight bag with powder duster included for easy and efficient application.
With every bag you purchase, 10% of the profit will go to the Etowah Valley Humane Society.
The company vows to support this non-profit organization in its aim to save thousands of animals from cruelty and sufferings.
Buying this product also gives you the opportunity to support a good cause. You're not only helping your pet to get rid of parasites, but you're also assisting unfortunate animals that need caring.
Diatomaceous Earth Flea Killer and Dewormer
Every pet owner knows that fleas and intestinal worms are common in cats. You may think it's just average for kitties to have fleas at one point in its lifetime.
However, it would help if you did not underestimate the hazards these pesky parasites could bring.
Flea infestation may lead to skin irritation, excessive scratching, hair loss, and lesions.
In severe outbreak, it can cause anemia as a result of significant blood loss. Anemia can be fatal, especially in kittens, if not treated in time.
Parasites don’t only dwell on an animal’s coat. They can also infiltrate into the digestive tract and cause serious health problems.
Intestinal worms such as tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms are widespread in felines.
A cat with intestinal worms may manifest a swollen abdomen and may suffer from vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Food grade diatomaceous earth for cats has the property to damage the exoskeleton of external and internal parasites.
Moreover, it absorbs all oils and fats from the parasites that are needed for hydration. Because of this, parasites eventually perish due to dehydration.
Is Diatomaceous Earth Safe for Cats to Eat?
Diatomaceous earth in cat food? Is diatomaceous earth safe for cats to eat?
Well, the fact that DE was a sedimentary rock that is crumbled into fine powder may turn you off. Putting diatomaceous earth in cat food is like feeding rock particles to your furry friend.
However, don't let this notion put you off. Food grade DE is mostly made of amorphous silica with little traces of crystalline silica.
So, if you decide to use diatomaceous earth for cats as a dewormer, make sure to choose food grade.
It's important to point out that there are filter grade DE that contains a toxic amount of crystalline silica.
Filter grade DE is not intended for consumption and ingesting it can be fatal for both humans and animals.
However, as long as you're using food grade DE, there's nothing to worry about because this is safe for cats to eat.
Some health-conscious people are even taking it every day by mixing the powder in their usual beverages.
It is said to promote healthy skin, bones, and joints while it supports healthy digestion by detoxifying the digestive system.
However, you must consult with your vet before giving DE internally to your kitty. There's no issue with using DE as a topical remedy for flea infestation.
However, it's a different story when it is taken internally. Learn the right dosage and the proper way of administration from your vet first.
Let us not forget that DE is composed of microscopic particles that are abrasive. There’s still the likelihood that it can damage your pet’s digestive tract.
Veterinarians know the right amount of DE that can eliminate intestinal worms without causing damage to the GI tract.
Diatomaceous Earth Cat Litter
Is it safe to use DE in your kitty’s litter box? The number of cat litter brands that use DE is increasing over the years.
Compared to clay-based litters, DE is more absorbent and has a better deodorizing effect.
Most commercial brands of diatomaceous earth for cats are intended to be used as a treatment for parasite infestation. Surprisingly, none of these brands would recommend using the product as a cat litter.
Let us remind you that these products are in powder form. While food grade DE is safe for consumption, it may become hazardous to health when inhaled.
So, there’s no guarantee that your kitty won’t inhale the powder when used in its litter box.
Manufacturers of cat litters are using a chunky form of DE to prevent the material from being inhaled.
If you intend to use DE in your kitty’s litter, we recommend you buy commercial cat litters with DE.
Food grade DE in powder form can still be used together with regular litter. Spread a thick layer of the powder on the bottom of the litter box before you pour the litter.
Doing so should prevent your feline companion from inhaling the powder. Plus, you can take advantage of DE’s ability to absorb moisture and odor more efficiently. So, your kitty’s litter can stay fresh for longer.
Diatomaceous earth for cats is gradually getting the nods from pet owners and veterinarians alike.
Now that you know the benefits of using diatomaceous earth on cats, you’re probably thinking about giving it a try too.
One of the most important things to remember in choosing diatomaceous earth for cats is always to choose food grade type.
Stay away from filter grade DE because this type is highly toxic to both humans and animals.
Food grade diatomaceous earth uses for cats includes treatment for external and internal parasites.
Additionally, it can also be used in cat litters to benefit from its super-absorbent property.
Is diatomaceous earth safe for cats to eat? While food grade diatomaceous earth in cat food is safe for consumption, inhalation of this powder can damage their lungs.
Whichever way you may use it, always be careful in administering this powder to your feline pet.
Make sure that your pet doesn't inhale the dust and see to it that it doesn't get into your pet's eyes.
In case the dust accidentally gets into your kitty’s eyes, flush the affected area with water immediately to prevent further irritation.
If your feline pet suddenly manifests symptoms of lung damage such as coughing and shortness of breathing, take it to the vet right away.
Once the fleas are completely eradicated, you should stop using DE on your pet. Alternatively, if you think that all intestinal worms have been flushed out, you must not administer any more DE.
Long-term use of DE increases the risk of lung damage in cats. So, once it has already served its purpose, stop using it on your pet any more. However, instead, store the DE in a secure container for future use.