Natural Tick Repellent for Cats

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About: Inspired by my cat Chili, who is full of fun and energy, I like to share about food and other home crafts with a new twist of 'chili'-fun. (This user was previously called Snowball10)

Tired of your cat always being infested with ticks? Not too happy about putting poison on you pet to keep the pests away? Then, keep on reading!

Af couple of weeks ago, my cat started having lots of ticks on his head when he came inside in the morning. And it was only March in Denmark! That's a bit early to have lots of ticks. However, I don't like the idea of having a cat full of ticks lying on my bed, so I started looking for something I could do.

I was a bit hesitant to use a chemical treatment. The warnings say you shouldn't even get the treatment on your hands, and if you do, you mush was very well. And you want me to put that on my cat!?

I had seen the Spot'n Go natural tick repellent for cats on the internet, but I thought it was a bit expensive compared to just buying the margosa/neem oil itself, which is the active ingredient anyway. So I bought a bottle of neem oil, diluted it with plain rapeseed oil in a ratio approximately the same as Spot'n Go, and applied it to my cat.

Keep on reading to see how I did it and what happened!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Spot'n Go or any seller of margosa/neem oil. This is an honest review of how this natural product worked for me.

Use this treatment at your own risk. I am not a veterinarian or anything like it. I can only tell what I have done and what worked for me. Please read the warnings at the end of the instructable.

Step 1: Get Some Neem Oil

The neem oil is the active ingredient in this treatment. It is an all-natural vegetabe oil pressed from the seeds and fruit of the neem tree. It works as an insect repellent by disturbing the insects' hormonal system so they cannot eat. The bad smell also helps deter the insects.

The oil has a garlicy/spring onion smell, which is only slight after applying the treatment to the cat. I can only smell it when I stick my head down to my cat, and I think it is worth it to prevent ticks in a natural way. Do not add essential oils to the treatment, as most of them are harmful to cats.

Step 2: Mix the "Potion"

Neem oil should not be applied concentrated to the skin; however, it is very potent, so a little goes a long way. I diluted it with some rapeseed oil just like the Spot'n Go treatment.

The Spot'n Go treatment contains 16% neem oil, so I used a ratio of 1:5 of respectively neem and rapeseed oil. In practical terms, I took 4 drops neem oil with a teaspoon and mixed them with 20 drops rapeseed oil. This results in about 2 mL, which is plenty for one treatment.

Tip: If the neem oil is solid, melt it in a warm water bath.

Step 3: Apply the Treatment

The treatment is applied to the neck of the cat to prevent ingestion. Neem oil should not be harmful if ingested in small quantities, but do your own research! This site suggests using neem leaf tea, which is not harmful. I used oil because I wanted to make an inexpensive replica of the Spot'n Go treatment for cats.

To apply the treatment, separate the hairs on the cat's neck and between his shoulders and pour the oil mixture in several different places. You want the oil to hit the skin and not the fur as much as possible, as it will otherwise make the fur very greasy. If necessary, you can spread the oil with your finger or massage it onto the skin.

Tip: Remove all ticks before applying the treatment.

Step 4: Results!

So far, my cat has been completely tick free for a week! This is just wonderful! The Spot'n Go treatment says to renew the treatment every 4 weeks, but I will report back how long this homemade treatment lasts.

This treatment leaves a greasy spot on the cat's neck, but the greasiness should be completely gone after five days. Also, the treatment has a slight garlicy/spring onion smell, but I can only smell it if I stick my nose down to the cat. And I think these small disadvantages are worth it to have a tick free cat compared to the other two options -- a tick-infested cat or a poisoned cat!

Now I can pet my cat and snuggle with him without having to pick ticks all the time. I don't want to share him with them!

Step 5: Warnings

Neem oil has a garlicy/spring onion smell, but do not add any essential oils to the treatment, as most of them are harmful to cats.

Neem oil should not be applied concentrated to the skin.

Neem oil could be toxic if ingested in larger quantities. That is why it is applied to the neck, where the cat has a hard time licking itself. But do your own research and use your own good judgment.

Some users of the Spot'n Go treatment have reported itching and hairloss on the neck. However, my cat did not have any bad reaktion after this homemade treatment. He scratched a little bit in the beginning, but I think that was mainly due to the old tick bites.

Step 6: What Do You Do to Prevent Ticks on Your Cat/dog?

Please share in the comments!

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    22 Discussions

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    BorisK16

    Question 3 months ago

    You mentioned you would report back on how long it lasted. Was it effective long term and how long did it last?

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    PinchOfChiliBorisK16

    Answer 2 months ago

    Hi, the treatment lasted 1-2 weeks for me before I had to reapply it. (I’m writing in past tense as I don’t have my cat any more. Otherwise I would probably still use this treatment.)

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    CariM13

    5 months ago

    luferneuron in their food every 6wks works perfectly to prevent fleas and is harmless.

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    TW20

    Question 6 months ago

    Hi PinchOdChili, Since you have 2 cats, as do I, II'm concerned about one of them licking the oils off the other. Have either of your cats when cleaning the other licked the oils solution and had issues or no issues? Also, do you use a separate type of topical for flea treatment? Im wondering if I can use your oil treatment as well as a store purchased treatment (like Frontline) together.

    Thanks!

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    PinchOfChiliTW20

    Answer 6 months ago

    I only had one cat, so I didn't have that problem. But I think it should be no different than when you treat the cats with frontline. I would maybe keep them apart the first day, and then watch to see if they are very intent on licking each other, which I doubt, as the neem oil doesn't smell good and wouldn't be something they would want to lick off each other.

    I didn't have any problems with fleas at the time, so I didn't do any treatment for that. You would have to do some research on natural flea repellants to use together with this treatment. I don't see any point in using this treatment with frontline, as frontline protects against ticks as well. I used this treatment because I wanted to avoid poisonous treatments like frontline. If you use both, I'd suggest not applying them too close to each other, as both could irritate the skin in the neck and possibly also interfere with each other.

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    PinchOfChiliDebraD57

    Answer 7 months ago

    For rapeseed oil, you can use any cooking oil you have that does not smell strong or go rancid easily. I bought neem oil in my local health food store here in Denmark, but I also think you can buy it online.

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    EmmanuelL53

    Question 7 months ago on Step 6

    So why do you use rapeseed oil specifically? Can any other vegetable oil be used? I really want to try this.

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    PinchOfChiliEmmanuelL53

    Answer 7 months ago

    Any oil can be used (not essential oil though ;). I used rapeseed oil because it is very cheap here in Denmark and does not smell or go rancid easily. But as I said, you can use any kind of oil you have on hand. The purpose is just to dilute the neem.

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    Ronnieloo

    1 year ago

    Does this work on fleas as well?

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    ChelsieC5

    1 year ago

    I used this on my cat and so far no ticks! Thanks! How often should I apply it?

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    PinchOfChiliChelsieC5

    Reply 1 year ago

    Great! Thank you for commenting! I have applied it about every other week. :)

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    ChelsieC5PinchOfChili

    Reply 1 year ago

    Just posting again because my cat did end up having another tick, but it was almost two weeks into the neem drop. I'm gonna try applying it more often cuz it seemed to work, but he walks in the forest everyday haha my other cat never gets them

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    PinchOfChiliChelsieC5

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, that is also what I experienced. After 1-2 weeks the effect starts wearing off, so you have to apply it often. Good luck!

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    bluedragonlotus

    2 years ago

    I wonder if you could use the Neem Oil to create a flea repellant spray to use around your home/property. We have indoor only cats, but even they run into flea issues in the hotter parts of summer from fleas attaching to our clothing from the outside.

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    PinchOfChilibluedragonlotus

    Reply 2 years ago

    You could try. I have seen people making a spray by diluting a very small amount of oil in water using a few drops of dishsoap as an emulsifier. But be aware that neem does not kill the fleas and ticks, only disturb their hormones and repel them.
    You could also look into neem leaves to make a tea spray.
    However, I believe I read that both the oil and tea quickly loose their potensy after being mixed, so the solution should be used immediately.
    But definitely give it a try, and please let me know how it works!
    Cheers!

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    MattB201

    2 years ago

    As a veterinary student I have to say that this is not a good alternative to pharmaceutical products. Even if it does work with ticks (efficacy is up for debate), fleas and heartworms are major concerns that it does not cover. Some articles will say that cats do not get heartworms, but these are dated and do not represent the current literature on the subject.

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    PinchOfChiliMattB201

    Reply 2 years ago

    Whether it's a good alternative or not depends on what you are looking for. The neem does prevent both ticks and fleas. However, I've never had a cat with fleas, so that's not what I'm concerned about at the moment. As for heartworm, I don't know, but I would suspect that to be treated by a dewormer and not a tick treatment. This treatment is only supposed to prevent ticks, and if I were to treat the other two, I would look for specific treatments for those! The pharmaceutical all-in-one treatments certainly do have their downsides too.

    Good luck with your studies!

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    Itnotizzy

    2 years ago

    We have 4 cats and three are mostly outdoors especially during the summer. I will make sure to try this. Thank you:)

    1 reply