I did some research, but I'm a bit concerned about the methods recommended, namely diatomaceous earth and giving the kittens a bath. I believe the kittens are too young for a bath since they don't have their eyes open, they are only 11-12 days old.

I called the local pet shop and they recommended cedar oil. They said it is safe for kittens and the nursing mother while she is lactating. Is the pet shop's claim that cedar oil is safe for kittens true?

If not, please let me know what I can do to treat the kittens! They are very young and vulnerable.

Thank you.

  • 2
    Please contact your vet, not the local pet shop. People working at the pet shop are not trained professionals.
    – Allison C
    Jun 10, 2020 at 14:27
  • 2
    @AllisonC yeh pet shop advice can be real hit and miss.
    – user6796
    Jun 11, 2020 at 8:35
  • Thanks. Sadly, where I live, the closest vet is also hit and miss in my experience. They didn't even know what milk fever was even though I also referred to it as hypocalcaemia. They only speak Spanish here. It's quite archaic.
    – Carlos
    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


Always assume that essential oils are not safe for cats. There are a few, however, that are. If cedarwood oil is made without phenol, then it is ok. If you cannot find it without phenol, I recommend bathing them with a 50/50 solution of dawn dish soap and warm water. Do not wet them first. Use a flea comb to remove the fleas from their head, then start applying the dawn mixture as high up on their neck as you can safely. Saturate them in the mixture and then wrap them in a towel. It will need to stay on for 15 to 20 minutes, so they'll need to be kept warm. The fleas will start to die after about 12 minutes. Put any live fleas from the comb in a dawn mixture as well. Then rinse the kitten well with warm water, towel them like a burrito for a while and perhaps use a cool blowdryer on low to finish if they don't freak out. Good luck.

  • Thank you, Amy! I searched the local shops for Original Dawn. They only have Ultra Dawn (scented), so I didn't buy it. Do you know if the blue Dawn Ultra would be safe to use? I'll try to pick up a flea comb, too. I picked up a spray to de-flea the environment, but I'm concerned about the mother as I don't know what I can use for her while she is nursing. Her flea medication is once a month, but it's a catch 22 because she can't have the medicine while the kittens are between 1 and 12 weeks old, lol. Thanks again.
    – Carlos
    Jun 10, 2020 at 19:49
  • 1
    I'm sorry I didn't see your reply sooner. Yes, use the blue dawn ultra. I havent seen the original dawn in years. I'm not sure what to do with mom, except the same bath. Maybe if you call the vet and spicifically ask to speak with a vet tech? Jun 13, 2020 at 14:02
  • 1
    Also, I forgot to mention that you'll have flea eggs in the area. It's a bit of a process. Wash everything in their nest (the heat of the dryer will kill them if they're not washed away) and vacuum the area well. With older cats I usually recommend the seresto collar and it takes up to 6 months for all the eggs to hatch and not be able to find a food source. You're in a tough situation. Use the flea comb a lot. Jun 13, 2020 at 14:36
  • I purchased a spray that kills all fleas, mites, etc. in the area and supposedly works for up to 6 months. I just have to keep the kittens away from the area until the spray dries. Main issue right now is how to de-flea the mother if I can't use her normal flea medication which is supposed to be once a month. At Pet Smart they told me to take the mom to the vet, but that's gonna be a challenge by Uber. I'll have to buy one of those little boxes with the cage door. Anyway, Tuesday the quarantine gets lifted for most stores, so I will try later this week. So far the kittens look good. ^^
    – Carlos
    Jun 13, 2020 at 23:12

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