Fleas are vile blood sucking disease spreading parasites that are easy to prevent. They are extremely common in northern California.
A few days ago a client brought her cat to me. The cat reeked of patchouli. It was almost dead.
The cat’s gums were pale–a sign of anemia. It was weak and could barely walk. It was covered in fleas and flea feces.
The client told me that she and her cat had been battling fleas for several months. When the client noticed the fleas she applied witch hazel extract and then tea tree oil to the cat. When those failed to work, she tried bathing the cat in dish soap. Then she fed the cat a garlic-based herbal remedy. Finally, she applied patchouli oil–which was obvious from the way the room smelled.
I had to ask.
“Did you try Advantage?”
Her shocked response was no, she did not want to apply chemicals to her cat.
I resisted the urge to point out that tea tree oil, patchouli oil, and witch hazel extract are made of chemicals. I did, however, tell her that garlic is toxic to cats. Finally, I talked her into giving her cat Capstar and applying Advantage.
Ten minutes later thousands of dying fleas began falling off the cat.
I understand the desire to avoid exposing a pet to synthetic chemicals. In an ideal world it would not be necessary. But if your pet is dying from fleas, it is time to bite the bullet and use something that works.
I am confident that the cat will make a complete recovery. But the cat nearly paid the ultimate price for her owner’s lack of common sense.
Photo: Patchouli. Doesn’t cure fleas. By Kurt Stueber.