Catster logo

Does Cedarwood Oil Kill Fleas on Cats? Vet Reviewed Effectiveness & Safety Explained

cedar chips and essential oil
Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Misty Lane

Vet approved

	Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Fleas can be the bane of a cat owner’s existence. Once they appear, they’re absolutely everywhere, and worst of all, they make our kitties miserable. Getting rid of fleas can be an arduous task, though. While plenty of flea control and prevention medicines, collars, and treatments are on the market, not all of them work well. And some of them have ingredients we may not want to use on our pets.

Many people prefer to take an all-natural route when it comes to killing fleas on cats, and one such way they do so is by using cedarwood oil. However, never use essential oils on your cat without speaking with your vet first! Cedarwood oil is an essential oil that seems to be successful in killing off fleas, and it’s one of the few that are mostly safe for use on felines. The majority of essential oils are dangerous for cats.

Here’s a closer look at cedarwood oil and how to use it on your pet.

cat + line divider

What Are Essential Oils?

The use of essential oils has risen in the past decade, which means there’s a good chance you’ve used them in some way before. If you’ve missed out on the essential oil craze, though, you might be wondering what exactly these oils are. Basically, essential oils are just the parts of a plant that cause it to taste and smell the way it does. The essential oils we use in our homes come from extraction via cold pressing or distillation.

And these essential oils can be used in a variety of ways! You can use essential oils as aromatherapy (how they’re most often used), homeopathic remedies, killing fleas, and more. But though essential oils are relatively harmless for us, many can be highly toxic to our cats.

However, cedarwood essential oil is one of the few generally safe ones.

Cedar oil branches and cedar cone
Image Credit: Lazhko Svetlana, Shutterstock

Cedarwood Oil and Cats

Cedarwood is one of the few non-toxic essential oils for felines, and it’s one that seems to help reduce fleas. It might even help to reduce the number of ticks that outdoor cats get. The downside is that there’s a good chance your pet will hate the smell of it. Don’t forget, always speak to your vet before using it on your cat!

The scent of cedar is sometimes used as a cat deterrent; homeowners will place cedar chips out in their yards to keep stray felines from wandering in and causing havoc. Since it’s a smell that kitties don’t enjoy too much, you run the risk of your pet being upset at having the scent of cedar constantly around them.

How to Use Cedarwood Oil to Kill Fleas

Your safest bet for applying cedarwood oil to kill fleas on your cat is to buy a product that has it. Commercial products should have cedarwood oil in safe dosages, along with instructions on how to apply them so your pet isn’t at risk. Overall, it’s much safer than mixing up your own flea treatment. Again, check with your vet to find out if this is an appropriate product for your cat. Often, much more effective treatments are available, and equally safe.

vet checking up a cat
Image Credit: brodtcast, Shutterstock

Unsafe Essential Oils for Cats

You may find several other essential oils advertised as effective flea and tick control, but most essential oils will be dangerous for the cat.

Just a few of the toxic essential oils include:
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme oil
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang Ylang

3 cat face divider

Final Thoughts

Cedarwood oil has been known to kill fleas and is one of the few non-toxic to cats essential oils out there. When using it, you still need to be careful, though. And before using any product or oils on your pet, always speak with your vet first to ensure you’re going about using the oil in the safest way possible!

Related Read:

Featured Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock

About the Author

Misty Lane
Misty Lane
Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese cats—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (cats, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing piano, watching indie and foreign films, photographing abandoned places, and catching up on her never-ending TBR list.

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart