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

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on January 23, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cedar chips and essential oil

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


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


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

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Fleas can be the bane of a cat owner’s existence. Once they appear, they’re everywhere, and worst of all, they make our kitties miserable. Getting rid of fleas can be an arduous task. While plenty of flea control and prevention medicines, collars, and treatments are on the market, not all of them work well, and some have ingredients that can harm 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. However, most essential oils are dangerous for cats.

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

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What Are Essential Oils?

The use of essential oils has risen in the past decade, and there’s a good chance you’ve used them in some way before. If you’ve missed out on the essential oil craze, you might wonder what exactly the oils are. Essential oils are 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.

You can use essential oils as aromatherapy (how they’re most often used), homeopathic remedies, killing fleas, and more. Although essential oils are relatively harmless for us, many are 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 seems to help reduce fleas. It might even 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 to speak to your vet before using it on your cat!

The scent of cedar is sometimes used as a cat deterrent; homeowners 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 risk 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 with it. Commercial products should have cedarwood oil in safe dosages and 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 determine if it is an appropriate product for your cat. Your vet can prescribe more effective treatments, such as topical products, that have been successfully used to eradicate fleas for decades.

vet checking up a cat
Image Credit: brodtcast, Shutterstock

Unsafe Essential Oils for Cats

You can find several other essential oils advertised as effective flea and tick control, but most essential oils are 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

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Final Thoughts

Cedarwood oil has been known to kill fleas and is one of the few essential oils that are safe to use around cats. However, you still need to be careful when using it. Before using any product or oils on your pet, always speak with your vet first to ensure you’re using the oil in the safest way possible!


Featured Image Credit By: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock

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