Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
I would never use diatomaceous earth on a living creature, cat or otherwise. It can be extremely harmful when inhaled. It's made up of the tiny silica-based exoskeletons of diatoms, and each individual particle is SHARP. And even diatomaceous earth that is composed mainly of amorphous silica still usually contains some crystalline silica, which is extremely harmful to the lungs. It can cause issues in a human, and I'd think those issues would be accelerated and exacerbated on a creature with smaller lungs. Even if it's somehow pure amorphous silica, it will still make creatures cough (as it is dust-particle-sized) if it is breathed in.
The truth is, there aren't any real studies on long-term breathing in or ingesting of diatomaceous earth. A lot of people believe it's beneficial and will eat it, but they can never produce actual scientific studies proving it's beneficial, or studies proving it ISN'T harmful. At the very least, it will dry out the cat's skin. IMO it isn't worth the risk except to treat carpet and furniture. Never on a living creature.
And I know some people FEED it to their animals - yet everywhere states that diatomaceous earth loses its efficacy if it gets wet. Yet it's apparently beneficial for an animal to ingest it into its extremely wet digestive tract...?
I have used Revolution on my 17-year-old cat, who has kidney failure, IBS, and hyperthyroidism. I have used the Revolution on her for years. I have never seen a single negative effect on her from using this product, and it is wholly efficient in destroying the entire flea life cycle for 4+ weeks. My cat is not harmed by using this product; she has never shown a side effect and she has PLENTY of pre-existing health issues that could cause issues - but the product has never harmed her.
In my opinion, there is nothing more proven and more effective than prescription-level flea control products such as Revolution. Over-the-counter medications (not requiring a vet prescription) can contain dangerous chemicals. And other "flea control" methods can be very dangerous to cats - such as using essential oils.
Again, I have used diatomaceous earth myself - in my house; in my carpeting and on the furniture. I vacuumed it up after a few days and NEVER allowed my cat to come into contact with it. It was not worth the unknown possible risks to my cat. People who have used it internally and/or breathed it will probably sing its praises, but it's a bit too "magical" of a remedy for me.
Stick to proven fleakillers like Revolution.
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