Is It OK to Use DEET for Cats Flea Treatment?

What Damage Can Deet (diethyltoluamide) Cause?

DEET Can Cause Sevear Damages to Your Brain!

When we need to fight flea and tick infestations of home or fleas and ticks on cats or on other pets, we often only think to get rid of the pests and seldom go reading the ingredients of the flea treatment we plan on buying.

Killing fleas is not the only problem our dear pets may suffer from.

Mosquito Biting? Get Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito Biting? Get Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent

With the hot summer season many more pesky bugs and insects abound, most common one is the dreaded MOSQUITO. :cry:
Especially if you and your pet go outdoors, mosquitoes and bugs can ruin your day and perhaps infect you with some disease.

Some flea treatments for cats include Deet, as do many commercial mosquito repellents. So beware, because the chemical DEET (diethyltoluamide)  is proven to be harmful to humans. Even the EPA says that if used often, DEET can harm us.

When you spray a mosquito repellent with diethyltoluamide onto your skin, the DEET gets absorbed into your body and eventually enters your bloodstream.
Thus, DEET gets pumped through to your entire nervous system.

Since Deet has been proven to kill brain cells, causing neurological damage, you might wish to consider avoiding it altogether.

Even if you just spray your cat with an insect repellent containing Deet, the poison might rub onto you when you touch your cat or when it sits on you or rubs against you…

If you have heavy exposure to DEET, you may experience memory loss, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and shortness of breath.

Consider the damaging inner poisonous effects Deet might have on your little pet cat!

DEET could be considered a poison, but the EPA feels that in small doses it’s OK for us.

For some of us who are more sensitive than others and more environmentaly conscious, I suggest you look for insect repellents that are DEET-free.

Warning: Even some sunscreens contain DEET, so check out the ingredients.

Deet-Free Mosquito & Flea Repellents

Alternatives DEET free bug & mosquito Repellents for Cats, Pets and Humans are healthier for you and your pets.

A new kind of mosquito repellent is this wrist band for humans and pets. They claim it works for 95% of users and lasts up to 100h. It’s tested safe for babies and kids, water-proot and sweat-proof, non-toxic and inexpensive.

Get it here for 50% less >>

A good resource for natural pet dogs and cat flea control >>

Wishing you a happy, healthy bug free and deet-free summer!

10 thoughts on “Is It OK to Use DEET for Cats Flea Treatment?

  1. Judi Anderson

    Love your site, but must tell you I am concerned about the posting on insecticides and repellents. I work for the DEET Education Program, Washington. Your information on DEET is inaccurate. DEET is NOT present in any insecticides–it is a repellent. It does not kill anything. The Am. Academy of Pediatrics, having reviewed all of the published and unpublished data, concluded in 2003 that DEET-based products can be used on infants as young as 2 MONTHS of age in concentrations up to 30%. So your confidence level in DEET as an ingredient in repellents should be high. BUT, that said, DEET is intended for use on human skin, not on animals. Animals could lick it off. Your statement about killing brain cells is inaccurate and based on unsound science (a limited rat study, not in humans) that has not been peer-reviewed nor replicated and in fact has been heavily criticized within the scientific community. Call me at 800-789-3300 for details. DEET is one of four EPA-registered ingredients for use in insect repellents for humans. The others are: picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535. Each of these has been rigorously scrutinized for safety and efficacy. We suggest folks stick with those four ingredients for themselves and use products for their pets that are designed for pets. We are pet lovers, too, and don’t want any harm to come to them ever. We also want you and your readers to have a safe, healthy experience outside–and if you live where there are vector-borne diseases, using an effective repellent is essential. We also recommend reading labeling instructions carefully for all products for you and your pets. Contact me anytime if you have questions on repellents. We’re happy to help.

    1. MamaMia

      @Judi Anderson:
      Hi Judi, and thank you for your concern about DEET not being properly represented in this article.
      I’m sure you mean well by educating our readers on DEET, and since you work for the DEET educational program you probably like using DEET.

      DEET might indeed be most effective repelling mosquitoes…
      Nontheless, we really have little confidence in DEET being safe and healthy.

      Wikipedia mentions:
      “As a precaution, manufacturers advise that DEET products should not be used under clothing or on damaged skin, and that preparations be washed off after they are no longer needed or between applications. DEET can act as an irritant; in rare cases, it may cause skin reactions…..
      The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University states that “Everglades National Park employees having extensive Deet exposure were more likely to have insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function than were lesser exposed co-workers….

      Effects on materials:
      DEET is an effective solvent, and may dissolve (part of) some plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic fabrics, leather, and painted or varnished surfaces including nailpolish.”

      Dr. Mercola, the most popular alternative health site online, has this to say on DEET:
      “This is a deadly and potent neurotoxin that you want to stay away from. If you absolutely had to use it, it should only be used on your clothing, never on your skin. It is far too deadly to ever consider using it on your skin.

      Most commercial insect repellents are made from DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against using repellents containing more than 10% DEET on kids under 6. DEET is a pesticide and has been associated with a variety of health problems ranging from dizziness to seizures, and children are especially susceptible.”

      Dr. Mercola also writes the following in his newsletter and blog:
      “Most insect repellants out there are loaded with toxic chemicals, including the pesticide DEET, which is so poisonous that even the Environmental Protection Agency says you should wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid breathing it in and not spray it directly on your face. Think about it–if this chemical can kill mosquitoes, it can likely do some harm to other life forms too.”

      In an older post he wrote:
      “The New York State Health Department backed away from recommending wholesale spraying after finding that more people got sick from the pesticides than from the virus…..
      Meanwhile, some citizen groups are taking matters into their own hands. The No Spray Coalition is suing New York City to stop pesticide spraying in their neighborhoods.
      There’s a good deal of information on government and other websites about the toxic effects of pesticides, but a comprehensive picture of the specific pesticides and issues involved in the West Nile campaign is well laid out in a report called “Overkill: Why Pesticide Spraying for West Nile Virus May Cause More Harm Than Good” by the Maine Environmental Policy Institute (MEPI) and the Toxics Action Center.

      In short, they report that these pesticides offer a toxic legacy: short- and long-term respiratory problems, immune and nervous system disruption, cancer, and reproductive and learning disorders. That covers just about everything you’d never want to get.

      The “Overkill” report also emphasizes the association between outdoor pesticide sprays and neurological damage, stating, “A report of pesticides and childhood brain cancers published in Environmental Health Perspectives (a publication of the National Institutes of Health) revealed a strong relationship between brain cancers and pyrethroids used to kill fleas and ticks.” Anvil, a pyrethroid, is a popular pesticide used by state agencies to control mosquitoes.

      The use of DEET in mosquito repellents is extremely troubling. DEET has been associated with seizures and several cases of toxic encephalopathy (encephalitis) in children, including three deaths, according to the Extension Toxicology Network at Cornell University.

      Dr. Mohamed Abou-Donia, a research scientist at Duke University Medical Center, whose studies have established a link between DEET and neurological damage in animals, warns parents in a recent Environmental News Service article, “Never use insect repellents on infants, and be wary of using them on children in general.
      Never combine insecticides with each other or use them with other medications. Even so simple a drug as an antihistamine could interact with DEET to cause toxic side effects. Don’t spray your yard for bugs and then take medications. Until we have more data on potential interactions in humans, safe is better than sorry.”

      Meanwhile, state and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are encouraging the public to use mosquito repellents containing DEET. Although the CDC warns parents to avoid applying repellent on children less than 2 years old, the EPA and other state agencies are not giving that caution.

      The EPA instead advises, “Do not allow children to handle the products, and do not apply to children’s hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.”

      Have these people ever met a child? Children touch everything and everybody, including themselves. And then they put their pudgy little fingers directly into their mouths.”

      Science Daily July 21, 2007 had this to say:
      “More than 80 percent of schools in America use toxic pesticides as a preventative measure, whether it‘s needed or not.

      Mark Lame, an entomologist and professor at Indiana University‘s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, believes this is an entirely unnecessary practice that carries more risks than benefits to students and faculty.

      The most widely used pesticides are, in fact, nerve poisons. They cause uncontrolled nerve firing, and disrupt the delicate hormone systems.

      The link between pesticide exposure and health problems in children is already well established. Research has connected these endocrine-disrupting pesticides to health problems such as ADHD, autism, and infertility — all of which are on the rise.”

      Dr. Mercola adds:
      “The United states uses about 888 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides each year. That’s the equivalent of three pounds of toxins for every man, woman and child, and the current pesticide load on your body is surely taking its toll.

      Among the many problems they cause include:

      Heart congestion
      Lung and kidney damage
      Low blood pressure
      Muscle damage
      Weight loss
      Damage to adrenal glands
      Brain damage, like Parkinson’s disease

      Parkinson’s is not a pretty picture. You may know someone with it. If you do, there is a high likelihood that exposure to pesticides played a role in this devastating disease. Unfortunately, it typically takes many years for this to happen, and by the time the damage is done there is very little you can do.
      So the smart thing is to avoid them to begin with.

      Neurological Damage in Children is a Growing Problem
      What is, perhaps, even more disturbing is the neurological damage that is imposed on children.

      Pesticides are especially dangerous to children because they are still developing, and may not be able to fully remove pesticides from their body. There are also periods during development when exposure to pesticides, or any toxin, can cause permanent damage to their system.

      While some of the damage of these toxins may be apparent immediately, other harm may not appear until years later.

      Researchers are increasingly pointing to pesticide and herbicide contamination as one cause for the many reported cases of autism, as well as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

      Additionally, other researchers are finding links between pesticide exposure and decreased cognitive abilities, and aggression in children. Your nervous system, your immune system, and your endocrine (hormone) system are all closely related and in constant communication with each other, so when any one of the three systems is damaged or degraded, the other two may be adversely affected as well.

      Pesticides and herbicides can adversely affect your child’s thyroid hormones, too. This is important, as irritability and aggressive behavior are linked to your thyroid hormone levels. Furthermore, some studies have shown that attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorders in children are linked to changes in their levels of thyroid hormone.”

      While Dr. Mercola is not the only opinion around on DEET and on our health, and has his own interests in promoting natural alternatives to DEET (and to a host of other health damaging stuff which the drug companies promote), I personally am of the opinion that using natural remedies and solutions whenever possible, is much better and safer.

      As far as research goes, well, I have no way to discover of the bat what is right or wrong. You work to promote DEET and show your research and Dr. Mercola shows his.
      Similarly perhaps, companies selling tobacco always manage to show someone who says cigarettes are not harmful and that an old man up in some remote mountain lived to 114, yet people die of smoking and smoking related diseases, the foul stuff stinks and damages the teeth, lungs, skin etc.

      We feel it is important the public is aware DEET is a toxin and if ever used then one should use it with great care.

      Judi, showing images of kids and greenery on your DEET promotional site is your way to try and create the image of DEET as environmentaly and family safe. This is psychological misrepresentation. DEET is a POISON and has nothing to do with being “green” or with healthy nature.

  2. Patricia Straughan

    I recently had a holiday in Indonesia where I liberally applied a Deet containing product for four days.Prior to that I had been using the same product on a quite regular basis for a couple of months as we have moved to Singapore and I’m prone to strong reactions from bites. Upon return I immediately developed uncontrollable muscle twitches all over my body which,although lessening have now lasted over a month.I was convinced I must have been in contact with something toxic and now I am suspecting the Deet product and hoping I have not done any irreversible damage to my body. I have no proof but will not use it again.

    1. CatCamille Post author

      @Patricia Straughan: Oh poor you! Yes, DEET is very dangerous, and i hope that you shall not suffer any more pains or musclar damages. I guess that if you stay away from it for good, you might heal up again. I very much hope so for you! :)
      Perhaps you should try a BIO spray next time. We have some, but they don’t ALL always work…some do though.
      Another GREAT natural mosquito repellent that always works fine for a few hours at least, is lemon. Just take a fresh lemon and rub it all over your arms, legs and skin. it sure helps a lot!
      Wish you all the best.

  3. Michael Leek

    That is really a totally beneficial and also centered information. Even though my opinion is different from that of the writer, I find that this really is fantastic webpage. I’ll certainly become a member of Rss in this amazing as well as special blog.

  4. Billiards Boy

    I believe this article has good content. It brings attention to a problem that has gotten out of control for some time now. We put so many pesticides on food and everything else that its impossible to get away from them now. Unless you can afford to eat organically you have these toxins in your system everyday. It is hurting our childrens ability to grow healthy and strong.

  5. JoJo


    “An example of such a species difference is permethrin sensitivity in cats. There are many permethrin spot-on products available that are labeled for “dogs only.” These contain high concentrations (45-60%) of permethrin insecticide. These permethrin products have a good range of safety when used on dogs, but even a few drops of concentrated permethrin could be lethal to a cat. Cats are most commonly exposed to these products through inappropriate application by their owners. The signs commonly seen with permethrin toxicity in cats include generalized tremors, muscle fasciculations, and seizures. Signs can develop within hours or may be delayed up to 48 hours. “

  6. JoJo

    I appreciate your goal in protecting cats, but in proposing the use of DEET-Free products, you fail to note that the only other insect repellant proven to be effective is Permethrin. And Permethrin is highly toxic to cats. Many cats die after being given flea treatments intended for dogs, or by contact with dogs having recently been treated with permethrin.


    Given the choice, I would take my chance on the DEET, or use nothing at all.


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