Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

by Celeste Yarnall

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so  much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians.  But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned  out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of  chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today  routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work! 

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except  for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains  concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to  odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are  associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin,  pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely  toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on  a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that  ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much  less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a  flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the  immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense  of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying  “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the  unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage  attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites  that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth,  moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with  fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets  and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on  peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate  the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and  helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood  several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and  onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs  hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as  little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if  you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very  frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas

Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.

Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)

Ketones, such as sage

Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

Auras, Chakras, Light and Sleep Cycles

Auras, Chakras, Light and Sleep Cycles

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

What is an aura?

An aura is an electromagnetic energy field that surrounds, encompasses, and permeates all living things; it includes the being’s physical structure as well as its energetic outer layers. It is made up of four bodies outside the physical body: the etheric body (where some suggest our past life experiences may be stored), the emotional body, the mental body (two layers: higher and lower), and the spiritual body (three layers: higher, middle, and lower). The colors of an aura vary depending upon the condition of the being. Anyone can learn to see auras; there are also professional readers and even cameras that can photograph them.

Where are our chakras located?

First chakra (root/base of spine)
Second chakra (chi/below navel)
Third chakra (solar plexus)
Fourth chakra (heart)
Fifth chakra (throat)
Sixth chakra (third eye/brow)
Seventh chakra (crown/above head)

What are the Chakras?

The chakras are energy centers aligned along a spiral column in the etheric double; energy is absorbed from the surrounding air and brought through the chakras into the physical body. The Vedas, ancient texts of India, contain the first known reference to chakras. The chakras are considered to be spinning wheels of light energy. (Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit.)

Various spiritual schools have different systems of identification for the chakras, but a widely accepted version identifies seven major chakras, beginning with the first, or root, chakra, located at the base of the spine and moving up the body to the seventh, or crown chakra, located a few inches above the top of the head. (There are also five minor chakras, at the hands and feet or in the case of our dogs and cats, their paws, {which I cover for our feline companions in my book The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care}, co authored with Jean Hofve, DVM) and then the hollow at the base of the skull, where the brain meets the spine. It is said that as we spiritually evolve, new chakras will emerge.)

Why are the various Chakras assigned colors?

A specific color is associated with each chakra because color can be used to stimulate, sedate, or balance the chakras and their associated organs.

The use of light and color in healing dates from ancient times. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is believed that there are cycles that are the most conducive for certain activities. In Chinese medicine, yang and yin symbolize light and dark. It is of utmost importance to honor our daily cycles of light turning into darkness, as our moon travels around our planet and our planet travels around our sun.

FIRST CHAKRA (root/base of spine)
Red stimulates the immune system by building up the blood and helps with detoxification. It is said that this color fights tumors, has an antiviral effect, and relates to the reproductive system and the procreative imperative to survive. Those with compromised immune systems may benefit by be ing surrounded by the color red as much as possible.

SECOND CHAKRA (chi/below navel)
Orange is said to be an appetite stimulant and a lung builder. It may depresse the parathyroid glands, and may stimulate the thyroid as well as the mammary glands in the production of milk for all types of mammals. Qi (chi) emanates from this chakra.

THIRD CHAKRA (solar plexus)
Yellow is thought to stimulate the gastrointestinal system and helps keep hormones in balance. It’s also said to be beneficial for the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, and for diabetes and hard chronic tumors. The fear/fight/flight mechanism originates here.

FOURTH CHAKRA (heart)
Green is said to stabilize energy and is a bronchodilator. It may be beneficial in the treatment of infections. Many believe that love emanates from the heart chakra. Pink is the secondary color of the heart chakra.

FIFTH CHAKRA (throat)
Blue is said to aid in the healing of third-degree burns, scratches, sores, and infections. It may be beneficial for all fevers that respond quickly when used in conjunction with holistic remedies. Blue is a very cooling and sedating color. The related color turquoise can be soothing for irritations, inflammation, and itching. It may help induce sleep, and it should follow green in treating all infections. It is known as the chakra of self-expression.
See my note below regarding the importance of sleep.

SIXTH CHAKRA (third eye/brow)
Indigo worn around the neck is said to help stabilize the thyroid if a person or pet has a hyperthyroid condition. The third eye chakra is best known for providing living things with intuition and instinct.

SEVENTH CHAKRA (crown/above head)
Violet is said to increase the white blood cell count, stimulates the spleen, and is a color for high spiritual attainment in humans.

 

NOTE: When we don’t sleep in sync with seasonal light exposure, we not only alter our etheric double, our own aura and our own chakra’s but also alter our biological rhythms that control hormones and neurotransmitters determining appetite, fertility, and mental and physical health as well as those who share our living space with us, such as our children and companion animals.

By relying on artificial light to extend our days, we fool our bodies into living in a perpetual state of summer which is when our ancient ancestors were always anticipating the scarce food supply and forced inactivity of the coming winter, when we do this our body begins storing fat and slowing the metabolism to sustain us through months of hibernation and hunger that never arrive.

We, along with everyone who lives us with us in our homes, including our animals, are all extremely sensitive to natural light and dark rhythms. There is a strong case for all of us to sleep in the summer months between 10:00 p.m. (2200 hours) and 7:00 a.m. (0700), and starting at the Autumn Equinox between 9:00 p.m. (2100) and 6:00 a.m. (0600).

Our early ancestors obeyed these seasonal rules by honoring the seasons and their natural rhythm of light and dark. Our bodies generate a cascade of protective chemicals, including those that help prevent cancer, obesity, diabetes, and depression, to name but a few, only when we sleep deeply with no interference from any light leaks whatsoever, including the LEDs on electronic equipment, digital clocks, night lights, and the light leaks that seep in from outside. We all desperately need a true black night sleeping experience, that tracks with what we did before civilization turned the lights on everywhere. Think about creating a cool dark cave concept which truly produces a wonderful nights sleep. It’s also best to not have caffein after 3pm if you want to sleep well that evening.

The ramifications of not honoring this light and dark concept are enormous for our own health as well as that of all the living things in our household. If just one person leaves a light on in a sleep cycle and any part of our body can sense or feel it we all will suffer the consequences from this chronic addiction and abuse of light. This of course includes our computer screens and TV at night. There is a little trick which helps somewhat if you must work on your computer in the dark cycle and that is to have rose tinted lens made with your prescription in them. This is what I do: I remove my contacts where my glasses which have a rose tint to the lens’s which the eye optometrist called a plus 3 rose tint. You can also use them for driving at night and with or without a prescription they are said to help preserve some of the chemical cascade that we need to have take place in these precious evening hours of darkness when we must remain in artificial light.

I was astounded to learn that studies suggest that even tiny light leaks (0.2 lux), as little as a single candle flame, adversely affect our own health, our childrens health and that of our companion dogs and cats. If light leakage and subsequent lack of melatonin has been found to promote tumor growth. Could the use of light after dark actually be one of the causes of not only having an impact on tumor growth but cancer in people, in children and our pets, as well? So turn out those night lights everywhere in the house. And for a closer look at the importance of honoring light and dark cycles, see “Lights Out” by author, T. S. Wiley.

This simple adjustment in our sleep routine may actually have profound consequences in our own ability to heal ourselves on every level possible, including our chakra’s and etheric double.

I personally include the use of 2.5 mg.’s of sublingual (which you dissolve under your tongue) Melotonin, 30 minutes before bedtime.

Nothing said herein is meant to be construed as medical advice. Please be prudent and consult with your healthcare providers for any serious disorders. These idea’s are presented for informational purposes only and should be treated as such.

We can very easily begin to explore what role our aura and chakra’s play in our modern lives if the idea resonates with you. We can perhaps benefit in many ways when we are open to the ancient idea’s presented by many other cultures around the world. These cultures have all honored nature and the natural order of life from the dawn of our first foot prints on this planet. Perhaps we too can benefit by looking more closely at what we do in our own day to day lives in this modern hi-tech, brightly lit, big blue spinning ball, we live upon.