Is Neem Oil Safe to Use on Cats?

I see this question pop up often. Knowing the risks of using synthetic flea treatments, many cat owners are looking for more natural, non toxic remedies. Cats are always licking and grooming themselves. Whatever goes on their fur is likely to be ingested by the cat during their grooming regimen.

I have found Neem Oil to be an effective alternative. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It acts as an insect growth regulator and a repellent. It has been used in India and Asia on humans and animals for centuries.

Neem Oil is not an essential oil. I think that is where the confusion starts about using these oils on cats.

I asked Vicki Parsons, owner of Neem Tree Farms, about the safety of Neem use on cats and the confusion between Neem Oil and essential oils.

”Essential oils can be dangerous for cats but Neem is an expelled oil, much like olive oil, so it can be used straight on mammals. Tea tree, for instance, is an essential oil made through a distillation process – totally different from an expelled or pressed oil.

Neem for Cats is made with a chemical fragrance that is approved for use on cats, recognizing that the average person is not going to like the smell of straight neem but that EOs can be dangerous.”

Before buying a Neem product you should read the ingredients. If it contains essential oils I would not suggest you use it on your cat. Instead, you could just buy 100% Neem Oil and mix it into the shampoo you usually use. If you and your cat would like something more pleasant smelling try Neem for Cats. You could also make a dip or spray out of either product. They can also be used undiluted but do not cover the entire cat with it. Just use a few drops on the back between the shoulder blades.

You can also use Neem Leaf. It can be made into a tea to be used as a dip or spray.

For more info on Neem and other natural products, check out these links:

Natural Products for Insect Pest Management

What is a Neem Tree?


Is Neem Oil Safe to Use on Cats? — 4 Comments

  1. Can this be used on newborn Kittens?
    My cat’s flea collar obviously isn’t doing it’s job and her babies are infested.

  2. Hello Tika,

    I am researching your question & hope to have an answer for you soon. In the meantime, I would like to suggest a few methods of getting rid of fleas.
    Using a flea comb capture as many fleas as you can. Have a bowl of soapy water on hand & drop the fleas into it. This will take some work, I know, but it is the safest way.
    You can also lightly (keeping the dust to a minimum) apply Diatomaceous Earth (DE) to the kittens & mother cat. Make sure you get Food Grade DE. Keep it out of their eyes and nose. The particles that fall onto the floor area of their bed will kill any larvae or adults that live there.
    If you want to quickly kill the fleas you can give the kittens a warm bath with a mild, gentle soap or shampoo. It does not have to be a flea shampoo. Most any soap will kill fleas. Rinse it out well. Towel dry the kittens and keep them warm ( & out of drafts) until completely dry.
    I would suggest you use the flea comb method and DE on the mother cat. Keep the DE away from where the kitten nurse. It won’t harm them if they swallow it but they may breathe it in as they nurse.
    Hope this helps, and good luck!

  3. you can use neem shampoo on cats DO NOT USE NEEM OIL. it is poisonous and can cause convulsions and even death. pretty sure my cat got into some that had been diluted in water and put on a plant and got a $3000 vet bill, I would not risk it. buy a neem shampoo designed for pets and nothing else.

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