Diatomaceous Earth as a Natural Dewormer for Cats


Does your cat have worms?

Intestinal worms can infect just about any cat, but cats who live outdoors and hunt wild game are particularly susceptible to a worm infestation. Intestinal parasites may cause no symptoms in your cat, but some cats will present such unpleasant symptoms as weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. A natural and unpreventable problem, intestinal parasite infestation in cats has an equally natural solution - one that involves no chemicals or medicine and doesn’t demand a trip to the veterinarian.

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a 100% natural, organic solution for internal pest infestation in cats.

What is diatomaceous earth and how does it work?

Diatomaceous earth is completely natural. It is formed from the remains of dead diatoms - these are microscopic single-celled algae. Once fossilized, all that remains of these tiny plants is their silica shells - which are easily crumbled into a very fine, slightly abrasive powder. The resulting powder is diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth attacks worms in a completely mechanical, non-chemical way. The fine powder, when greatly magnified, resembles shards of glass in structure, which is the secret to its strength. While food-grade diatomaceous earth is completely safe for ingestion by fish, rodents, cats, dogs, larger animals, and humans, it is lethal to most insects. Diatomaceous earth particles penetrate the outer shell of an insect’s body like a tiny shard of glass. This damage to their protective outer layer will either dehydrate or cut up the bug, leading to its death.

Taken internally, diatomaceous earth is effective for killing intestinal parasites like roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.

How can I use diatomaceous earth as a natural dewormer for my cat?

Diatomaceous earth is easy to administer. Mix the fine powder into your cat’s food. It’s relatively tasteless and is easy to incorporate into any type of cat food. Our cats eat diatomaceous earth daily as a supplement mixed into their wet food, and there’s never been a complaint!

We recommend about half of a teaspoon for smaller cats and kittens, and a teaspoon per day for larger adult cats - those weighing over about six pounds.

Continue to feed your cat diatomaceous earth daily for at least a month. Adult worms should be eliminated in within a week, while it will take longer to kill hatching eggs.

What are the risks?

Like any powder like flour or cornstarch, it’s best to avoid inhaling large amounts of diatomaceous earth. If you have concerns about breathing in the dust or suffer from respiratory issues, make sure you handle diatomaceous earth packages gently and work with it in a ventilated area.

It is critical that you use only food-grade diatomaceous earth. Non-food-grade, or industrial, DE has a higher crystalline silica concentration, making it too abrasive to take internally. This type of diatomaceous earth is used for pool and fish tank filtration or to make dynamite. It is not safe for animals to ingest. Using the wrong kind of diatomaceous earth can be very damaging to your cat’s health, so make sure that you use only food-grade diatomaceous earth.

Ready to get rid of your cat's worms? Buy food-grade diatomaceous earth for your cat here:

Why Does My Cat Lick Me?

Why Does My Cat Lick Me? 

In the most simple of terms, your favorite feline is showing you affection and petting you much the same way you pet him, but let's explore this in more detail.

Cat Licking Paw

Kittens are totally dependent on their mothers after they are born and one of the first things your kitty remembers is being licked and groomed by her mama. Immediately after delivery, felines lick their newborn kittens with their sandpaper-like tongues to stimulate breathing and to remove the birth sac and any fluids from their kitten's fur. This cleaning ritual feels really nice and includes a good over-all cleansing from the tip of their tiny pink nose to the end of their cute little tail. It's bonding for mama cat and her kittens, the same as cuddling and gentle stroking is for any human mother and newborn.

It is thought that kittens that have been weaned too early, or that have been prematurely removed from their mothers, sometimes lick more as adult cats than those that weren't. The act of licking their people companions is satisfying and recreates the pleasurable experience of being nurtured by mom. If you have a cat that loves to lick your face, hands, or arms, it is a compliment. She is demonstrating the comforting closeness that was experienced at birth.


His Licking Hurts! Why Is His Tongue So Rough?

Now that we know the basis for cat licking is comfort and affection, what's up with those rough kitty-cat tongues?  Being licked on the hand by your cat is an experience to be had, a skin peel of sorts where you feel like you've been exfoliated with coarse grit sandpaper. 

We all know that cats are clean creatures. They constantly groom behind their ears, in between their toes, and all over their fur bodies. They remove lots of dirt and grime with special tongues that mother nature has so aptly provided them. Cats tongues are covered in hook-like protuberances named papilla. A good way to understand these papilla is to visualize them as the hook in what we know as hook and loop closures. Papilla are made of keratin, the tough stuff fingernails are made of. These protruding papilla face backwards on your cat's tongue making his tongue comb-like, and durable enough for thorough cleanings, including the ability to remove shedding hair.

Ouch! No wonder his tongue feels so rough on my skin!

Rough Cat Tongue - Papilla
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Jennifer Leigh at http://flickr.com/photos/45206157@N00/388846359. It was reviewed on  by the FlickreviewR robot and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.


Why Does My Cat Lick Herself? 

Aside from grooming, cats that are under stress may lick themselves for comfort. If you find your cat is incessantly licking herself, she may be anxious. Give her more attention and remove her from the situation that is making her nervous. Sooth and calm her with gentle petting.

If you notice a change in your cat's over-all licking behavior, it may be something more than grooming. Older felines and cats that are licking frequently could be ill. Insect bites, skin irritations, fleas, and mouth conditions could be the culprit.


Your Cat's Licking You Is Normal 

Cats are wonderful creatures and their licking is all part of what makes them fascinating, but don't respond harshly if you don't like your kitty's affectionate scratchy licks. Discourage and distract their behavior with toys or catnip. Spritz some lemon juice on your skin; cats don't like it and will shy away. But be careful. You may get what you wish for, and find yourself missing your favorite feline's lovable licks.