How Can I Protect My Cat From Mosquitoes?  Someone asked me this question the other day. One would think there is an easy answer.  There are lots of products available for people, but none approved to use on cats.

Some cats are allergic to mosquito bites and can have severe skin reactions.

ears

Mosquitoes can transmit heartworms and West Nile Virus to cats. The insects only bite cats on the ears and nose.  They cannot get through the fur to the rest of their bodies.

The main ingredient in most human products is DEET.  The EPA feels this product is safe for people over the age of 2.  DEET is not safe for cats.  NEVER use any DEET products on a cat. There is no antidote for DEET toxicity.  Supportive care is the only treatment.  Here is an article about DEET toxicity in a cat

There is an EPA approved product for dogs – K9 Advantix® Spot-on.  This product is extremely toxic to cats.  NEVER use this product on a cat.  If you have a dog, keep your dog away from your cat until the Spot-on dries.

Avon’s Skin So Soft (SSS) has been proposed as a mosquito repellant for cats.  Some studies have shown that it “drowns” the mosquito in the oil instead of repelling the pest. Some of the new SSS has Picaridin to help repel mosquitoes.  Picaridin has been shown to be safe for cats. 

This sounds like it might be the solution.  Cats’ behavior ie grooming might be the biggest obstacle to success and safety.  Using this product chronically has the potential to have safety issues.  The other issue is that putting SSS on a cats nose will probably not be well received.  Cats have an amazing sense of smell and putting a product with a strong scent does not seem to be a good idea.

 Screen bonnets are used in effectively used in horses to keep flies off their eyes.  Cats are not horses, and his seems like another idea that cats would not enjoy.

Working with mosquito behavior may be the best solution.  Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and night.  Keeping cats in at night may be one of the easiest and most effective solutions.

I wish there was a safe and effective product for mosquito repellant for cats.  We will keep searching.