Thursday, September 23, 2010 http://www.washingtonpost.com
Take the bite out of mosquitoes with homemade bug repellent
Dear Dr. Fox:
Pumpkin, our 10-year-old, neutered orange tabby, loves to be outside during the warm weather and is very good about staying in our yard. But he seems to be a favorite victim of mosquitoes, especially his ears. He scratches incessantly, making them bleed.
We have tried VIP and PetGuard Insecticide Gel, which aren't very effective. We try to keep him on our screened-in porch, but the mosquitoes find him no matter what.
DF: Cats in the summer (and dogs, especially with erect ears) can get badly bitten by mosquitoes and other biting and flesh-eating flies outdoors. Cats can develop a hypersensitivity to bug bites.
Light citronella candles and put a dab of lemon bug repellent on your cat's ears and behind his head. Make the repellent by simmering one whole lemon sliced (including the peel) in one cup of water until mushy (about 10 minutes). Pulverize and store in a jar in the fridge.
A dab of essential oil of lavender or vanilla might be effective alternatives. Also, give your cat some brewer's yeast, up to half a teaspoon mixed in with her food every day, beginning with just a pinch so she gets used to it.