How Do I Get Rid of Roaches Without Harming My Cat?

Cockroaches are the bane of any household, especially if you live in the south. But, like fleas, hundreds will follow once they get in and establish a foothold. On average, a female cockroach can lay between 5 and 15 oothecae in its lifetime, with each one dropping about 15 eggs. 

Getting rid of them is hard, especially if you own cats. Some of the best methods involve non-poisonous traps, strategically placed boric acid and similar chemicals, preventative maintenance, and homemade traps.

Cats are night hunters, and much like cockroaches, they can be very active at night time. That can be problematic if you’re trying to kill off a cockroach infestation. It’s unfortunate timing that you will simply have to workaround. 

Cat-Safe Bait Traps

Bait traps typically have the bait—which is poisonous to animals and humans—inside the trap itself, so your cat can’t get ahold of it unless your feline friend knows how to disassemble a cockroach trap. 

Since roaches are predominately night feeders and skittish when caught out in the open. It’s even easier to lay the bait traps for them in an out-of-the-way place because these are the areas that roaches will go and cats generally won’t. 

  • Behind dressers
  • Inside dresser drawers
  • Underneath sinks
  • Close to the water heater
  • Behind the fridge
  • Underneath the stove
  • Behind furniture
  • In the attic
  • In the cellar

These are all places that roaches frequent, and they are places that will be difficult for your cat to reach. 

Even if your cat reaches them, there’s little that it could do or want to do with an enclosed bait trap.

The tried-and-true, old-school Combat Roach Killing Bait Stations are perfect for this sort of thing, as well as the Black Flag Roach Motels. The Hoy Hoy Trap a Roach is very effective and doesn’t use any poison at all. 

Bait traps are among the best and most effective methods for killing roaches while avoiding any potential harm to your cat. In addition, they’re very versatile in their placement, which makes them even more invaluable for the fact that you can place them out of reach of your cat.

Home Remedies That are Cat Safe

Home remedies don’t just involve chemicals that you find under the sink. You can also build your own trap, which is non-poisonous to cats. Grab a bowl with steep sides, or even a jar will work. 

Grab some grease and liberally apply it to the entire surface area of the inside of the bowl or jar. The idea is to get the inside of the jar really slick so that once the roaches go in, they can’t get back out again. 

Place cheese or sugar at the bottom of the jar or the bowl. Both of these happen to be very attractive to roaches. Once the cockroaches are in, they are permanently trapped until you happily flush them down the toilet, preferably as your cat watches on.

Boric Acid

Likely, you’ve heard of boric acid in terms of what it can do to help rid your home of cockroaches. Unfortunately, boric acid is harmful to your cat. If you use it, be sure to place it in a completely unreachable area for your cat. 

Boric acid should be placed or sprinkled around an attractive food source. When roaches come into contact with boric acid, it gets all over them, and they end up ingesting it, willingly or not, and once it is inside their digestive system, it tears them apart from within. 

Baking Soda

Baking Soda works on roaches in much the same way as Boric Acid, except that Baking Soda fills roaches with gas from within their digestive system, effectively exploding them from the inside. 

You can sprinkle this stuff anywhere that roaches like to travel, such as underneath sinks and behind refrigerators. As the insect walks, it picks up the baking soda, just like it does the Boric Acid. 

From there, it inevitably makes its way into the roach’s digestive system. 


Borax, just like boric acid and baking soda, is ingested, where it quickly dehydrates the roach until it dies. It’s best when mixed with equal parts sugar and placed in an area that your cat cannot get to. 

Like the Baking Soda, you can mix the Borax with equal parts sugar and place it on a paper plate or sprinkle it around the areas you suspect are heavy traffic zones for cockroaches.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth has many uses, none of which are for cockroaches—at least, you won’t find that on the bag. However, it works really well in getting rid of cockroaches, fleas, spiders, and other unsavory bugs.

At a microscopic level, particles of Diatomaceous Earth are exceedingly sharp, and they also work to dehydrate the roaches. So it both cuts the roach’s exoskeletons apart and dehydrates them to death. 

Preventative Maintenance

One of the best ways to get rid of roaches, that’s also considered safe for your cats, is never to give them a reason to come around in the first place. Although, of course, you still may get the occasional roach that has separated from the herd and gone wandering, however, that will be the exception to the rule. 

Patching Cracks

Caulk is your best friend when it comes to sealing your house from the outside world. Scour the entire surface area of your home from the inside to the outside. And if you find anything that even resembles a crack, fill it with caulk.

Once it’s filled, give it some time to dry and gently sand it back down with some fine-grain sandpaper. The last thing you want is a bunch of unsightly bulges throughout your home. 

Fix Any Water Leaks

Surprisingly enough, it’s not waste or food that generally drives cockroaches into your home. Instead, its water and cockroaches will settle in any place where they have a ready supply of abundant water. 

The best way to take care of this is to remove the water from the equation. Even the slowest of leaks under the fridge, sink, water heater, shower, or any other pipes that run inside your house, is more than enough water supply for cockroaches, who can go much longer without it than we can.

Regular and Thorough Cleanings

As with water, it only takes a small amount of food to attract roaches. You may think that you keep a spotless house and run a tight ship. However, it doesn’t take much at all. 

You don’t have to get down and scrub everything military style, but you want to keep your home in tip-top shape.

Also, remove garbage regularly. Don’t let the trash sit out for too long, especially after plates have been raked out or after you’ve cleaned out the fridge. Keep the garbage can in which the bag sits clean as well.

Bags rip and leak. Over time, that creates a level of build-up that needs to be scrubbed and rinsed out. 

Final Word

There are plenty of ways to get rid of roaches that don’t require you to place your cat in any level of danger. If you do use any sort of poison, be sure to keep it in an area that your cat can neither traffic nor get to, even if it tries to do so.

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