Essential oils are compounds mixed and obtained from plants. Are these oils safe for cats? There is a long list of things you need to know about these essences and how they affect cats.
As a cat owner, you need to know if essential oils are not toxic for your pet. Unfortunately, many essential oils are not safe for cats and can produce several reactions if your pet inhales them in large quantities. However, some oils (like clary sage or frankincense) are not toxic for cats.
Can I Diffuse Essential Oils Around Cats?
It depends, but you should never diffuse excessively. Additionally, it depends on how the essential oils are made. If these oils are too concentrated, you should never diffuse one around your pet. Suppose you start diffusing your house with essential oils that are toxic to cats. In that case, this can provoke a reaction that can send your cat to the veterinarian. You need to use the recommended oils for cats or not use them at all.
What Essential Oils Are Not Safe For Cats?
You should avoid and never use certain essential oils if you have a cat at home. Here are some of them:
- Ylang Ylang: Cats have a sensitive reaction to the extract of this plant. Diffusing this oil around your pet is not safe.
- Wintergreen: This can be toxic for your pet. If your cat eats or gets exposed to this oil, it can be poisonous and dangerous.
- All types of mint (mint, spearmint, peppermint): Mint (in any form) is deadly for cats.
- Japanese yew: The ingestion of this plant is toxic for many animals and even humans. If you have Japanese yew oil, keep it in a safe space.
- Wormseed: The plant is toxic for cats, so the oil cannot be used around them.
- Tea tree: Tea tree contains toxins that you should never use on a cat’s skin.
- Pennyroyal: These plants are related to mint. As you probably already know, mint is toxic for cats.
- Lavender: Lavender has other small components that are poisonous for cats.
- Sandalwood: This can be bad for sensitive cats with respiratory issues.
- Lime/orange oils: All the citrus-infused oils are harmful to these feline pets. Lemongrass is included here as well.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon can be toxic, but only at high levels.
- Pine oil: Pine (in every form) is terrible for cats because it can produce liver malfunctions.
- Oregano oil: It is dangerous because it is too concentrated. This oil has many components that are dangerous for pets.
- Eucalyptus: As a matter of fact, many plants are toxic for cats. The ingestion of this plant can be fatal, so keep eucalyptus oils far away from your cat.
What Oils Can I Diffuse Around My Cat?
Many essential oils are harmful to cats. Read more and find out which oils you can diffuse around your pet.
- Thyme: Thyme is not dangerous for felines. This essential oil should not worry you if it is in regulated quantities.
- Rosemary: Same as thyme, these oils (and plants) are not harmful to cats. Many professionals claim that rosemary should not be toxic. Yet, not all pets react the same way.
- Horseradish: This has no dramatic effects on cats, so using it as an essential oil should be okay.
- Rose: Roses are not bad for pets. This essential oil is completely safe and should not worry you. You can easily use it.
Keep in mind that even if these essential oils are not toxic or dangerous for your cat, you should never rub them on your pets’ skin or let them taste them. In addition, many essential oils are mixed with other components, so be sure to read the label.
Common Signs That Tell You If Your Cat Got Essential Oil Poisoning
You should call a professional if your cat presents any of these symptoms:
- Excessive drooling
- Random vomiting
- Incoordination in the nervous system
- Hepatic insufficiency
- Low heart palpitations
- Respiratory issues
- Unexpected trembling
- Heavy breathing or coughing
- Immoderate slowness or inactivity
- Essential oil fragrance on their fur
- Burnt tongue, lips, or skin
- Uncontrollable mouth touching
How Can I Keep My Cat Safe From Essential Oils?
- Do not diffuse too close to your cat: Even if the essential oil is not toxic for your feline friend, do not do this.
- Reduce the usage of essential oils: Use them in moderate amounts if you want to take care of your cat.
- Do not use essential oils as flea treatments: Remember, essential oils do not mix well with your cat’s skin. However, there are many flea treatments that you can buy that are affordable and effective.
- Use light essential oils: Using intense and highly concentrated essential oils is one of the biggest mistakes some cat owners can commit, especially if their cats have allergies or asthma problems.
- Do not interact with your cat after using these oils: If you have some residues of those oils in your hands and rub your cat, their skin surface will become irritated.
- Keep essential oils far away from cats: If you leave these oils unattended, your cat can reach them and accidentally pour them on their skin or mouth. Instead, you can store it in a high cabinet where your cat cannot see or get it.
What To Do If Your Cat Gets Exposed To Toxic Essential Oils
This is what you should do if your cat ingests or gets essential oils on its skin:
- The most important thing is trying to remain calm. It is hard, but your cat can feel uncomfortable around you if you are agitated.
- Do not induce vomiting; this is unsafe and can be harmful to your cat’s health.
- Call a veterinarian immediately. If it is possible, go to a pet’s hospital. When you arrive, your cat’s vet will do some studies and explain what they may need to do.
- Depending on what essential oil your cat ingests or gets rubbed, the treatment and medications will differ. So, do not self-medicate your pet.
- If you cannot contact your cat’s vet, call an emergency pet hospital that works 24/7.
What You Should Do If You Want To Use Essential Oils Daily
In order to use essential oils in your house, please do some research first. Furthermore, keep in mind that cats and human bodies do not work in the same way, and you should not assume that your cat will be fine if the essential oil does not do anything to you.
If you have cats but want to use essential oils, try diffusing with the ones that are not toxic for your cat. Another piece of advice is to open all the windows and do it in a room far away from your feline pet. Last but not least, you can do it when your cat is sleeping. If your cat is awake, they can smell the essential oil and follow you to your room because they may be curious about the smell.
As has been observed, if you want to use essential oils around your cat, you need to be extremely cautious. After reading this, keep every toxic oil out of your cat’s way. Remember, your cat’s health is the top priority, and you can use other alternatives to essential oils. In addition, if your cat gets involved in a dangerous situation with these products, you can always save them if you can quickly identify the problem. Last but not least, take precautions against poisoning and skin problems by storing these oils in a safe place.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.