So are essential oils safe for cats ?. And if they are not what essential oils are safe for cats ?
I see many cat owners putting forth questions like that. And there is a certain concern in their voice. Because once they adopt a pet.
It doesn’t matter whether its a cat, dog or parrot. You suddenly are responsible towards them like your own kids.
And that’s beautiful. That is how it should be. So in this post let’s step by step resolve this query cat owners tend to have in a purely scientific way.
I will keep things as simple as possible so that every single one of you whether you are a new cat parent or an experienced one, will find it easy to follow.
So first things first.
What Are Essential Oils & Why The Question Whether Essential Oils Are Safe For Cats ?
Essential oils are organic extracts from plants that provide fragrance and taste. They are obtained from plants via a process called distillation and cold pressing.
Essential oils nowadays are increasingly used in applications such as aroma-therapies, creating anti bacterial environment, flavoring, natural remedies and to create a fragrant living space.
But as it happens essential oils when used consciously are very effective tools of healthy living, but at the same time they can pose a toxic risk towards pets especially so for cats.
So that is the reason why cat owners often ask are essential oils are safe for cats and what essential oils can they safely use around cats ?.
What Makes Essential Oils Unsafe For Cats ?
Cats anatomy has a stark difference in terms of chemical composition with respect to other animals in the sense that they are deficient in glucuronyl transferease.
This enzyme is responsible for breaking down phenol. Phenol is an organic compound present is drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and tylenol.
This compound has large proportions in most essential oils in the form of carbolic acid making them unsafe for pets around it.
Symptoms When A Cat Is Subjected To Unsafe Essential Oil
Now there are more than one way in which you cat may come in contact with an essential oil depending on how you diffuse it.
For example, the essential oil may come in direct contact with the cat’s body when the oil is diffused in a diffuser.
Or maybe the diffuser gets tipped over in the vicinity of your cat and she somehow licks it. But most of the time the problems generated within a cat will be a result of respiratory inhalation causing respiratory irritation.
Inhalation of strong essence of these phenol based essential oils can cause cats to develop burning sensation in the respiratory tract, watery eyes and nose, nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties.
How will you recognize whether your cat is affected by essential oils ?.
The symptoms that we just discussed will express themselves as labored breathing, panting, coughing and or wheezing.
Continuous coughing may be misunderstood by cat owners as cat coughing up a hairball but in this case cat may crouch down to the ground with no back body movement which is typical of vomiting.
Which Essential Oils Are Safe For Cats ?
Human system is capable of breaking down phenol and other compounds associated with it like carbonic acid.
Although the essential oils are put to use in a very diluted form (1%), and may form a part of our healthcare routine.
We need to be mindful the the anatomy of our beloved cats aren’t evolved to accept these chemicals the way we can.
One such mindful step is being aware what essential oils are safe for cats.
So here goes.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil can be very effectively used as a flea repellent for cats. In order to use the rosemary as a flea repellent, boil some water with a twig of rosemary or rosemary essential oil.
Then add cold water to the boiled water and dilute it so that the combination is at a nice balanced temperature for the cat.
Use this water to bathe your cat or allow your cat to sit in the tub full of this mixture for 5 to 10 minutes.
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood essential oil is a phenol free essential oil. And therefore is one of the essential oils safe for cats.
Having said that there are different manufacturers that make cedarwood essential oils. And as such some of them may include phenol or other alcohol content on a subjective basis.
I recommend using essential oils from plant therapy.
But always keep a look into what are the ingredients that go into making these oils to ensure that these essential oils are safe for cats.
Lemongrass Essential Oils
Although lemongrass essential oils are pretty safe to be used around cats, it must be understood that it must not be used in the vicinity of your cat for them to ingest it accidentally.
Lemon grass oil is found as a hydro-sol formed by the steam distillation of plant matter.
- Have You ever Wondered Why Do Cats Purr ?. No need to wander anymore.
A Word Of Caution For Using Essential Oils Around Cats
While the above mentioned essential oils are safe for cats one must also be conscious in using essential oils around cats.
When I say conscious I mean in proper quantities and ensuring you are not using it in erroneous or excess proportions.
Though, essential oils come in form of concentrated essence and are always deployed in diluted form using them in proper moderation is essential to maintain a safe environment around cats.
Now I mentioned a point at the very start of this post that we do not know when these pets that can’t even speak become our family members.
And as such what may feel pleasant to our sense organs may not have the same effect on our pets.
When compared with artificial fragrances and air fresheners essential oils are arguably safe for cats.
But it is always wise to keep a room completely fragrance free for the cats to retreat and rest into.
Recommended Read For Your Taste : Why Do Cats Knead ?
List Of Essential Oils Unsafe For Cats
In our previous posts on how to choose the best scratching post for cats, I pointed out how cats have evolved from a wild environment to our households.
Now the idea is to train our cats the way we want them to behave in a non-suppressive manner. This is done by allowing her to express her wild nature in the domesticated environment by giving her proper toys and something like a nice scratching post.
All of this is and making sure that we use the right essential oils around cats are our responsible acts towards our babies on four paws.
Now then the essential oils I am going to list down below are traditionally used for therapeutic and relaxation purposes by human beings.
Our cats subjected to an environment of these essential oils can be very toxic.
These are the essential oils unsafe for cats.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Pennyroyal Oil
- Sweet Birch Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Wintergreen Oil
- Clove Oil
- Thyme Oil
- Oregano Oil
- Cinnamon Oil
Alright my lovely cat parents and cat lovers. That was it as far as discussion on what are the essential oils safe for cats.
Before concluding this post I once again would like to point out the importance of awareness while existing around our pets.
All of the information that I have given here is thoroughly researched and presented in a friendly form for you to understand it better.
Yet the best tool that you have to make sure your pets live and thrive in your presence is your conscious responsibility towards them which I am sure you are full of.
Take care of yourselves and I will see you in the next one.
Namaskaram 🙂 _/\_