Cats And Essential Oils

Are Essential Oils Safe

Essential Oils

Essential oils are nothing new. The Ancient Egyptians invented the distillation methods and observed the medical benefits of essential oils. The Chinese, Indians as well as the Greeks and Romans had knowledge of essential oils.

Essential oils are botanical extracts of different plant materials such as flowers, leaves roots bark or stems. The word oil implies an oily substance, but in fact most essential oils are not oily at all. A lot of essential oils are clear while some oils are amber or yellow. It must be noted that essential oils are not perfumes, but are highly concentrated true essence of the plant it was taken from.

When your cat or your dog inhales the fragrance of the essential oil the molecules of the fragrance is taken in to the limbic system of the pets brain. The oil works there to promote calmness, mental happiness and general well-being.



They have to be used properly and correctly. An interest in natural medicine for people have also promoted an interest in natural cures for your pets. What this means is that cats and dogs, birds are susceptible to the missuses of essential oils. The reasoning that natural cures are harmless it should be emphasized that not everything in natures is complimentary and safe. Remember our list of poisonous houseplants that look and smell nice but are deadly to our pets. When one considers a cats small size and unique physiology its may not be obvious that essential oil treatments might do more harm than good.


Essential oils are processed through the liver. There is an enzyme called glucuronyltransferase and cats lack this liver enzyme. Because of this it is not recommended applying essential oils directly to the cats or use diffusers in the home. It may be noted that while your cat may not exhibit any symptoms of poisoning the effects of exposure can be cumulative. Cats should not be trapped in a room where diffusers are being used.

Therefore, all essential oils can present problems for your pets. Products high in 1,8-cineole, camphor, pinene, limonene, methyl salicylate, ketones, and phenols are especially dangerous. These include, but are not limited to, bergamot, camphor, clementine, clove, eucalyptus, fir, most species of frankincense, grapefruit, juniper, lavender (spike), lavandin, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange (including bitter, blood and sweet varieties), oregano, peppermint, pine, rosemary, sage, spearmint, spruce, tangerine, tea tree, thyme and yarrow. This list comes from an article on essential oils and should not be considered complete and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. The point here is if you are considering using essential oils in your home or on your pets it would be wise to CONSULT YOUR VETRENARIAN first. Any house bound pet must be considered when introducing essential oils to your home.

Observable signs of essential oil poisoning will be depression, weakness, muscle tremors as well as in coordination. Other symptoms may be breathing problems, vomiting, drooling or looking like they are trying to bring up a hair ball.

Today’s post on Essential Oils came about from a book I bought on these oils for your pets. As a skeptical layman I did more research and at that point began to wonder exactly what to do. I wanted to calm my new arrivals and calm down the established cats. I have come to the conclusion that with the proper veterinarian consultation some products are usable. While this post is directed to cat lovers, dogs, birds and reptiles can be equally at risk. We must educate ourselves to make the best decisions possible. In closing all the advice in the world does not over rule the advice from your vet.

That’s my story for today. If you have any questions or concerns please leave a comment below. Afterwards take a moment and have a look at my Cat Care products page.

Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.










2 thoughts on “Cats And Essential Oils”

  1. Interesting article! Does the no application or diffusing apply to dogs as well? My mother in laws dog is very sick with a viral infection – pneumonia she was told, so I have been looking up some ways that essential oils may help this issue..

    1. Hello Anna. Thank you for reading this article. From my layman understanding application of Essential Oils on dogs needs to used with the same caution as with cats. It is my understanding that Veterinarians use essential oils. I would think that a vet consultation would be the best advice to consider.

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