Can I use Essential Oils for Cats?

Essential oils for cats is a highly controversial topic but it really is an argument that boils down to the quality of the oil. I can assure you that 90% of the oils I recommend and sell on this site have been used for cats on a daily basis.

But besides the fact that therapeutic grade oils must be used there are other precautions that can be taken to assure that your feline can use the oils safely. Dr. Melissa Shelton, DVM, a holistic veterinarian has used Essential Oils for over 6 years in her practice safely and effectively. Her book documents the uses of oils for animals. So, please purchase it and read it if you have concerns.

Unfortunately, I can not stand behind other oils for essential oils for cats. Please do not use anything on your cat but therapeutic grade oils that are backed by a vet!

Why are Cats sensitive to Synthetic Products?

Cats are sensitive to most synthetically made products and "natural products" as well as some essential oils. Even if we don't know about it!

I say that because a lot of us have sensitivities to food, household cleaners and, hair and skin products. But we don't recognize it because most of us are just not that tuned into our bodies and our environment. Often times, we only recognize a change, when we stop using a product or eating a particular food item!

Seriously, where is your pet when you bomb the house full of synthetic air fresheners, household cleaners or carpet cleaner?

They are right there with us breathing it in and taking it in! Honestly, this is not good for us and NOT good for our pets. Toxicity is a huge problem with us and OUR PETS! They are half our size or less, yet their bodies have to tolerate a huge amount of man made toxicity.

I seriously believe that many of the health problems we are having along with our pets is a toxicity issue. But there is something we can do about it!

Make a commitment to using green cleaning supplies and diffusing healthy essential oils in our home and work place for ourselves and our pets. Notice, I don't say natural, because natural these days pretty much means anything goes! So, check what you are putting on your animal and make sure it's not hurting them rather than helping them! This includes SHAMPOO!

So what else can we do for our Animals?

Essential oils are a perfect solution for us and our animals. Use essential oils for cats, dogs, horses and any other living creature. There are certain oils that we can not use on certain animals, cats included, so please do be careful and learn the ins and outs.

Why can't we use certain oils on Cats?

Cats metabolize and excrete things very differently than the rest of the animal family. The reason behind this is the cats liver. It does not have the liver enzymes to break down certain chemical as effectively as the rest of us, and sometimes it can't do it at all!

So what Happens?

When the liver (and the body) does not recognize a substance, as with most synthetic compounds, it immediately stores it somewhere until it can figure out what to do with it! This leads to toxicity and extreme imbalances of the body.

For cats it can be a slow build up over time and toxicity may led to illness, or it can be so quick that it leads to death, so please be cautious. By the way, while humans and other animals do not have to be this cautious, the toxicity issues result in the same problems!

Animals can not tell us what they are feeling and they are constantly bombarded with our lifestyle choices. So we must learn to look for and recognize the signs and symptoms of toxicity in our animals!

What are the signs of Toxicity?

Here are some common signs -

  • There is a change in their sleeping or eating habits
  • Behavioral changes such as lethargy, lack of energy, or not wanting to be play
  • Digestive imbalances such as vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, or
  • Confusion and light headed.

There are several more as well. My dog, Lexie, has a hard time going up the stairs and doesn't really want to eat when she had something that didn't agree with her.

What else is different about Cats?

Cats seem to have a disregard for strong odors and definitely have thin skin. So again, when you are diffusing oils in your home, remember your pets. Also make sure you use the oil correctly and with high dilution.

So What Supports the Cat's Metabolism?

Supporting the cat with Ninxgia Red Wolfberry Antioxidant Drink and/or Digestive Enzymes is the best way to ensure that your cat can metabolize essential oils. This is not always necessary for most young or healthy cats, but it does help any cat so therefore it is recommended.

What Essential Oils for Cats can we Use?

First, let's start with the essential oils for cats that we should use with caution. Meaning make sure these oils are diluted; and if you have a cat with liver issues, choose an oil that has similar properties that does not challenge the liver to such an extent.

Cats are particularly sensitive to a group of oxygenated compounds called ketones and phenols, and some monoterpenes. It is the thujone content in ketones and carvacal in phenols that seem to create most of the problems when not used with enzymes. Carvacrol is a byproduct of d-limonene which is found in all citrus fruits and in many tree oils.

Examples of essential oils for Cats that should should be used with caution meaning highly diluted are shown below. I say cautiously because all of single oils are fine when used in a professionally made therapeutic blends or supplements (more below); and when used correctly!

And just as with humans, each animal's chemistry and blood type is different so the response is different!

Examples of Phenols – Wintergreen, Anise, Birch, Clove, Basil, Tarragon, Fennel, Oregano, Thyme, Mountain Savory, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Calamus, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus citriodora, Parsley, Ylang Ylang. These all contain greater than 8% phenols.

Please note that I have performed Raindrop Technique on cats which include many of these oils---so there are many factors to evaluate when using essential oils for cats.

Examples of Ketones – Western Red Cedar, Idaho Tansy, Marigold, Spearmint, Thuja, Hyssop, Davana, Sage, Dill, Yarrow, Peppermint. All these oils contain greater than 20% ketones.

Example of Oils containing D-Limonene - Grapefruit, Bitter Orange, Orange, Tangerine, Mandarin, Lemon, Celery Seed, Lime, Bergamot, Angelica, Dill, Neroli, Blue Tansy, Citronella and Nutmeg.

Examples of Oils containing Alpha-pinene – Cypress, Cistus, Pine, Douglas fir, Juniper, Myrtle, Rosemary Verbenon, Silver Fir, Angelica, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus, Dill, Spruce. These are all monoterpenes that have alpha-pinene concentrations greater than 15%.

Here is a list of single oils that I use infrequently or not at all with cats in particular: Black Pepper, Cardamon, Carrot Seed, Celery Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clove, Galbanum, Ginger, Juniper, Melaleuca species (use with extreme caution and monitor cat), Palmarosa, Petitgrain and Western Red Cedar.

Once again, any blends that contain these oils I do use. When not sure, dilute well up to 80% and go slow. :)

I did not give you that list to scare you, but to provide you with more information. When we have good information it is easier for us to make better choices for our self as well as our pet.

What Essential Oils for Cats can we definitely Use?

Here are the essential oils for cats that are very safe for cat use. Here is my top 5 list:

And many more!

Can I use any Kind of Essential Oil for Cats?

Essential oils for cats need to be therapeutic grade essential oils. This is extremely important!

Most of the problems associated with essential oils whether they are for human or animal use stem from the fact that people use perfume quality oils in the same way that they use therapeutic grade oils. These are totally different and cause more harm than good! Particularly with cats!

For instance, there are many people who I know that use Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Eucalyptus oils routinely on their cat and have no problems. But it is cited in most aromatherapy books not to use these essential oils for cats. And they give examples of where the cat is rushed to the vet!

Did you know that there are many veterinarians who recommend the professionally made blends on this website? Yes, they are used routinely in their practice and they contain many of the oils that are not for use on cats. One example is Peace & Calming blend which contains several different citrus oils. 

If your animal has a serious medical condition or if you are not sure about applying any essential oil to your animal please consult your vet. There are holistic vets who routinely use essential oils in their practice with great success!

What is the Difference in Essential oils for Cats?

It is the quality of the oil. If the oil is adulterated which means cut with synthetics, of course your animal is going to have a reaction! I'm not saying that certain oils should not be used, but this should be the first factor when deciding to use an essential oil or not.

How do I use Essential Oils for Cats?

Essential oils for cats should be highly diluted with a high grade pure vegetable oil. Dilute essential oils for cats (and all other smaller animals) at least 50:1 (fifty drops of dilution oil to one drop of essential oil). Dr. Mary Hess, DVM, recommends that Peace & Calming be diluted at 80-90% for felines.

Place a drop of the diluted oil on your hands and pet your cat gently ears to tail.

Diffusing oils is a great way to use essential oils for cats. Lastly, you could place a few drops in a sprayer with some water, shake it up and gently mist--but most cats usually don't like this method of application.

I heard of using Hydrosols, can I Use them? What are they?

Hydrosols are the water based byproduct of the essential oil distillation. They are also called hydrolats or floral waters. They are perfectly safe to use for cats. But again, just like with essential oils, it is NOT the oil or hydrosol; it is the quality or source of the essential oil!

My cat is Stressed what Oils do I use?

Use either Cedarwood and Lavender oil or a combination of the two. You could also make a spray mist with water and gently spray around your cat.

My cat is Scared to go the Vet or the Groomer, what Oils do I use?

Use Valor for courage and Peace & Calming blend for calming and fear! And don't forget the Animal Scents Shampoo!

These are just a few suggestions on how to use the oils. Browse through the site to select oils or blends for your cat as you would yourself. Remember to follow the instructions on the oils and enjoy a non-toxic way of living for you and your cat!

Animal Scents Essential Oil Care Kit

Is there a Kit Designed for Animals?

Yes there is! The Animal Collection Kit may be a great place to start. Easy and has oils for emotional and physical wellbeing.

Other Animal-People Sections that You can Consult

I hope you enjoyed this section for essential oils for cats. Here are the other sections that are specifically written for cats and essential oils. Please scroll through them as well as the human pages!

Just click on the page and it will tell you what essential oils you can use!

Return from Essential Oils for Cats to Experience Essential Oils

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