Cats and Essential Oils
There has been a Facebook post circulating this week that has raised concerns with pets owners. In the post, a cat owner shares that her beloved feline has fallen ill and the owner attributes the sickness to the cat’s exposure to an oil diffuser that was being used in her bedroom. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to this animal lover. It is a difficult thing to watch your furry friend struggling and I wish a speedy recovery for her cat.
Kudos to the many pet owners who, in light of this post, have started to educate themselves. My concern is (you may want to sit down for this) not all of the information on the internet is true.
I know your mind is reeling right now from that statement… have you recovered? Yes? Okay, let’s clear up a few things about oils and animals.
Essential oils can be an incredibly effective way to promote health and wellness for animals. Dogs, horses, cats, and even fish have been proven to respond positively to the use of oils. When beginning to use essential oils on any animal, be sure to do your homework. Cats in particular have a unique metabolism and require special consideration. According to The Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference, “One of the main considerations when choosing an oil or oils for cats is the way the feline liver processes certain constituents of essential oils.” Oils that can be difficult for felines to process due to presence of salicylate and/or phenols are: Wintergreen, Basil, Clove, Oregano, Melaleuca Quinquenervia, Thyme, Mountain Savory, Tea Tree, Laurus Nobilis, and Cinnamon Bark. These specific oils, “should generally be avoided or used with caution.” These oils should not be applied to your feline fur baby and you should be cautious when using them in the immediate vicinity of Fluffy. That being said, many essential oil enthusiasts, myself included, use oils regularly with, on, and around cats and other pets. In fact, I will be hosting an Essential Oils for Horses online class for all of you in a few weeks and another class on Essential Oils for Household Pets at the end of next month. Stay Tuned!
In the meantime, some common sense steps for using essential oils safety around all household pets include:
1. The single most important thing when using essential oils on yourself or your pets is: Use only high quality, pure essential oils. Essential oils have become very popular and many companies have jumped onto the EO bandwagon. The trouble is, many oils that can be found in the store and on Amazon contain synthetics and fillers that can be toxic to both animals and humans. Not all oils are the same! Even oils that are labeled “100% pure” or “certified therapeutic” may contain harmful compounds because essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. To ensure that you are using the highest quality essential oils, I highly recommend Young Living. The quality control procedures that this company adheres to are insanely stringent and they have a “Seed to Seal” promise that’ll knock your socks off. Maybe not literally knock your socks off, but you will be impressed! If you use cheap oils, you are jeopardizing your health!
2. When diffusing, do not confine pets. Allow animals to move to a room or area of the house away from the diffuser. This is may seem like common sense, but if you plan on diffusing essential oils in your closed bedroom, make sure to provide Fluffy an escape route.
3. When in doubt, seek answers from a reputable source!
Below are a couple of resources that you may find helpful and be sure to join our upcoming oils and animals classes!