Essential oils for Cats
IMPORTANT: Cats have very different safety guidelines than other animals when it comes to essential oils. Cats do not process oils the same as dogs, horses, goats, etc. and so they require more caution, more dilution and many oils should be avoided completely.
(Read about using oils on dogs HERE)
Here are the basics about cats and essential oils from Dr. Janet Roark, “The Essential Oil Vet“, a veternarian on our team:
- Cats lack an enzyme called glucuronyl transferase. This is important for the Cytochrome p450 liver metabolism pathway. This makes cats very susceptible to ALL kinds of toxicity, including plant, NSAIDS (like aspirin, ibuprofen and Tylenol), chocolate and caffeine (methylxanthines), lead, zinc, and many, many types of pesticides.
- It’s not a good idea to use oils topically or internally on your cat every single day. Only use as needed, always diluted and sparingly.
There are A LOT of fake oils being sold. Please do not EVER use these around or on your cats. Do not use oils sold at the local store (Walmart, Best Buy, even the health food store) or on amazon. Many, many of these have been tested and shown to be 100% synthetic which is so dangerous for your cat.
I can only recommend doTERRA because I know they have more stringent testing and purity/quality checks than any other company. You must purchase through a wellness advocate (not amazon) to know you are getting genuine doTERRA oils. Every single batch is tested by a 3rd party lab and they do more testing than any other company. The cheap oils being sold are not only not being tested but most are completely synthetic or fake. Please only use doTERRA oils and use them carefully and conservatively with your sweet kitties.
Essential oils to avoid with cats:
Oils high in phenols and eugenols for direct application (topical or internal) such as:
- Oils high in d-limonene which includes all Citrus oils: Lemon, Wild Orange, Tangerine, Mandarin, Citrus bliss blend, Grapefruit, Lime, Bergamot
Essential oils to use caution with for cats:
Remember: Topical use should be the exception and oils should be well diluted, like for a newborn
- Roman Chamomile
Essential oils safe for cats:
- Balance blend – doTERRA
- Eucalyptus (diffused only)
- Juniper Berry
Photo credit: Dogoiler.com
Is it safe to diffuse oils around cats?
Yes! Just make sure your kitty can leave the room if they don’t like it. Never lock a cat in a room with a diffuser, always make sure they have a way out.
The most important things to know about essential oils and cats:
- Quality Matters – only use top-grade, thoroughly-tested oils like doTERRA
- Don’t give oils to cats topically or internally *every* day
- Always dilute oils very well.
- When in doubt, ask your vet
- Follow Dr Roark “The Essential Oil Vet” on Facebook for more great tips
Essential oils safe to use on cats when properly diluted:
- Oils such as doTERRA’s Balance blend or Lavender are effective for calming when diffused
- It is NOT typically recommend to use oils topically on cats.
- For calming, diffusing is very effective or you can put a tiny amount of diluted oil on their collar.
- Do not give your cats any essential oil internally
From Dr. Tisserand, essential oil safety expert:
I certainly don’t advocate dousing your cat in large quantities of neat essential oils – ever. And cats are quite susceptible to toxicity from nutmeg oil and tea tree oil. But, a small amount of any (pure) essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat. (source)
Can you use oils on cats for fleas? “We really don’t know what would be a toxic concentration to fleas, while being nontoxic to cats…”
As a general guideline, Tisserand believes that the occasional use of essential oils totaling no more than 1% of the product is generally safe for cats. (source)
- Only use pure, tested, therapeutic grade oils like doTERRA
- Always dilute heavily for cats – no more than 1% (1 drop per Tablespoon of carrier)
- Do not apply essential oils on your cat every day
- When diffusing make sure your cat is able to leave the room if its too much for them
- Not all oils are unsafe for cats, watch your cat carefully when using oils. Watch for strange behavior or lethargy.
- Discontinue diffusing if your cat is sneezing or acting sick.
I hope this helps you to feel comfortable diffusing around your cats!
Still worried?? Here is another article from a vet who will put your mind at ease
*Please note that I am not qualified to give medical advice. If you need specific help with a pet who has a serious health issue you can schedule a consult with Dr Janet Roark, a veterinarian on our team here: Schedule a Consult
Have questions? Need help deciding whats best for you?
Email me [email protected] and I’ll be in touch very soon. Happy oiling! I look forward to working with you!