Are Essential Oils Safe for Cats?

Now that essential oils are so popular, we get a lot of questions about what essential oils will kill cats. And it’s a pretty good question because cats are very sensitive to essential oils and can sometimes even be poisoned by the scent in the air due to their ultra-sensitive olfactory system. This fact should be enough to make you think twice before using an essential oil around your cat.

Essential Oils Killed My Cat

“I am a newbie to essential oils and I used them in my diffuser at night. I had the diffuser in my bedroom with the door closed. My cat slept on my bed with me. After a few nights, she began having seizures and had horrible diarrhea. The vet thought it might be an infection and started her on antibiotics. She also had an MRI done to determine if she had any brain damage. I was devastated!”

“I was unsure of what to do with the oils, and because I’d been following the instructions on the bottles, I assumed they were safe. So I rubbed them on his ear tips and paws, which were red and irritated from scratching. He seemed to like it at first, but then he stopped purring and began licking his lips nervously. I picked him up and examined his eyes for dilated pupils or other signs of toxicity, but the problem was too subtle to see.

Later that night, my husband and I heard a strange noise in our bedroom. We turned on the light and saw our cat sprawled out with wide-open pupils. He wasn’t moving at all.

I later found out that the oils had overloaded my cat’s liver, causing him to have seizures. He died within two days, despite receiving emergency care at a pet hospital.”

Essential oils killed my cat?

It’s not common for essential oils to kill cats, but it is possible if they are ingested or if they are used in a way that is harmful to the cat. It’s important to use essential oils carefully and to keep them out of reach of pets.

The essential oils that have been known to kill cats are those that are very strong and those with the greatest chance of triggering an adverse reaction. Some of the most powerful and deadly of all the essential oils, as well as some of the ones most likely to cause problems, include:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Wintergreen
  • Citrus oils
  • Sweet birch
  • Ylang ylang

The safest rule of thumb is this: do not use any essential oils on your cat unless you have consulted with your veterinarian first.

Cats are at risk of exposure when they come in contact with diffusers, spray mists, cleaners, or scented products that contain essential oils. In some cases, cats have even gotten sick from walking across surfaces where essential oils were used. In other cases, the oils have been placed directly on cats either intentionally or accidentally.

The majority of cats who ingest essential oils will develop gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inhaling essential oils can cause sneezing, coughing, congestion, and wheezing in cats. Ingestion of essential oil can also lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure, central nervous system depression, and even liver or kidney failure.

If you know your cat has ingested essential oil or has gotten it on his skin or in his eyes, call your veterinarian immediately and follow any instructions given.

What essential oils are ok to use around cats?

It’s generally not recommended to use essential oils around cats. Even if an essential oil is considered safe for cats, it’s important to use it with caution and to consult with a veterinarian before using it around your cat.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid using essential oils around cats altogether.

Can cats recover from essential oil poisoning?

It’s possible for a cat to recover from essential oil poisoning if it is treated promptly and effectively. However, the severity of the poisoning and the amount of essential oil that the cat has ingested will determine the likelihood of recovery.

In some cases, the poisoning may be severe enough to cause permanent damage or even death. If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned by essential oils, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately. The veterinarian will be able to provide treatment and support to help your cat recover.

How much essential oil is toxic to cats?

The amount of essential oil that is toxic to cats can vary depending on the type of oil and the size of the cat. In general, even a small amount of essential oil can be harmful to cats. For example, ingesting just a few drops of tea tree oil can be toxic to a cat.

How quickly does poisoning show in cats?

The symptoms of poisoning in cats can vary depending on the type and amount of the substance that they have ingested.

In some cases, the symptoms of poisoning may appear within a few hours, while in other cases it may take several days for the symptoms to appear.

If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. The veterinarian will be able to provide treatment and support to help your cat recover.

How do you detox a cat from poisoning?

If your cat has been poisoned, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

In some cases, the veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove the substance from the cat’s stomach. In other cases, they may administer medication or fluids to help neutralize the poison and prevent it from causing further harm.

It’s important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and to bring your cat to the clinic for any necessary follow-up care.

How can I treat my cat for poisoning at home?

Trying to treat your cat for poisoning at home can be dangerous and may even cause more harm.

The veterinarian will be able to provide treatment and support to help your cat recover from the poisoning. They will have access to medications and other treatments that are specifically designed to help cats recover from poisoning.

In some cases, inducing vomiting at home can be dangerous and should only be done under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Conclusion of essential oils for cats

Using essential oils around cats can be dangerous and even deadly for these beloved pets. Many commonly used oils, such as tea tree and peppermint, can be toxic to cats if ingested or if they come into contact with the cat’s skin.

It’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid using essential oils around cats altogether to keep them safe and healthy.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Cats?
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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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