Category Archives: Feline Care

Essential Oils and Cats: What You Need to Know

When it comes to using essential oils, whether it is for yourself or your pets, the quality of the oil is very important. Safe essential oils are unadulterated, genuine, and pure. Many oils are marketed as “organic” “natural” or even “certified pure” – but you still need to be careful of the oils you choose, as there is no oversight for essential oils. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA like some medications are. The brand of essential oils we recommend using is Young Living, as we know that these are high-quality pure oils that are very safe to use for yourself and your pets. The Doterra brand oils are high-quality that are safe to use as well.

For cats in particular, you need to be careful about what oils you use on them or expose them to because cats do not metabolize things the same way as dogs (or humans). A cat’s liver is different, as it lacks the P450 cytochrome metabolic pathway. This means that the liver in cats cannot break down or metabolize certain drugs, medications, and even some essential oils.

If you are interested in using essential oils for your cat, you should do so only as directed and/or supervised by your veterinarian. In general, the essential oils you should AVOID using with your cat include oils that are high in salicylates or phenols, such as:

  • Basil
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Clove
  • Laurus Nobilis
  • Melaleuca Quinquenervia
  • Mountain Savory
  • Oregano
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen

A few common essential oils that are SAFE to use for your cat include lavender, copaiba, helichrysum, and frankincense.

If you diffuse oils in your home, it should not cause a problem for your cat, as oil used in a diffuser is highly diluted (versus direct topical application or dietary supplementation). However, you should never leave your cat confined to a space where oils are being diffused. Always make sure that the cat can leave the room to get away from the diffuser. If you have any questions or concerns about using an essential oil for your cat or diffusing in your home around your cat, please consult your veterinarian.

Stay tuned for another post coming soon: Essential Oils for your Dog!