Is It Safe to Diffuse Essential Oils around Cats

By Jessica Fuller / November 24, 2016
Is It Safe to Diffuse Essential Oils around Cats

I’m always preaching about essential oils and blogging about the various wellness and health benefits to diffusing oils. Is it safe to diffuse essential oils around cats in your home however?

There are some safety issues to be aware of. Combined with some common sense and using oils safely, you can diffuse some oils around the home without upsetting or harming your cat.

Essential Oil Compounds That Are Poisonous to Cats

Not all essential oils are poisonous to cats, only some are. There are two compounds found in some oils that are poisonous to cats, these are:

  • Phenol
  • Monoterpene Hydrocarbons

Oils containing either of these should not be diffused or used around cats. Oils like thyme, oregano, and cinnamon, for example are very high in phenols and should be avoided.

It’s not always clear cut which oils have monoterpene hydrocarbons in them. This is the reason why citrus oils in particular are toxic to cats, along with other oils like pine, fir, and some other earthy oils.

If you’re in doubt about a certain oil always check the ingredients as thoroughly as possible.

List of Essential Oils Toxic to Cats

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are literally hundreds of essential oils and not all have scientific studies behind them to confirm if they are safe around cats or not.

The following list is toxic however, so avoid using these oils around cats. I can’t stress enough that you should check any other oils you have been using, or intend to use.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Pine
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Cypress
  • Tangerine
  • Mandarine
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea Tree
  • Grapefruit
  • Mustard
  • Wintergreen
  • Bergamot
  • Fir
  • Garlic
  • Tansy
  • Camphor
  • Juniper

Essential Oils Safe for Cats Fleas

I covered essential oils for fleas on dogs, cats, and other pets. Citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood are three of the best oils for this purpose.

You can kill and prevent fleas with essential oils. Never apply oils directly onto your cat’s skin. Cat’s have very sensitive skin and this can potentially cause a very painful reaction.

Is Lemongrass Oil Safe for Cats?

Lemongrass is safe to use around cats, yes. Lemongrass is very effective at helping to kill off fleas, so if your cat doesn’t mind the smell too much you can use a little of this oil around them.

Never let them ingest it however as it’s potentially fatal.

Is Eucalyptus Oil Poisonous to Cats?

Eucalyptus oil is toxic to cats and should not be diffused or used around them at all. Eucalyptus is great for helping us with sinus issues and getting over colds, so it’s common to have some around the house.

Keep the bottle well out of the reach of your cats and use the oil in a separate room. Cats are very sensitive to smells and eucalyptus has a really strong aroma.

Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning in Cats

I hope this never becomes an issue, but in worst case scenario that you have been using oils that are toxic unaware of the dangers you should know the symptoms this causes.

Because cats cannot metabolize the harmful properties in the toxic oils it leads to liver damage. Symptoms will include dizziness, vomiting, poor balance, not eating, and visible signs that your cat is very unwell.

Take your cat to your vet right away if you even suspect it may have been exposed to toxic oils and is showing the slightest of effects. Take the essential oil bottles with you to show the vet too if possible.

About the author

Jessica Fuller

I started studying and experimenting with alternative medicine, different massage techniques, and alternative therapies after graduating. I also love travelling and writing, so I found a way to combine all my loves - blogging!

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