Important Information About Essential Oils And Cats
Many of us use essential oils for a variety of reasons. You may even have a diffuser to diffuse the oils throughout your home. However, if you have pets – particularly cats – you might want to rethink your use of essential oils. Certain oils can be extremely dangerous for cats, and in some circumstances, can even be fatal.
Reddit user BPDprisoner posted a photo of their cat hooked up to oxygen and with an IV at the vet’s office. They captioned the photo, “Essential oils are toxic to cats. I didn’t know this and got a diffuser for my apartment. This was the result – I came home to my kitten being limp and barely breathing. Big thanks to Terra Nova vet Dr. Chaudry who saved my baby’s life. DO NOT USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR HOME IF YOU HAVE CATS!!!!”
So, what is it about essential oils that are so dangerous for cats? According to Pet Poison Helpline, “Essential oils can pose a toxic risk to household pets, especially to cats. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (i.e. 100%), the greater the risk to the cat.”
Pet Poison Helpline continues, “Essential oils that are known to cause poisoning in cats include oil of wintergreen, oil of sweet birch, citrus oil (d-limonene), pine oils, Ylang Ylang oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. Symptoms that develop depend on the type of oil involved in the exposure and can include drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temperature, and liver failure.”
Although dogs seem to be slightly less sensitive to essential oils than cats, you should limit your dog’s exposure to essential oils to the best of your ability. Pet Poison Helpline explains that the most common oil toxicities to dogs are Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil, Pennyroyal, Oil of Wintergreen, and Pine Oils. Many people believe that just because a product is natural means that it’s safe. However, pets are extremely sensitive to many oils, and they should never be used as a natural treatment on an animal.
Now that you know this important information about essential oils, please share with your friends and family members who have pets. It’s our responsibility to keep our pets safe, so be sure to do your research and ensure your pets are not exposed to essential oils.