///Safe use of essential oils for cats
Safe use of essential oils for cats 2016-12-22T19:41:03+00:00

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Are essential oils safe for cats?

The short answer to that is yes and no.

I have been using essential oils, hydrosols and herbal oils with cats, in my practice of animal aromatherapy since 1997. In this time I have helped many troubled felines to a healthier, happier lifestyle with no harmful side-effects. If you follow a few basic guidelines essential oils and hydrosols can be a safe and effective solution for many common cat problems.

So why the fuss about cats & essential oils?

Essential oils, wrongly used, can kill cats. Cats lack an important detoxification mechanism, known as glucuronidation, which is present in most mammals. This means, to avoid possible fatal toxic shock (at worst) or a build up of toxic metabolites in the body,  you must be very cautious when using essential oils with cats, and completely avoid anything containing phenols.

There have been reports of liver failure in cats after exposure to essential oils. This has always been a cat was forced to interact with the essential oil e.g. using tea tree oil undiluted, or frequent diffusion of essential oils in the home. Despite its widespread use, tea tree oil is not safe for cats.

On the other hand, in a natural environment cats are probably exposed to small quantities of essential oil by rubbing on plants as they walk through them. If just a one whiff of essential oil was going to cause kitty to keel over Felis Catus would not be one of the most successful species on the planet today! If we use nature’s guidance and allow cats the choice to interact with aromatics when and how they like, they will cause no harm.

Hydrosols or essential oils?

All the same, I recommend using hydrolats where possible with cats as they seem to enjoy this gentle, water solution more than essential oils. However, little research has been done at this time about the physiological effects of hydrolats on cats so the same principles must be applied as when using essential oils: high dilutions and free choice.

The best way to use hydrolsols is to put 3-10 drops in a saucer of water near the cat’s usual eating place and allow him to self-medicate by either licking or inhaling. The saucer should be changed daily and fresh drinking water must also be available.

How to use Essential Oils with Cats

The basic guidelines are:

  1. Always allow your cat to choose whether it wants an essential oil, Do Not Use Essential Oil On Cats if they resist in any way!
  2. Essential oils must always be used in very high dilutions (1 drop in 25 ml of carrier oil)
  3. Never put essential oils on a cat’s body
  4. Do not close a cat in a room with essential oils diffusing
  5. Do not use essential oil that contains phenols

To find out if your cat wants or needs a certain essential oil or hydrosol, hold the closed  bottle in your hand at least 6 inches away from your cat’s nose. Be patient and allow the cat to come towards the bottle if it wants to, rather than you going towards the cat. Once you are sure the cat likes the oil (see responses below), dilute one drop in 25 ml (approx. 2 tablespoon) of cold-pressed vegetable oil.

Signs of  interest:  Sniffs the bottle, a small sniff but returns to the bottle, tongue licks quickly, easily distracted from the aromas – Offer diluted oil once a day.

No interest: turns away from the aroma, leaves the room – Do not apply.

Cats are very sensitive to the oils so just a few sniffs is all that is needed to trigger the healing process. Cats are also quite subtle in their response to the oils, and sometimes secretive, so if the cat stays in the room with you when the bottle is open count it as a positive response, even if they are acting nonchalant and indifferent.

If the cat shows signs of wanting to lick the oil (this is very rare) allow it to lick diluted oil from your fingers if it will,  or put a few drops on a saucer and leave it on the floor, but not near its usual eating-place.

In my experience of treating cats they rarely want essential oils put on their skin, usually a few little sniffs is enough to effect a profound change, even in the case of wounds.

The catnip effect

Cats can become overwhelmed by the smell of essential oils, sniffing, licking or attacking their owner manically if the person smells of oils. Cats can also behave as they do with catnip (after all, it is the essential oil in catnip they are responding to) jumping around and having a mad moment or five. This can lead people to believe that their cat really loves essential oil, when, in fact, it is over-stimulating their nervous system, literally driving them crazy.

Energy healing

Cats often ‘hang out’ near closed bottles of essential oil. I have a client who, mindful of the cautions, put her selection of oils inside a bag on top of a wardrobe out of harm’s way…. only to find that her cats had taken to sleeping beside it. Cats are energetically finely tuned and a collection of essential oils is giving off a powerful radiation to which they are naturally attracted, especially if they (or you) need some healing

There is no need to deprive cats of this wonderful tool, just allow your cat to guide you in how to use aromatics, and never think you know better than a cat!
This video shows clearly how a cat can choose its own hydrosol

170 Comments

  1. […] the detoxification mechanism that most other mammals have. Read more here about the best ways to use essential oils with cats or with […]

    • Deb January 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      I’m having a really hard time finding a list of specific EOs which are SAFE to use in a diffuser. NOT specifically *for* cats, just the ones I might enjoy/want and which are safe to use around them. What I’m finding online – the safe lists are few, and the unsafe lists are very long and both lists vary & conflict, as do the safe usage guidelines. It leads me to believe there aren’t too many experts out there yet. While I appreciate the efforts, especially to everyone who have made the possible toxicity known, I have decided to use none. Just not going to risks the health of our cats. 🙂 JMO.

      • Jae April 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

        yep, same! i recently adopted a cat, and recently bought a diffuser. i decided to do some research after randomly stumbling upon the idea that tea tree oil is bad for cats. every site i saw said the same thing about cats not having the enzyme in their liver to break down the oils & they could die from a build up of the toxicity…but each list of the worst EOs were slightly different, with some overlapping. some said frankincense was okay, some said it wasn’t, etc. so, i decided not to use ANY in the diffuser, because i just can’t risk it. i saved this cat and i love her, i am not going to go and send her into organ failure. i decided to buy a couple of organic hydosols from amazon…rose & lavender. i am actually diffusing the rose right now, it smells quite nice. i still am not going to overdo it, especially since the hydrosols aren’t super cheap…like $10/4oz. I’m also dilluting. I think that now that EOs and diffusers are becoming more popular (i saw some on the back of the new bed bath & beyond flier), there should be more research done..and people should spread the news that they should not be diffusing oils in their home if they have cats.

      • Kim January 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

        I too just got a diffuser and I love it, thinking it was the natural answer to using the scentsy products. If you ever come across a ‘safe’ list for cats please post it! I too am super confused as most if the lists contradict each other

    • Tara Kayali August 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      My cat has a couple of UTIs each year. I just find a spot where she urinated outside of the box. Combining her history with what I know as a former registered vet tech I am confident it is another UTI. Are there essential oils you would recommend?

      • Nayana Morag September 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm - Reply

        Hydrosol of thyme or oregano, but NOT essential oil. Dilute a fe drops in 100ml water and let your cat lick or smell it as she likes. Lemon or Geranium essential oil 1 drop in 25ml offered for inhalation only. Look at diet, wet food is better than dry.

    • Tammy January 13, 2018 at 3:46 am - Reply

      Hello all,

      I just found out about lavender oil and cats. I bath in it, I rub it on my feet and defuse it by my bed. All the while my kitty sleeps with me :(. Is the Hydrosol in lavender okay for them? The plant is fine I read. I’m so confused. I also have lotions and bath salts and bath gel in lavender. It helps with my anxiety and now the fact of using lavender at all with my kitty gives me anxiety..Help!

      • Nayana Morag January 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm - Reply

        Honestly Tammy, overuse of any essential oil can cause sensitisation in humans and animals, so I would stick with diffusing it for your anxiety. The lavender in your lotions and bath salts is most likely a fragrance not an essential oil which may be more sensitising than a good quality essential oil, well diluted.

  2. Scepidilionz March 11, 2016 at 2:19 am - Reply

    I got mint massage oil, and applied it after showering, when I left my towel on the chair, I found my cat was licking it! The bottle says it only has soybean oil, and pure essential oils, so I sprayed it lightly on one of her toys. Is that safe??

    • Nayana Morag March 11, 2016 at 9:54 am - Reply

      I wouldn’t risk it. By the time you have showered and applied the oil, the residue on your towel will be mostly soybean oil, once you spray it you will have a higher quantity of essential oil. Probably your cat will avoid the toy if it is too toxic. But cats have a neurological mechanism (the catnip response) which causes them to go a bit crazy around essential oils sometimes. It can look to humans as if the cat is having a great time, but actually they are on neurological overload, stoned out of their heads, in other words!

  3. gayle June 22, 2016 at 6:37 am - Reply

    My cat is 19 and has thyroid issues and arthritis. She takes meds for thyroid and has gotten pain shots once a month for arthritis. I want to use essential oils for her pain like frankincense. Is it safe for her?

    • Nayana Morag June 23, 2016 at 3:06 pm - Reply

      Hi Gayle, you can offer her hydrosols to self select. If you use essential oils and don’t give her any choice you are more than likely to cause serious if not fatal damage.

    • olka April 4, 2017 at 4:55 am - Reply

      dear gayle, you would be much better off giving your can in food glucosamin+chrondroin+MSM about 300ml (or less) daily. Works like a charm

  4. Typical Chick July 7, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    What I need to know and feel like no article has been able to explain is can I simply use essential oils AROUND cats. I don’t want to apply any oils to my cat or diffuse essential oils or present oils to my cat in any way. All I want to know is if I start making my own cleaning solutions with citrus (i.e lemon) essential oils, shampoo with lavender and tea tree oils, laundry detergent with whatever else, will that be ok for my cat if appropriately diluted per typical instructions for creating these items?

    • Nayana Morag July 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Using essential oils around cats is safe if you are sensible, unless your cat has liver problems or is immune compromised. Don’t let them walk across wet floor, or lick water from your shower when you’ve just shampooed (it has been known!) and let them get away from any smell they don’t like. If you see a “cat nip” type reaction, know that your cats nervous system is overwhelmed and remove him from the area. Hope this helps

    • Jae April 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      i would not make a spray that you’d be using on counter tops, floors, window sills…because it’ll get on their paws, they would lick it off when they went to clean themselves and could be exposed to the toxic substance. i think that essential oils in your soap, lotion, shampoo, laundry etc would be fine.

  5. Lisa Cummings July 31, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Would like to use EO for treating ringworm in my cats. Both are 10+ yrs old….suggestions? The side effects from the meds the vet would give are possible heart and kidney failure.

    • Nayana Morag August 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      It’s much safer to use hydrosols and just as effective. Mix green clay with either lavender, thyme or similar anti fungal hydrosols. Make the clay into a thin paste and apply to the bald area. Ringworm is a symptom of an immune system under challenge, so look at ways to reduce stress and boost immune function as well.

  6. Laurie Molson August 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    One of our cats has a sinus problem, meds from the vet was only a temporary fix. We were told it’s likely respiratory and he will have it for life. He sneezes a great deal everyday and has discharge when he does sneeze. So I’m wondering if any essential oil can be helpful in treating this. I seen essential oil called sinus relief and wondered… please help!!

    • Nayana Morag August 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      First of all I would investigate causes. One of the most common causes of respiratory distress for cats is plug in room fresheners, or other synthetic fragrances, such as those found in washing soap and fabric softener. Essential oils are tricky with cats so best advice would be to contact someone qualified in the use of them. MY suggestion is to try Deb Teubert

    • Lorie December 5, 2016 at 1:15 am - Reply

      I also have a cat with the same problems. Tried everything from antibiotics, to prednisone. After a lot of money and vet visits, a friend told me to try L-Lysine…bought powder off Amazon that dissolves easy in food and after a week, No more sneezing and getting covered in snot! Give it a try

    • Mk December 30, 2016 at 2:12 am - Reply

      The Lysine works for many reasons with this but the main one is that the sneezing, respiratory irritation is actually a type of herpes reaction in cats!!! Lysine helps with human herpes reactions and also this respiratory display of a similar virus in cats.

  7. Laurie August 4, 2016 at 2:40 am - Reply

    We adopted the cat from a shelter and he had this condition when we got him. Although, we didn’t know until after we got him home and later noticed he sneezed a lot and then realized his sneezing was not going away. Thanks for your reply and I will look into it further and try Deb Teuber

    • Jodi August 16, 2016 at 5:31 am - Reply

      My kitty has chronic bordatella and used to sneeze all the time, spreading snot everywhere, yuck!! I used to bring her into the bathroom when I showered so she could get a little steam bath, and that helped. But what seems to have made a bigger difference (and is easier) was switching to a silica kitty litter. Now she only sneezes occasionally, and I think it’s less smelly 🙂

  8. Daisy August 6, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I diffuse thieves (young living oil) and breathe (doterra oil) every night in our bedroom to keep us from getting sick and to stop my husband from snoring. Our cat sleeps on our bed with us (we keep the door cracked so she can come and go as she pleases) but i have been reading that the ingredients in Breathe are bad for her liver because of the peppermint and a few other ingredients. Do I need to stop diffusing these oils at night or is it okay because they are diluted in the water? I use 2 drops thieves and 3 drops of breathe in 200ml of water.

    • Nayana Morag August 8, 2016 at 8:10 am - Reply

      There are too many variables to give you a definitive answer, age and health of cat are factors. But most likely, if the cat can leave the room, and there is a source of fresh air in the house, this levels of dilution will probably not harm your cat.

      • Lexy December 19, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

        Hello – i diffuse oils almost every night for about an hour or 2 as i fall asleep. I usually use a combination of lavender, on guard and breath and frankinsense (doterra). Total there is about 5 drops of oils in the water. I just learnt the dangers of oils around cats. My bedroom door is always open so he can come and go. I have noticed extra puking lately, and i believe this is why. I would like to still use a diffuser for my own health, but of course i never want to risk the health of my cat. Any other suggestions? Have i permanently damaged his health? Otherwise hes totally healthy. Thanks

        • Nayana Morag December 23, 2016 at 10:57 am - Reply

          It’s not good for you to diffuse essential oils every night, never mind your cat. If he is puking then don’t use the oils for a while and see if he stops.

    • Karen February 25, 2017 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Hi, Does the Thieves stop the snoring?

      • Nayana Morag February 27, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

        Thieves is not a safe blend for cats

  9. April August 17, 2016 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Is it safe to use a bug repellent blend on kitties?

    • Nayana Morag August 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      That would depend what is in the blend.

  10. Diana August 21, 2016 at 4:32 am - Reply

    Thank you for posting such an informative article. I’ve noticed varying reactions between my cat and my boyfriend’s when I use essential oils. Mine seems just interested in noting the smell, then she goes off and does her own thing. My boyfriend’s cat, on the other hand, is crazy attracted to my Young Living Peppermint Oil. I have stopped her from trying to lick it off me/ my b’s head while he sleeps or from rubbing against anything it’s on a number of times since I read that her body can’t process it. Any ideas why she might be so drawn to it? (It’s not the same way she reacts to catnip – no crazy activity, just an immediate interest that will lead to her running over to where it is regardless of what she was doing before I pulled the oil out). She’s tiny (5 lbs) and older (10 years), so a bit worrisome since my boyfriend isn’t concerned about keeping her away from him when he uses it for headaches. Thoughts?

    • Nayana Morag August 21, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Hi Diana, it may be that she needs the peppermint in some way. In which case I would dilute it 1 drop in 25 ml and let her smell it everyday until she goes off it. Or you could offer her peppermint hydrosol a few drops diluted in water, leave it down where she can get to it as and when she likes.

  11. Chelsea August 22, 2016 at 1:37 am - Reply

    My cat was exposed to several drops of undiluted lavender essential oil. Very pure grade but I’m still concerned. He seems fine. What should I do? Do I need to do anything?

    • Nayana Morag August 22, 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

      No need to panic, if he is fine do nothing. Just keep him completely clear of essential oils for 48 hours. If he seems lethargic or starts throwing up, or any other abnormalities, bring him to a vet and get him on fluids.

  12. Bonnie September 8, 2016 at 2:01 am - Reply

    I always thought that catnip was ok for cats, and that they love it. I grow catnip, and I give it to my cats. After reading all the comments, I am now confused. Do I let my cats have the catnip or not? Some of my cats even eat it when I give it to them. I certainly don’t want to harm my cats! Please get back to me!

    • Nayana Morag September 8, 2016 at 8:05 am - Reply

      The plant catnip is safe for cats, the essential oil is not. It can overload the nervous system.

      • Crystal Wilson September 27, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

        I bought some catnip toys for my cats. I then bought some catnip essential oil thinking I could re-scent the toys. Apparently not, can I dilute the oil with something and then use it on the toys?

        • Nayana Morag September 28, 2016 at 2:02 pm - Reply

          It would probably be safe to put 1 drop essential oil in a 50 ml bottle of water shake well and spray the toy, leave to dry well before letting them have it. But it will always depend on the cat’s immune system and general state of health how they react to essential oils.

  13. Bonnie Reid September 8, 2016 at 4:47 am - Reply

    we have a flea infestation in our yard from all our rain. Now we have an infestation in our house. we have 3 dogs and 2 cats. we have have 3 cats die from animia, before I figured out it was the fleas biting them. they are inside cats but my dogs are bring them in when I take them out to pee and poop. I have managed to keep my last 2 cats alive by giving them an iron supplement. I have had no luck killing and getting the fleas under control. I have used several products on the yard and my pets but no luck. I’m desperate pleas help

    • Nayana Morag September 8, 2016 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Contact Deb Teubert http://www.debteubert.com/index.html she may be able to help you

    • Terri R January 2, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      If youve had cats dying from fleas, your home is completely infested. They multiply by the thousands in the home. You need to remove everything alive in your house and bomb it. Only to return hours later. Fleas dont kill cats unless they’ve been out if control for a very long time. Try cat safe spot on flea control in the mean time. Iron won’t save your cats unfortunately.

    • Kimberly T February 18, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      When I lived in CA and FL I had fleas. I called an exterminator and they told me to sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borax in the carpet, beat it down to the backing with a broom, leave it for a little while, and then vacuum it up. It works! My cats are indoor only and I move a lot. I keep the borax on hand and treat the carpet when I move it and haven’t had a problem since learning/doing this.

  14. Amanda Johnson September 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I am simply looking into diffusing EO’s in my home for myself. is this safe for cats? I also have a puppy. I want to do this for mine and my husbands over all health but wanted to know if the diffusing was safe. it wouldnt be on all day while we are gone. but would when home. what are EO’s to stay away from for the health of my cats?

    • Nayana Morag September 22, 2016 at 7:09 am - Reply

      Hi Amanda, see the previous comment. Diffusing oils daily or for more than a short period, is not healthy for anyone. If you feel you must diffuse, confine it to one room where your animals are not forcibly exposed to the oils, and keep a window open in the house so they can get fresh air if they choose. Watch for signs of inertia, vomiting or distress.

  15. Emilie September 21, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    I have two cats the same age, about 11 years old. I started using essential oils about 9 months ago. I knew to avoid tea tree oil around them and I have never used any oils on the cats, but I’ve used oils in a diffuser, on my skin, in the shower, etc. One of my cats started throwing up out of the blue, a very watery substance, not containing food or hairballs, and looking back, I think it was about the time I introduced oils into the house. It would usually happen a day after I diffused or used the oils, not immediately afterward, where I might have seen a direct link sooner, and it was happening maybe once a week. I did mention that I’d started using essential oils to my vet when I took him in to have him checked out and she just said yes, vaguely, it could be that, but nothing more specific. She did blood work, urinalysis and took x-rays but didn’t find anything definitive, and ultimately recommended some additional testing at another facility, which is very expensive. I stopped diffusing and started limiting my use of oils, and it seems like he has stopped throwing up. Thanks to your website and others I am learning more about the harmful effects oils can have on cats and trying to figure out if there is anything I can use that is safe. The question I have for you is whether throwing up is a typical reaction to oils that are toxic to cats? It seems to be only the one cat and not the other. Thank you.

    • Nayana Morag September 22, 2016 at 6:09 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this really important information. Yes, throwing up is one of the signs of intolerance, especially throwing up bile, which is a sign of poor liver function. Some cats are more sensitive to essential oils either due to constitution, or because they are old, or frail in some other way. I will share your story if that’s ok. Best, Nayana

      • Emilie September 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

        Absolutely, thank you so much. Thank you for this site, I’m glad I found it.

  16. Emilie September 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Absolutely, thank you so much. Thank you for this site, I’m glad I found it.

  17. Tom Talty October 8, 2016 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Have two male cats…have had for years.One has just started spraying..can essential oils help.

    • Nayana Morag October 8, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      Yes, I have used essential oils to help cats stop spraying, but it is important to pinpoint the cause of the sudden onset of spaying so you know which essential oils will help.

  18. Janine Wilson October 11, 2016 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Hi there – from what I have read on some other sites when reviewing if it is best to use Eucalyptus or Lavender Oil type sprays to disinfect and also assist with dust mites if you cat sleeps on the bed Lavender gets the thumbs up and Eucalyptus the thumbs down. Does anyone have any input on that? I think it is handy to have catgrass around for your cats to help clean out their system – and defifnitely there are oils highly toxic even as a few drops in a burner. I am also curious about fragrance candles. Soy based candles. Jasmine OK?

    • Nayana Morag October 29, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Lavender is safer than eucalyptus for cats. I wouldn’t spray my bed with anything if my cat slept on it (I also personally wouldn’t want to sleep in essential oils every night as it can cause skin sensitisation over time). The rule with all aromatics is, make sure your cat has a choice and can leave the area with the aroma and find some fresh air. If your cat has a ‘catnip’ reaction to aromatics his nervous system is overloaded, so remove him from the area.

  19. Brittany Loehrer October 25, 2016 at 6:36 am - Reply

    So my cat chlor came into contact with ginger therapeutic oil. Will she be ok? She got it on her and was wet in water from drinking. (She is a long haired cat) it was already diluted with water to start with. Never had oils till recently.

    • Brittany Loehrer October 25, 2016 at 6:39 am - Reply

      Chloe* sorry

    • Nayana Morag October 27, 2016 at 10:42 am - Reply

      It depends how much she took in and how good her health is. Watch for signs of lethargy or vomiting. Hopefully she will be fine.

  20. Robyn October 27, 2016 at 3:20 am - Reply

    My cat keeps peeing on the carpet, I was hoping to use an essential oil with vinegar and bakin soda to clean the carpet. Any suggestion of which oil?

    • Nayana Morag October 27, 2016 at 10:43 am - Reply

      Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon would be my suggestion, not the essential oil, squeezed from the fruit.

  21. Beverly October 29, 2016 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Our kitty has been experiencing hair loss on her back,combined with scabby patches. Any thoughts to what it might be, and which oils I might try?

    • Nayana Morag October 29, 2016 at 10:52 am - Reply

      I would look at the underlying cause before using an oil. It is mostly probably a reaction to the diet, or topical flea control, or vaccinations. Just applying potentially toxic essential oils at this stage would not be a good option. If you fix the problem (i.e. change food or whatever) you might try to soothe the irritated areas with chamomile or lavender hydrosol, diluted 10% in distilled water and dabbed on with a cotton ball.

  22. Ashlee November 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    I just got a diffuser today and after turning it on for 5 minutes, my cat went crazy! I live in a one bedroom apartment and he started sprinting around and jumping off my furniture. It doesn’t seem like he can handle the essential oil…should I call it quits now and return it?

    • Nayana Morag November 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm - Reply

      I would. He needs to have fresh air and a place to get away from the aroma, so a one bedroom apartment may not provide that.

  23. Penelope November 18, 2016 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I wish i could use a diffuser and ioniser with some type of oil, hydrosol. In a cat shelter is there anything that you can reccommend?

    • Nayana Morag November 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      There are all sorts of hydrosols you can use with cats. But even better would be to put a few drops of hydrosol in a bowl of water, try different hydrosols for different cats, or groups of cats let them interact with them as they choose, some will sniff, some will lie close, some will lick. Common ones that can help are chamomile (any type) lavender, frankincense, peppermint and neroli.

  24. Melanie November 25, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Hi there, my cat has a large tumour on his chin…has had for around 18 months. It doesn’t seem to cause him pain. We haven’t taken him to the vets as he gets very stressed with travel and I don’t believe they can do anything…he is at least 16 years old (rescue). We have been using essential oils before knowing this information, around the home for cleaning and on our skins, diffusing etc…now that is limited…he always has a choice though. Recently he has taken to running around the home hissing randomly, although his back legs seem weak…we believe he is deaf and eyesight is compromised. I found mites recently and used coconut oil. I have never found a natural flea repellent that works, so we have used chemicals occasionally (he is allergic to flea bites). He is eating and drinking ok but a new cat has moved in next door and he has not always been using a litter tray and showing signs of stress. Occasionally he goes out…less now it’s winter. Any ideas how I can help him? His chin weeps occasionally and I use colloidal silver in his water…

    • Nayana Morag November 25, 2016 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      You can use hydrosols to help him, for example, frankincense, lemongrass, chamomile. My book explains fully how to dilute them for cats, but you can just add a few drops to a bowl of water (make sure he has clean water too) and see which hydrosol he likes. Diatomaceous earth is a good natural flea control, not a repellent but it kills them.

  25. Clarice December 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I have a female cat who is extremely anxious about everything especially a trip to the vet. When I take her (1 1/2 hour drive) she pants and froths the whole entire time and then hides under the bed for days afterward. She has a skin irritation on her back near her tail that she’s had almost her whole life. I assume it’s her diet that is causing it but I’ve tried her on other foods and she will only eat one brand. Is there some type of essential oil I can try that may help her?

  26. Nayana Morag December 11, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Don’t use essential oil. But you could try lavender or thyme hydrosol, and calendula macerated oil. See if she will interact with any of these, smelling or licking, you could also offer to dab a little on her back. Follow her guidance though.

  27. Brittney December 14, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    WOULD IT BE SAFE TO PUT OILS SUCH AS Peppermint & Eucalyptus in a candle warmer with water or coconut oil as a way to help treat allergies and upper respiratory issues in cats? If so for how long and how much?

    • Nayana Morag December 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm - Reply

      If the cat can leave the room and get away from the essential oil if he chooses, and there is a source of fresh air, it should be safe to burn highly diluted for a short time. But every cat is different, and if the cat is not healthy he may not like it at all. It varies greatly from cat to to cat. The main thing is to give him the choice and not force it in any way.

  28. Darn Fleas... December 19, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I make a preventative flea spray for my cat/dog/house. I fill a large spray bottle (32 oz) with water and add about 5 drops each of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender EO. I also add 3 drops of tea tree. I spray everything; bedding, flooring, baseboards and my animals with it once a week or so. I’ve done a lot of research and found it to be a safe way to help prevent fleas and other bugs for that matter. Any thoughts on this? My dog is a Silky Terrior 10-years-old and my cat is 10 lbs and is almost 2-years-old.

    The cat came to us as a kitten with fleas and we’ve been battling them ever since. Can’t bathe him at all and I get lucky if I can successfully apply Advantage II on his neck each month. He’s a tough one…

    Even though I’ve been treating them both with Advantage II monthly, they still have some fleas. I can’t win. The cat is the problem. Super thick hair, hard to get to his skin. The dog is easy, I can bathe him, comb him, etc. I don’t want to poison them any more and I’m looking for a great, natural flea remedy… I tried Frontline Plus for a month and it did nothing, possibly made it worse. Advantage is definitely working, but I want them completely eliminated. Any EO or other advice? Thanks!

    • Nayana Morag December 23, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

      The only really effective natural flea repellents that I am aware of (and use) are neem oil and diatomaceous earth. You can read more about them in my books, or google it for more info.

    • Nayana Morag December 23, 2016 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Flea infestation is usually a sign of underlying stress or disease, look at your cat’s diet and lifestyle first. Then use either neem oil, dilute 1% in a water based gel or diatomaceous earth. These are the only truly effective and safe natural repellents for cats.

  29. sue December 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    hi I don’t know whether you could recommend a particular oil that would help my cat feel better. he has an overactive immune system the vet dosnt know what causing it but he has lost his appetite. I put some orange and geranium oil in my bath and one of my cats got quite excited and kept wanting me to stroke him thank you sue

    • Nayana Morag December 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Sue, it’s not that easy, I would need a lot more info about your cat to know which aromatics might help him. If you would like a consolation you can get one here, http://www.essentialanimals.com/consultation-nayana-morag/. But as you have read here, be cautious with cats and essential oils. Your cat wanting to lick your hands may be an overload response. To test that, dilute 1 drop of oil in 25 ml of carrier oil and then let your cat smell it and see what he does. See the free intro course to learn how.

  30. RM January 2, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I’m new to the use of EO with/around cats. My 15 year-old male cat is blind and has recently lost most of his hearing from old age. The vet says he’s healthy and doesn’t appear stressed other than a heart murmur he’s had all his life. I just moved into a new house and he’s having difficulty finding his way around. I wonder if essential oils (just a tiny touch) on doors and in key areas of the house would help him orient himself. With sight and hearing mostly gone, I figure he’s only got smell and touch left to operate in the world. What are your thoughts on this and do you have suggestions for which oils would be best? Thanks in advance.

    • Nayana Morag January 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      I would trust your cat to make his own smell map, it won’t take him long. If you want to help him, encourage him to rub against key marker points. Essential oils will only confuse the issue and could be damaging to a vulnerable older cat.

  31. Ashley January 9, 2017 at 1:29 am - Reply

    hello. i hae a male cat who recently started peeing on things and is very aggressive towards our other animals. we have had him 3 years and he was fixed before he even learned to spray. our other cat needs calming collar as she has very high anxity. we found out after shes a ferral kitty. my male. hates collars iv tried a few different types and even made my own and he finds away to take them off. i dont want him hurting himself while im away and having a collar on. can i use oils in the home to help calm them both? if so what types are safe? iv read a few sites that say some are very dangerous. he has been to the vet and he doesnt have a uti or anything he is in good health and they recommened that collar for him.

    • Nayana Morag January 10, 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

      Is it possible he started peeing on things at the same time your female cat started with the collar? I would never put a collar on all the time, it’s completely unnecessary and may cause distress. Hang it in a place that the cats can choose to go to and smell it as they wish, this is more than enough to relax them. Even better put a few drops of appropriate hydrosol in water (chamomile, or peppermint, or neroli or all three, each one in a separate bowl) and leave the bowl down where cats can interact with it as they wish.

  32. tara January 10, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    is it safe to use an essential oil diffuser at all in a home with cats? my apartment is a 1 bedroom, and the diffuser will stay in the living room, with the essential oil only being used once a week (the rest of the time it acts as a humidifier). I haven’t been able to find a single website that says what oils would be safest to diffuse with cats in the home – what oils would be safest to use in a diffuser around 3 young adult cats?

    • Nayana Morag January 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      No-one will tell you definitively because nobody really knows. We know that some cats get sick from diffusion of essential oils, especially the harsher ones, such as those in many of the MLM blends. I know of cats dying from topical application of essential oils and one case of a cat dying after months of daily exposure to diffused oils. My guidance is once a week with light oils such as lavender or lemon should be ok. But you need to study each cats response and go with that.

  33. Alicia January 15, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    About a month and a half ago, we thought my cat had an abcess tooth so treated it as such. Put her on antibiotics for 2 weeks, swelling went away but came back. The vet looked at it and said it needs to be pulled immediately so he kept her and pulled it. I picked her up and he sent me home with antibiotics to give her for the next 3 weeks. After the last pill, her swelling started to get worse again so we took her back. He confirmed it was a tumor by looking at it and said she needs to be put down. We took her to another vet for a second opinion and she said the same thing. It’s an aggressive form of cancer too far back in her mouth to be removed and the bigger it gets, the more it pushes on her brain. She said there’s nothing I can do to fix it and also suggested putting her down. However, before her surgery, the vet did an xray and blood work to see if cancer was present and everything came back clear. I’m thinking of trying Frankincense as my last resort before putting her down to see if that will help. She’s only 12 and is still full of so much life. She still purrs and cuddles and shows no signs of discomfort so why not try it? 2 Tbsp of fractionated coconut oil to 1 drop of Frankincense, correct? I use Doterra too so it’s 100% therapeutic grade. I’m hoping this works cuz I can’t lose my baby. Not yet at least 🙁

    • Nayana Morag January 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Offer her the frankincense to smell and see what she says.

    • Brooks March 16, 2017 at 5:53 am - Reply

      You could also try turmeric paste. On Facebook they have turmeric group. They are very helpful.Hope it helps.

  34. Lynne January 16, 2017 at 5:37 am - Reply

    I have two healthy 10 year old neutered male cats in my house. I diffused oils, mostly lavender, or a couple of hours daily for the first 9 years of their lives. Their most recent labs were normal. I stopped diffusing due to lack of veterinary studies to settle the controversy over how or even if, oils can be used safely around cats.
    My question is : If I apply diluted oils on myself, mostly but not always, under clothing, and wash my hands thoroughly, is it likely to harm my cats? I also use oils in my hair care and skin care products. They don’t come in contact with the oils other than ambient scent inhalation from being near me.

    • Nayana Morag January 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Lynne, it depends! We don’t know enough about cats and essential oils to say definitively and it varies from cat to cat, oil to oil. But you will probably not harm them from what you describe. On the other hand, I have a friend (and know of others) who is now severely allergic to essential oils after using them as you describe on herself….. Over use is not good for anybody.

  35. Megan January 18, 2017 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Hi. I’m getting ready to fly with my kitten. Can I use a diluted essential oil spray on his carrier to help ease the stress and anxiety? Which ones should I use?

    • Nayana Morag January 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      Dilute neroli hydrolat 1 drop in 10 ml of water and let him smell at intervals on the way to the plane, If he is in cabin with you you can offer it to smell at intervals. Do not spray on the carrier, it may just add to his stress!

      • Megan January 19, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply

        Thank you!

  36. Diane Peachey January 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    Is there something natural I can give my cat for a Herpes infection that recurs in his mouth?

    • Nayana Morag January 30, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Supplementing Lysine an be very helpful for herpes

      • Diane Peachey January 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

        Thanks! I use it myself and wondered if it was safe for cats. It’s on it’s way!:)

  37. Cat January 29, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Hi I have a 16 year old female cat. She has been losing weight and gotten skinny in the past 2 years. I had her to the vet and they did test but everything was normal. I burn candle warmers can they effect her? She throws up a lot but it seems it’s from cleaning herself and her hair. She eats(wet food) and drinks a good bit of water. They said it’s because she’s getting older the reason she’s losing weight. Is there something I could try to help her with her weight?

    • Nayana Morag January 30, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Hi, yes, scented candles can cause nausea in cats. Try not burning for a few weeks and see if it makes any difference.Cats do lose weight as they get older, it is not a bad thing. It makes it easier for the body to maintain itself.

  38. Beth February 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    Do you have any suggestions for a cat with asthma and a heart murmur. Can’t take steroids because of the heart murmur. She is afraid of a nebulizer. I used to use Eucalyptus and diffuse it near my bed and that actually helped quiet her breathing, until I read that Eucalyptus is bad for her. She is 5yrs and otherwise in good health.

    • Nayana Morag February 16, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Neroli hydrosol diluted in water, a few drops to half a cup or so, leave it where your cat can interact with it when and how she likes, be sure to provide fresh water as well, this will help the heart murmur. Frankincense hydrosol for the asthma. Or dilute 1 drop of frankincense essential oil in 10-25 ml of carrier oil and let her sniff it if she chooses. Do not force her to be near essential oils, so if you are using them for yourself make sure she can leave the room to a source of fresh air.

  39. Stephanie February 16, 2017 at 1:37 am - Reply

    Hi last night I had a chest infection I put some mixed oil of very good quality on my neck , my cat was close by and I gave him a pat. This morning he was very sick…… I took him to the vet where we washed him and gave him a subcutaneous fluid injection. It was hardly anything but we will have to wait now and see how he is. Is there anything else I can do for my poor little fury friend ?

    Regards stephanie

    • Nayana Morag February 16, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

      Just wait, if he is in generally good health he will be fine. Just be sure not to expose him to ANY essential oil for a while.

  40. Stephanie February 17, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Thank you for your help , he seems fine now just off his food a little, it was a great shock. I will keep oils away from him now and have read about which ones not diffuse. Thank you again
    Steph and bear

  41. Kimberly T February 18, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    I have a male cat less than 2 years old that just had a blocked urethra. It still seems to be partially blocked after the vet released him thinking he was unblocked. Is there any natural treatment/oil that will prevent crystals from forming?

    • Nayana Morag February 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Diet is the key. No dry food (kibble). Best is raw, but if you can’t do that then good quality wet food from a tin. If he will drink water with a little hydrosol in that can be helpful. Which one would depend more on his whole character and other symptoms. See my book for more info on that.

  42. Joy RAGUSA February 20, 2017 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Is a pure, organic rosemary, cedar wood, lemon, bergamot, clary sage or peppermint essential oil a safe choice to use in an water air purification system where a cat lives? The purifier is located in one room. However, 4 drops of oil per 1 quart of water will scent the rooms on either side of it for a few hours. Our cat can come and go from room to room as she pleases. There are so many lists online providing contradictory information regarding which oils are and are not safe to use with felines. We like a scent of some kind in the house from time to time. I just want to be sure it is safe for all of us. Thank you in advance.

    • Nayana Morag February 25, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Nobody really knows the answer to safe oils for cats, luckily it’s never been properly tested! The key is not to overuse. If you are just diffusing from time to time, and they can get out of the room you should be fine. it does vary from cat to cat though, pay attention to the ones he likes and doesn’t like and any changes in behaviour or health.

  43. suzette March 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    what carrier oil is safe for both dogs and cats? Driving cross country and want to help relieve stress

    • Nayana Morag March 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      safe carrier oil is sunflower (cold pressed organic)

  44. Tracey solomon March 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Hi..I’ve been reading this and am still confused please help..i have miessence face products i use daily ..they seem high quality and only cold formulation is used to make them ..every ingredient is listed …all essential oils..as i read through the lists of toxic ones for cats ..i am concerned..there is organic citrus aurantium sap ..and amara (neroli flower) ..i saw on a list citrus and neroli were toxic ..if even just smelled by cats..are these the same as those listed…I’m wearing the product and I have a cat that likes to lick my face sometimes and lies very close to me face all night …and i have 4 other cats …not quite so huggy …but are they safe if i wash it off most of the time before bed …..and just wear it around the house…….I don’t have dogs but if wonder about them also if i visit other people with dogs ….they smell of the products is lovely but kind of strong at times…..

    • Nayana Morag March 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

      The risk is related to dilution, but if the fragrance is strong for you some times I suggest it will be overpowering to cats. A healthy cat will probably not be poisoned like this. But the truth is, nobody really knows. Watch your cats and if you see any change in health or behaviour then immediately stop using essential oils. Personally I would never put essential oils on my face every day anyway, as the chances of becoming sensitised are high.

  45. Linda March 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Hi. I have a male diabetic cat on insulin who is 14. Very lately, he has developed hard stools and is going only every few days whereas he used to go every day. I just bought a product called HomeoPet for the constipation which is helping somewhat but nor affecting the hardness of the stool. Is there any essence I can safely use for this? He is still moving around well and eating okay on most days. He also drinks a lot of water. He has become thin but is not in any pain.

    • Nayana Morag March 31, 2017 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda, try adding more water to his food, or olive oil. Essential oils won’t help.

  46. Linda pifer April 1, 2017 at 1:15 am - Reply

    What is the best oils to use for precancer on a cats ears?

    Is frankincense going to help on her ears. For the skin cancer. If not what will help?

    Thank you

    • Nayana Morag April 5, 2017 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      I wouldnt be using essential oils on a cat’s ears at all. You need to look at the overall picture, diet, environment etc. Too big of a question for an internet forum response. I advise working with someone who can guide you for your cat personally, either an holistic vet, or contact debteubert.com

  47. Mary Katherine April 6, 2017 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Hello!
    Thank you for all of this information!
    My 18-year-old male cat has been experiencing respiratory distress. He is a rescue kitty and has the common virus that causes respiratory infections. He has always responded well to Convenia. I have taken him to the vet three times and he has been given two shots of Convenia and one shot of Lasix. So far no results.
    His respiratory rate is only slightly elevated but is labored. The vet says that she can hear him straining to get air into his lungs. The effort has caused him to lose weight as well.
    I am distraught! Do you have a suggestions as to what I could diffuse to help my buddy?
    Thank you so much!

  48. Kayla April 14, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I have just bought a diffuser and a few oils along with it. The oils are Frankinscense, Lavendar, and Clove. I have read to not use clove around kittie, but i have not found any consistent information on using the lavendar or frankinscence to diffuse around my feline friend.
    Are these two safe, and how should i introduce them to him?
    Thank you!

  49. Cindy Marcou April 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    My healthy female cat began over grooming her belly and hind quarters with no apparent skin irritation or fleas. She is an indoor cat. This happened about a year ago when I moved to a new home. I also began using a diffuser in this home and occasionally using essential oils. I have changed litter several times I have changed her food to grain free using both dry and canned, she eats well and eliminates well, drinks plenty of water and seems quite happy, except for the constant licking. I am stumped and would love any suggestion you might offer! She has now started to denude the back of her front legs in patches, again, no sign of any skin irritation. Thanks for any help!

    • Cindy Marcou April 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      She is 9 years old

    • Nayana Morag April 23, 2017 at 7:46 am - Reply

      Hi Cindy. I would suspect stress as it started when you moved home. Talk to Deb Teubert (www.debteurbert.com) she’ll be able to help you.

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    • Nayana Morag April 23, 2017 at 7:42 am - Reply

      How lovely that you let me know that, thanks 🙂

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  51. Jessica Fry April 23, 2017 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I like to use lavender oil before bed, but I have a cat that loves to cuddle. Should I be concerned? I have read that lavender is good for stress and dermatitis, both of which he is prone to.

    • Nayana Morag April 24, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      It depends how you are using it. If it is smeared all over your skin it would not be safe, but if it is just a dab or sniff then shouldn’t be a problem. Observe your cat’s response to it and if he has any health or behaviour changes.

  52. Krista May 5, 2017 at 3:13 am - Reply

    Hey,
    We recently.acquired a 4 yr old cat, I usually diffuse pure peppermint oil when I have migraines (sometimes very often) at night… is that safe to do with cats ?

    Also I use a lot.of cleaners and products that have tea tree oil in them… is that going to harm the cat?

    • Nayana Morag May 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t diffuse peppermint around my cat too often (more than once a week), and I would make sure that he can get away from it and there is a source of fresh air as well. It’s possible tea tree cleaning products too, it depends.

  53. Estelle Bonnet May 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    If I have diffused some essential oils in a room, when will it be safe for the the cats to enter the room?

    • Nayana Morag May 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      It depends on the cat, the oil you diffused, the length of time you diffused, the size of the room….

  54. Tamara Oleksiuk May 11, 2017 at 4:20 am - Reply

    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME!! I CAN’T FIND AN ANSWER ANYWHERE!!! I must stop my 3 cats from peeing EVERYWHERE..Marking their territory. I definitely want to use natural products and scents to not only STOP them from wanting to pee or mark everywhere, but to kill the smell too!!, What can I do??? I need cleaning directions from start to finish. I have hardwood floors and I have tried EVERYTHING: , a steamer, bleach, vinegar, Apple cider vinegar, lavender oil, cinnamon oil, citrus oil, lemon Lysol, bleach, baking soda….. None of there things have stopped the peeing MADNESS!! What am I doing wrong???

    • Nayana Morag May 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      You need to sort out why they are peeing. Normally this is a stress response. Do they have enough clean litter boxes? Do they get along? Did they just start doing it? Contact Deb at http://www.debteubert.com for more advice.

  55. Shelby May 12, 2017 at 12:36 am - Reply

    My cat knocked over an almost empty bottle essential lemon oil and got a few drops on him that fell from the table. He has a hot spot that it got on and he started running around the house. This is the first time this has happened. I’m guessing that it had a burning sensation. But my biggest concern is if he will be okay. It was no more than 2 small drops.

    • Nayana Morag May 12, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

      There will probably be no lasting damage, it depends on the cat’s overall health. I would be very cautious about any exposure (including inhalation) to limonene (found in many essential oils) for a few months. And you see vomiting or lethargy take him to the vet.

  56. Sandra May 13, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Hello, I have only just found your website and I am really quite startled by this information which I have just stumbled on by accident, because I had NO idea that essential oils can be toxic to cats. I’d like to know if there are any long term risks that I’ve accidentally exposed my new cat to. He’s 6 years old and came from a neighbour. He’s very healthy and spends alot of time outside and can come and go as he pleases (in and out of the house, and we have a large and lush yard). I always try to use natural cleaning products in the house. The only cleaning oils I use is eucalyptus (distilled, not essential oil) and this is always mixed with water or vinegar or bicarb when cleaning surfaces. But the main concern I have is ti tree. My cat developed a slightly weeping ear (probably from an allergic reaction to something). It was the inside of the fleshy part of the ear and not very serious, but it still concerned me so I put a drop of ti tree multipurpose liquid on a cotton bud and dabbed the area, wanting to clean it. The cat handled it well and generally didn’t resist. We only did this maybe twice. After the first time it seemed to clear up and then came back, so we took him to the vet who gave him antibiotic drops. We used these drops and it cleared up in another few days. I’d like to know how much of a risk this exposure was? Also, I use lavender essential oil neat on my temples at night to help me sleep. We burn good quality scented candles for a few hours in the evening. During the day we fragrance the house with good quality incense sticks and with smudge sticks. I also have resins that are used on charcoal discs. Are these safe to use? The house always has plenty of ventilation when we do these things, and the cat is free to come and go. Sorry for all the questions, but I am a bit confused and concerned and would appreciate clear answers. Thank you so much for sharing this important information!

    • Nayana Morag May 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      You usually see a reaction immediately if the cat can’t process. Healthy cats with access to fresh air can tolerate some exposure. But not enough is known to give you a definitive answer. You have learnt from your experience, but I would stay clear of topical application in future.

  57. Christy May 13, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    I started using essential oils in my homemade laundry detergent, shampoo, and as a room deodorizer. During this time, we noticed our cat wheezing and coughing and puking. I thought it was normal chemicals causing the issue. We took him the vet and they gave him an antibiotic shot that helped.

    A few months later, we had some small ants crawling on the wall inside our house and I put peppermint oil on the wall to try to get them to leave, since I heard they do not like it. Sadly, I had not learned about dilution. Anyway, my cat went into the catnip effect and would not leave the room. Once I got him out and closed the door, he went into a hacking event. He was wheezing a ton. It was at that moment, I realized the essential oils were harming him, and it was my fault. I did my best to air out the room and wipe the oil off the wall. I am getting rid of my essential oils and am going to go fragrance free as much as I can now.

    Please do not use essential oils in your home if you have pets. It is not worth it. It is so hard to find a list of any oils that are actually safe to use around pets.

  58. Adie May 17, 2017 at 1:04 am - Reply

    I just purchased a product for cats that youre supposed to spray on their bodies to repel fleas and ticks. It contains lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, cedarwood oil, and white thyme oil. What are your opinions on this? Its heavily diluted.
    Made by NaturVet

    • Nayana Morag May 17, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Personally, I wouldn’t use it on my cats (or dogs).

      • Adie May 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply

        Do you have a flea/tick medicine you recommend?

        • Nayana Morag May 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

          diatamaceous earth and neem powder.

  59. Gill May 21, 2017 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Our cats get ticks every now and again, and my husband carefully extracts them with tweezers, but it is tricky to get them 100% out. Now I see online that a drop of peppermint oil on the tick causes them to release their hold so they can be lifted off easily. It seems to me that this would be fairly safe if wiped off the cat afterwards, and certainly better than the tick being partially extracted. What do you think? I have been unable to assess the safety of peppermint oil for cats, opinion seems to be devided.

    • Nayana Morag May 21, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Hi, it is not safe to use undiluted oils on cats, ever. Best way to remove ticks is with these http://www.otom.com/en/ Best natural deterrent for cats is diatomaceous earth.

      • Gill May 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

        Thank you for your answer. I have ordered a tick remover 🙂

  60. Aki June 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    I do not have a cat but I am planning to bring one into our home. My mother and I both have our own diffusers, but we do not use them daily, and we use only occasinally. Would about one or two drops of Lavender in a diffuser of 100ml of water be safe? I leave my bedroom door open and so does my mother. Would this be ok? I also use some cosmetics that contrain tea tree, and the smell is especially strong in an acne spot treatment I use at mostly night time, will this be harmful to my cat if they decide to snuggle up to me during my sleep or come into my room?

    Are there also any ways to use essential oils to combat possible kitty litter odor if there happens to be any?

    • Nayana Morag June 7, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Hi Aki, the sort of diffuser usage you describe is probably not going to harm a cat as long as he has the choice to leave the area, and a source of fresh air. If you clean your kitty litter regularly and feed a good quality diet, of mostly fresh meat it won’t smell.

  61. Tabitha Cawthorne June 8, 2017 at 3:39 am - Reply

    I too saw video of peppermint oil making tick back out … I put about 3 drops directly on my kitty cats skin today (and the tick did not back out) but now reading it can be toxic. She immediately went out and rolled in the first until she was filthy (never done) but acting normal, she I try to bather her and get it off? I have combed her and the smell is sting in the area just under her neck. I know she will hate a bath but better than making her sick!

    • Tabitha Cawthorne June 8, 2017 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Oh my gosh autocorrect slaughtered that and I did not proof…. hope it makes sense. I think I will try to give her a bath.

    • Nayana Morag June 9, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Hopefully your kitty is ok. I post this for others to learn. If you make this same mistake, apply olive oil or similar to the area and dab with paper towel. The essential oil will be drawn into the olive oil and some of it will be removed. Washing makes the essential oil absorb into the skin more quickly, which is exactly what you dont want with cats. Symptoms of poisoning may not show up immediately, so monitor for nausea, lethargy or lack of coordination for a few days after application.

  62. Sonia June 24, 2017 at 2:50 am - Reply

    My cat has feline immune virus, would diffusing on guard EO from doterra harm him if i diffuse it in my bedroom down stairs (he would have the option of going upstairs, or any other room) i dont want to make my cat even more sick.. but could this also help him in any way?

    • Nayana Morag June 26, 2017 at 10:29 am - Reply

      Personally I don’t like using essential oil blends with animals, especially cats and especially if their immune system is compromised. You can offer a single immune stimulant essential oil, suited to your cats condition and character and see if he shows interest then diffuse for a very short burst. But a hydrosol would be safer. And I would be looking at supporting with homeopathy via a qualified homeopathic vet.

      • Sonia June 27, 2017 at 2:04 am - Reply

        Thank you so much for answering my question, you’ve been very helpful!

  63. Jean August 12, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Trying to do “home remedies” for house flies and I have two indoor cats, one with feline asthma. Not going to directly apply any essential oil to cats, but some reciepes require a mixture of oils or heating of oils. Is this safe since I not applying directly to cat?

    • Nayana Morag August 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      It depends on the essential oil, but if it is not sprayed when the cat is in the room, and the cat doesn’t walk on it, then probably it will be alright if you dont use too often. No-one can tell you for certain though.

  64. Tara September 12, 2017 at 6:44 am - Reply

    Hi. Im trying to get my cats to stop destroying my sofa. Theres articles online that tell you to dilute some lemon essential oil in water, but other articles are saying its toxic. Could I dilute some lemongrass and ginger essential oil instead, or would that be the same. What would you recommend as I’ve gone through 1 couch every year.

    • Nayana Morag September 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      Spraying essential oils of any kind is unlikely to help. Easier to supply a scratching pad/post that you can put against the sofa, then slowly move it away, covering the sofa with something unfriendly (plastic) at the same time helps break the habit

  65. Kara October 25, 2017 at 2:54 am - Reply

    I usually burn eucalyptus oil in my diffuser at night because it seems to help my son sleep without restlessness. We have a cat but she has been staying with my husband at his work (he travels for work) so she hasnt been around while the oil has been in the diffuser. Will the eucalyptus oil hurt her when being used in a diffuser?

    • Nayana Morag October 25, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Hi Kara, hopefully you found the answer to your question reading through the other comments and articles on this site. But if your cat has a source of fresh air, and can remove herself from the essential oil it will probably not harm her, but there are no guarantees because some cats are more sensitive than others, especially to eucalyptus. I would also not be burning it for long periods or every day for a child.

  66. Becca November 5, 2017 at 2:08 am - Reply

    Hello,

    I am wondering if there is a blend for very stinky breath for my cat. I have two FIV positive cats and they equally have bad breath but the younger one has noticably worse breath. I would like to use an antibacterial essential oil blend in hopes to reverse/prevent his stinky breath. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    • Nayana Morag November 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      Dont use essential oils for a cat’s bad breath, especially one with a compromised immune system. Give them access to lemongrass or wheat grass so they can chew on it to clean their teeth. Feed them raw chicken necks to clean their gums. And if you absolutely have to do something massage their gums with thyme hydrosol.

  67. Molly W November 14, 2017 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Hello,
    We have one cat and a dog- is it okay to diffuse Thieves in our room every other night or so during cold/flu season if they both sleep in the room with us? The cat has access to the whole house but like I said, usually sleeps on the bed. I have just ordered a few different types of YL oils and have been diffusing lemon and lavender oil for about a month now and have just discovered yesterday that cats could have aversions/reactions to different oils because of their liver. I don’t want to stop diffusing oils that have been beneficial to me but I obviously don’t want to harm my cat in any way. Looking for any pointers/help you could give me to safely use (mostly diffuse) EOs.
    Thank you so much.

    • Nayana Morag November 16, 2017 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Hi Molly, diffusing thieves in your room every night will not be good for any of you, but especially not your cat. Essential oils are designed by nature to be used short term, so any overuse is will do more harm than use. More is not better with essential oils.

      • Molly W November 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm - Reply

        Thank you so much for getting back with me. I have two more offshoots on the same topic:

        If I want to have the immune boosting/germ fighting benefits of Thieves, will it be okay to put it on the bottom of my feet during the day as far as cross-contaminating my cat? I would make sure not to talk without shoes after application.

        My second question is: It seems that I keep reading, for the most part, that two of the “safest” EOs to diffuse around cats are lavender and cedar wood. Would you agree with that?

        I had absolutely no idea whatsoever that EOs could be an issue with cats and have ordered a lot and have found benefits from diffusing them. Would you recommend not diffusing oils at all if I have a cat? I am finding so much contradicting information everywhere that any pointers you could give me would be very much appreciated.
        Thank you so much.

  68. Nichole December 25, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    I just recently adopted a cat and on the first day I got him, I used my essential oil diffuser. After I decided I needed to cat proof my house because he was getting into everything, I read that essential oils are harmful to cats. I had the diffuser on for about 4 hours and he was only exposed to it 2 times when he went and sniffed the peppermint oil that was diffusing before I moved him out of the room and closed the door, and when I had a tiny bit on my hands that he could smell. I have since turned off the diffuser and don’t plan on using it again, but I wanted to know if that little exposed was enough to cause harm, or if i shouldn’t worry about it

    • Nayana Morag December 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

      No need to panic. This level of exposure will have done no harm.

  69. olivia January 5, 2018 at 4:42 am - Reply

    I’ve recently purchased an essential oil diffuser, not realizing the effects it can have on cats. I’ve only been diffusing once or twice a week, approx 5 drops of EO (lavender sleep blends, or other calming blends containing lavender, cedar wood, orange etc) for about an hour or less. I do so with my bedroom door closed, so my cat hasn’t been directly exposed to it.. should I be keeping my cat out of my room until I feel the smell is completely gone? Will this be safe to continue as long as I don’t notice any abnormal behaviour? I’m just wondering if I should not be letting my cat sleep in my room anymore . Thanks!

    • Nayana Morag January 7, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Sounds like safe usage. As long as the cat has choice to enter or leave the room and you are not actively diffusing. Some cats are extremely sensitive, some not at all, so watch for throwing up or lethargy just in case, but it’s extremely unlikely with the usage you describe 🙂

  70. Shannan E January 11, 2018 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Hi there! I just purchased a diffuser with lavender essential oils for my bedroom. If my cats do not enter my room or spend no longer than a few minutes in there, or do not sleep with me while I plan to use the diffuser, is that alright? I just want to make sure I am taking the right steps and I do not want to cause any unintentional harm to them. Thanks.

  71. Jessica January 11, 2018 at 1:23 am - Reply

    Hello,
    I purchased a diffuser about a couple weeks ago and just recently have been seeing articles about toxicity for cats. I’m having a hard time finding just a straight forward answer about diffusing in the home if you own cats. My diffuser runs for 30 second intervals over 6 hours. I have it in my living room as we spend most of our time there and my cats have the option to leave the room/go downstairs. I really want to keep using my diffuser but I’m very lost as to what oils I can use and what I can’t. I don’t understand the science behind them so would just like a few suggestions as to what ones are safe for my cats. Also, if I don’t see any behavioural issues, can I assume the cats are fine with the blend?

  72. Shaw January 11, 2018 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    I have a wax burner and use cinnamon I do not know if it has eo. Is it safe melt wax or burn scented candles around our cat. Also sense we are o n the subject is it safe to use bleach and other harsh chemicals in our home with our cat in the house she is a full time indoor cat.

  73. Michelle January 13, 2018 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Hi. I’m not interested in using essential oils ON my cat, but I want to diffuse them for my human family members. Our cat has free roam of the house and can come and go from any room she chooses at any time. She is 2 years old and very healthy (no liver or immune issues, etc). Specifically, I want to diffuse peppermint, rosemary and grapefruit together. I also have lavender, and some EO blends. All of my oils are 100% pure therapeutic grade and purchased from a reputable company (no fillers, additives, etc present). I am brand new to the world of essential oils and am starting to feel panicky and confused over all the contradictory information that is available. I have learned from your comments that I need to ensure that she can leave the room that the diffuser is in if she chooses, have an open window somewhere in the house so she can get fresh air, and watch for any behavioural changes.
    Having said all that….Is there anything that I should absolutely NOT ever use in my diffuser?

    • Nayana Morag January 13, 2018 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Research is not available to say definitively but anything high in phenols should be used cautiously. Most reported problems have been with eucalyptus

  74. Nadine January 14, 2018 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Hello,

    I’ve searched the internet and can not find an answer to my question. I hope you can help me.

    I LOVE the smell of Jasmine and Gardenias. Is it safe to use a diffuser to use these oils in my home? I have a dog (Lab) and a cat (Siberian).

    I haven’t looked for gardenia yet. But, I have Seen Jasmine at Whole Foods.

    I’ve read that the plants, themselves, are toxic to cats if they eat them. So, I’m getting rid of my Jasmine plant.

    Thank you,
    Nadine

    • Nayana Morag January 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      You dont need to pull up your jasmine plant. Your cat will avoid it. There is a lot of hysteria around at the moment about aromatics and animals. Most aromatic substances are as safe for your animals as they are for you, IF the cat/dog can leave the area when you are diffusing and as long as you don’t diffuse for too long at a time. Also jasmine and gardenia are likely to be synthetic fragrances rather than essential oils unless they cost you 40 dollars a gram. It is not healthy for humans or animals to have fragrances diffusing often, or essential oils for that matter. Essential oils are medicinal and should be treated as such.

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