If you do not own one, I am sure you have at least heard about the drastic increase in using essential oils and essential oil diffusers in the past couple of years!
Personally, I am a fan! Whether it is in our heads or it is truly improving and healing us, why not give it a try?
BUT what about our feline friends?! How does using essential oils affect them and is it safe to have the oils in our home?
The answer is…
Here is a purrecious picture while you are waiting…
Wait for it…
I have absolutely no idea! And I don’t feel comfortable believing most people are 100% confident in their answer either! From my research, some are saying:
“Depends on the cat”
“Just keep the oils away from them”
“Here is a particular list of oils to use around them and not to use around them”
“If you don’t touch them with oiled up hands, it is fine”
“Use the diffuser somewhere separate from the cats”
“Their physiology makes it difficult for their livers to metabolize the compounds in essential oils, even when inhaled”
“If you use a certain brand, all is well!”
And what do I believe about these discoveries or claims? They are all probably a little bit true! I think with all things cat, we need to be cautious that it can vary depending on the cat. And it is absolutely true that their physiological makeup is way different than ours. Yes, their livers metabolize compounds differently than us as well. Their little sniffers work over time and inhalation of certain products/chemicals can seriously harm them if said chemicals are toxic.
Personally, when I use my essential oils, I am going to continue to use them away from my cats, wash my hands well before touching them, and keep the oils and diffuser put away when not in use. I mean there is nothing lost by being over protective, right?
My trusted and amazing veterinarian found an article that said “..with the sensitive noses of our pets, it may be like trapping them on an airplane with an overly perfumed person.” With that being said, be sure the kitties are not trapped in a room with oils diffusing or being used! Think about yourself in that situation and multiply by 10 for some added cat sensitivity!
Additionally, if you see any strange signs in your cats after using essential oils, they need to see a vet right away! (Especially: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lethargy, weakness, more than usual drooling, seizures, tremors, etc.). These types of things could affect them very quickly!
At the end of the day, just be safe around all your pets when using oils! Most people seem to agree that it may be more dangerous for cats but that doesn’t mean dogs should have free range to all things oil either! Don’t put any essential oils onto your kitty unless prescribed by a professional! Do your research and ask your vet!
I could not find a specific list of oils themselves on ASPCA’s website BUT they did seem to agree with points from above in the below statement:
“Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils, and effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities. Inhalation of the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia. There are significant variations in toxicity among specific oils. Based on this, we would not recommend using essential oils in areas where your pets have access, unless pets are supervised or the use of the oil is approved by your veterinarian.”
I would love to hear some comments on this topic as it is quite controversial! As always, thanks for stopping by!