This is a hot topic but it doesn’t really need to be. The issue here is much like many other issues or scenarios; one apple ruined it for the bunch.
If you have a cat and you want to use essential oils you have most likely typed “cats and oils” in the ole Google machine. There’s a very good chance you came across some headlines that may have scared you off using oils at all or have made you shout warnings from the rooftops!! I have read most, if not all, of those headlines because I have a precious fur baby. I did SO MUCH research before I signed up for my oily kit. I emailed Customer Service Reps, I joined animal aromatherapy groups, I harassed leaders in my company to find me the answers I was looking for. For days I thought I made a really bad choice buying oils for our house. I was in tears one night telling my husband about the damage I could do to my girl. Boy was I wrong!!
Let’s get right to the really awful question; Can essential oils kill cats? YES> if you don’t know what you’re doing, like may other things, you CAN cause harm. It is true that somewhere, someone did indeed kill their cat by using oils (a cheap brand purchased from a grocery store or on amazon) directly ON the animal. It is also true that some oils CAN be used directly on some animals. There are oil blends CREATED SPECIFICALLY for animals. I have never and I will never use essential oils directly on my cat. I do not know enough about her little system and how easy it is to damage so why would I think I can apply the same oils and principles that I do on myself on her? Which is what most of these articles sound like! Most stories I have read seem to be people using formulas and oils that they use on THEMSELVES thinking it will have the same effects on a little feline. They also mention oils purchased from non reputable sources! (Don’t forget to take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt before moving on to the next story.) Cats and humans have very different systems! Cats are lacking certain enzymes from this equation that do not allow their livers to process Phenols (and possibly other constituents) as quickly. There are articles out there that will tell you cats cannot process phenols at all, but that doesn’t seem to be true either.
Here’s the thing though, cats are smart. They know when there’s a scent they do not like and they leave. If you diffuse oils regularly like we do, make sure it is in an area that your animal can freely come and go from. I don’t diffuse in our bedroom because that is her happy safe place. I leave it mostly scent free for her. I do however, use a bed spray that is FOR her. It is crazy diluted (2 drops of oils in 5 ounces of water) and the oils are safe for her as well. The oils I use in this spray have been found to have calming properties for anxious pets, and for her it seems to help. If I use something on my own body (I make my own oily perfumes) and she is not a fan, she won’t come near me for awhile…she’s SMART. For this reason I use most of my daily use essential oils in the morning before I leave the house so it doesn’t bother her.
If you have a cat, or any other pet at all, please do your own research. Read. Ask Questions. Do NOT use oils on your pets without training and guidance. Real essential oils are volatile compounds that have real medical properties and should be used with caution and knowledge.
There are days when our girl Snax is curled up on her blanket right under the diffuser by her own choice and there are days she shakes her head at me and naps somewhere else instead.
This is one of the best articles I have read on the subject, plus it is current and Canadian.
I encourage you to read this one and more like it from qualified professionals before you place judgement on anyone for something they have found knowledge and comfort with.
and Snax the cat that digs SOME essential oils.