There is a lot of debate out there about whether or not to use essential oils for cats. It all boils down to the quality of the essential oil. We recommend only using 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils.
But besides the fact that therapeutic grade oils must be used there are other precautions that can be taken to assure that your feline can use the oils safely.
Why can’t we use certain oils on Cats?
Cats metabolize and excrete things very differently than the rest of the animal family. Cat livers do not not have the enzymes to break down certain chemicals. And when the liver (and the body) does not recognize a substance, it immediately stores it somewhere until it can figure out what to do with it! This leads to toxicity, tumors, disease and extreme imbalances of the body. by the way, this is the case for humans and animals alike, but cats are much more sensitive.
Most of the problems associated with essential oils whether they are for human or animal use stem from the fact that people use perfume (synthetic) quality oils in the same way that they use therapeutic grade oils. These are totally different and cause more harm than good! Particularly with cats!
What else is different about Cats?
Cats seem to have a disregard for strong odors and definitely have thin skin. So again, when you are diffusing oils in your home,remember your pets. Also make sure you use the oil correctly and with high dilution.
Cats are particularly sensitive to a group of oxygenated compounds called ketones, phenols, alpha pinene, some monoterpenes, and carvacrol (a byproduct of d-limonene which is found in all citrus fruits and in many tree oils) which their livers can not break down.
And just as with humans, each animal’s chemistry and blood type is different so the response will be different! Experiment with you animal to see what works for them.
Examples of essential oils for Cats that should be used with caution (highly diluted) are shown below.
Examples of essential oils which contain Phenols – Wintergreen, Anise, Birch, Clove, Basil, Tarragon, Fennel, Oregano, Thyme, Mountain Savory, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Calamus, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus citriodora, Parsley, Ylang Ylang. These all contain greater than 8% phenols.
Examples of Ketones – Western Red Cedar, Idaho Tansy, Marigold, Spearmint, Thuja, Hyssop, Davana, Sage, Dill, Yarrow, Peppermint. All these oils contain greater than 20% ketones.
Example of Oils containing D-Limonene – Grapefruit, Bitter Orange, Orange, Tangerine, Mandarin, Lemon, Celery Seed, Lime, Bergamot, Angelica, Dill, Neroli, Blue Tansy, Citronella and Nutmeg.
Examples of Oils containing Alpha-pinene – Cypress, Cistus, Pine, Douglas fir, Juniper, Myrtle, Rosemary Verbenon, Silver Fir, Angelica, Nutmeg, Eucalyptus, Dill, Spruce. These are all monoterpenes that have alpha-pinene concentrations greater than15%.
Use the following particularly infrequently with cats: Black Pepper, Cardamon, Carrot Seed, Celery Seed, Cinnamon Bark, Citronella, Clove, Galbanum, Ginger, Juniper, Melaleuca species (use with extreme caution and monitor cat), Palmarosa, Petitgrain and Western Red Cedar.
What Essential Oils for Cats can we definitely Use?
Here are the essential oils for cats that are very safe for cat use. Here is the list:
• Clary Sage Essential Oil
• Frankincense Essential Oil
• Geranium Essential Oil
• Helichrysum Essential Oil
• Lavender Essential Oil
• Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
• Rosemary Essential Oil
And many more!
How do I use Essential Oils for Cats?
Essential oils for cats should be highly diluted with a high grade pure vegetable oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil. Dilute essential oils for cats (and all other smaller animals) at least 50:1 (fifty drops of dilution oil to one drop of essential oil).
Place a drop of the diluted oil on the inside of the paw or directly on area of concern. Place some in your hands and pet your cat gently ears to tail.
Diffusing oils is a great way to use essential oils for cats. Lastly, you could place a few drops in a sprayer with some water, shake it up and gently mist–but most cats usually don’t like this method of application.
Some suggested oils to use for various ailments:
Ear Health – use warm fractionated coconut oil with lavender and clean the ear. Use it inside and outside of the ear. Dilute as described above.
Skin Health – bath the cat in lavender and roman chamomile. Remember the dilution requirements!
Calming – try a grounding blend (spruce, rosewood, blue tansy, and frankincense) for courage, (dilute 80-90%), a calming blend with lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, sandalwood, ylang ylang and vanilla bean.
These are just a few suggestions on how to use the oils. Remember to work with a holistic vet to help you make good decisions for your pet’s natural health.
*These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.