Are Essential Oils/Aromatherapy Safe For Cats?
CATS have a higher vibration or frequency than humans and possibly even higher than dogs. Because of this, they do not do well with lower vibrations such as are found in essential oils that are high in phenols. They need just a fraction of an amount of essential oils that a dog would. This especially applies to Young Living essential oils since are extremely concentrated. With cats, LESS IS BETTER.
Cats, even though mammals and carnivores, are known to be deficient in their ability to eliminate compounds through hepatic glucuronidation (they lack enzyme glucuronyl tranferases). The lack of this ability prevents them from being able to metabolize the phenols and benzyl alcohols present in most essential oils due to being adulterated, grown with pesticides or chemically based fertilizers, etc. So, this in turn, causes high amounts of toxicity in the body and could cause serious illness or even death. This is why It is imperative that the chemical compounds in the essential oils you wish to use with your cat, are known before using them.
Cats being so very chemically sensitive, can react strongly and even be poisoned by an essential oil that is adulterated, grown with the use of pesticides or even distilled in a less than optimum manner. So PLEASE do not experiment with just any essential oils on your cats. Purity is everything when using essential oils for or around your cat(s).
Toxicology studies show that the feline liver usually requires 48 hours to process and excrete ‘terpenes’, thus, allow 48 hours between end of last diffusion and starting another to avoid repeated exposure by inhalation.
Applying or Using EOs on your Cat
Cats need just a fraction of an amount of essential oils that a dog would. Placed on the body with a carrier oil or cold-diffuse the oils into the air. Young Living EO’s are therapeutic grade, which makes them extremely concentrated. Again, LESS IS BETTER when using therapeutic grade EO’s.
Place a drop of oil on the palm of your hand – with your other hand swirl it clock-wise and then use your finger and place on the cat. If you need to dilute the oil down a bit, place one drop in 10 drops of a carrier oil like Organic Olive or the Young Living V6 carrier oil. Therapeutic grade essential oils cannot build up. They are absorbed. You can also use a carrier oil to dilute the oil on the skin if irritation develops (a very, very rare occurrence).
Just as in a human, never drop oils in a cat’s eyes or ears!!! Place a drop of oil on the palm of one hand and place oil with a finger from the other hand on the inside of the upper ear. Never down the ear.
I cold-air diffuse Young Living Essential Oils daily with my dogs, cat and African Grey Parrot in the room with me. Of course, there is good ventilation and the dogs and cat can always leave the room at will.
Aromatherapy or Diffusing Essential Oils is usually the best method of using essential oils around or with your cat.
When diffusing oils specifically for your cat, please be careful to not use excessive amounts of essential oil, and choose oils which have lower volatility’s as far as possible. In addition, ensure good air circulation especially during the diffusion process. Make sure your cat can get to ‘undiffused’ air at any time if possible, and only diffuse in an individual room.
Some essential oils, high in phynols that are not recommended to be used with cats are: Tea Tree or Malaleuca, Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Mountain Savory, Cinnamon, Cassia, and Ravensara.
Diffusing pure, therapeutic grade essential oils will keep the air cleaner and healthier to breathe. Diffuesed essential oils remove metallic particulates and toxins from the air, increase atmospheric oxygen, increase ozone and negative ions in the area as they neutralize odors (they don’t cover up or mask odors they neutralize them).
For more information on Essential Oils in Animal Care – you may be interested in reading the book co-authored by three animal naturopaths – Essential Oils In Animal Care, A Naturopathic Approach.
I highly recommend a consultation if you have never used essential oils therapeutically or if your pet is dealing with health issues.
The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription for any disease. The decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.
Copyright 2016 This article is the sole property of Dr. Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole (Wholistic) Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.