Are there any essential oils safe for cats?
Why essential oils be applied on cats with caution?
Are there any essential oils safe for cats? Well essential oils are not benign substances and must be respected and used with care. Quality, purity, and the dose of essential oil used are critical to safe use of essential oils in all species and especially, cats. Cats are very sensitive to additives. Poor quality essential oils which often contain harmful contaminants are more likely to overwhelm the ability of the cat’s liver thereby causing an accumulation of toxic byproducts and signs of toxicity. Signs of toxicity may include
incoordination, salivation, disorientation, and vomiting.
How to apply essential oils safely to the cats?
When using essential oils with cats, we recommend beginning with milder oils and only turning to stronger oils if necessary. We recommend diluting essential oils for topical use, delivering their benefits via diffusion, or adding them to the litter box.
How cats react to essential oils?
Cats are a unique species and they differ from dogs and humans in the way they metabolize medications, fragrances and other chemicals. The liver is the primary site for metabolism. Essential oils whether applied topically, inhaled or ingested are absorbed into the bloodstream and processed by the liver. Once in the liver, enzymes convert substances to usable forms.
Cats do not possess a particular liver enzyme called UDP-glucuronosyltransferase. This is one enzyme responsible for breaking down medications, essential oils and other chemical ingredients.
Lacking this enzyme, cats are slower to metabolize certain chemical structures, which may result in higher blood levels and greater sensitivity. Cats are uniquely sensitive to monoterpene hydrocarbons, phenolics, and other compounds that contain benzene rings.
Veterinary Aromatherapy for Cats
This does not mean cats cannot benefit from essential oils.
Veterinary aromatherapy is not new. By the mid 1800s, scientific
studies in Germany and France regarding the medical effects
of essential oils on animals and humans were quite advanced.
Thanks to positive clinical results, the practice of veterinary
aromatherapy was not uncommon in these countries by the middle
of the 20th century.
This article is excerpted from the book Dr. Frezzo co-authored: SpOil Your Pet: A Practical Guide to Using Essential Oils in Dogs and Cats. To learn more about holistic pet care and Essential Oils, visit the SpOil Your Pet Website or call 201-288-7800.