Debate rages about whether or not important oils are protected for cats


When you are a feline person there is nothing like the company of your feline friends. But cats are notoriously fussy beings, and they’re sensitive and moody, just like us.

When you’re trying to keep a frightened kitten calm or treat more serious health conditions, there is a lot of information online that can help, but it’s often conflicting. Take the case of essential oils: some claim that these plant extracts can help keep kittens happy and healthy, while others insist that they pose a threat to cat welfare.

“It’s very controversial, even within the rescue world,” said Carrie Lu, a Vegas Cat Rescue volunteer and caregiver. “A lot of people say that essential oils are not good for animals. You have to be extremely careful. “

Lu first began experimenting with essential oils when nine of her foster kittens contracted ringworm. “I was very frustrated – I had ringworm in my house for nine months and nothing would work. I went to the vet’s office and got a lot of prescriptions, but those didn’t work and it didn’t go away. So I looked for other alternatives. “

Lu makes it clear that not all essential oils are safe for cats. In fact, many are harmful, if not toxic, and potentially fatal, especially when applied directly to a cat’s fur.

According to, droplets dispersed through diffusers with essential oils “pose a risk to cats” despite being small. Essential oil microdroplets can accumulate on a cat’s fur and then be absorbed directly through the skin or absorbed during grooming.

The Pet Poison Helpline website states, “Drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia [wobbliness]Difficulty breathing, low heart rate, low body temperature, and liver failure may develop depending on the type of essential oil used and the dose the cat has been exposed to.

“Like oil and water, essential oils and cats really don’t mix. Owners should be careful about using essential oils and diffusers in their homes to protect their cat (s) from a toxic risk. Most importantly, concentrated essential oils should never be used directly on cats. “

That’s why the founder of AnimalEO, a company that makes essential oils for cats, began researching these powerful chemicals to find a safer way for animals and humans to reap their benefits.

“Essential oils continue to be a controversial topic in the world of veterinary medicine,” says the veterinary website of AnimalEO founder Dr. Melissa Shelton. “After meeting many successful essential oil users, [the] A holistic veterinarian was dedicated to uncovering the truth behind animal toxicity reports. “

And from the Animal EO website, “Most of what you read on the internet and even in the veterinary industry is a big warning against the use of essential oils on animals. Danger [is] the subject, especially when it came to cats and birds.

“I couldn’t understand why there could be so much bad press about the use of essential oils and animals,” the website continues. “However, there were still some people who clearly got amazing results.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends playing it safe. “In their concentrated form, essential oils can pose a hazard to pets,” the group explains. “However, using an oil diffuser for a short period of time in a secure area that your dog or cat cannot access is likely not a problem.”

With the research on essential oils and pets inconclusive, Shelton decided to take matters into her own hands. “I took blood and urine samples before introducing essential oils into our home and continued monitoring them afterwards.”

On her website, Shelton reports that she recorded her cat’s behavior, breathing rate, and reactions when they had health concerns. Now she makes essential oil blends specially made for pets in concentrations that should be safe for animals.

“It is of tremendous importance to be able to offer a product that actually contains the correct recommendations for use for cats, dogs, horses, cows, exotic animals or other animals,” says Shelton on her website, adding that her products are designed specifically for animals were considered people.

Like many other cat parents, Lu continues to use essential oils in moderation on their pets. However, it is important to understand what risk factors are associated and what signs to look out for if your pet experiences a toxic reaction such as essential oil poisoning.

After the ringworm of Lu’s foster kitten broke up, her oldest cat also got very sick. “She has lost weight. I could feel the bones in her spine and I could tell that she was getting worse, ”says Lu.

After vets repeatedly told her there wasn’t much they could do, she took her pet to her own holistic doctor. And she says the results were surprising.

“She gained weight again and is more active now than it was three years ago,” says Lu.

Lu’s doctor gave her cat a liquid oxygen treatment – a tincture made up of several holistic agents, including essential oils. Her cat’s recovery was so impressive that Lu worked with her doctor to sell the drug through the Vegas Cat Rescue website. “Now I tell people everywhere about liquid oxygen,” she says.

Even if you avoid essential oils, there are other ways that diffusion can provide comfort to cats. Sedatives like Feliway plug into electrical outlets and approach the pheromones released by the mother when kittens start breastfeeding. “By mimicking this bonding pheromone, Feliway creates a state of calm and comfort to alleviate tension and conflict between cats,” says the product description. While the plug-ins are undetectable to humans, they have been reported to be beneficial for very anxious cats.

While the subject of essential oils for animals may have long been controversial, there are a variety of safe and effective treatments available for cats. If you’re considering trying a product but don’t know if it’s cat-friendly, contact your veterinarian for the most up-to-date instructions and information.