It’s no secret that felines are universally adored. They can hold their own, are dependable, and are a great company. Of course, these cute pets are naturally inquisitive, and they never stop investigating their new environments.
When you have a cat as a pet, it’s important to be extra cautious with your belongings. The use of essential oils is widespread as a form of alternative medicine for both physical and mental health in the United States.
Essential oil is a highly concentrated liquid that has been distilled from a variety of plants and herbs. Essential oils have been shown to have therapeutic effects on the body and the mind, so they are often used in aromatherapy diffusers or taken internally.
Adding a bouquet of flowers to a table or desk is a simple way to spruce up your home or office, but if you have cats, you should be aware that some flowers are toxic to felines.
However, eucalyptus, a popular component of many arrangements, is toxic to cats.
Are Essential Oils Safe For Our Pets?
Pets should not be exposed to essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen, or ylang-ylang. You shouldn’t put these on your skin, put them in diffusers, or lick them up if they spill.
Though diffusers that release a pleasant scent to the nose may seem harmless at first glance, they actually pose a health risk due to the use of water vapor to disperse the oil droplets. Diffusing oils in a confined space or for an extended period of time can have harmful effects on the respiratory systems of humans and pets.
Remember that cats and dogs have a much heightened olfactory sensitivity compared to humans. A scent that seems harmless to you could be overwhelming and even dangerous to an animal.
The Role Of Essential Oils
Aromatherapy, alternative medicine, and household air fresheners all benefit from essential oils, which are extracted from plants and then concentrated. Essential oils come in a wide variety, and each one has its own set of chemistry and physics.
Many people have reported positive effects from using these “natural” essential oils on both themselves and their pets.
Some pet owners, persuaded by the purported benefits of essential oils, have turned to this “natural” remedy for everything from anxiety and skin issues to protection against fleas and ticks.
Essential oils have many purported benefits (including feelings of calm, reduced stress, increased energy, and sharpened focus) for humans, but they may have serious drawbacks for your pet. In some cases, “natural” may not be risk-free.
Some preliminary research suggests essential oils may have some health benefits for pets; this research was funded largely by businesses selling herbal-infused pet products. Because of this, some holistic veterinarians now offer essential oil treatments.
Even though studies are still in their infancy, we at the Cabbagetown Animal Hospital do not use this experimental treatment because the potential drawbacks are too great. Instead, we suggest our Cabbagetown Care Preventative Care Program, which is comprehensive and may work well with your preferred holistic strategy.
Is Eucalyptus Toxic To Cats?
While the aroma of dried or fresh eucalyptus may be pleasant to you, it should not be kept in a home with cats.
Eucalyptus is toxic to felines. There are chemicals in the plant that cats can’t break down, and as a result, they can cause serious harm to your cat’s internal organs.
The following are symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning in cats:
Even eucalyptus oil can irritate your cat’s mouth and skin. Any time you use eucalyptus in a product, you should keep your cat away from it or ideally not keep it in your home at all.
Get in touch with your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has ingested eucalyptus or been exposed to eucalyptus oil.
It’s not safe to assume your cat is fine if he’s not showing any signs of eucalyptus poisoning right away; the effects can take several hours to manifest. Cat poisoning is relatively rare, but when it does occur, prompt medical attention greatly improves the prognosis.
Treatment For Eucalyptus Poisoning In Cats
Your veterinarian will wash off any eucalyptus oil that may have gotten on your cat’s fur or skin to prevent irritation and ingestion.
Doctors recommend bringing the toxin’s packaging to the vet with your pet for treatment and diagnosis. Your veterinarian may also take additional measures to treat your cat if she ingested eucalyptus.
Supportive care includes things like stomach protectants, anti-nausea drugs, and intravenous fluids. We also advise getting blood tests to check the health of various organs after ingestion.
Keep all eucalyptus oil and plants well out of your cat’s reach, though it might be best not to bring them into the house at all.
How Are Cats At Risk From Essential Oils?
Numerous studies have demonstrated that essential oils, whether ingested, applied topically, or inhaled by cats, can cause serious health problems. Severe liver damage, liver failure, respiratory failure, convulsions, and even death can result from exposure.
Cats lack the enzymes necessary for gluconuridation, the metabolic process by which essential oil compounds like phenols are broken down. Naturally occurring phenolic compounds in plants are concentrated in essential oils, making the liver the most susceptible organ to damage.
The essential oils in the air from things like candles, liquid potpourri, room sprays, and aromatherapy diffusers can be inhaled or licked off their fur. Breathing in the oil’s scent indicates that there is oil in the air, which can cause respiratory problems.
Basic safety precautions to take when using essential oils around cats at home:
- Essential oils should not be applied to cats directly, fed to cats, or left in places where cats could come into contact with them. Certain oils may deter insects and have a pleasant aroma, but they also pose a serious threat to your cat’s health. Your curious animal will appreciate it.
- Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions can be fatal to a cat, so it’s best to steer clear of using any essential oils.
- If you have a cat, don’t let it into a room where essential oils are being used. Any room in which an essential oil diffuser is in use should be off-limits to kittens, elderly cats, and cats with liver or respiratory problems.
Cats Shouldn’t Be Exposed To Any Of The Following Essential Oils:
- Peppermint oil
- Pine oils
- Tea Tree oil
- Ylang Ylang
- Cinnamon oil
- Citrus oil
- Clove oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Sweet Birch oil
- Pennyroyal oil
What Essential Oils Are Cat-Friendly?
Lavender, frankincense, and helichrysum are some of the essential oils that are thought to be safe for cats. Essential oils have their benefits, but they can be dangerous if your furry friend ingests them in large quantities.
For the most part, cats shouldn’t be exposed to other essential oils. Some are toxic if ingested, others can cause problems just from being in the same room as your pets.
Diffusers are commonplace in many homes today. Essential oils diffused in an electric or evaporative diffuser can help you and your loved ones unwind and feel better. Breathing in these aromas can also clear up respiratory issues and set the stage for speedy recovery. You can’t say the same about your furry pals.
Inhaling potent fragrances from a diffuser can cause serious health problems, including difficulty breathing. If you turn on a diffuser and your pet starts breathing heavily, take it outside immediately and contact your vet. The odor may become poisonous.
We don’t recommend using essential oil diffusers in your home if you have pets. The potential for harm far outweighs any potential benefits. It’s crucial to think about how much essential oil to take and how you’ll be exposed to it.
Animal Health Partners are recommended for after-hours emergency care if your pet has been exposed to essential oils. Talk to your vets, do your homework, and be careful when using any essential oil or diffuser.
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