The Not So Essential Oils + Cats
While you may find that using essential oils (EOs) for aromatherapy helps you relax, it’s important to keep in mind that many of these oils can also pose safety risks to pets. At differing concentrations many essential oils can even be toxic.
Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils. Due to the lack of a liver enzyme (glucuronyl tranferases) they are unable to properly metabolize the components of essential oils, particularly monoterpene hydrocarbons and phenols. These substances can build up in the liver and cause toxicity problems and liver damage. It’s usually a slow process and doesn’t show symptoms until it’s too late.
The most important things to know about essential oils and cats:
- Quality Matters! Only use pure, tested, therapeutic grade oils.
- Avoid essential oils high in Monoterpene Hydrocarbons and Phenols.
- If you choose to use oils, it should be sparingly, in an open air diffuser, in a room your cat can leave.
- Always dilute oils very well.
- When in doubt, ask your vet!