Essential Oils and Cats

This topic seems to be coming up a lot at work lately. Clients have been calling us with questions regarding essential oils, mainly being used in a diffuser.

Essential oils are the concentrated liquids of plants. These have become very popular for their use in aromatherapy, but can also branch into cleaning products, perfumes and flavourings.

Listed below are essential oils that are known to cause poisoning in cats:

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus oil
  • Pine oils
  • Ylang ylang
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree

So, does this mean you should turn off your diffuser? Not necessarily. Using an oil diffuser for a short period and allowing your pet to come and go as they please, is not likely to be an issue.

However, if your cat has a history of breathing problems, it is probably best to avoid them altogether.

The most critical takeaway advice:

Never apply oils directly onto your cat’s skin or allow ingestion. Keeping the diffuser and oils well out of reach of curious cats is very important!

Written by: Lisa Clifford, RVT