Lets look at more information/research on using essential oils with cats safely since this is always a topic that has a lot of wrong information out there.
Thanks to Manifested Harmony for this important information about essential oils with cats. Long, but important.
I am constantly learning and I love to share what I learn. Before I share anything person-to-person, in a class or online, I make sure that I have done my research and I back 100% of what I say. Because I’m an animal protection attorney, not a veterinarian. So when I read something published online that is misleading, confusing or incorrect, I don’t like to criticize others who are trying to help, but I have to clear the air. Not everyone can be an expert in everything (believe me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work), so I learn from experts in the areas I am most passionate about. And one area involves essential oils for cats.
I just read an article (that I will not share because I don’t want it to bump up in search engines) about how Lavender essential oil is toxic to cats. WRONG!
I list first what the article said, and then my response:
🐱 Lavender is listed as toxic according to the ASPCA, but won’t necessarily cause death but it could cause vomiting.
🐈 My response: We should not make a blanket statement about an oil because we know that there are different levels of quality and safe/unsafe applications. Lavender oil is very concentrated and can be toxic to cats if it is grown with pesticides in toxic soil, if it is distilled with solvents and not fully distilled. Lavender can also be toxic to cats if it is adulterated (some other ingredient is put in the bottle but not listed on the label).
🐱 A cat’s liver is incapable of breaking down the chemicals in essential oils.
🐈 My response: Cats can break down the constituents in essential oils, just like they do with medication. The cytochrome P450 enzyme that helps with elimination is not missing, it’s just different than in dogs and humans. So when topically applying Lavender oil to a cat, it is recommended to dilute the oil 90% in an organic carrier oil so that the essential oil is absorbed slowly and can release slowly.
🐱 The author says if you want to use lavender for flea prevention, use commercially produced products rather than homebrewed.
🐈 My response: Please do not use “commercially produced” lavender flea prevention products unless you read ALL of the ingredients and know where the lavender oil is sourced. I have yet to find one that has safe ingredients. If you grow lavender and create something at home, it is likely less toxic than something commercially created, especially if you do not use any pesticides, fertilizer or toxic sprays. And the most that we can do at home is to soak lavender in water that is not known to be harmful.
🐱 The author cautions that cats can get lavender on them, groom themselves and ingest it which is not good. But then the author says its okay to put lavender on carpets and furniture.
🐈 My response: Don’t cats lay on carpet and furniture, which would cause the lavender to get on their fur and be licked? If Lavender is safe to smell, it’s safe to topically apply so long as it is truly pure. So if you have a Lavender oil that is not safe for topical application or safe to use on pets, then no one should be smelling it or spraying it on carpet or furniture.
🐱 The author says that since cats sleep most the day, they don’t need the calming effects of lavender oil.
🐈 My response: It’s really assumptive to think that all cats live a calm life. Anxiety and restlessness happens in cats, especially after last night’s 4th of July fireworks.
🐱 Near the end of the article the author says Lavender oil is okay to diffuse and probably won’t harm your cat.
🐈 My response: If anyone read to the end of the article, this leaves a confusing message. Diffusing a completely pure unadulterated Lavender oil is safe around cats. By pure I don’t mean that word on the label because there are no labeling laws for essential oils. Purity comes from how the plant was grown (no pesticides and uncontaminated soil), harvesting at the right time, distilling with water (no solvents to save money), fully distilling so that all the constituents (parts of the plant) come out which balances the oil for safe use, and bottling without additives and 100% transparency on the label.
Remember, if it’s safe to diffuse, it’s safe to topically apply in a diluted manner. So it’s always important to only use a pet-safe brand and the brand promotes their oils to be used with cats/pets.
What’s the moral of this story? Don’t believe everything you read. There are well intentioned people out there sharing information but it doesn’t mean they are correct and fully knowledgeable. They don’t know what they don’t know and they are simply regurgitating information from other incorrect sources. I am always learning (and sharing) because I learn from the best in the field. I even encourage you to research everything that I share from reputable experts and sources.
So if you see a scary article about essential oils, question it and research it before you share it or believe it.