Essential Oils That Are Safe For Cats

May 3, 2023
Essential Oils That Are Safe For Cats

There is a world full of information on essential oils for people and one-fourth of the amount of information with animal use and aromatherapy. 

That is changing as more and more research proving the benefits of supporting and loving our fur babies with aromatherapy is published.  Before you jump feet first into this beautiful world of cat aromatherapy let’s not forget how strong the aroma of our plants can be. 

Animals, especially cats have a more amplified sense of smell than humans so we must be very aware that it could be too strong. Did you know that when making essential oils, they are taking the life source and plants so-called blood out of the plant through distillation processes? They are concentrating on all the powerful and amazing chemical compounds in that specific part of a plant, so you can use less plant material and hopefully get faster results. There really is a beautiful chemistry side of this whole art of essential oils and one of the best ways to learn about it, is to watch animals select their remedies in the wild.

Are essential oils safe for cats? 

This might explain why your cat is usually the first to show up when there is an aromatherapy session going on in the home. So, it’s good to know what aromatics are safe for your babies, and ones to avoid.

Hydrosols are the perfect aromatic material to use with your cat mostly because of their gentle yet therapeutic nature.  These 5 hydrosols are loved by cats. 

  1. Cornflower hydrosol (Cenaturia cyanus) 
  2. Lavender hydrosol (Lavendula Augustifolia) 
  3. Orange blossom hydrosol (Citrus sinensis) 
  4. Rose flower Hydrosol (Rosa damascena) 
  5. Frankincense hydrosol (Boswellia carterii) 

Oils to avoid with cats.
Your cats will not like the following oils or hydrosols….
Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cassia, Citronella, Pines, Garlic, Juniper, Pennyroyal, Rue, Tansy, Camphor, Birch, Mugwort, Mustard, Hyssop, Wintergreen, Bitter almond. 

Plus, essential oils that are high in phenols are very toxic to cats so avoid them.. 

But how do you know if my cat likes aromatherapy?
They will tell you!  You will know if the aromatherapy is working by watching your cat’s body language. Here are some simple clues. 

​YES, ‘I love it Mama!’
Licking the air, stretching
Zen look, stillness, purring
Yawning, open mouth
Coming up to the bottle

NOPE, ‘This makes me super unhappy!’
Sneezing, running away
Not focused on what you’re doing
Biting, agitated

How to use essential oils for cats.
C​ats much prefer​ hydrosols, flower essences, and dried herbs and really gravitate to them. The nicest thing about hydrosols is that it can be from the same plant the essential oil is distilled from, which is much gentler. Hydrosols are a whole different subject to learn. The point is that there are options available, and one should have a little knowledge when seeking advice for their cat when using aromatherapy. 

Aromatherapy recipes your cat will love.

New Home Comfort Blend
Neroli Hydrosol
Geranium Hydrosol

1⁄8 teaspoon of each hydrosol in a bottle and place on cloth for inhalation.
You can use individually or mixed

Old Age Support
1 drop Mimosa
1 drop Sweet orange

Add to a 5 ml bottle of carrier oil of your choice.  Hydrosols are a nice option here instead of the essential oils.

Now that you have been introduced to the option of using aromatherapy with cats, you can now see that they are different when it comes to applying them. You know now to look out for your cat’s body language which can be incredibly helpful if not essential!

It is very important to be aware of the possible safety issues you may encounter when treating your cat. Please refer to Animal Aromatherapy Safety Guidance for safety guidelines when using essential oils with your lovely cats.

LabLearning animal & LabAnimal

Check out my Animal Aromatherapy podcasts:
Stephen Cital ‘Cannabinoids and our animals’
Casey Sorita ‘Equine Sports Aromatherapy’  
Joan Sorita ’Animal Aromatics‘  

To learn more about animal aromatherapy check out my LabAnimal course

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