Cats and Essential Oils

Cats lack the necessary enzymes necessary to metabolize essential oils, and some oils can be toxic to cats, and unfortunately cats have died following exposure or application of essential oils

Oils Toxic to Cats

Peppermint

Oregano

Clove

Sage

Citrus Oils - ALL citrus

Lavender (camphorous types)

Melaleuca

Cinnamon cassia

Tea tree

Wintergreen

Thyme

Birch

Bergamot

Pine

Spruce

Any oils containing phenols

 

Use the following with a great deal of caution and only if highly, HIGHLY diluted.

Certain oxygenated chemical constituents in some oils are particularly dangerous to cats. These are: Phenols, Ketones, and Monoterpenes. It's actually the thujone content in ketones and the carvacal in phenols that are the problem. Additionally, carvacrol is also part of the d-limonene found in all citrus.

Oils Containing Over 8% Phenols

Anise, Basil, Calamus, Cinnamon bark, Citronella, Eucalyptus citriodora, Fennel, Marjoram, Mountain Savory, Nutmeg, Parsley, Tarragon, Ylang ylang 

Oils Containing Over 20% Ketones

Cedar Western Red, Davana, Dill, Hyssop, Idaho Tansy, Marigold, Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint and Thuja

Oils Containing D-Limonene

Angelica, Bergamot, Blue Tansy, Celery seed, Citronella, Dill, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange Bitter, Orange (all), Tangerine

 

Oils Generally Safe for Cats

Clary Safe, Elemi, Frankincense, Geranium, Helichrysum, Idaho Balsam Fir, Lavender (Bulgarian), Chamomile Roman, Rosemary, Valerian

 

Signs of Cat Essential Oil Toxicity

Sudden increase in thirst

Sudden change in urination and bowel habits

Lethargy

Weightloss

Loss of appetite

Weakness

If any of these occur following exposure to essential oils, take your cat to the vet immediately and explain about the exposure.