Is it safe to use essential oils around cats? If you love the amazing aromas but are worried about keeping your four legged friend healthy, there are a few things you need to know about using essential oil in household cleaners, diffusers, and beauty care products.
While they are often thought of as a safe alternative to air fresheners, essential oils can actually have some harmful side effects, especially for cats. Fortunately, with a bit of knowhow and planning, you can find a way to live with both essential oils and your furry friends.
Here’s everything you need to know about using essential oils around cats.
Why Some Essential Oils Are DANGEROUS to Cats
Research has shown that there are two categories of essential oils that can be seriously harmful to your cat’s health. In particular, cats are sensitive to essential oils with polyphenolic compounds. While these compounds aren’t dangerous to us, they can be kitty killers!
The reason why it is not always safe to use essential oils around cats comes down to their liver. Cats lack the particular enzyme (glucuronyl tranferase) that other animals have to break down the components in essential oil.
Using essential oils with compounds that your cat can’t process can lead to a toxic buildup that can actually be fatal by impacting your kitty’s liver detoxification processes.
Essential Oils to Never Use Around Cat
There are a few common essential oils that you’ll never want to use around your cat. When you have a four-legged friend in the house, stay away from these essential oils. Here’s a quick and handy list of the most common essential oils that can hurt your cat.
- Tea tree
How to Use Essential Oils Around Cats Safely
Be Careful with Your Oil Diffuser
If you have an oil diffuser in your home, you probably have a massive stock of essential oils. Now that you know which essential oils are bad for your cat, go check through your stock to make sure that you don’t have any oils that can be harmful to your cat. While that might seem like an obvious step, you’ve got to do it careful. If you ever buy oil blends, you might not be aware of how many different oils go into each blend. Check through the labels carefully and make sure they are all safe.
Want an amazing scent for your house that is kitty safe? We love Organic Lavender Essential Oil 4 oz, USDA Certified Organic by Mary Tylor Naturals Premium Therapeutic Grade, 100% Pure. It’s an oversized bottle that will last for ages and smells amazing. It’s great for aromatherapy use, and can help with relaxation, headaches, and insomnia.
Wash Your Hands Before Petting Your Cat
So many products have essential oils in them these days and you might not even realize how often you have essential oil on your skin. It is common to have skincare products with tea tree oil in them, so be sure to wash your hands very carefully after using them to make sure that you don’t leave any residue on your cat’s fur.
Store Your Essential Oils Safely
Store all of your essential oils in tightly sealed bottles in closed drawers or cabinets so that your cat can’t get anywhere near them. Cats can be curious and it’s important to make sure that they aren’t rubbing against the oils or playing with the bottles.
Avoid Cleaning with Dangerous Essential Oils
Essential oils are very common for making cleaning products smell amazing. While you’re doing your household safety check, be sure to look through all of your cleaning products, especially the natural ones, to make sure that they don’t use any dangerous essential oils.
For an easy and eco-friendly cleaner, we love Seventh Generation, Free & Clear Glass & Surface. It is fragrance free and safe to use around cats (and people!). You’ll never have to worry about your kitty getting it on his or her paws or fur and accidentally ingesting it.
For another safe, eco-friendly, and cheap way to clean at home (and make your place smell amazing in the process!), check out our article on Why You Should Use Essential Oils For Laundry Instead Of Detergent.