The Truth about Essential Oils and Cats Part 2 — Late joining this series? Be sure to catch up on Part 1!
Last month, I shared about the misconceptions regarding the metabolism of essential oils and cats. In part 2, I will focus on which specific essential oils cause concern and ways to safely use essential oils for cats.
Specific Oils and Concerns —
- Citrus Oils –
These oils are highly effective in deterring and killing fleas, and they are safe for the cat as long as the spray or dip isn’t used in high concentrations. Examples of citrus oils include lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, tangerine, petitgrain, and neroli.
- Linalool –
This is a terpene that is shown to be very effective against fleas and safe to use with cats as long as it’s not used in high concentrations.
- Eucalyptus –
As long as there isn’t a gross and toxic misuse of the oil, it does not appear to have extreme toxicity concerns. Research supports that while topical and oral administrations of this oil should be done with care, diffusion is likely to hold no harm.
- Phenols –
Research shows that cats have a decreased ability to metabolize phenols, but this does not mean that they are completely unable to do so. Carefully consider the dose and frequency when administering them. Examples of oils with higher amounts of phenols include cinnamon, clove, thyme, oregano, savory, and cassia.
- Benzene Rings, Benzyl Alcohol-
Benzyl alcohol is mainly found in “essential oils” that are not recommended for use with animals – these include Benzoin and other absolutes such as hyacinth, narcissus, violet leaf, champaca, bakul, and jasmine.
- Pinene and Terpineol-
These can be used safely with proper dilutions and protocols.
Here are 4 Ways to Safely Use Essential Oils with Cats:
Make sure you use therapeutic grade oils! Yes, they are more expensive, but they are not diluted with other chemicals or additives, and they are produced under strict quality controls. Therapeutic oils are pure oils and can safely be used aromatically, topically and internally.
Litter Box Recipes –
Take 1-3 drops of the chosen essential oil essential oil blend and add to 1 cup of baking soda. Store this mixture in a glass jar and allow it to “marinade” overnight; shake it thoroughly several times. This mixture can be added to unscented litter, and it’s a good idea to have a second box without the essential oil mixture in case your cat doesn’t like the smell. You don’t want to create litter box avoidance! Here are some blends to consider:
- For Gastrointestinal Support:
Copaiba, Ginger, and Peppermint (often in smaller amounts).
- For Thyroid Support:
Copaiba, Myrrh, and Ledum.
- For Cardiac Support:
May Chang, Copaiba, and Helichrysum.
- For Sugar Handling Support:
Black Cumin Oil, Myrtle, and Anise.
- For Liver Support:
Ledum, Copaiba, and Helichrysum.
- For Virus Support:
Melissa (often, smaller amounts are needed), Copaiba, and Geranium.
- For Renal/Kidney/Urologic Support:
Juniper, Copaiba, and German Chamomile.
Water-Based Diffusion –
Using an ultrasonic diffuser, you can add oils to water and diffuse them aromatically. Some cats leave the room if they don’t like the smell, and others may not mind it at all.
Petting the Cat –
Place a drop of the oil in your hands and rub them together. Simply petting your cat allows the oil to absorb into the cat’s fur, and the oil is likely to be ingested orally during grooming.
Oral Administration –
Although it’s not common, oils can be given directly in the mouth or by capsule. However, the most desired way is for the cat to ingest it by licking and grooming, and this is “adequate to create a therapeutic response.”
Essential oils are powerful, living substances, and must be used with respect and care.
Muscle testing is the very best way to determine if your cat would benefit from the use of essential oils and if so, which method of application is best. In an interview with Ty Bollinger in The Truth About Pet Cancer documentary, Dr. Shelton stated that essential oils are a wonderful complement to conventional veterinary care, and when used together, these techniques can produce excellent benefits. To learn more about Dr. Shelton, her research, and oils she uses with pets check out her website at http://www.animaleo.info/learn-more.html
What are your experiences with Essential Oils and Cats? Please share them with us in the comments section below!