Essential Oils and Your Pets

Essential oils are a natural product produced from plants that are easily evaporated at normal temperatures. They can either let off a nice fragrance and or taste. Oils are extracted from plants in different ways either by cold pressing or heating of the plant. We use essential oils for many different things such as flavouring, aromatherapy, insecticide, herbal remedy and even in personal care products.

These oils though can possibly be toxic to our pets, especially cats. Essential oils are absorbed different ways. Two common ways are orally or on our skin. Oils are then metabolized in the liver. Cats do not have a certain liver enzyme like we do to metabolize and eliminate the toxins from essential oils. Cats are also very sensitive to the structural compound of what makes up an oil. The stronger concentration of the oil the greater risk it is to our cat.

Here is a list of oils that have been known to cause poisoning in cats.

  1. Wintergreen
  2. Sweet Birch
  3. Citrus
  4. Pine
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Clove
  7. Peppermint
  8. Eucalyptus and Tea tree

Just to name a few. There are more than you can look up on the internet to make sure they are safe before using in your home.

If you use these oils to monitor your cat for vomiting, shaking, drooling, breathing concerns either to fast or too slow. You may also note watery eyes and nose and maybe even a cough. If you note any of these symptoms you should call your veterinarian to have your cat seen.

Written by: Christine Attridge – Hardy, Practice Manager