Are Essential Oils Safe Around Cats?

Are Essential Oils Safe Around Cats_

If you haven’t seen the viral Facebook post about a cat (Ernie) that got sick from an essential oil, you likely will in the next few days. It’s gone viral. Sigh. As an animal and essential oil lover, let me clarify a few things for you. YOU CAN SAFELY USE MANY OILS ON AND AROUND CATS. Do not let this viral Facebook post totally freak you out! Essential oils WILL NOT rid the planet of cats and you do not necessarily need to throw away your essential oils! Trust me, I have researched this like you wouldn’t believe over the last 4 years. Cats do metabolize things very differently than other animals (and humans) and they can indeed develop toxicity to many things, including essential oils. Despite this though, you can actually use oils safely on and around cats (and your cat will benefit from it) if you follow certain rules (see below).

# 1. Quality is huge!!! The Facebook post mentions that the essential oils were purchased from Amazon. Please, please, please DO NOT under any circumstance buy your oils from Amazon, Walmart, Bath & Body Works, the grocery (or health food store), etc without actually knowing details about the product and brand/company from which you are buying. You may save a few bucks, but you could unknowingly be getting a synthetic fragrance and this is far more dangerous to an animal (especially a cat) than the real thing. The FDA allows a perfume to legally be labeled and sold as an essential oil. No joke. Don’t believe me? I’m happy to show you where on the FDA website I found that. Do I trust Young Living the most? Absolutely! But if you feel you must purchase another brand, please do your research and make sure that oil is legit!! You owe it to your pet!

#2. The Facebook post also states that the cat loves to sleep with her and was exposed for at least 4 days from a diffuser running through the night. While we don’t know what type of diffuser was used, if the bedroom door was shut, or if the cat slept under the covers, any of these situations can create a highly concentrated environment that is not appropriate for cats. When diffusing oils around pets, use a water based diffuser, take breaks (your diffuser shouldn’t be going all day or all night), and NEVER lock them in a room with a diffuser. Animals are very intuitive and they will usually move to another room if they do not like or cannot tolerate an oil (which will in turn keep them safe).

#3. While the Facebook post doesn’t mention topical essential oil application, I think it’s important to review safety regarding this. If you apply oils to a cat, you must dilute the oil like you would if you were applying it to a baby. This means that 1 drop of essential oil should be diluted in 1 Tablespoon of carrier oil (olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, etc). THEN, a small PART of that is applied to your cat. Something to be mindful of is if you put oils on yourself, do pet your cat soon after without washing your hands? This can be a way of applying too much essential oil to a cat that many do not think about. If you plan to apply oils directly to your pet, please invest in a reference guide that is specific to animals.

#4. Pay attention and keep an eye on your pet’s behavior. Your pet will likely exhibit signs of being uncomfortable before it were to get dangerously ill. If you notice your pet acting odd, take a break, and abstain from oil use for a while. And NEVER EVER fix an essential oil problem with another essential oil.

#5. There are a wide range of opinions on which oils are safe for cats and this can also vary greatly by brand/quality. The Facebook post mentions Eucalyptus essential oil as the culprit in this circumstance. Tea Tree is also a common essential oil you will hear of as not being safe for cats. However, every report I’ve read of incidents where cats get very sick or die from essential oil use is because someone used a WAY TO MUCH of a LOW QUALITY essential oil on or around their poor cat.

# 6. Use some caution with essential oils that are high in phenols such as cassia, clove, oregano, thyme, and mountain savory, as well as oils high in monoterpenes like citrus oils, pine, spruce, and fir. While you should exercise some caution, in my opinion, you don’t necessarily need to completely avoid these oils all together. Instead, you may just want to mix it up versus diffusing the same essential oil constantly. This is good for your cat’s system AND your health!

Now, share this blog post versus the Facebook post about Ernie so we can properly educate oil users and cat lovers instead of just freaking people out. :)

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COPYRIGHT: © Sarah Biskobing and The Oil Essentials, 2015. You may use the URL of this post to share it on social media. You may also use the URL of this post to link to it from another website/blog. However, no part of the text of this post may be copied and used in a social media status update or on another website/blog without prior written permission of the author. You may share the graphics/s associated with this post on social media as long as they are not edited in any way. However, you may not use the graphic/s associated with this post on another website/blog without prior written permission of the author. This post and the graphic/s associated with it may not be printed and distributed without the prior written permission of the author. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living essential oils. The statements made and the products mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please read the full disclaimer here.

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Essential Oils and Pets: 10 Safety and Usage Tips

Essential Oils and Pets- 10 Safety and Usage Tips

I’ve had a lot of people in our Oil Moxie group contact me with questions regarding essential oils and pets. Although I’m not an expert, I do have two dogs that we diffuse around daily and apply essential oils to throughout the week. I have also spent a significant amount of time reading about the safe use of essential oils on animals. I summarized what I think are 10 of the most important essential oils pet safety and usage tips (for dogs and cats). As with everything on this blog, please use the below information to spark further research. :)

Here we go! 10 super important essential oil tips for pets!

Tip # 1. Because animals cannot tell us if they are experiencing discomfort, never do anything to your pet that you have not done to yourself or that you wouldn’t do to a baby. For example, essential oils are not meant for use in the eye or ear canal of a human – this same rule holds true for animals.

Tip # 2. Our furry friends often weigh a fraction of what we weigh. If one drop of Lavender can soothe the skin of a 160 pound person, it will take MUCH less Lavender to ease the skin of a small 10 pound cat or dog – 6/100th of a drop to be exact! Therefore, use the least amount of essential oil possible on your pet and dilute, dilute, dilute! If your pet is the size of a baby or a small child, dilute the essential oil just as you would if you were going to use it on a baby or a small child (1-2 drops in at least 1/2-1 teaspoon of carrier oil). Be conservative when applying essential oils to an animal and don’t be afraid to use carrier oil. You can always use more essential oil, but you can never take it away.

Tip # 3. Despite what you may have seen elsewhere, do not apply essential oils to your pets’ paws. Human feet and animal paws are not the same. Although some pets tolerate essential oils on their paws quite well, others do not and they can become VERY uncomfortable. The risk of discomfort to your pet does not outweigh the potential benefit. Instead, apply essential oils to your pet by petting them. Petting is highly effective, better tolerated, and a much easier application method. Read below for more detail on the “why” when it comes to steering clear of your pets’ paw.

  • Our furry companions are constantly absorbing toxic chemicals through their paws – think floor cleaners, carpet deodorizers, kitty litter scents, hair product residue, fabric softeners on blankets, fertilizers, weed killers, snow and ice melt, air fresheners, pollution, and other environmental toxins. Purging these toxins from your pet’s body can be highly beneficial and essential oils can initiate a cleansing event. However, when essential oils are applied to the paws of an animal, we can create a highly concentrated and very rapid detoxification. This can be very uncomfortable to your pet and can cause itching, inflammation, redness, and pain. These adverse reactions may be difficult to recognize because the paws are covered in fur.
  • Unlike humans, animals (specifically, cats and dogs) mainly only have sweat glands on their feet. Just as a human wouldn’t apply an essential oil (especially a hot oil) to their armpit, do not apply an essential oil to an animal’s paw. Although the paw of an animal feels tougher than the skin of a human armpit, the paw can still be highly sensitive.

Tip # 4. If your pet is extra furry, don’t worry! It is not necessary to get the oil directly onto your pet’s skin for it to be effective. Hair follicles actually aid in the absorption of essential oils. Therefore, petting the essential oil onto your pet will still allow for the oil to be absorbed into the animal.

Tip # 5. Keep an eye on your pet after applying oils to their fur and while diffusing essential oils in your home. If your pet negatively changes its’ behavior or begins to acts strange, do not reapply or expose your pet to more or another essential oil at that time. Never correct an “oil problem” with another essential oil as it may create additional discomfort.  If you ever suspect discomfort at the location of oil application, do not rinse with water (as this will drive the oil deeper into the tissue). Instead, dilute the area with a carrier oil (Young Living’s V-6 oil, coconut oil, or olive oil).

Tip # 6. Tea Tree oil (or Melaleuca Alternifolia) may be toxic and deadly to cats. Therefore, do not use or diffuse Tea Tree, or blends containing Tea Tree oil (such as, Purification and Melrose) on or around cats. The risk far exceeds any potential benefit (especially when there are so many other oils you can use). Reserve these oils for use on yourself and your family and use other oils on and around your cats.

Tip # 7. Do not lock your pet in a room while the diffuser is running. Instead, allow your pet to roam freely throughout the house while diffusing essential oils. Your pet will likely move to another room if they are not enjoying the scent or are having a difficult time tolerating the essential oil.

Tip # 8. As beneficial as essential oils can be to an animal, be sure to allow your pet periods of time during the day that are free from essential oils (cats can actually develop liver toxicity from overuse of essential oils). As with anything, balance and moderation is key. You don’t have to be fearful. Simply be cautious and use your oils conservatively (especially when you first start).

Tip # 9. NEVER use low quality or adulterated essential oils on or around animals (as it can be dangerous and toxic). When used correctly, Young Living essential oils are safe to use on pets and can offer amazing health enhancing benefits.

Tip # 10. Do what professionals have already proven to be effective and safe and ALWAYS refer to a reference guide! You can learn where to purchase a reference guide here. Lastly, seek out a veterinarian for serious issues or when in doubt over pet oiling safety.

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Sources:

1. Reference Guide for Essential Oils (2013) by Connie and Alan Higley.

2. Essential Oils Desk Reference (Sixth Edition) by Life Science Publishing.

3. AnimalEO by Melissa Shelton, DMV: http://www.animaleo.info/learn-more.html

4. Applying Oils to Animals: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b722e5b53c15056ebf3b284f&id=664184d463

5. Quite possibly, I have answered this question over a thousand times! No matter how many times I answer it, tomorrow it will be presented yet again! It is time to document my “long answer” in a newsletter! http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b722e5b53c15056ebf3b284f&id=5b8bc07c3f

6.Basic Rules for Using Essential Oils In Animals (Remember…Humans are Animals Too!): http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b722e5b53c15056ebf3b284f&id=a827e496a2

7. Burning Frankincense Resinhas been performed for thousands of years… http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=2b722e5b53c15056ebf3b284f&id=7f43bb7c81

COPYRIGHT: © Sarah Biskobing and The Oil Essentials, 2015. You may use the URL of this post to share it on social media. You may also use the URL of this post to link to it from another website/blog. However, no part of the text of this post may be copied and used in a social media status update or on another website/blog without prior written permission of the author. You may share the graphics/s associated with this post on social media as long as they are not edited in any way. However, you may not use the graphic/s associated with this post on another website/blog without prior written permission of the author. This post and the graphic/s associated with it may not be printed and distributed without the prior written permission of the author. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living essential oils. The statements made and the products mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please read the full disclaimer here.

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