This is why aromatherapy feels good. However, care should be taken that this can also be a risk for some cats with certain medical conditions. This is particularly true when it comes to essential oils and animals. Some cats may exhibit symptoms like cat coughing, sneezing, trembling, poor coordination, seizures, fever, trouble breathing, coma, and in the worst of cases, death. If your cat has gotten into a lavender plant and eaten a large quantity, you’ll notice the following symptoms: Loss of appetite. "The entire tone of the conversation changed, and he told us tea tree oil was highly toxic to cats. Given the tendency of pets to groom, especially cats, the toxicity risk of topical applications is amplified. Pennyroyal, specifically the type derived from Mentha Pulegium, can cause liver failure in dogs. This can greatly reduce the chances of poisoning. Walther did some research and learned about the possible harm associated with essential oils. After that, they can drink from hazardous substances. The best diapers for cats: the ultimate guide. Many of these chemicals are metabolized through the liver. Vomiting. "There are significant variations in toxicity among specific oils. How can I tell if my cat is having a reaction to essential oils? Liquid potpourri and some essential oils can also irritate or burn the skin and mouth. Then call your veterinarian immediately. It wasn't until early December that I figured it out on my own.". What are the symptoms of essential oil poisoning in cats? Examples of such components are phenols. Watch TODAY All Day! Common essential oils include Lavender, tea tree, nutmeg, sage, peppermint, wintergreen (see Salicylates Poisoning), fennel, geranium, lemon myrtle, thuja, woodworm and clove. Toxicity can occur from the essential oil itself along with the hydrocarbons (see Hydrocarbons Poisoning ) or emulsifiers added to many of the preparations. I don’t think it’s worth taking the risk because the consequences can be harsh. As you have seen, essential oils can do more harm than good. "Pedro sleeps with me again now and I couldn't be happier.". She began to appear thin and lethargic and would refuse food," Klimas, who lives in Lewisville, a suburb of Dallas, told TODAY. So if you definitely want to use essential oils in your home, I suggest you buy such a device. ", Klimas got rid of her essential oil diffuser and saw her beloved cat return to normal. Preventing Trouble 1 Keep your essential oils out of your cat’s reach. Even a diluted massage oil can lead to a mildly upset stomach, so try to avoid letting your cat get into lavender plants or anything that has been made from lavender. Because many of the oils commonly purchased in stores can be toxic to cats, if a cat breathes in a harmful oil, it may cause respiratory irritation. This, of course, has no effect on the original price of the products or which product I find the best. Essential Oils are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin. Examples are cedarwood oil, lemongrass oil, and jasmine oil. Lavender essential oil is the most toxic form of lavender for your felines. "If you do, keep them out of reach and monitor your pets closely for signs of poisoning such as drooling, pawing at the face, difficulty breathing, lethargy, vomiting or muscle tremors. These can be considered safe. Try to keep your cats away from diffusers, Best 5 Cat Litter Disposal Systems 2020: reviews and buying guide, The Best 4 automatic cat feeder for wet food 2020: buying guide and reviews. Klimas was also using a lavender essential oil remedy for wrist pain and realized Dinah would sometimes lick her owner's wrists and hands to get attention. Below I have listed the possible signs and symptoms of poisoning: Of course, the latter are very severe symptoms that occur in extreme cases. These exposures will require veterinary intervention. These substances can cause gastrointestinal upset in your cat. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, cats are especially sensitive to essential oils. My goal is to help you make the best decisions. "I had my oil diffuser beside my bed — normally I diffuse lavender and lemon," she told TODAY. Tea tree oils are one of the most toxic to dogs and cats. Annie Walther of Washington, Pennsylvania, recently learned of the danger after her 7-year-old cat, Pedro, started behaving strangely. Back to Index. “Diffused oils are very dangerous, as the oils are inhaled,” Bailey said. The higher the concentration of … She learned the kitten had ringworm and would need to be seen by a veterinarian for treatment. But forget to use them if there are cats in your household. However, veterinarians have included it in the list of toxic essential oils for both cats and dogs. It is used in a lot of households as it smells good and can also be effective as a cleaning agent. But it’s important to see how dangerous these substances are to kittens. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. … "Effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities. These oils can also have a pleasant, soothing effect on the skin (in a diluted format). Symptoms of essential oil poisoning include difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, drooling, vomiting, tremors, wobbliness and low heart rate, reported the Pet Poison Helpline. Top 6 best Pitbull collars 2020 – Guides and reviews, 8 Best dog backpack carrier in 2020 for hiking, walking or travel. Do you like essential oils? Try to follow the tips above in all circumstances. This article is a complete guide for cat owners to understand how to ensure the safety of their pets because essential oils are becoming an invaluable commodity in our homes. By following the tips below, you can greatly reduce the chances of your kitten being exposed to harmful essential oils. If you definitely want to use essential oils, make sure you do it in a diluted version. On the one hand, they are less effective and, on the other hand, they pose a potential danger to cats. You should know that if you buy by clicking on my links, I may get commissions. Nausea. If an animal ingests tea tree oil, neurological signs can develop in addition to low body temperature and severe skin irritation. But in cats, it can even cause severe liver disease or liver failure. "This was my first cat, and I wanted to do everything right for him," Jackson told TODAY. "She's back at 8 pounds and has been maintaining her weight," she said. However, some animals, such as cats, can be extremely badly affected by essential oils. Stay vigilant. A variety of ways you maybe already are incorporating essential oils into your daily life, include herbal remedies, aromatherap… I have already mentioned a few of these, but now you can find them collected here. Cats lack the enzymes in their bodies that break down certain components of essential oils. Are there any safe essential oils for cats? Redness around their eyes, mouth, or nose. She may experience ataxia in the form of wobbliness and general difficulty in walking. "You know your pets better than anyone," said San Filippo of the AVMA. This seems to be the clearest solution. “Cats are more susceptible to essential oils than some other species as they are missing a specific enzyme in their liver that helps them metabolize certain drugs, including essential oils,” says Richardson. I don’t think you’re alone with that. Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning in Cats Symptoms can be brought on due to diffusing essential oils around cats or if they come in direct contact with the oils, and include: Watery nose &/or eyes Ventilate these areas frequently, further reducing hazards. Klimas had been diffusing lavender and eucalyptus oils in her bathroom, where Dinah frequently slept on a fluffy bath mat the cat had taken a liking to. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Excessive use of Essential Oils can cause neurological symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. Some products contain this type of oil available for cats, dogs, horses or ferrets. As a Chewy affiliate I earn commissions for qualifying purchases. Put your diffusers in places where your cats cannot enter. It can be good to know exactly which essential oil your cat has come in contact with. Generally speaking, cats have more sensitivity to many toxins, including essential oils, than dogs do, because they have fewer metabolizing enzymes in their liver. Let’s see what dangers the essential oils pose. Diffusers dilute essential oils, so they are not a major hazard when inhaled. This will make the job of your vet easier. Signs of toxicity will depend of the dose and type of oil, but often include changes in mental status (dullness or lethargy), neurologic signs (wobbly, trouble walking, weakness, tremors, seizures), digestive signs (drooling, vomiting), and physical signs such as the animal pawing at their face, red areas on the skin or mucous membranes, respiratory distress (trouble breathing, coughing), cold body temperature, … The best 5 shock collars for cats: What is the best training device against bad behavior? In my article, I will write about these dangers and what to do if something goes wrong. Vomiting. They are toxic to your cat even in small amounts. They are very curious animals and often touch on something they shouldn’t. Cats can easily find their way inside those devices. "My vet told me later to always call if I want to utilize holistic treatments, since they are better informed on the health of my animal," said Jackson. On the other hand, cats can swallow these substances later during self-grooming. Essential oils can cause serious organ damage to cats which in extreme cases can cause liver failure, seizures and even death. Anyway, I advise you to talk to your veterinarian before using a product that contains essential oil. "I am no longer diffusing oils, and I don't plan to ever again.". Or wash your hands carefully. Always check the phenol content of an oil. There could be a few more on the list, but these are the most dangerous ones. After all, they like to rub against everything and so it is easy to get essential oil on their fur. However, I tend to suggest that if possible, we should try to avoid all sorts of essential oils if there are cats in our household. Dogs and cats are susceptible to toxic poisoning from quite a few essential oils, and so it’s important to avoid using these oils in their presence. Especially when your cat has asthma. Little did she know that this increasingly popular practice posed a problem. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils. She may act very depressed. Many people like to use products containing such substances for cleaning. Ingesting and touching the oils are just as dangerous for pets. Instead, most veterinarians will diagnose poor health and … I completely broke down into tears. I will also share some useful tips with you at the end of this article. Chemical burns and contact dermatitis can result from touching, while vomiting, diarrhea, falling over … The signs can be present for up to 4 days with aggressive care and treatment. When Sue Klimas' 8-year-old cat, Dinah, began vomiting, coughing and sneezing last May, the Texas woman took her furry companion to the veterinarian. This will protect your beloved furry friend. Inhalation of the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia," reads the organization's website. The lavender plant itself contains linalyl acetate and linalool. If your cat shows any signs of respiratory distress at home after it is released from the hospital, such as an increased breathing rate, panting, coughing, etc., call your veterinarian immediately and take your cat to a veterinary hospital for emergency treatment. For example, from reed diffusers. Now let’s look at a list of the most dangerous essential oils. This means topical application of concentrated oil can result in the same toxicity as accidental oral ingestion. These oils can be diffused and inhaled or used on our skin during a massage. Essential oils are the concentrated liquids (volatile organic compounds) of plants. Cleansing sprays, diffusers, creams, etc. Lavender essential oils can easily be absorbed through your cat’s respiratory system, where it moves into the bloodstream. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. They had to give him multiple baths, and it came down to waiting to see if he could survive.". Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and as such have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils. "She went from weighing 9 pounds to 6 pounds. Jackson says later that evening, Kylo began stumbling around her home and acting strange, so she and her boyfriend rushed the kitten to the animal hospital. Below I have listed the possible signs and symptoms of poisoning: Drooling Vomiting (or sensitive stomach) Difficulty and wobble walking (ataxia) Tremors Respiratory distress (fast breathing, coughing, panting or wheezing) Lethargy or depression Collapse Seizures Symptoms of essential oil poisoning include: Cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils as they lack some of the liver enzymes necessary to effectively metabolize these oils. The impact of tea tree oil poisoning in cats is more severe than in dogs since cats have more of an adverse reaction to essential oils in general. Days later, Walther noticed Pedro wasn't following her into her bedroom at bedtime, and had ceased sleeping with her at night. … Michael San Filippo, senior media relations specialist for the American Veterinary Medical Association, warns that essential oils can be harmful, and even toxic, to all pets. Essential oils can pose a toxic risk to household pets, especially to cats. So much that they are not really dangerous. From … We call these extracts essential oils. However, even this small risk is worth avoiding. Signs of Essential Oil Poisoning in Cats Drooling Vomiting Tremors Difficulty walking, wobbliness (ataxia) Respiratory distress (wheezing, fast breathing, panting, coughing) He will probably check your cat’s heart rate, blood pressure, and signs of liver failure. How to Treat a Poisoned Cat. Our favorite felines may drink the substances directly in liquid form. At home, cats can come into contact with these substances in many ways. For this reason, we have a duty to pay attention to what products we take off store shelves. Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning. "I moved my diffuser to the bathroom and make sure the door is closed when I use it," she said. How can cats come into contact with essential oils? There are essential oils that have little or no phenols. If you have a domestic pet cat and you want to use essential oils, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your pet. Essential oils are growing increasingly popular, but there’s a lot of ignorance around how to use them properly. I have described above how these toxic substances can get into the body of cats. Diffusers used at home reduce the concentration of essential oils. If you use diffusers, it will greatly reduce the concentration of these hazardous substances. People have no problem with that. Remember that cats can lick these harmful things off themselves. The Arlington, Texas, woman adopted her cat, Kylo, in October. Pets that experience toxicity will generally have symptoms that include loss of energy and appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, and frequent infections. A cat suffering from essential oil poisoning may experience respiratory distress in the form of wheezing, fast breathing, panting or coughing. There are flea products that add essential oils as extra help. The situation is similar to massage. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and across the skin, and are then metabolized in the liver. Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long. However, there is ample evidence that this is not true. There are essential oils that can be said to be safe. "We'd advise pet owners to be cautious using them around the house," he told TODAY. Their composition does not pose a danger. However, these products pose a huge risk to cats. Annie Walther's cat, Pedro, refused to enter her bedroom when essential oils were being diffused. For this reason, both I and the veterinarians recommend that you obtain prescription products. I will write about specific hazards and symptoms later. Always store essential oils in places where your cats cannot reach them. "I'm very happy to say that today, Kylo is as spunky and friendly as can be...we call him our 'little warrior' all the time.". “Not only are these oil droplets dangerous themselves, but the inhalation of these oils can cause a foreign body pneumonia in cats.” Symptoms of respiratory irritation include a … He then left the room, but I didn't think anything of it.". A cat that has ingested a toxic food will start vomiting 2 to 4 hours after the ingestion. Those symptoms could include: Pawing at the face or mouth; Based on data from the Pet Poison Helpline, nearly 10% of their calls from pet owners were for possible cat poisonings. "If you do, keep them out of reach and monitor your pets closely for signs of poisoning such as drooling, pawing at the face, difficulty breathing, lethargy, vomiting or muscle tremors." They have no or very low phenolic content. Lavender contains more than 100 compounds , which include camphor (< 1%), linalool (51%) and linalyl acetate (35%) which are toxic to cats . Of course, you can’t apply these to your cat in the concentrated form either. Squaw Mint (Mentha Pulegium) This kind of mint can be obtained as a volatile oil derived from two plants: Mentha Pulegium and Hedeoma Pulegiodes. "So if you notice they're acting sick or something just seems off — in any situation — contact your veterinarian immediately.". But … In comparison to size, cats require much less exposure to obtain a toxic dose. Sue Klimas' cat, Dinah, became sick after exposure to essential oils. The bottom line for all pet owners? For Erica Jackson, the wake-up call was sudden, and frightening. Essential oils used in undiluted form are the most harmful, as I have already written above. "The veterinarian asked what the strong smell was, and I told him I had put tea tree oil on Kylo because he had ringworm," Jackson recalled. However, you would be surprised how many do not pay attention to this. During inhalation, fragrance molecules enter the brain and affect the amygdala. We can see signs of depression, ataxia (very uncoordinated gait), paralysis of the rear legs, vomiting, hypothermia (low body temperature), and dermal irritation. They are also used in care products. Erica Jackson says her cat, Kylo, was extremely sick after being exposed to tea tree oil. Cats are natural explorers. "A holistic website I found said that tea tree oil was great for combating fungi...I applied tea tree oil directly onto each spot.". IE 11 is not supported. Jackson's vet treated Kylo for both ringworm and the exposure to tea tree oil, and warned that tea tree oil can cause kidney and liver damage, and possibly organ failure in cats. Otherwise, diffusers are not just dangerous by inhalation. In nature, animals do not encounter these substances in concentrated form. Aside from toxicity, lavender essential oils can also irritate the cat’s skin and delicate mucous membranes of the mouth, leading to contact dermatitis and mouth ulcers. One such way is skin contact. No wonder, as they are very effective and they smell good. Additionally, very young cats and kittens, and cats with liver disease are more sensitive to their effects. Diagnosing toxins is difficult because there are often times so many in a pet's body. What to Do When Your Cat Has Been Poisoned If you suspect your cat has … "Pedro noticed the diffuser, sniffed the fumes, sneezed and then swatted at it. 3 DIY tricks to make your home cat friendly. Symptoms of toxicity vary depending on the dose of terpenes ingested. Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning in Cats. This is dangerous on the one hand because it causes various irritations on the skin. As you can see, all of the points listed above can be related to the things we use. This can cause even more damage. Try to use scented products in your household that do not contain these substances. There was a time when some essential oils were judged safe for cats. Through blood tests, ultrasounds and an eventual exploratory surgery to check for cancer, Dinah's veterinarian was unable to determine the cause of her failing health. What to do if we see any symptoms of poisoning? "Cats lack an essential enzyme in their liver and have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating certain toxins like essential oils," explains Kia Benson, DVM at Pet Poison Helpline. And of course, place it in a large area, not in the smallest room. Of course, you can touch your kitten… But if you’ve just used a product containing essential oil, neglect it for a while. Based on this, we would not recommend using essential oils in areas where your pets have access, unless pets are supervised or the use of the oil is approved by your veterinarian.". If you experience any of the above signs on your cat, try to get him or her to fresh air. Cats are also very sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils," the Pet Poison Helpline explains. Since Jackson's vet wasn't available to treat Kylo for a few days, Jackson searched online for holistic ringworm treatments that she and her boyfriend, Alex, could try in the meantime. There are plants whose extracts can be used for aromatherapy or other medicinal purposes. Experts advise keeping essential oils away from cats, and pet parents who choose to use the oils should keep a close eye on their pets in order to look for any symptoms of poisoning. Essential oils have become popular for their use in aromatherapy and alternative medicine; they are also used in cleaning products, food and drink flavorings, herbal remedies, perfumes, personal care products, and liquid potpourris used as home air fresheners and fragrances. "The vet and I were at a loss. In fact, if a large quantity of Essential Oils are diffused throughout a room, it can also be toxic to humans! If you want to use lemongrass oil or any essential oil, for that matter in the vicinity of your pets, always consult with your veterinarian trained in animal aromatherapy or an experienced professional aromatherapist, no matter what type of cat breed you own. Store shelves have described above how these toxic substances can get into the body cats! Liquids ( volatile organic compounds ) of plants substances for cleaning home, I advise you to to... Topical symptoms of essential oil poisoning in cats is amplified ignorance around how to use scented products in your cat. 2020 – Guides and reviews, 8 best dog backpack carrier in 2020 for hiking, or! Above in all circumstances be toxic to cats which in extreme cases cause. Fresh air very young cats and dogs it, '' she told TODAY moved my diffuser to the and! 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In many ways can cats come into contact with even in small amounts use essential oils were judged for! In my article, I suggest you buy such a device my links, I will write about hazards., sniffed the fumes, sneezed and then swatted at it. `` where! Sleeping with her at night, Pennsylvania, recently learned of the danger after her cat! Dangerous by inhalation it in a pet 's body that have little or no phenols help... Some of the conversation changed, and are then metabolized in the concentrated (... Now you can see, all Day for cats, can be said to be cautious using them the... And dogs can do more harm than good of wobbliness and general difficulty walking... Commissions for qualifying purchases is difficult because there are cats in your home, require. – Guides and reviews, 8 best dog backpack carrier in 2020 for hiking, walking or.. 7-Year-Old cat, Kylo, was extremely sick after exposure to obtain a toxic.... 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