Essential Oil Safety With Cats

1190665_catsDo essential oils affect cats differently than dogs?

As beneficial as essential oils are for humans, dogs, horses, goats, etc., many essential oils can be overpowering for cats. Cats are built differently and need to be treated with a great deal more caution.

Its a Matter of Physiology

Most essential oils are made up of hydrocarbons and terpenoids. In dogs, horses and humans, the terpenoids are transported to the liver to be metabolized after the oils have been absorbed through the skin or inhaled into the lungs. After the necessary metabolic processes occur in the liver and bloodstream, the remaining water-soluble metabolites are eliminated through the urine and feces.

But cats are different. Cats lack the liver enzyme (glucuronyl tranferase) that would allow them to break down these compounds. So it takes much longer for the metobolites to be eliminated from the feline system.

In cats, these otherwise harmless substances can build up in the liver, sometimes very quickly, depending on the amount of exposure. This can cause toxicity problems and liver damage. It's usually a slow process and doesn't show up until it's too late.

This is not the only thing cats are extremely sensitive to. Cats are also particularly sensitive to chemicals, such as insecticides, herbisides,

According to Wikipedia, there are many substances that are toxic to cats:

Substances That are Toxic to Cats:

1112472_petteriSome houseplants are harmful to cats. For example, the leaves of the Easter Lily can cause permanent and life-threatening kidney damage to cats, and Philodendron are also poisonous to cats. The Cat Fanciers' Association has a full list of plants harmful to cats.

Paracetamol or acetaminophen (trade name Panadol and Tylenol) is extremely toxic to cats, and should not be given to them under any circumstances. Cats lack the necessary glucuronyl transferase enzymes to safely break paracetamol down and minute portions of a normal tablet for humans may prove fatal. Initial symptoms include vomiting, salivation and discolouration of the tongue and gums. After around two days, liver damage is evident, typically giving rise to jaundice. Unlike an overdose in humans, it is rarely liver damage that is the cause of death, instead methaemoglobin formation and the production of Heinz bodies in red blood cells inhibit oxygen transport by the blood, causing asphyxiation. Effective treatment is occasionally possible for small doses, but must be extremely rapid.

Even aspirin, which is sometimes used to treat arthritis in cats, is much more toxic to them than to humans and must be administered cautiously. Similarly, application of minoxidil (Rogaine) to the skin of cats, either accidental or by well-meaning owners attempting to counter loss of fur, has sometimes proved fatal.

In addition to such obvious dangers as insecticides and weed killers, other common household substances that should be used with caution in areas where cats may be exposed to them include mothballs and other naphthalene products, as well as phenol based products often used for cleaning and disinfecting near cats' feeding areas or litter boxes, such as Pine-Sol, Dettol (Lysol), hexachlorophene, etc. which, although they are widely used without problem, have been sometimes seen to be fatal. Ethylene glycol, often used as an automotive antifreeze, is particularly appealing to cats, and as little as a teaspoonful can be fatal. Essential oils are toxic to cats and there have been reported cases of serious illnesses caused by tea tree oil, and tea tree oil-based flea treatments and shampoos.

Many human foods are somewhat toxic to cats; theobromine in chocolate can cause theobromine poisoning, for instance, although few cats will eat chocolate. Toxicity in cats ingesting relatively large amounts of onions or garlic has also been reported."

Does this mean that all essential oils should be avoided with cats?

Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is what is the quality of the essential oils used? Because so many essential oils are adulterated or created in a laboratory and completely artificial, they can contain many unnatural, harmful elements. Since we know cats are highly sensitive to chemicals and artificial ingredients, it could be that the toxins in inferior oils are the culprits. There are many cases of therapeutic-grade essential oils benefiting cats, and even saving cat's lives.

Nonetheless, it's prudent to be cautious. The cat's unique physiology makes it difficult for their livers to metabolize the compounds in essential oils, even when inhaled. This is particularly true with oils high in phenols and hydrocarbons. That's why it's important to avoid essential oils high in phenols and hydrocarbon monoterpenes with cats.

Low-phenol hydrosols are generally accepted as OK for cats, but not by all animal experts. There are no studies to tell us what the feline tolerance is to hydrosols. Many people use them with great success. Others avoid them.

Here is a partial list of essential oils that should be avoided with cats from
Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell. (This list is not necessarily inclusive and there are no assurances of it's accuracy).

Essential Oils to Avoid with Cats*

Essential Oils High in Monoterpene Hydrocarbons











Essential Oils High in Phenols

Cassia (cinnamon)






Other sources list additional oils as toxic to cats. According to, the following essential oils are very toxic to cats:

Citrus oils
Clove (Eugenol)
Tea Tree also states that any products containing linalool (found in lavender and coriander oils, or d-limonene, found in citrus oils), are toxic to felines.

Essential oils that are safer for use with felines include:


According to Dr. Nancy Brandt, DVM, Thyme should not be used on cats as it is high in phenol.

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Comments on Essential Oil Safety With Cats »

December 13, 2010

Evelyn @ 8:51 pm

In researching essential oils that are toxic for cats, there is some conflicting information, however every source is in agreement regarding phenol and citrus oils. Several other sources have warned against Thyme being high phenol and also Rosemary being risky(not sure of the reason for this one). Some sources have oddly recommended Thieves for cats which appears extremely dangerous due to it's ingredients of Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, all highly warned against and also Lemon being citrus. Rosemary is also questionable according to some sources.

Here is a quote from the article "Aromatherapy for Animals" regarding an experienced veterinarian, Dr. Nancy Brandt, DVM:

"In response to questions regarding cats — Dr. Brandt says NO PHENOLS on cats. PHENOLS are a naturally occurring constituent in many essential oils and should NOT be used on cats and other small animals.

Examples of oils high in PHENOLS:

Mountain Savory

DO NOT use these on cats.

She makes no bones about NOT using any other oils but Young Living Essential Oils. This is because of the quality of the oils. Young Living's oils have no dangerous adulterants, which would also be dangerous to cats and other animals."

Essential Oil Diva @ 9:17 pm


Thanks for your comment and list of oils. There is a lot of conflicting information and all other factors put aside, I agree with the experts that phenols and citrus oils should be avoided with cats.

The Essential Oil Diva

January 26, 2011

Nancy @ 1:27 pm

My cat loves shea butter. When I open the container he comes running fron where ever he is. Is it harmful for him to lick it from my skin? Will it help with hair balls as he is long haired?

January 28, 2011

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:43 pm


As far as I know, a small amount of shea butter shouldn't be a problem for your cat and might help with hairballs.

Shea butter is made from the nuts of an African tree called the Karite Nut tree, so it is a nut. In general, nuts are not good for cats or dogs because they contain high levels phosphorus and nut proteins. This is especially true for dogs. However, researchers have found that shea butter contains less than 1/30th the amount of protein found in cashews and even less than the amount found in peanuts, and that most people who are allergic to nuts don't react to shea butter. Whether this research holds for cats is unknown.

But on the whole, a small amount of shea butter now and then obtained from licking your hands probably won't hurt your cat. But I wouldn't let your cat lick the shea butter from the container.

The Essential Oil Diva

August 31, 2011

Jill @ 2:01 am

Hello. I'm looking for some help with a mystery. My 9 yo cat was staying with a friend, she noticed he was limping with a swollen foot. She put two drops of highest quality myrrh oil on his fur which he licked off immediately. He started to salivate profusely and she rushed him to the vet. He was admitted and by the next morning he was in severe respiratory distress. Xrays showed no signs of heart or lung problems, no fluid either. Blood work was all normal. Breathin got worse, was sent to a specialist where they kept him on IV fluids and oxygen. My sweet cat died a couple of hours later. No one knows what caused it and poison control does not think it was related to the myrrh oil. I have been a vet nurse for 28 years and this is a mystery to me. My gut says it was the oil…he was a very healthy yet very sensitive cat. Any thoughts you could share would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

September 1, 2011

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:55 pm


I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. It is so difficult when a beloved pet passes suddenly.

I can't say if it was the myrrh oil or not, but two drops of any undiluted oil is too much for a cat. Essential oils MUST ALWAYS be diluted when used on small animals such as cats and dogs.

The amount of oil used needs to be in proportion to the size and weight of the animal. While 2 to 3 drops of oil may be perfect for a human being that is 150 to 160 lbs, you'd need 10 times less for an animal that is only 15 lbs, and 10 times more for a horse that is 1,500 lbs.

For cats, dogs and other small animals, the oils need to be diluted 80 to 90 percent for optimal safety. Cats metabolize oils (and most everything) differently than dogs and other animals. Much more caution is needed.

Another issue with cats is that they tend to lick the oil off, getting it into their system where it can be far too strong.

Cats are especially sensitive to oils with high phenol or citrus oils. Myrrh is neither, but the fact that it was undiluted may be the issue, although, again, I can't really say.

An excellent ointment to put on all animals that is gentle and formulated to help healing is Animal Scents Ointment.
It's really wonderful for every bruise, scratch, wound animals (and humans) get. But I would apply very little on a cat – just a tiny dab – 1/8 or 1/10 of a teaspoon.

Another thing is that although some oils are marked therapeutic-grade, they are actually not. There is so much counterfeiting and "doctoring" of oils and passing them off as therapeutic-grade today, that its very hard to tell what is real and what isn't. Most companies do not take the extra steps that Young Living does to insure that the oils are completely pure. Cats are extraordinarily sensitive to toxins, and that could have had something to do with it.

Like people, cats are different and some cats actually love a variety of oils being put on them with no ill effects. Other cats are more sensitive and react strongly with just a little oil. Its important to know you cat before trying any oil.

I hope you can find another sweet kitty in the near future to take the place of your loss.

The Essential Oil Diva

Jill @ 3:18 pm

Hello again and thank you for the information. I work as a veterinary nurse and for 8 of those years I was head nurse in a Holistic practice. We worked with chinese herbs and homeopathics but I have no experience with essential oils. I do know that cats are quite sensitive and my gut was telling me that the respiratory problem was indeed caused by the oil being used full strength and then him licking it off. Unfortunately, he was living with a friend who was taking care of him while I was out of the country. She meant well and its just a horrible tragic mistake. The thing I was most upset about was that when she called animal poison control, they told her the respiratory problem could not have been brought on by the oil and the vets didn't get it either. They kept insisting he must have fluid in his chest and when they attempted to tap his chest he died. The tap was negative for fluid. It was so hard for me to not be there to help the doctors make better decisions. But nothing will bring him back and I've lost my beloved cat.

Thank you again for the information. Perhaps someone will read this and think twice before using essential oils full strength on their cat.

Kind regards,


Essential Oil Diva @ 3:37 pm


I'm so sorry. It's true that doctors and vets know very little about essential oils, especially how they affect cats.

Thank you for telling us all about what happened to your cat. I hope it will help make more people aware that cats metabolize essential oils differently.

I hope you can get over your loss and feel better with the passage of time.

For anyone scared to use essential oils on their cat, may I suggest a completely non-toxic modality? Dinshah Color Therapy is surprisingly effective on humans and animals, and the best thing is, animals frequently self-adjust. They move closer to the light, sleep under it, and walk away when they sense they have had enough. Of course, every animal is different, but there is nothing to metabolize, nothing to go through the cat's system, just light on the outside. Many cat owners say their cats love it. It may be worth a try.

The Essential Oil Diva

September 18, 2011

Lydia @ 8:22 pm


We have just bought home a Ragdoll kitten on Saturday and I burn essential oils mostly every night. The three I often use are Eucalytus, Lavender and Lemongrass.

I wasnt sure with your article weather it is more related to application of oils to cats or if it is the same with burning them?

What would your advice be seeing as there is quite alot of conflitcing information? Should I continue to burn them very diluted, say 2 drops at a time or is it best to stop burning them altogether?

Thanks for your help, this is a great article.

September 19, 2011

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:33 pm


Burning essential oils is extremely toxic to begin with. I have an article about it here: Are Christmas Candles And Christmas Potpourri Safe?

Essential oils need to be diluted quite a bit for small animals, very much like for children because they are so small. With cats, there is a whole other issue, as you know from the article above.

But the burning oils factor could be the death of your cats, especially since GreenPaws lists Eucalyptus and Lavender on their "Toxic to Cats" list.

When the oils are burned, you never know what toxic elements that can create, but you can be sure they will affect your cats. Cats are very sensitive creatures – and the oils will be absorbed from their lungs just as much as applying them topically.

I would switch to diffusing for myself and diffuse in a room where the cats don't spend much time.

The Essential Oil Diva

Lydia @ 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for your information, I can't believe I have never heard any of this before!

Thanks again, Lydia

October 16, 2011

Ren @ 4:48 pm

Yes, there is a lot of conflicting information, even here. How are we ever going to get this straight? You here say that cedar oil is OKAY for cats….but my aunt runs a natural pet food and supply store, and has know cats that died from cedar oil. I have always know this to be toxic to them…

Angela @ 10:39 pm

Thanks for all the important info! I have been using Badger Sleep Balm (on me, not my cat) & it contains bergamot, fir, and lavender. My cat sleeps right next to me & I am afraid he has absorbed these dangerous oils. He seems fine, but I worry about residual liver damage. Does anyone know a way to help cats detox after exposure? Thanks!!

October 20, 2011

Angie Di Iorio Blake @ 12:18 pm

Hello, my 18 yr old cat has gingivites. i do not want to put my cat under surgery to have her teeth pulled as she is quite tiny, delicate, and has a hyperactive thyroid along with kidney disease…. all that is under control. i decided to give her a couple of drops of thieves oil diluted in water twice in her mouth, hoping that it would help the gingevites. reading this article has now concerned me. she seems to be fine, but last night she decided to take to another room…. which is unlike her. could the amount that i have given her cause damage to her health? please advise. thank you so much.

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:40 pm


A couple of the oils in Thieves are very high in phenols, which are dangerous to cats. At least you diluted the thieves, but even so, it could be very hard for you cat to metabolize it, especially since your cat is 18 years old – which is a ripe old age for a cat.

I wish I knew of a way to detox cats after exposure. I'm going to have to look for a way.

I would not repeat giving her Thieves. Perhaps try dabbing her gums with hydrogen peroxide? Not sure this would do it since vigorously swishing, then spitting out is the usual proceedure for humans. But hydrogen peroxide is generally good for the gums and safe for cats as far as I know.

The Essential Oil Diva

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:45 pm


Thanks for sharing your experience with cedar oil. My list is from other sources that have supposedly done the research. But there's nothing like the hands-on research of life experience.

It seems like cats are different. Some die from what other cats manage without a problem. Better not to take the chance.

The Essential Oil Diva

October 21, 2011

Jill @ 3:14 am

Hello. As a Veterinary Nurse of 28 years I would recommend not using hydrogen peroxide on your cats gums as it is very damaging to tissue and if ingested can make her sick. I have done many a dental on older cats 18 and above including my own cat who lived to be 21!

If the mouth is severe, a dental procedure would be best as long as her blood work is normal, the vet places an IV catheter and gives her IV fluids before, during and after the procedure, keeps her warm with heating pad or hot water bottles during and after procedure and uses very safe anesthetic gas like isofluorane. I know it's very scary but when a mouth is severe it can be very painful even though your cat may not show it as they are so stoic.

Most people never notice how uncomfortable a pet is until after the procedure and they see such a difference in how they behave…obviously feeling better. Also, if the teeth are bad, bacteria from the mouth can get into the blood stream and make them very sick. However, if you do not do the procedure, the only thing I would use in your cats mouth would be a product specifically made to use in a mouth that you can purchase from your vet. There are quite a few of them out there so speak to your vet and he/she should be willing to help you find the right product. You can research them online as well.

The one I used at my hospital is C.E.T. oral rinse which has a disinfectant called chlorhexidine in it and is easy to use, affordable and safe. There are others available as well. Even with kidney disease, and at her age, anesthetics today are quite safe. And I would expect her to recover well from the procedure should it be necessary. I hope this is somewhat helpful to you and good luck with making your decision.

October 24, 2011

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:50 pm

Thanks again Jill. I didn't know that ingesting hydrogen peroxide could make a cat sick. As stoic as they are, cats are delicate.

October 28, 2011

Cindy @ 8:07 pm

Diatemaceous Earth, (silica) is a natural and safe detoxifier of the liver for animals (human and four-legged). Look it up online. You MUST get FOOD GRADE or you can kill your animal and yourself! The other grades are for pool and garden use.

December 4, 2011

Michelle @ 10:38 pm

It is always a good idea to have an emergency home remedy homepathy kit, and if you are not experienced then get the 30c (it will have some common safer to use 200c in it…you can research the remedies that are good for toxicity/poisoning, ahead of time…also, I have safely used colloidal silver diluted in water for my cats for internal infections for brief pd of time as well as for an older cat who was near dying time and had dental infection for which nothing could be done bec it would have been too much stress on her immune system to do surgery…you can rub it in their mouth if you are afraid to let them drink it …

December 21, 2011

lynda w @ 11:08 pm

Is there any essential oil I can use to make my cat avoid going under my sofa and end tables to pee. I was going to soak a piece of cotton and tack it to the areas, not put it on the floor where she could step on it. I just 5 hours cleaning the floors under two sofas and 2 end tables so the house wouldn't smell bad for the holidays. I do this about once every ten days. Many thanks and I hope you have a suggestion.

Merry Christmas

December 22, 2011

Essential Oil Diva @ 11:35 pm


Merry Christmas to you, too!

Five hours cleaning the floors under sofas and end tables is waaaayyyy too much! You definitely need to do something about this problem.

First, it's important to get your cat checked for a kidney or urinary tract infection. Either one of those is a serious problem that could be causing your cat to lose control of his/her bladder. At least go to the vet to rule it out.

If its not one of those, you need to train your cat not to pee on the floor or furniture. Get a good book on cat training and do exactly what it says. Cats should only urinate outside or in the litter box. Most cats know that.

However, cats sometimes get confused. For instance, if a cat gets locked in a room all day and there is no place else to pee, it will relieve itself wherever it decides is a good spot, and then do it there forevermore, unless you re-train it.

Cats are sensitive to strong odors and tend to leave an area with a strong odor they don't like. On the other hand, they just LOVE some pretty unpleasant strong odors like smelly shoes and will roll in the shoe for hours, don't ask me why!

Citrus oils (lemon, orange, tangerine, citrus fresh) are often used to deter cats from frequenting a certain area. I haven't tried it myself, but its worth a try. You can try soaking a piece of cotton, as you suggested, or spritzing the rug with a citrus oil daily and see which one works best.

I think you have to put some oil on the area where the cat urinated for it to get the message that this is not a good place to do it again. But be careful that your cat does not ingest any citrus oils, as cats can have adverse reactions to it.

Thieves Household cleaner is a good thing to use to clean up an area where a cat did its business. It will get the smell out and kill germs. It may also repel the cat.

Those are the two things that I would try. All cats are different, so what might work great for one cat might not be so successful with another, so you have to experiment.

I think a cat would go the other way from oregano oil, too, since its a very strong smelling and hot oil, and maybe Melrose with melaleuca, and eucalyptus.

January 1, 2012

bonnie @ 7:29 pm

Does anyone have a list of essential oils that are safe for pets? I've started making soy candles and want to be sure I don't use essential oils that are unsafe to my cats.

Also, I've used Rescue Remedy for Pets on my cats, sparingly. Should I be concerned about that?

March 24, 2012

Melody @ 5:20 pm

This morning my 5 year old cat Sully suddenly got a weird look on his face, cried, and started drooling. He hid under my bed for about 10 minutes and then seemed fine. While I was at work my son called to tell me our little kitty was fighting with Sully. I got home and saw the aggression between the two, and brought Sully into my room. He immediately went under the bed, which he never does. I then saw a puddle around my oil warmer and realized he must have bumped it and got some in his fur. I use pure cinnamon oils! It ruined the finish on my dresser and I am very alarmed after reading these articles. I have no way if knowing how much he ingested, but the warmer probably spilled a teaspoon at most. I'm so worried about my baby.Today is Saturday, and since we live in a rural area with no emergency veterinarian care within 50 miles. Monday morning is the soonest I could get him to a vet. He does not seem to be ill or distressed, he is eating and drinking, but he is hiding. I truly hope nothing comes of this. Can someone tell me how long it takes for symptoms to begin? Is he safe after 14 hours have passed? Will he be okay until Monday? He has always been very healthy, and is a moderately large fellow at about 8 lbs. any advise would be appreciated.

March 25, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 9:42 pm


I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. If your cat got all that cinnamon oil on him, it could be way too much for his system to process. Your cat could have also licked quite a bit of the oil off his fur and got it into his body that way as well.

If you had noticed it right after it happened, washing it off with soap and warm water would have removed it and stopped more of it from absorbing (not just rinsing with water as that only drives the oils in further).

But since it happened some time ago, the oil has already been absorbed into your cat's system. You could still try bathing him in warm water and mild soap to remove any residue.

I don't know what else to tell you to do, other than make sure your cat drinks plenty of water to try to flush it out and to call the vet as soon as possible. The vet can check to see if your cat has highly elevated liver enzymes. Once the vet does that, they know what course of treatment to pursue. The vet can also give IV fluids (because cats can go into shock), raise the cat's body temperature, etc. It may take days to months for your cat to come out of this, or to see how bad the damage has been.

The fact that your cat is eating and drinking is a good sign. Maybe his liver is strong enough to fight it. You might want to store your diffuser in a cabinet or someplace your cat can't reach when you are not using it from now on.

I sure hope your cat is OK.

March 26, 2012

Walter Taylor @ 9:18 am

I have a long hair cat whenever she enters the house from outside how do I stop insects from piggy backing on here to gain entrance to the house

Angela @ 12:11 pm


I really hope your cat is feeling better! A safe detox herb is Milk Thistle and Animal Apawthecary makes a detox blend with it + a basic milk thistle tincture for animals. This will help move the toxins out of their system and also works for post-vaccination, post-pharmaceuticals and other toxins they encounter — to help prevent any long-term liver / kidney damage. My holistic vet recommends an annual springtime cleanse with this for my dog & cat.

March 27, 2012

michelle @ 12:30 pm

Did you try a homeopathic remedy such as arsenicum 30c or 200c or nux vomica 30c or 200c? You can look up the correct remedy based on the type of symptoms your cat has/had. I keep an emergency remedy kit at home and use it when my cats have problems.

March 28, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 1:25 pm


I would start with combing your cat's fur with a flea comb when he comes in from the outside. That will take fleas and their eggs out of your cat's fur, and most other insects as well. Check the comb after every stroke and shake the fleas, and/or bugs into soapy water immediately.

Another thing that works very well for fleas and other small invaders is rubbing diatomaceous earth into your cat's fur (make sure you get the food grade, not the pool grade). The edges of diatomaceous earth are jagged and cut up the insect's body, killing it. Be sure to wear gloves when you do this. Diatomaceous earth is not toxic to pets.

One application will last a while, although I don't know how long. You can also sprinkle some in carpets, bedding, upholstery, cracks and crevices. Fleas can even live in curtains, pillows and tissue boxes.

I've heard of people planting mint and basil, which repel insects, by the door, but I'm not sure that will convince any hitchhikers deep in your cat's fur to leave.

The fleabane plant (Fleabane Daisy Erigeron speciosus) repels fleas, and can be planted in the yard.

Some people make collars filled with pine needles, cedar chips or dried herbs, but make sure the cat can't ingest any of the herbs or chips. It would be risky to use essential oils in a collar, as many of them are toxic to cats.

March 30, 2012

Sharon @ 10:50 pm

I think I may have killed my cat ! Just a few days ago my cat started hiding under my bed and wouldn't come out. He usually goes under there but comes out frequently. When he came out I could tell he was sick. His eyes were goopy and his poor nose was glued shut w/dried mucous and then I got a whiff of his breath that smelled horribly putrid… almost like pus. Seems he had a serious sinus infection. I cleaned him up w/some cotton balls, q-tips and warm water and gave him some Newton's Homeopathics Cold/Sinus , some Fever/Infection and a little colloidal silver and gave him a shot of chlorophyll spray. Yesterday he seemed to be getting a little better as far as the goop and mucous. His eyes/nose weren't goopy or crusty but I found him laying out on the floor in the hallway once and on the floor in the bathroom once. He hadn't been eating at all and I assumed it was because he was unable to breathe. I keep essential oils around the house because I use them for my dogs, myself, for housecleaning, etc. I thought if I could open the cat's sinuses and he could breathe he'd start eating. So last night I took a cotton ball and soaked it in apricot oil which was the only carrier oil I had and I added ONE drop of peppermint oil to it and then swiped it under his nose. When I woke up this morning, my baby had passed away. I was horrified and am thinking that I killed him w/the peppermint oil :( Or maybe the infection killed him ? I'm always going to think that I was responsible.

Sharon @ 10:58 pm

Trying to do a little more research and came across this you might be interested in:

External application of essential oils in animals.
Jürgen Reichling
Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Department of Biology
University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, 69120 Heidelberg

March 31, 2012

Melody @ 12:18 pm

Well good news. After about 48 hrs of feeling under the weather, my Sully cat bounced back and seems as frisky as ever. The vet said everything looks normal so it seems the cinnamon oil didn't have any lasting effects. Thank God!!! I am going to be VERY careful from now on. Thank you all for your comments and concerns.

Essential Oil Diva @ 12:23 pm


How awful about your cat! If it brings you any consolation, peppermint oil is one of the safer oils to use with cats.

It's impossible to know whether the infection or the essential oil killed your cat without an autopsy or thorough examination. It sounds like he was pretty sick and may have had a killer infection. One drop of peppermint oil, given only once, is not that much. Try not to beat yourself up about it too much, its always possible he could have eaten some rat poison. Even parasitic infections can have flu-like symptoms similar to those your cat had, so its hard to know.

Thank you for the link to the research article, "External application of essential oils in animals," by Jürgen Reichling.

It's very informative, although it doesn't say whether the research was done with pure essential oils or those synthesized in a lab. But it is an interesting study and you can get the PPT slides to it here:

April 1, 2012

Lily @ 11:49 am

Well I'm feeling a little frustrated! After just purchasing a rather expensive organic "Herbal Defense Spray" from "Only Natural Pet" for my cat who I believe is allergic to flea bites – and reading that it has clove, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli and neem in it. From what Ive read, neem oil is safe enough for cats but the rest I guess are not! Before knowing it, I sprayed a little on my hand and rubbed it on her (she quickly ran away because of the strong smell). I am trying to find a way to help soothe itchy skin as well as prevent fleas in a natural way…any suggestions? I read the post about diatomaceous earth, maybe I will research that more. Thank you!

April 2, 2012

Sharon @ 2:16 pm

Lily…the most effective remedy for avoiding fleas is feeding your cat a high quality diet…preferably RAW or pre-made frozen raw. If that's not possible than a very high quality NATURAL, human-grade wet diet or dehydrated diet. Cats are OBLIGATE carnivores. They MUST have a high protein ( 40-50%), high fat(16-18%), nearly 95% all meat diet. That means NO grains, NO fillers, NO by-products, NO chemicals, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, etc. You need to stay AWAY from supermarket/discount store brand foods and move up to brands like Wellness Core, Innova Evo, Timberwolf Serengeti, Nature's Variety Instinct, Taste of the Wild, Orijen, Acana, Blue Wilderness, Merrick BG and other high quality natural foods. DIET has EVERYTHING to do with good health, flea/tick prevention, strong immune system, resistance to parasites and disease. You must also supplement the diet w/omega fatty acids like salmon, sardine, menhaden fish oils, an overall supplement like Missing Link and brewers yeast & garlic tabs. Add raw coconut oil and raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar to food also for resistance to fleas, healthy skin and healthy coat.

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:44 pm


Ummm, I would think that combination of clove, citronella, lemongrass and patchouli quite a risk as well. If your cat ran away from it, that may be all the 'proof' you need.

Using diatomaceous earth is a great alternative. Just be sure you use the food grade, not the pool grade as that is far too refined to be of any use for fleas (and could be bad for your cat).

Kristen Leigh Bell, in her book, Holistic Aromatherapy For Animals feels hydrosols are OK for cats. I have a couple of articles about it here: What Is Herbal Hydrosol?

and here: Making Herbal Hydrosol aka Floral Water at Home

Also, the safest and most non-toxic thing you can do for your cat is regularly comb him with a flea comb. The fleas get caught in the comb and all you have to do is knock them off into some soapy water. It's a little time consuming, but it gives you a chance to enjoy some bonding time with your cat.

And what Sharon said about diet is so true.

April 3, 2012

Tracy @ 11:05 am

My cat LOVES apricot oil! He is purring away now after licking the container and the drop of oil that fell on the ground. This same cat LOVES shea butter too! Would a few drops a day help with hairballs?

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:00 pm


The fruit part of apricots and apples are OK for cats. However, the stems, leaves, and seeds of apricots can cause vomiting and loss of appetit. Unfortunately, I don't know if the oil is equally as bad, but its probably safer to not take chances.

Apricot oil is usually made from the kernel. On WedMD, I found this:

Apricot kernel contains a toxic chemical known as amygdalin. In the body this chemical is converted to cyanide, which is poisonous… The amygdalin is actually converted to cyanide in the stomach. The cyanide then goes throughout the body, where it can cause serious harm, including death.

Knowing that cyanide is deadly to cats, this gave me pause. But I don't know if it works the same in cat's stomachs.

Also apricots, along with cherry, peach pits, almond nuts, apple seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides (and I don't know if its just in the pits). This can result in cyanide poisoning. It interferes with the ability of the blood to release oxygen into the tissues, so although the cat's blood has a lot of oxygen in it, the cat ends up suffocating.

Shea butter is not normally toxic, but I would not feed very much of it to your cat and nobody has done any studies to show what happens to these oils once a cat ingests them.

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:57 pm

I just posted an informative article on What To Do If Your Cat Has Injested Poison that goes into what poisons a cat can swallow and what to do about it.

April 6, 2012

Justine @ 3:28 pm


So I've just started purchasing more natural and organic cosmetic products because of all of the concern about toxic cancer causing chemicals in regular products. I've purchased items from Desert Essence (shea butter lotion, and facial moisturizer), Shikai (borage dry skin therapy lotion), and Dr. Bronner's (chapstick). I'm concerned now if these products could be harmful to my 17 year old cat. I never let her lick my skin (she knows I hate that) – so direct transmission is not a concern. However, if I were to pet her after applying natural lotions and then she were to clean herself…could this be harmful? I would assume, however, that all of the "normal" lotions I've been using for years couldn't be that good for her either – since many of the chemicals are toxic and carcinogenic to humans.

Essential Oil Diva @ 6:14 pm


If the lotion has already been absorbed by your skin, it shouldn't be a problem to pet your cat, considering the products are natural and not terribly toxic to cats. I would not pet a cat, though, if I had used a lotion with artificial fragrance or chemicals in it.

Justine @ 6:37 pm

Thank you so much! I assumed this would probably be the answer, but the reassurance is what I needed! :)

April 28, 2012

Zari @ 6:32 pm


I am in the process of purchasing a little Ragdoll kitten and in research mode.

I tend to use organically certified essentials oils to clean the home. I burn these oils like lavender and eucalyptus and lemongrass all day. I also use lavender and eucalyptus in my washing machine with vinegar. I use vinegar as a household cleaner too. From reading all these responses I am really concerned this would be harmful to the little one who is to arrive in the coming months.

Should I be changing my oils to burn in the home?

Appreciate your advice.

Essential Oil Diva @ 11:51 pm


I'm sorry to have to tell you burning essential oils in your home is extremely dangerous to cats. Burning essential oils isn't good for humans either, as it changes the delicate constituents of essential oils drastically. They are converted into toxins such as acetone (an ingredient in nail polish remover and paint thinner), benezene, toluene, particulate matter and soot.

Not only do the soot and chemicals get all over your home, but they get into your nose and lungs where they can do serious harm.

Its very hard on cats to deal with these toxins, especially Ragdoll kittens, which tend to be a little more sensitive.

I don't think it will be a problem to continue using essential oils in your wash as most of them will get rinsed out, or to use oils on your body. But burning the oils is way too risky.

May 6, 2012

Bruce @ 7:43 pm

*sigh* ….dera me …..gremlins in the system .

Seeking help ……my cat, for the last two months or so, has been scratching and grooming incessantly! He also avoids the bedroom and lounge/carpeted areas of the house, and has developed a thirst far more excessive than before. He doesn;t appear to have lost his appetite at all, and otherwise appears 'happy'. He is 8 years old, and has always been a healthy cat.

My wofe has, for a little while now, been using Eucalyptus oil, soaked into tissue paper and kept next to the bed/under the pillow, to help with her breathing at night, and my theory is that this may be the cause of my cat's 'distress'.

He is a very affectionate cat and we often pick him up, stroke him etc – he also used to sleep on the bed and lounge chairs all the time. Is it possible that the vapours are causing this reaction, or perhaps he has picked up traces of the oil off our hands/skin?

Any comments/feedback would eb most welcome.



May 7, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 8:08 pm


The Eucalyptus oil could certainly be bothering your cat. The first question to ask is if the scratching, grooming and excessive thirst started when your wife started using eucalyptus at night? If so, it could be a reaction to the oils. Drinking more water helps flush the system.

It sounds like your cat doesn't sleep in the bedroom anymore and that could be a sign that he is trying to protect himself. He could be smelling the oil in the room and sense that its too strong for him.

He could also be picking up traces off your hands and skin. Its OK to use the oils on yourself, just wait 20-30 minutes before going near your cat, especially touching your cat, to give the oils time to absorb.

Do you open the windows periodically for fresh air? It's important to do that if you have a house cat and are using essential oils. Also, make sure the door to the bedroom is closed at night and the cat sleeps in another part of the house away from the oil.

If he starts to have other signs of trouble or any of his current signs get worse, take him to the vet.

May 10, 2012

Samantha @ 2:10 am

My mum bought me some Young Living oils and a diffuser. She really wants me to use it, but i am worried the oils might be unsafe for my cats to breathe in. I have the following oils and would like to know if they are safe for cats to breathe in:
Clarity-cardamon, rosemary, peppermint, basil, bergamot, geranium, jasmine, lemon, palmarosa, roman chamomile, rosewood, ylang ylang
Abundance- myrhh, cinnamon bark, frankinsecse, pachouli, orange, clove, ginger, spruce,
Christmas spirit- orange, cinnamon bark, spruce
Envision- sage, geranium, orange, rose, lavendar, spruce

Thank you

May 12, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:06 pm


Here is an excerpt from the book, "Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals" by Kristen Leigh Bell regarding cats and diffusers that helps clarify the issue:

The best choice for your health – and the wellness of the planet — is obvious: natural products containing essential oils. Just make sure to respect your cat when you use them. If you diffuse essential oils, don't keep your cat enclosed in the room with the diffuser. Open a window and provide ventilation. If you apply oils to your dogs, keep the cats away for at least an hour (The same goes for you.) You can't eliminate exposure, but you can responsibly minimize it, thus decreasing the chance that any level of essential oils will be quickly build up in you cat's system.

Bear in mind that cats cannot tolerate terpene hydrocarbons, terpene oxides, phenols and ketones.

Mary @ 8:02 pm

What can you do if your cat starts foaming, peeing, and pooping after being
around a essential oil? She its completely normal as of now. Nothing is wrong with her.

Essential Oil Diva @ 11:24 pm


Try to get your cat to drink some water and take her to the vet immediately.

May 14, 2012

Renee @ 6:57 am

Hi. I have 3 cats and a peeing problem. Short of calling in CSI, I'm having a hard time figuring out the culprit(s). Also, I'm not so sure the pee-er is really the problem or is responding to stress in the household or spraying that occurred first by another cat. I am using a Feliway plug in in the room that seems to be the biggest problem. I also put Bach Flower Remedy on my hands to pet them to try to keep them calm. And I play with them daily with a feather/string toy to help them get their yayas out. I'm open to other suggestions.

I don't know if this is contributing factor, or just another concern. But my oldest cat (15) has always been a grouch. She seems to be suffering from arthritis and limping some. I'm sure that doesn't help the overall situation. She is hell on wheels to take to the vet. And, although I have lots of experience giving pills, this cat is one tough customer. I can sneak up on her and give her something. But, she'll make herself sick to get it up. Also, if I give her something at 2 p.m., I won't see her between noon and 4:00 for a week. She's too smart for my own good. Any suggestions to aid her comfort that don't involve the stress of oral medications or going to the vet would be welcome. THANK YOU.

Essential Oil Diva @ 5:14 pm


A peeing problem could indicate a liver or urinary issue. It's really important to take your cats to the vet to determine the cause because liver or urinary problems can be very serious.

I'm not sure what the ingredients in the Feliway plug in are, but my guess is that it is made from chemicals produced in a lab. Cats do not do well for very long with lab-produced chemicals. The Bach Flower Remedies should be fine.

I had a cat just like yours when it came to avoiding going to the vet or any treatment. Its hard to help a cat like that. Clearly, your cat has shown you that it won't tolerate pills and medications! It's best to honor that and give your cat natural assistance.

One thing that cats sometimes like is color therapy. The thing to do is just turn on the light with the right color and let the cat adjust himself. More info here: color therapy

Another thing that most cats really like, and that helps a lot, is this.

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'll post more when I think of them.

May 20, 2012

Brenda @ 8:32 am

I have a circulating water fountain for my old woman cat and she loves it but it gets gooy, I would like to put essential, YL, oils in it to help keep it clean. I was going to use lemon but after reading your info will not. Instead I would like to use a drop of peppermint, do you think that one drop of YL peppermint every few days would be okay?

I am also having an ant problem and am using a spray of 10 d lemon, 10 of clove, and 5 of peppermint in water to spray the area where I think the ants are coming in. I also sprayed under her food rug and on top of the rug as well. I let these dry completely before putting her food down. Do you think this will be okay?

May 31, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 12:22 am


It's really hard to say. Cats are very individual. Peppermint is one of the safer oils to use with cats, but would your cat drink the water from the fountain? If so, that may amount to too much peppermint over time.

It's also hard to say what is OK or not with spraying the lemon, clove and peppermint mixture around her food area. Even when oils are dry, they continue to smell for a while, and that may affect your cat.

I think you will have to observe your cat very carefully. Try spraying around her food area, letting it dry and then see if she will approach the area. Some cats will instinctively not venture into an area with scents that are too strong for them. Then again, it may be no problem for your cat as long as you don't apply the oil directly on your cat. And cats don't stay long in their dining area anyway, just long enough to have a snack and move on.

Angela @ 12:15 pm


Please do not put essential oils in your cat's fountain. The oils will gum up the works & make it gooier, as well as endanger the health of your cat. Please look into Grapefruit Seed Extract which is sold at health food stores or It's an excellent natural sanitizer / antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi. It's also a safe supplement for cats (at one DILUTED! drop per day) that works like an antibiotic. Check it out. Great for cleaning water bottles, sanitizing after raw meat, etc., etc. Good luck!!

June 13, 2012

Daphnee @ 11:51 pm

Hi, I have a 12 yo female cat with Feline Upper Respiratory Infection, she went to vet and got treatment within 1-2 months, she got better but not healed at all, my vet suggest me to feed her L-lysine for her immunity. But she still hav some symptoms like sneeze, running nose unseriously. One day, to avoid getting influenza, I was used essential oils including Eucalyptus oil, Rosemary oil few drops into my warmmer. Then, I fund my cat mystically healed in the next day. I don't know why? and I use it for more than one week, every night for almost 30 mins in my room. (she sleep with me).
I lived in Taiwan and glade to find your website! There is a question for me, should I use essential oils again for my cat if her symptoms appeare again?? I serched many websites and see many essential oils are toxic to cats. But my cat heals with eucalyptus oil and rosemary oil?? In Taiwan there arn't many vets studies about essential oils and cats. Here are my essential oils list below, I wouold like to know which is safe for my cat. Thanks a lot !
Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Peppermint,Lavadula Angustifolia,Lavendin,Vetivert(Madagascar),Neroli,Pine Oil,Egypt Geranium, Litsea Cubeba Oil,Sage Clary, Cajeput,Ravensara,Juniper, Petitgrain. Waiting for your reply, thank you very much….

June 14, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 9:12 pm


I'm glad your cat thrives with essential oils. All animals are different and what is wonderful for one can overwhelm another. Rosemary, Peppermint are usually safe for cats, but not Eucalyptus, Lavadula Angustifolia, Lavendin, Pine Oil, Egypt Geranium, Clary Sage. I'm not sure about the rest of the oils, so I will do a little research and get back to you.

I saw an article in a holistic magazine which had information from Cynthia Easton, a holistic vet, regarding pest control. That vet was very specific about not using the particular essential oils for pest control on cats, very small dogs or young puppies. This vet works for a vet hospital in Menlo Park, CA. You might contact her regarding this issue. The name of the hospital is Mid Peninsula Animal Hospital:

Also, the Animal Desk Reference Book has just been released with more information about oils and cats (and a lot of other animals, too). Here's a little blurb about it:

Never before has there been a book that describes the use of essential oils for animals so completely. The ADR covers all animals including dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, small exotics, ferrets, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, even hippos and elephants. Similar in format and content to the Essential Oils Desk Reference, the Animal Desk Reference explains the fundamental concepts of using essential oils with animals, as well as recommendations for many health concerns related to each species. Dr. Shelton has brought a new understanding and confidence to the world of animal aromatherapy – so much so – that she was asked to re-write the Veterinary Chapter of the Essential Oils Desk Reference.

Melissa Shelton DVM @ 11:21 pm

Hello! There are almost too many comments for me to catch up on and comment on all of them. However, I especially wanted to comment for Jill – the holistic vet nurse. I am the holistic vet who wrote The Animal Desk Reference and Essential Oils for Natural Pet Care. One of my main fascinations has been with cats and oils – because – one – I am the crazy cat lady – and two – the correlations never made sense to me. How could one cat use oils just fine – and another be killed by them? So – it started to turn up to be all about the quality – and as I research more and more cases – actually less about which oil or species was used. I certainly have a cat that has been getting Thyme oil applied twice a day (quite diluted) for over 2 years – with stellar blood work and great results.

I basically started with cats in cases that were "doomed" and had no other option than euthanasia. It's a long story – but my primary questions are always – "What brand" and how was it used… This data is horribly lacking in the veterinary world – and there are much more reports than facts out there.

I am so sorry for your loss Jill. But, I wanted to offer my explanation of your cat's passing – as I have seen this with many cases. We are a very rural area, so kitties tend to hide in barns, get bite wound abscesses, and sometimes not get treated – just the fact of the area. I have had several cat patients who have died the way you described (one of my own cats actually – who WAS treated with the best care possible). But – what necropsy has shown – is that there is an odd septic occurrence. My own cat fought a cat bite abscess (so this is what I am wondering for your cats swollen foot) – seemed to be completely healed and over it – then had severe respiratory distress and died (this was before we used oils). Even though the abscess had already passed, it apparently was hiding out in her blood stream, and waiting to cause septicemia. I have seen it with several other "swollen wounds" or bite wounds especially.

Essential oils do get an incredibly worse reputation – because they are usually used in animals who are ALREADY SICK! Then if they pass away (like the very sick cat with the peppermint…) – the essential oils are blamed. Now – if the peppermint was a horrible synthetic – it could have injured the kitty – but the cat was honestly sick enough to pass away on its own with that discription. Regardless of what was given to the cat – and possibly even in a hospital on IV fluids and meds. We don't blame IV fluids when a cat dies that was hospitalized after being very ill -however, if a sick cat is exposed to essential oils – the oils instantly become the cause of death.

My aim is never to argue with people – but to truly present what I have seen. If the reports and the actual facts of what I have seen and documented don't add up – there must be a reason. So for me – I have about 100 cats with blood work – getting exposed to "no-no" oils on a regular basis… How can so many benefit, and supposedly so many be harmed?? Doesn't make sense to me, unless we purely consider quality of the oil.

Just like you cannot put an over the counter flea and tick remedy on a cat – and expect them to do as well as a more expensive veterinary version (I have seen farm cats seizure and die from "feline" flea collars and topicals purchased at big chain stores). Food is similar – feed a "dollar store" food – and you cat will have poor health. We don't condemn all cat food – we just educate owners to get a better food. Essential oils have pretty much gotten this sort of all or nothing – evil report.

You may find my interview with Dr. Karen Becker interesting – as it covers many of these topics. You can find it on the website.

Thank you for letting my voice my opinion. I LOVE essential oils and the modality that it represents for my practice – however, my stomach also turns when people just expect to run out and start using them. You HAVE to have good quality – or you could kill your cat!

Melissa Shelton DVM
The Oily Vet

Melissa Shelton DVM @ 11:24 pm

Oh, and I did want to comment that the foaming at the mouth, is fairly typical of a feline response to any oral ingestion of an oil. To put your mind at ease – with Young Living Myrrh – we have used this orally in many cats for pain control. We have not witnessed any reactions, and blood values are normal with repeat use (longest of 2 weeks).

June 19, 2012

Kathy @ 9:00 am

I have a 7 mo shorthair cat and yesterday he started acting funny. He doesn't seem to be eating and he acts tired all the time. He didn't even eat his treat this morning and he usually can't wait for you to put it down before grabbing it from my hand. I started spraying my home on the outside and my pets with a diluted Eucalyptus oil about 3 days ago. (diluted in water). Can this be the cause?

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:49 pm


Since your can started acting funny 3 days after starting to use eucalyptus oil, it could be. Its always hard to tell. According to, Eucalyptus oil is very toxic to cats.

Just to be sure, I would stop using the eucalyptus, and all oils, for a while and see how your cat does. It could be from any number of other reasons as well.

According to Dr. Shelton DVM (see her posts above), it could simply be the quality of the oil. Do read her post and listen to the interview she mentions.

Hope your cat gets better.

Yes – my main question is what brand of Eucalyptus oil are you using? We have many cats using high quality eucalyptus with no blood work changes or health abnormalities – however poor grade oil can be harmful. Also, what concentration are you spraying (how many drops in how much water) and how much and where are you spraying it?

Generally – stopping the oil usage will return the cat to normal if it is not being applied directly to them.

Warmest regards,
Melissa Shelton DVM

Whenever there are any cases of possible essential oil problems with any animal – I greatly appreciate collecting data on it. If you can report the brand and usage to me – and a sample of the oil is always wonderful too for testing – any veterinary reports and blood work. It does help advance the actual science behind it. I do not ignore possible reactions – however I do continually find a quality issue behind the toxicity.

My email is crowriveranimalhospital [at] if you would like to forward this information on to me. (Replace the [at] with @ and close the spaces – they are separated here to prevent spambots from hijacking the email address).

Thank you,
Melissa Shelton DVM

July 5, 2012

Laurie @ 10:59 am

Having NO luck with flea control this year. Grrrrr. So I'm interested in using a wee bit of eucalyptus oil diluted in water for fleas around my house and on my dogs — but I have cats too. Regarding eucalyptus around cats… may I use it AROUND or NEAR my cats, but just not ON them? Or is it unsafe to have it anywhere in my house since I have the kitties?

Appreciate any help!

Laurie @ 11:03 am

Clarification of my original question…. I understand that it is NOT okay to use eucalyptus ON my cats, but is it okay for my cats to be around eucalyptus vapors that may emanate from the use of eucalyptus on my dogs, under furniture cushions, etc.?

Thanks again!

July 7, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 4:28 pm


According to vet Melissa Shelton, DVM, a lot depends on the quality of eucalyptus oil and on the individual cat. Make sure you are using the highest grade eucalyptus oil, and do read Dr. Sheltons posts above.

You may want to try your cat around eucalyptus and observe what the cat does and behaves carefully. Short of checking the cat's blood every day, observation can be a very helpful indicator.

July 11, 2012

Michelle @ 2:35 am

May i ask you which essential oils are safe for cats whom have an over active immune system and , to help them relax and also to help their muscles work in their bumb
Kind regards

July 12, 2012

Elizabeth @ 7:08 pm

Looking for help. My 12 yr old otherwise very healthy cat recently became very ill. She stopped eating and drinking. When I got her to the vet, she was dehydrated. They did a blood test and nothing was extraordinarily out of the norm. The only thing that seemed slightly off was her globulin level (I think that's what the vet said). He said nothing stood out to acct for how my cat looks like she's on death's door. I have 2 other cats that seem to be fine. I racked my brain trying to think of what could have happened. Just a week ago she was full of spunk. It occurred to me that she is the only cat that occassionally drinks out of the toilet. We use a disinfectant from Melaleuca that has Thyme Oil in it. The directions say that it takes 11 minutes for full disinfectant effect. I wonder if she drank from the toilet after we sprayed it with the disinfectant.

If so, what can I do for her? The vet gave her IV fluid with B12 and a dose of antibiotic. He sent me home with IV fluid and we are giving her 150 to 200 cc's every 12 hours. She seems slightly better. She still hasn't eaten but seems more interested. She has peed in the cat box. She also smacks her mouth like she has cotton mouth.

Is there a way to detoxify her that won't harm her if that's not what it is?

July 16, 2012

Lisa @ 10:00 am

I feel that 'oils' from an human application are NOT necessary and , in fact , dangerous to animals . The ego is 'to help' when indeed IS hurting an animal when 'folk' try to apply to animals . CATS chew on grass which holds adequate oil for them , imo .. people have a tendency to get improperly warped when interferring w/ animals (the non human)…another way to gain profit too for some . So , with that – people' may do wise ..'nature . How would 'You' like it if a cat squeezed mouse liver tincture into your eye while you slept ?? lol :)

July 20, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 8:09 pm


Sorry to hear about your cat. You are already doing everything that can be done for your cat. Taking her to the vet is the first thing and getting the blood levels checked, and you did that. Getting more fluids in the cat is the next thing, and your vet did that. Vitamin B12 is usually very helpful, as well.

Sometimes, its hard to know what is affecting our pets. Since you can't be sure your cat drank out of the toilet, it may not have been that (but be sure to keep your lid down from now on). Maybe your vet will figure it out.

I hope your cat gets better soon.

July 21, 2012

joeleane @ 12:25 pm

I heard that peppermint oil is good to rid your house of spiders and other pesky insects. Now I have also heard differing views on if the oil is harmful to cats. If I dilute it and spray it in my house will it affect my cats, or should I avoid it all together? I know so many pesticides are toxic for cats that is why I wanted to try something more natural, but I can't take these wolf spiders anymore lol. Thank you so much for your help!!!!
Joeleane Wells

Oh we have four cats, and they are all in good health! Could I also ask if burning candles are bad for cats?

July 24, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:32 pm


I certainly understand how you feel about those spiders! My husband always gets his ears blasted with an ear-splitting scream whenever I encounter one, and has to "rescue" me (he actually rescues the spider and puts him outside).

Peppermint is good at repelling spiders, and luckily, one of the safer oils with cats. However, I would let the peppermint dry out well before bringing the cat in.

Dr. Shelton is convinced it is not the oil, per se, as much as the quality of the oil. Make absolutely sure you are using the highest quality oil.

Other oils that are noted as insect repellants are: cedarwood (especially for moths), palo santo, eucalyptus globulus, blue cypress.

If peppermint alone does not do it for your spiders, here are a couple of other recipes, but do observe your cat carefully for any signs of discomfort when using these oils:

Recipe 1
6 drops peppermint
6 drops melaleuca
6 drops Idaho tansy

Recipe 2
6 drops Idaho tansy
6 drops palo santo

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:35 pm


And about burning candles being bad for cats – yes, they are bad for any living, breathing body, but especially a cat whose body is limited in processing oils. When oils are burned, their constituents are changed, largely to toxins, which makes them extremely hard to deal with. My body can't.

I always recommend unscented candles. Always.

Better yet, get the ones with the battery operated or electrical glowing lights. There will be some EMFs there, but you can protect yourself from that vs breathing toxins in.

July 25, 2012

Ljubica @ 7:03 am


I have a question about geranium essential oil toxicity regarding feline liver.
My 3,5 yo indoor cat has recently been very ill. It all started with her being a little bit quieter and less hungry than usual, but we contributed it to the heat wave. Then she vomited – only once.
We took her to the vet immediately, just to be on the safe side.
The first thing they told us was that she had jaundice and heavy dehydration, and they did a number of tests to find out the underlying cause of her symptoms.
They told us her liver was badly damaged, but they couldn't pinpoint the cause. She has been receiving IV fluids ever since (almost a week) plus silymarin therapy and different vitamins.
She does seem a bit better, but we still don't know if she will make it or not. She eats very little and still vomits.
As I have been observing her behaviour very closely during her illness, I noticed a very strange thing.
I have geraniums on my balcony, and their petals are all over. I was never suspicious of the plant, as my cat hadn't seemed interested in it at all, but to my astonishment I caught her eating geranium dried petals, even though she was half dead and uninterested in any other food or drink.
I stopped that practice immediately, and reported it to the vet. They told me it could be the cause, but I see that they aren't very familiar with that matter. My Google search gives me very mixed results – from mild irritation to serious toxicity.
What do you think? Can geranium be responsible for such a serious liver damage? And can it be reversed? They aren't very optimistic, but keep saying that liver regenerative abilities are amazing.
They will continue the IV fluids therapy for two more days, and after that they will evaluate her enzyme levels to see if she's getting any better.
I'm awfully stressed and sad, as I love her dearly.

Thank you,


July 26, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 4:08 pm


The ASPCA states that geranium is toxic to cats and dogs and causes vomiting, anorexia, depression, dermatitis.

They also state: If your pet ingested this plant, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 (a $65 consultation fee may apply).

They don't mention if geranium can cause damage to the liver, but I suppose that goes along with vomiting and anorexia.

If your vet has hope that the liver can regenerate, then there is hope. I certainly hope your cat recovers.

Essential Oil Diva @ 4:10 pm

Here's where you can find ASPCA's full list of Plants Toxic and Non-Toxic to Cats

August 4, 2012

Katrina @ 1:27 pm

Hello cat lovers,
My little Lili tends to get rodent ulcers one to two times per year. After consulting with many vets… We switched foods, tried bland diets, made homemade raw food from Dr Lisa's recipe… We also did one round of depo shot – which "worked" but I do not want to rely on this yearly due to the terrible side effects. We tried homeopathics which worked twice but not the last time – these were from a doctor out of California who says she is the only one in the world to know how to treat this challenge. We tried detoxing, Agrumax, Vital Therapy Healing Cream, acetyl-glutathione, beta glucan, spirulina, colustrum… The supplements seemed to assist a ton but not overcome the rodent ulcers. After several years of this returning, consulting people and vets all over, applying all sorts of approaches – would essential oils do the trick either alone or in combination with something else?

She is 99% or more in a protien diet – now Before Grain or Hounds and Gatos. Currently she is on an array of homeopathics twice daily. The ulcers aren't spreading much like they tend to when untreated. I am convinced she needs immune support of some sort because she didn't have a momma as a baby. She is happy most days. Once in a while she sleeps a lot. But overall she is a little love with occasional catitude.

I tried a wee bit of YL Frankincense today on her front paddy paw. If someone has advice on which oils could 1. reverse the accute issue on her ulcerated lips (they still look like the tissue could repair), 2. address the systemic issue, and 3. provide a maintenance approach to keep rodent ulcers in remission.

The amount of information on this disease or challenge is quite limited. I am determined to find a solution and am happy to share!! Thank you to all and if Dr Melissa could reply so we can all learn about this – wow – that would be incredible.

Thanks again!! From Lili too 8¥}

August 7, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 4:49 pm


This one is really for Dr. Shelton. I'll see if she can answer. I know she is very busy this month, but hopefully, she's not on the road and can find a few minutes.

August 28, 2012

kathy @ 4:21 pm


If I leave a satchel of bedtime herbs such as lavender, chammomile, lemon balm, or valeriaan next to my pillow at night, will that be toxic for a cat that likes to spend time on the bed? Would spritzing diluted oils on my pillow be too much for the cat?


August 30, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:23 pm


I doubt the satchel of herbs would be toxic unless your cat broke the satchel and ate some of the herbs. Spritzing diluted oils could be a problem.

If you use the highest grade oils and can keep the cat away from the pillow, it might be OK, but its hard to say. Cats are individual. You could try it out and look for signs of dehydration or distress.

If you really need the oils, I would simply make sure the cat sleeps in another room where he/she won't be in contact with the herbs or oils.

September 1, 2012

Molly @ 6:21 am

I have 4 adult cats (2 long haired + 2 short). They are all indoor/outdoor cats. This year they are all loaded with fleas. I would really like to know what oils I can use to rid them of the fleas. Also, how & where to apply the oils & how often. I would be using either Young Living oils or Rocky Mountain oils.
I have been trying to do research about this, but there is just so much contradictory information.
Thanks in advance.

September 10, 2012

Heather @ 9:14 pm

I have just purchased a new fabric lounge suite and am eager to dicourage one of my cats terrible habit of scratching on the lounge. He is the reason we have had to get rid of our previous leather one. A friend suggested that I put eucalyptus or tea-tree oil on a cloth and then rub the cloth on those parts of the lounge that he favours. Would this be harmful? Would you suggest any other oils that may be better suited.
Thank you

September 11, 2012

Eve Zwolinski @ 7:58 pm

well, we have had fleas in the apartment and I didn't want to use toxic sprays. So, knowing how strong peppermint oil is, I took an oz to 1 1/2 ozs of pure oil around the 900 sq ft apartment. It smells amazing in here, is that too much for humans or cats. My cat is acting a little wild after I did that.

September 13, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:48 pm


I sounds to me like that is way to much for your cat. Even though peppermint is OK to use with cats, it must be highly diluted. Cats are tiny in relation to humans, therefore what seems like a small amount of oil can overwhelm them. But one ounce to 1 1/2 is lot for 900 sq feet!

With cats, is far safer to use food-grade diatomaceous earth (make sure its food-grade, NOT the kind used for pool filtration). You can put it in a shaker and shake it on your cat's fur and over your carpet and work it it. It won't hurt your cant and it vacuums up later, so it won't ruin your carpet either. You can shake on the outside perimeter of your house.

You can also shake it on your cat's food like salt. My friend shakes 1/4 tsp a day onto her cat's food every day. She gives her cat small meals so her cat has to eat often and is hungry often. You have to use wet food to do this. It won't work with dry food. She gives her cat diatomaceous earth continuously to keep the fleas and worms away all year.

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:08 pm


The Tea Tree oil might repel your cat, but it also may make her sick, since Tea Tree oil is usually toxic to cats.

Have you considered getting your cat a cat scratcher or a Scratching Post? You can place it near the areas your cat likes to scratch. That might give her/him an alternative.

I think I would cover up the parts of the sofa the cat likes to scratch with something the cat doesn't like, such as double sided tape, thick plastic or aluminum foil. Most cats don't like the feeling and sound of foil, and most cats hate things that stick to their fur. Double-sided sticky tape used in carpet installation works well, but be sure to put it on cardboard or apply it in a way that the tape won’t harm your cat or furniture.

Some people tape inflated balloons to the cat's favorite scratching spots. Once your cat pops one with her claws, she'll think twice about scratching there again. Be sure to try this only when you are at home, so you can pick up the balloon pieces before your cat tries to eat them.

Also, there are training devices that keep cats off forbidden areas by making annoying sounds. You can get them at pet supply stores, catalogs and websites, maybe Amazon.

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:12 pm


Please see the comment to Eve above about using food-grade diatomaceous earth for cats and fleas. It's far safer.

You could try peppermint oil, but you MUST diluted it well. Still, I worry that over time, it might be too much for your cat. Diatomaceous earth won't harm your cat, even if she licks it off, and it won't hurt her over time.

You can rub it into your cat's fur and the carpet and drapes, too.

October 7, 2012

Laurie @ 7:23 pm

Do you think Wondercide products are safe for my cat? He and my house are infested with fleas. Wondercide products are made from Texas Red Cedar and have the phenols removed. I'd apply one product to my cat's fur and one product to my carpets, etc.

Thank you.

October 11, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:31 pm

Wondercide products were created mostly for dogs. Although they don't contain pesticides and chemicals, many of the natural substances are not good for cats, such as the Citronella and geranium oil in their shampoo bar. And although lemongrass and cedar oils in their flea and tick treatment are safer to use with cats, its an individual thing. These ingredients may still be too strong for some cats.

The safest thing to use with cats is food-grade diatomaceous earth – see the comment to Eve above. You can sprinkle it into your carpet, as well.

October 20, 2012

Kim @ 5:23 am

I am an eco dyer and felt make and boil eucalyptus leaves to dye felt with, I also have two indoor cats, when I boil the leaves I do it in the kitchen, away from the cats and keep the door and windows open..however I can still smell eucalyptus throughout the house..having read your site I am now worried that I might be harming my cats, any advice would be welcome

November 9, 2012

Judie @ 6:51 pm

I am considering using a few drops of Thieves oil with a cold air diffuser in our house, one room at a time, to deal with suspected mold toxin problems posslibly affecting the health of the human inhabitants. Even if I close off each room as it's being diffused and let it dry for a day, can our cat end up ingesting the oils from licking her paws after walking across the now-dry carpet? Also, can the cat possibly inhale toxic fumes from the Thieves oil that has settled and dried on all the surfaces (walls, floor, etc.)?

November 10, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 2:01 pm


I know that most of the active constituents of essential oils evaporate off once they dry. So I don't think there would be much of them left after a day or two of drying, but I can't be sure ALL of them evaporate off.

My own experience with diffusing is that after a day or so, there does not seem to be much residue of the oils in the room. I haven't been able to detect any after the fact – at least not when using Young Living oils. But I haven't examined the carpet and furniture with a microscope either. If there was residue, seems to me you'd get oil stains or some kind of stains/residue on the walls or furniture, but that never happens. So I think it evaporates off.

It is an interesting question and I'll see if I can find some more information about this.

Julie O'Brien @ 10:00 pm

I used Rosemary essential oil diluted in Grapeseed oil on my cat and he had had the runs ever since. Its been a week now…he is eating and drinking a little but gone very thin.what can I do.should I try and use grapefruit seed extract to stop the diahorrea or is he needing to clear out. Is his liver able to do this or does he need help and do you know a vet in south Wales that would understand about the damage I may have caused with the oils.he is 14 and my baby.please can you help.

November 12, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 7:03 pm


It looks like rosemary oil is too strong for your cat. Since I live in the US, I don't know of any vets in South Wales that understand these things. The important thing is to get a lot of fluids into your cat and keep your cat hydrated. Just getting enough fluids into him, might be enough for the liver to manage and get through it.

The liver gets very stressed and dehydrated when trying to deal with something like this. If he's not drinking enough, I would try dropping water into his mouth with an eye dropper.

That may not be enough, and you may need to take your cat to a vet. If you can't find a vet that understands how oils affect cats, try to find one that at least has an open mind and is willing to do a little research that would consider giving your cat IV fluids if he needs them.

I would be afraid to use the grapefruit seed extract on my cat, as cats are very sensitive to citrus. The diarrhea is probably just a symptom of everything else going on and will probably settle down once the rest of your cat's system is back in balance.

Ljubica's cat (above) was taken to the vet and put on IVs, silymarin therapy and vitamins, so be sure to feed your cat nutritious food and hopefully, he can weather this.

November 18, 2012

flo @ 7:11 am

Thank you for all your wonderful info.

I am sure it has been covered in some way or another but I wanted to just be certain.

I am using a humidifier (1.5 gallon) and adding about 2-3 drops of an essential oil in each time. I run the humidifier almost 24 hrs. So I would estimate that I am filling it 5 times a day?

I have many oils to choose from and now want to be extra cautious. Can you list for me the top 5 oils that you feel would be safe.

I will share that I have been using Jasmine, Cedarwood, Geranium, Clary Sage and Chamomile but can eliminate and add whatever.

I should add I live in a large loft like space – so really have no rooms that are shut off from one another.

I have 4 cats aging from 1 – 15.

Should I just not do this at all? I can use incense as needed I guess but I like the added smell.

Thanks in advance. You are great! I am so grateful for all I read here today and will be more mindful in my choices.

November 20, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:33 pm


Here are the oils that are usually OK with cats:

Clary Sage
Idaho Balsam Fir
Roman Chamomile

However, please remember that cats are individual – what is fine for one cat may not work for another, so observe your cats carefully for any signs of stress like heavy breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea or any abnormal behavior, and be sure your cats drink plenty of water, even in the winter. Also remember that I am nether a vet nor a chemist – I am only going by information I got from veterinarians.

The good thing is that you are only using 2-3 drops of essential oil per 1.5 gallons of water, which dilutes the oils quite a bit, and that helps when it comes to cats. If you ever need to use the oils more therapeutically at higher levels of diffusion, try it in the bathroom or other room with a closed door.

November 29, 2012

flo @ 8:14 am

You are amazing, thank you for taking the time!

Judie @ 1:59 pm

Thanks so much for this information. I'm still researching whether using the thieves oil mixture (without an oil carrier) in a cold diffuser will even be effective in keeping the residual indoor mold under control. If I do decide to use it, it will be a room-by-room project, so that the door can be kept closed for a day or two afterward.

December 1, 2012

Essential Oil Diva @ 12:00 am


Diffusing Thieves oil for mold should be effective if you follow the protocol researched by Dr. Edward Close. He says that if you are diffusing regularly, the oil digests the mold spores and won’t land anywhere and can’t start a colony. Here are the highlights…

Follow this order:

1) do a shock treatment
2) clean surfaces using Thieves Household Cleaner
3) diffuse regularly, once a week or twice a month

Shock treatment: Diffuse at full speed, non-stop for 24 or 48 hours to 72 hours, depending on how bad the mold is. One bottle in one diffuser will cover 1000 sq feet. If you have extremely high ceilings, must adjust for that. The aim is to use 15 ml per hour for the shock treatment.

Protect eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Use a respirator if needed – 3M respirator with canisters, or at very least, dust mask. Wear Ear plugs.

Diffusers: The Therapro diffuser will do the job, you just have to run it full force and fill it up before it gets empty, because the amount of oil it puts out will decrease as it empties.

Refill every 10 to 12 hours to keep the amount of oil coming out at saturation levels. You need to get 15 ml of Thieves into the air in a 24 hour period

For maintenance: Diffuse for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week regularly, or 8 hours once a week or once a month. (Be sure to remove the plastic ring from outside the thieves oil bottle (under the screw on cap) or it won't fit properly on the Therapro diffuser).

December 12, 2012

Ronn @ 2:34 pm


My cat has seasonal allergies which are causing her to scratch and lick excessively, creating open sores, and spots where her fur is so thin from being licked, you can see her skin.

I'm giving her homeopathic drops in her water, but felt she needed something to apply directly to the "hot spots" to ease the itching and help the scratched areas to heal.

I searched online and found a product called Woundade for cats and dogs. It's a gel that's applied 2 to 3 times daily. It says in the description that it's indicated for hot spots, allergic dermatitis, lick granulomas, chronic ear infections, and chronic bacterial and fungal infections.

Its ingredients are: Monosaccharide sugars, sodium chloride, natural trace essential minerals from sea salts, essential herb oils from Brassica napus L. and Syzyqium aromaticum plants. Buffered with sodium salts of organic acids.

Action (as listed in the product description): Woundade has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that allows wound healing to occur. In addition it has a natural analgesic property that relieves the pain and itching that causes animals to traumatize wounds further, thus aggravating the enhancing wounds to the point that they will not heal. The combinations of the these two properties make Woundade a unique product for healing chronic non-healing wounds related to allergic reactions that cause intensive itching and burning. Woundade will relieve the pain caused by these allergic actions.

Under side effects, it says: "There are no known side effects. Animals may have a desire to lick the solution as Woundade contains sugars and salts. When Woundade is applied the first time animals may have the desire to lick the gel from the wound. After a short period of time, due to the analgesic properties animals sense that gel will relieve the itching and pain and will cease licking and traumatizing the wound with additional applications, then rapid wound healing will occur."

One of the ingredients, Brassica napus L. – as far as I can determine – is rapeseed oil. The other, Syzyqium aromaticum is cloves. The gel does smell very strongly of cloves.

So now, after reading these posts and the replies, I'm having real doubts about applying this to my cat's skin, knowing she will lick it off.

Can you please advise me if you think this product is as safe and free from side-effects as they claim it is on the Woundade web site? If I'd found your site and blog sooner, I might not have ordered it.

If you care to check out their site, it's at:

Sorry this message is so long, but I'm really needing some advice on this. I want to help my sweet cat with her itching and scratching, but I do not want to give her anything that could be even the least bit harmful. By the way, she's 15, and has been on an organic raw food diet since she was a kitten. She gets only purified water to drink.

Thank you for your time and help!

Essential Oil Diva @ 4:56 pm


It looks to me like their website is geared for horses and dogs. They say that Woundade is for horses, dogs/cats, but there are no testimonials or case studies with cats, nor are cats mentioned in their FAQs. Cats do not respond to essential oils in the same way as horses and dogs, and that should really be mentioned.

If it were my cat, I wouldn't risk it. Especially since you don't really know the quality of the clove oil in this product. Also, they recommend putting it on 2-3 times a day, since the animal will most likely lick it off – and that can amount to quite a bit of clove oil every day. Clove oil is very high in phenols, which cats can't metabolize, and anything less than the absolute highest quality, would make it even harder for a cat to deal with.

Some natural crystal salt might be a good thing to rinse your cat's skin with. It has natural trace minerals in ionic form (very absorbable) and is great for the skin. More info here: Himalayan Crystal Salt

I'm also wondering if DMSO would help, but I don't know if it is completely safe for cats. It may be, I just don't know for sure. It is legal for veterinarians to use in dogs, cats, and horses, so it should be save for cats, but with cats, always exercise caution. It is used by vets on horses quite a bit. DMSO a by-product of the wood industry, and has been in use as a commercial solvent since 1953. Rubbed on the skin it is a very effective anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant. It speeds healing of all kinds, and is used for skin irritations. You can read more about it on DMSO.ORG

It's inexpensive. You can get very good quality DMSO from Now that it is winter, it will arrive frozen in the bottle (it freezes at 68 degrees). Just put it in warm water to thaw – the freezing doesn't affect its action.

Here are some more webpages that mention it and cats:

DMSO injected subcutaneously in 10% concentration into cats produced a total loss of the central pain response. Two millilitres of 50% DMSO injected into the cerebrospinal fluid led to total anesthesia of the animal for 30 minutes. Complete recovery of the animal occurred without apparent ill effect. Shealy, C.N. Personal communication. June 5, 1969.

From DMSO.ORG, Charles Dake, D.V.M. (Annals of the NY Academy of Sciences, 1967, Vol. 141) found that cats with overwhelming viral infection treated with either DMSO alone or conventional therapy for viral infections all died. When DMSO was combined with standard antiviral treatment, the figures were reversed with the majority of the cats surviving.

DMSO is really amazing stuff and very effective on horses and dogs, I just haven't tried it on cats.

If you want to try making your own spritz, here is a Skin Spritz recipe from "Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals" by Kristen Leigh Bell:

Feline Itchy Skin Spritz

1 oz Witch Hazel (hamamaelis virginiana), hyrosol
1 oz Rose (rosa damascena), hydrosol
1 oz lavender (lavandula augustifolia), hydrosol
1 oz German chamomile (matricaria recutita), hydrosol
1 oz Aloe Vera Gel or Juice (no preservatives) (NOTE: You may want to leave this out. Aloe Vera may be dangerous to cats – see post below)
1 oz Vodka or 1/2 oz (15 ml) Grain alcohol
1 oz Spring or distilled water

Shake well and store in an opaque, amber, green or cobalt blue bottle. I recommend storing this in the refrigerator when not in use. To make a hydrosol rinse, combine this recipe with a gallon of spring or distilled water.

The other thing that would be completely safe is color therapy. It is completely safe and non-toxic and some cats love it and seem to sense the right color for them and sleep peacefully under that color, but it depends on the character of the cat.

Hope this helps.

December 13, 2012

Ronn @ 1:41 pm

Thank you so much. That helps a lot! I really appreciate the time you take to give us all such thoughtful and helpful replies.

I've decided NOT to use the Woundade. I always prefer to err on the side of caution, and this product sends up some red flags.

I use Himalayan Crystal Salt myself, so I think I'll add some to a spray bottle of purified water and try spritzing my cat's coat with that. I also keep a container of Sole on hand, so I might dab some of that on her irritated spots.

Thank you for all your suggestions. I'll also look into DMSO. Color therapy sounds very interesting.

I'd like to make a comment about one of the ingredients in the Feline Itchy Skin Spritz, if I may — the aloe vera. This is something I learned around the first of the year. I took my cat to her holistic vet for her checkup, and mentioned that I had purchased an aloe gel made specifically for animals, to use when her allergies are acting up. (

The doctor told me not to use it. She said that aloe is toxic to cats. That really surprised me, because I've always heard how beneficial it is for people and animals. A couple of months later I purchased an excellent book titled The Complete Guide To Holistic Cat Care, by Celeste Yarnall, PH.D., and Jean Hofve, D.V.M. On page 125, under the heading "Not all Supplements are Safe for Cats", it says: "Aloe Vera: It contains a latex-like compound that can cause serious irritation in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract if ingested by cats. It is often preserved with sodium benzoate, another toxin."

The instructions for the gel I'd been using said to apply 2-3 times daily, and to give 1/2 teaspoon 1-3 times daily directly in mouth or mixed in food. I'd been using the stuff for a few weeks, so I was really glad that I told our vet about when I did. I just thought it might be helpful to mention this here.

Thank you again for your help!


Essential Oil Diva @ 4:14 pm


Thank you for letting me know about Aloe Vera. I'm going to put a note in the recipe above. I tried giving Aloe Vera to my cat a while back and he turned his nose up at it – guess he knew!

I think the sole should be helpful and couldn't possibly hurt, and possibly DMSO and color therapy. I also wonder if your cat would benefit from being supplemented with MSM. MSM is a naturally occurring source of bioavailable sulfur important in the formation of links between collagen molecules, which provides strength to tendons, ligaments, and joints and benefits the skin. It also helps allergies.

MSM quality varies widely and it's hard to get MSM that is pure and doesn't have fillers or silicone dioxide. has MSM of excellent quality.

January 26, 2013

Sarah @ 8:55 pm

I was a vet tech and these symptoms usually indicated an insect bite.

January 30, 2013

Ronn @ 12:39 pm

I followed your advice and ordered a bottle of pure MSM powder (the brand "Doctor's Best", which is OptiMSM and doesn't contain any additives at all – got it at Amazon, 250 grams for $8.99).

It really seems to have done the trick! I've been giving her 1/8 tsp twice a day with her food for about a month now. Her fur has grown back beautifully, and she is no longer itching and scratching all the time.

Can't thank you enough for all your help, and especially for your suggestion to try MSM!

March 26, 2013

Vanessa @ 10:05 pm

Hi, I am totally new with the EO thing, I have been diffusing some oils, spraying, applying to myself, as a cleaners… My oils are different brands, Do terra, swiss Just, and. Native American NUtriotionals, the oils are lemon, geranium, Bergmot, peppermint (used only twice on my daughters bath, two drops each time), palmarosa wich I used on me and my necklace, the one that really concerned me was the Lemon that I used today almost all day long on my ceramic (don't want to say I burnt it, because I mixed with water about 5 drops) my cats started to act a little bit different, that's why I came online to read about EO and cats…. So you think my cat will be ok, after I did that? I am monitoring him, seems ok by now, isolated some, just going to keep eye on him, but there is no way I can use this oil again? I mean I have bergamot, sweet orange, lemon, eucalyptus (haven't used it yet) can you please tell me which ones i can use, or I have to stop using them. I keep bergamot with geranium with me all the time on my locket charm, should I stop. Appreciate, really your help. Thank you.

March 29, 2013

Essential Oil Diva @ 9:39 pm


I hope your cat is OK. Be sure to give him lots of water.

Citrus oils are very toxic to cats and so is eucalyptus. Diffusing them all day when the cat is in the same room/house is very risky. I would not risk it. Your cat may be able to handle one day of it, but over time the outcome couldn't be good…

Keeping the oils in your locket charm should be OK, as long as your locket is sealed, but I would put the cat outside when I diffuse, or at least in a separate room with the door closed so the cat doesn't have to be in the same room with the diffusing oils.

You can use the oils topically – just wait 20 minutes or so until they absorb before you handle your cat.

Sarah Martin @ 11:40 pm


These are the only oils you can safely use around cats. I LOVE Lemongrass and use it even as an air/ fabric freshener. Lemongrass and Rosemary in a diffuser is heavenly! Lemongrass and Cedarwood are great at keeping fleas, ticks and other nasty bloodsuckers off your kitties. Just brush it through their fur once a week. You won't need to use harmful pesticide store bought crud ever again!

April 2, 2013

Melissa Shelton DVM @ 2:46 pm

Hello All!

Sorry to not be commenting for a while! Wanted to specifically get back to a couple comments quickly. Katrina – your kitty with the Rodent Ulcer. It may make you very happy to know that I have recently posted a webinar on my membership website on Rodent Ulcers – so you can get a ton of holistic information on this – what we do for steroid replacement (kitty raindrop) what we use for supplements – etc… It is a whole body remedy for sure – but oils are extremely helpful as well.

But Vanessa's issue brought me here the most – as cats and oils are my passion. Citrus oils are not truly toxic to cats – when they are high quality. When they are not toxins, pollution, chemicals, pesticides – are concentrated into the essential oil. Or the essential oil is created synthetically in a lab. These are the things that cats do not tolerate :( Do you know which brand of Lemon you used? There are definitely certain brands that I get "over reported" with cats not doing well from. I would LOVE – to actually have a sample of that oil from you – as it is my area of research. I love to document what might be different from that oil to another that would create lethargy, etc… in a specific animal.

My own cat (a pregnant and very expensive queen) would select to lay next to a diffuser running with citrus oils in it – and had the healthiest pregnancy and litter ever. She knew best – and chose to be near high quality oils. I did blood work before ever bringing oils into my home, and repeated them regularly on my cats as I started using oils. I have no concern when the oils are high quality – but the difficulty is in HOW we know if they are quality or not.

I am working hard on how we might be able to make this criteria for all companies – but for now – I trust my nose and the use of the oils in animals to tell me more. Since many people contact me – I get a good idea of which companies are having good quality and which aren't.

And, even when you use one company that you think is great – there can be a batch variation in the oil – and you always have to trust your supplier and your own nose… Just like milk – I say – even if you buy really high quality milk – if it smells sour to you – don't drink it! LOL

I really need to know what brand of oil (a sample would be awesome) – the species (lemon is fine for most) – any lot numbers or data, when purchased if known – and especially how you used it. How many drops – exact diffusion method – pictures are great if hard to describe… How often and how long the oil was used for. How long it took for your cat to be "off"…

Also has there been any blood work on your cat before or after oil exposure? Any other health concerns…

All of these things make for much needed information – but it is helpful for all people!

I am really trying to get to the bottom of things and create an accurate database.

Usually, once an "offensive" oil has been removed in a situation like diffusion – things go back to normal. But it is still a good idea to have a blood work panel done.

How were the cats acting different? Some plants are related to catnip – and we have seen cats act a bit "high" and really like them :)

Melissa Shelton DVM

April 3, 2013

Amanda Amon @ 10:43 am

Hello my cat Cletus is 2 years old and has always had a problem with eating. I have to feed him extremely small amounts of food at a time or he just throws it all up. Sometime even with the small amounts at a time he still just brings it up. We pick on him and say he has an eating distorter, but it's really not funny at all. I give him no more then 3 tablespoons of food at a time. Most of the time I have no problem with this but with warm weather coming me and the children will be spending more time hiking, swimming and other out door things which means I will be gone longer and not able to feed him every 3-4 hours like I do now. He is a indoor only cat and has had all his shots and wormed. I have used hair ball treatment from the vet also. Nothing seems to help. If you have any ideas I would love to find a solution!

Essential Oil Diva @ 10:09 pm


This is a tough problem. My first guess would have been parasites, but you already had your cat wormed. It could be a smaller parasite, however, that the worming medicine wouldn't affect.

Does your cat seem overly nervous or in a state of stress all the time? It could be a nervous stomach. Could be a liver issue or an allergy or something else. Is there anything in the food you are giving your cat that he could be allergic too? Or anything in the house (like new linoleum, carpet, paint) that could be affecting him?

Linoleum off-gasses for 10 years, BTW. Some people keep air fresheners plugged in 24/7 and that can really do a cat in. Some people make their cats sleep on bedding that reeks of fragrances from the laundry detergent or dryer sheets – big mistake.

Has the vet done any blood work? All things to think about.

Also, I've asked Dr. Shelton to take a look at your comment and answer it. She's very busy so I don't know when she'll be back.

In the meantime, can you leave food out (or put it in a cat food dispenser) when you are away? And don't worry, if your cat misses a small meal once in a while, it won't kill him. Just be sure to leave plenty of water out.

April 9, 2013

Melissa Shelton DVM @ 4:31 am

Hello Amanda,

What you are describing about your cat sounds to me most like a food issue. This is common for my clients who have any of these ingredients in their food especially – corn, soy, wheat, egg or dairy. I have a free webinar that you can view on "hairballs" on my website – – this website is part holistic vet consult and part tutorial on how to use oils for animals. I cover all holistic things that we use – but it especially focuses on "how" to use oils as well. I think if you go to this site, and click on demo webinars – and watch that one – it will help you a ton!

Melissa Shelton DVM

May 5, 2013

Katrina @ 12:05 pm

I am too distraught to seem to find the proper place to post this question. Apologies. When traveling to my parents my mother she asked if I wanted to try some stay calm in the cat carrier. I sprayed it in.

Now my Zeekee is very ill. Lili is not. They were in the carrier together.

Yes – the stuff had citrus. But didn't know till a few minutes ago.

This morning: trip to the vet today because Zeekee was vomiting and had thin diarrhea. The vet looked him over. Vitals fine. Gave penicillian shot bc they think he got some rancid food. He is on a raw/canned diet.

Now that we are home his hind legs aren't strong. He was jumping up and down from a window earlier. Granted he hasn't had water and food in many hours. Tried to get charcoal and water down him. Vomiting was orange yellow. Runny poo smells normal and no blood.

I was so stupid and didn't check the bottle label for ingredients. No warning on the bottle but YES citrus oils!!! I feel so dumb. Usually I am the opposite and check every detail about things for them – diet, litter…

Oils sprayed in carrier about 25 hours ago.

Any chance these are signs of toxicity from essential oils.

Any ideas on how long it will take to get theough his system. I am hundreds of miles from another vet in rural America. Trying to keep droppers of water down him but he locks his jaw shut.

Very upset as you all can imagine.

Sending love to you and your animals. Thank you for any assistance!!!!!!!!!

May 9, 2013

Essential Oil Diva @ 12:13 am


I can understand your being upset! I would be too!

These symptoms could be from the citrus oils, but they could also be from eating rancid food, as your vet thought. In the post above, Dr. Shelton says that "Citrus oils are not truly toxic to cats – when they are high quality." If you suspect that the quality of the citrus oils you used may not have been the highest, its a possibility that the additives are what your cat is reacting too.

That his vitals are fine is a very good sign. And you are doing the right thing by trying to get water and charcoal into him. Charcoal absorbs and clears a lot. A vet would probably hook him up to an IV if he wasn't drinking for a long time. Keep getting water into him – that's the main thing to do. He'll probably pull through if it has been 25 hours already since exposure.

If he gets worse, you'll have to get to a vet somehow and have the vet check his liver.

I truly wish you and your cat the best.


June 2, 2013

Sandy Rodewald @ 2:36 pm

Since we can not use Essiantial oils for flea remendy, what can we use that does not have chemicals? Our cats are both indoor and outdoor cats. They come and go all day and night. I do not like to use chemicals and have been looking for something that will be good but still a holistic/natural flea repellent.
Will you give me a recipe for my cats please?


June 7, 2013

Essential Oil Diva @ 5:10 pm


As mentioned above in the response to Eve,

"With cats, is far safer to use food-grade diatomaceous earth (make sure its food-grade, NOT the kind used for pool filtration). You can put it in a shaker and shake it on your cat's fur and over your carpet and work it it. It won't hurt your cant and it vacuums up later, so it won't ruin your carpet either. You can shake on the outside perimeter of your house.

You can also shake it on your cat's food like salt. My friend shakes 1/4 tsp a day onto her cat's food every day. She gives her cat small meals so her cat has to eat often and is hungry often. You have to use wet food to do this. It won't work with dry food. She gives her cat diatomaceous earth continuously to keep the fleas and worms away all year.

September 20, 2013

Ellen @ 5:45 pm

Hi! I'm so glad I found this site! Does anyone know whether Bed Bug Bully would be safe to use around my 5 cats? It contains clove, citronella, rosemary and mint oils. I was hoping it would be safer than all the pesticides out there, but after reading here, I'm not too sure. I would not apply it to the cats, of course, but to my mattress, furniture and carpets.

Any info or ideas would be welcome! Thanks so much!

September 23, 2013

Angela @ 5:16 pm

Citronella is especially bad and the other oils you mention aren't great for cats either. I would not use them in my cat's environment! If you are trying to eradicate bed bugs, fleas or any other creature with an exoskeleton from your environment, please consider FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth (not the kind used for pool filters / gardens as it is TOXIC!) Food grade diatomaceous earth mechanically destroys insects (+ eggs, larvae, etc.) by abrading their shells & dehydrating them. It is absolutely safe for all animals (though you want to avoid breathing it in as it can be irritating like any dust). It can even be used internally (ingested) to get rid of parasites. Sprinkling around your baseboards, on your bedding / your cat's bedding, & on carpets will do the trick. It takes a couple days to kill the bugs so don't vacuum up right away. I leave it where I can stand to (under the bed / furniture) & it keeps on working. This is readily available on amazon or at pet shops, super cheap & very safe. Google it & you will see how effective it is!

November 1, 2013

Diane @ 8:33 pm

It is very unlikely to have been the myrrh essential oil that caused the cat to die. Myrrh is one of the safest of the essential oils and has been used successfully to treat gum disease in cats. My guess would be that this kitty was exposed to something else while staying at the friend's home. It is possible that a trace of an oil toxic to cats was on her hands when put the myrrh on the cat. There is also the remote possibility that there had been a processing error on the part of the manufacturer that resulted in contamination of the myrrh with a more toxic oil.

November 5, 2013

rydra @ 11:34 am

My cat has painful teeth and bad kidneys such that he needs to be given subcutaneous fluids every day. He is now throwing up his food and in pain and we think it's his teeth but the vet says his kidneys won't tolerate anesthesia so he can't help with the teeth. I want to give him oil of oregano because that kills gram negative bacteria such as grow in teeth infections. I read that cats can take this if it's natural (high quality w/o fillers of any kind) and of course that it must be diluted as oil of oregano is extremely irritating. At the same time I see at many other sites that oil of oregano is toxic to cats because it requires some enzyme (glucaridase?) to eliminate phenols (whatever their source). So…I am not talking about giving this every day but maybe for 3-5 days or so to get rid of infection. What advice do you have on this? Thanks

rydra @ 11:37 am

A suggestion to the woman cleaning up under couches and chairs after a cat who is relieving h=itself there…my sister researched how to stop marking behavior on the web and found that acts don't like to step on aluminum foil so she put foil down anywhere the cat wanted to pee. It seems to help and even if it did not it would catch the pee before it soaked in to anything. I think it would be easy to put foil under your couches and chairs, so much easier than cleaning up issues afterward!

November 16, 2013

Lonette @ 7:03 am

My cat of 15 yrs who kept inside most of the time turned up missing about a week and a half ago. I came across this website because the I've been scrambling for reasons why he just vanished since he never leaves his home. There are so many possibilities and I haven't given up my search but the one thing I wondered about his the eucalyptus oil I put in the humidifier that night. One of my sons had a cold and I put a few drops of pure eucalyptus oil in but the dropper came off and a quite a bit spilled in the bathroom and humidifier. It's was strong with the smell so now I'm wondering if my cat left his him because of the smell. I have another cat but she is still with us. Anyone have a similar experience? I would think I could find him near my home though and still my little friend is missing. An important note is he had a hyper thyroid problem. He was on medication for this twice a day to keep his thyroid under control.
I appreciate any kind and helpful advice.

November 19, 2013

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:26 pm


Cats are so individual, one might be OK with the smell of eucalyptus, but another might not be able to tolerate it and run off. Then again, it could be an exploring nature that make your cat go off for an adventure. It's so hard to know.. and so hard to lose your pet.

I hope your cat turns up soon.

Essential Oil Diva @ 3:29 pm


What a brilliant idea of putting aluminum foil under the furniture to prevent your cat from urinating there. It certainly is a lot easier than cleaning up after the fact.

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