Cats & Aromatherapy - Fact, Fiction and In-Between
Yes, we know. If you Google a bit you can find every imaginable horror story about cats and aromatherapy. From "my cat saw a picture of a lavender plant and got sick" to "one whiff of any essential causes liver failure in cats" and everything in between. Of course, we are not making light of any cat's illness.
Like most everything in life, common sense and moderation come into play. There are a few rules to follow when using aromatherapy on cats. The four caveats we follow for safely using essential oils for cats are:
#1 Refer to Trusted Resources
We choose to believe the histrionic articles found on some websites are basically well-intentioned. They are just misinformed. Our two bits is to take the good info and leave the rest.
Of course there are some oils that are not appropriate for using on cats, but saying ALL essential oils are bad for cats is like saying peanut butter is bad. It is for someone with a nut allergy, but not the rest of us when eaten in sensible doses.
Some of the oils that are not recommended for usage on cats are pennyroyal, nutmeg, tea tree oil, and menthol.
From Robert Tisserand of Tisserand Institute
"Sensibly used, most essential oils are safe to use in pet grooming products, or for low-level, intermittent diffusion. A small amount of any essential oil, and a moderate amount of most, will not harm your cat."
The complete article on Cats and Aromatherapy is found here.
#2 Quality Essential Oils
Only quality essential oils and never fragrance oils must be used when working with cats (we believe quality essential oils for cats, dogs, horses, yaks, people, of course).
#3 Dilute, Dilute, Dilute
It is critical that a good quality of carrier oil or liquids be used to dilute the essential oils in for cats. We use a ratio of 3% for our roll-on and 1% for our spray for cats.
#4 Moderation - Less Is More
I am a firm believe is More is More and Less is Less, but in THIS case Less Is More. Start with Less and go from there. Apply just a bit, see how your cat responds and go from there. If you wish, open the bottle and let it sit and allow your cat to approach the bottle on their own time. Don't stick the bottle in their face, they will back off from that. The point is to allow them to approach the bottle.