The Essential oil trend has grown immensely in popularity over the last decade. Nearly everyone I talk to is selling them and trying to convince me to sign up and use their line exclusively. I love essential oils but only use a certified organic brand. Essential oils are potent, they cleanse, rejuvenate, increase clarity, improve digestive health and the list goes on. They also make our homes smell heavenly. But, are all oils safe to use, especially if you have pets?
Not all Essential Oils are Equal!
There are some essential oils that are harmful to pets, so before you go and purchase a truckload of various scents, discern which are safe for your pets first. The brand I use, Young Living, is safe to use on pets. They are the world leaders in organic therapeutic grade essential oils and they are leading the field in essential oils for animals. They even have a veterinarian advisory council — this is a huge bonus and is reassuring for pet owners. I haven’t heard of any other essential oil company providing this kind of service.
Please note there are true essential natural oils like those from Young Living and then there are synthetic oils. Use only 100% certified organic oils so they are safe for you and your pets. I used an essential oil that was gifted to me from another very popular organic brand, but one of my cats got running eyes and was vomiting. Clearly, it’s inferior to the Young Living brand.
We have to be very careful about what we bring into and use in our home. This includes cleaning products, laundry supplies, and air fresheners. What we and everyone else in our home breathe in goes right to our brain and our bloodstream. This includes our pets. Animals are ultrasensitive, so they will struggle with household toxins and any unsafe essential oils we diffuse in our home.
You may have read that all essential oils are unsafe for pets. How did they come to this conclusion? Cats lack an enzyme that allows them to eliminate essential oils through their livers. This, in turn, means the elimination process is slow and EOs can build up in their bodies. This is why it’s so imperative that only pure oils are used.
Caution when using oils high in phenols.
Oils high in phenols can have an adverse effect on cats. These oils include Cloves, Nutmeg, Oregano, all citrus, Pine, Spruce, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Thyme, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Bergamot, Sage, Mountain Savory. If you any oils on your pets, a dilution of 1 to 9 is required. This means 9 drops of a carrier oil to one drop of Young Living essential oil. If the oils are too strong, your cats will show some visible signs like squinting or watery eyes, vomiting, confusion, or being disoriented. If you’ve applied the oil to your cat’s body, apply a carrier oil – not water – in the same area go slow down the absorption process, and immediately go to your vet.
If your cat has a health condition, then this needs to be taken into consideration. Pregnant cats should not be around Hyssop, Rosemary, Sage, Basil, and Wintergreen. If your cat has high blood pressure, avoid Hyssop. If it’s epileptic, avoid Hyssop, Basil, Sage, Tarragon, Rosemary, and Wintergreen.
If an essential oil has these warning labels: ‘never ingest’ or ‘don’t use undiluted’, do not use them on your cats or diffuse in the air. This would suggest that there is something else in the bottle other than pure botanicals. This is another reason I went with Young Living, their oils can be ingested and applied to humans and pets. Plus they do not have an expiration date.
Introducing your cats to essential oils.
You do not need to use an abundance of oils with cats, a little goes a long way. The least intrusive way to introduce your cats to essential oils is by cleaning your home with them. Household toxins are hard on pets. If you clean your floors with a harsh product, your cats lick their paws and ingest these toxic ingredients. If you wash your pet beds with bleach, your pets will breathe in the fumes and can develop problems.
The second way to get your cats used to oils is through cold diffusing. The oils are dispensed into the air as tiny particles that pets can breathe in and get therapeutic benefits from. There are several essential oils that are really good for pets, but I can only vouch for the Young Living brand because they are so pure. These include, from their line of essential oils, Frankincense, Lavender, Purification, Stress Away, and Release.
Get yourself a good essential oil for pets book that has been written by a qualified person, don’t just wing it. Are talk to an expert. Your pet’s health is at risk if you approach this field without caution. One of the books I have is Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, and it was written by a certified master aromatherapist. It offers a comprehensive guide to using EO and hydrosols on various animals. Educate yourself and you can enjoy the aromatic scents of various oils safely in your home.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical or vet advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare providers.