Many people ask the question: what essential oils are safe for cats? So let me tell you, there’s really no simple answer to this question. The fact lies somewhere in the middle. This is because using essential oils for treatment can potentially be dangerous to your pet. However, if you’re a cat lover who likes natural scented oils, it’s critical to always do your own research before experimenting with any kind of treatment.
EFFECTS OF LAVENDER ON CATS
So, let us discuss the effects of essential oils on pets and see how you can use them safely on your beloved pets. To begin, let’s take a look at the two most common oils used on animals and see how they affect cats. Let’s start with Lavender. It has a powerful aroma, which some cat owners find annoying while others love.
There are some interesting things about the way lavender works on both humans and animals. For example, humans, like cats, have a genetic tendency to produce excessive amounts of the compound called phenol, which is also found in the flowers of lavender. Phenol is an aromatizer and a sedative, and high concentrations of phenol in the flowers can irritate the mucous membranes of your lungs, which will, in turn, make your cat less inclined to want to breathe in deeply. However, there is another interesting side effect to the production of phenol by humans and animals alike – it can actually act as an anti-depressant! As cats without the ability to produce phenol will sniff the flower and get the strong aroma of the plant, they can act as a sort of replacement for humans and animals in helping your cat to relax and unwind.
EFFECTS OF PINENE ON CATS
Another common ingredient of many popular essential oils for cats is Pinene. Pinene is derived from the starches and oils of the potato, a widely used crop that is also a staple in the United States. You may not be familiar with the health benefits of pinene, but it is a fatty acid with multiple therapeutic benefits. One of them is its ability to stimulate the immune system, which can help prevent illness. It can also suppress appetite, fight inflammation and, strangely enough, reduce the size of tumors.
EFFECTS OF BLUE TANSY ON CATS
The last ingredient we’ll discuss here is blue tansy, an evergreen shrub that can be found in Europe and Asia. It belongs to the same family as eucalyptus, which is a common scent in most countries. Blue tansy has a wide variety of uses, including treating everything from allergies to tooth decay. It is often included among ingredients in natural remedies and alternative medicines. However, because of its high concentrations of terpinene-4-ol, which can cause irritation in people with respiratory issues, most companies don’t recommend using it to treat cataracts or other problems.
EFFECTS OF OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS ON CATS
Now, what about the essential oils that contain terpenes? Terpenes are created through the oxidation of other substances, such as eucalyptus and Rosemary. It is believed that they are effective antioxidants that might have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. Unfortunately, there is still much research to be done on these compounds, and because of their high concentrations, they can cause irritation in people with certain allergies. There have even been studies conducted that suggest they may play a role in cancer formation, though this remains to be proven.
In addition, what essential oils contain antioxidants may also help prevent age-related eye problems. A number of compounds known as carotenoids can reduce the incidence of cataracts and diabetes. Moreover, some research has suggested that vitamin C might reduce cholesterol levels, which could be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease. Thymol is one of the most common carotenoids found in nature. So, it would make sense to find a product containing this antioxidant.
THREE IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS IN DECIDING WHAT ESSENTIAL OILS ARE SAFE FOR ACTS
That leaves us with three very important considerations when deciding what essential oils are safe for cats. They should have low to medium concentrations of terpenes, not cause allergic reactions, and have good safety data. Unfortunately, we cannot always assume that the manufacturers are providing us with accurate data. The best way to make sure you’re using a truly safe product is to read the label and consult a veterinarian. This will ensure that you are treating your pet with a product that will provide the health benefits it was designed to provide.