Good summer deals until 31 July
 Apply 5, 8 or 10
 depending on the value of your basket
Cart (empty) 0
Expert in organic products and insect control since 2002



Same day dispatch

Express home delivery or relay point

Summer 2024 tips


All new products

On sale

All sale products

Best sellers

All best sellers

Customer reviews

Cats and essential oils


Cats cannot eliminate essential oils properly

Cats and essential oilsCats and essential oilsIf certain essential oils can be dangerous for humans, especially those containing phenols such as thyme (thymol), savory (carvacrol), clove (eugenol) and ketones, which are neurotoxic, they are even more dangerous for cats.

There are 3 main reasons for this :

1 - Cats' skin is very thin, like babies'. Essential oils therefore penetrate the bloodstream very quickly. Many essential oils are forbidden to children, especially babies.

2 - The quantity of essential oils that can be absorbed is, like all products, proportional to the size of the person. When 3 to 4 drops of essential oils are indicated for a person weighing 70 kg, this quantity must be reduced to 1/10th of a drop for a cat, which, as you will understand, is complicated to dose.

3 - The 3rd reason, which is probably the main one, is that humans and other mammals have an enzyme (glucuronyl transferase) that breaks down certain molecules to make them soluble, which means they can then be eliminated from the body through the urine. Cats do not have this enzyme, so they eliminate certain molecules contained in essential oils or other products much more slowly. The elimination of essential oils containing phenols in particular is slow, which means that it will take, for example, 3 days to eliminate a certain quantity of essential oil, whereas other species will take 6 hours. If the dose is high and/or the duration of administration long and without a break, there is a risk of overload and toxic hepatitis. The essential oils will accumulate in the body, mainly in the liver. Over time, this accumulation can lead to serious health problems and even death. On the other hand, cats are not deficient in glucuronyltransferases of alcohols, acids and amines. 

Other reasons not to use essential oils with your cat

1 - Cats have a special organ, located between the nose and the palate: the vomeronasal or Jacobson's organ. This organ allows them to adopt the characteristic feline attitude known as Flehmen (the fact that they curl up their upper lip). It allows air to enter this passageway in order to detect pheromones. Overloading this organ with essential oils can destabilise the cat and make it aggressive or, on the contrary, apathetic.

2 - Cats lick themselves very often to groom themselves. Some of the products sprayed on its fur will be ingested. If the dose administered is large, not only does the cat run the risk of drooling or vomiting, but its liver may also suffer! You need to take into account the composition of the essential oils you wish to apply, avoiding those containing phenols (carvacrol, thymol, eugenol... ), limiting those containing ketones (verbenone, menthone, piperitone thujone, etc.) or aromatic aldehydes (cinnamaldehyde) and favouring those containing alcohols (linalool, thujanol, menthol, terpinene 1 ol 4, etc.) or oxides (1,8 cineole).

3 - Cats have an extremely well-developed sense of smell. They are therefore highly sensitive to odours and, even though their olfactory surface area is small, they have no less than 70 million receptor cells and 20 cm² of olfactory mucosa, compared with 5 million and 4 cm² in humans! In other words, your olfactory experience with essential oils is not at all perceived in the same way by a cat. 

Cats and the diffusion of essential oils

This phenomenon can also be found in humans with certain synthetic products (food, cosmetics, etc.) which slowly accumulate in our bodies and are very difficult to eliminate.

There are currently few studies on the use of essential oils on animals, and even fewer on cats. As a precautionary measure, it is best to avoid using essential oils internally or on the skin.

Diffusing essential oils in a room with a cat is still acceptable, provided, of course, that you don't diffuse them continuously and that you don't saturate the ambient air (which isn't good for humans either). So make sure you ventilate the room and give your pet a way out. Instead, use a mister (water + essential oil). In this case, the mist is made up of water and essential oils, so the quantity of oil molecules in the air is much smaller than with a nebuliser (only essential oils, no water). You should also always try to give your cat the opportunity (as far as possible) to leave the room in question. Finally, although diffusers are often completely enclosed, don't leave your essential oils where your cat can come and taste them. They may be attracted to them, but they mustn't drink the essential oils or the water-oil mixture! Avoid using essential oils with too high a concentration of phenols and ketones (thyme, savory, peppermint, etc.) and prefer the following essential oils: Tea tree, True lavender, Eucalyptus radiata, Mentholated eucalyptus (in small quantities), Green myrtle, Ravintsara, Saro, Niaouli, Ylang-ylang, Sweet orange.

The therapeutic properties of essential oils diffused by diffusion also work on cats. It's all a question of choice of essential oil, dilution, method and route of application, number of applications per day, duration of administration, remembering to take breaks and check that the body is functioning properly. Get in touch with a specialist vet. Avoid self-medication!

If you want to use aromatherapy on your cat, you can use hydrolats, which do not have the same concentrations as essential oils and are generally perfectly tolerated by all organisms.

sources :
- Dr. Joëlle Robyns - Veterinary Essential oils in the cat
- De la Charie, T. Se soigner par les huiles essentielles. Why and how do they work? Editions du Rocher
-  Oral transmission from several vets
- Antipoison assistance for pets (Pet Poison Helpline)