The cat and essential oils
The cat cannot properly eliminate essential oils
If some essential oils can be dangerous for the human being and mainly those containing phenols such as thyme (thymol), the Sarriette (carvacrol), the clover (eugenol) and cetones that are neurotoxic, they are even more dangerous for cats.
There are three main reasons:
1 - The skin of the cat is very fine like that of babies. Essential oils penetrate very quickly into the blood. Essential oils are, for many, prohibited to children and mainly babies.
2 - The amount of essential oils that can be absorbed is like all products, proportional to the size of the person. When you indicate 3 to 4 drops of essential oils for an individual who makes 70 kg, you have to bring this amount to 1/10th of drop for a cat, which remains, you will have understood it, complicated to dose.
3 - The third reason, which is probably the main one: Man and other mammals have an enzyme (glucuronyl transferase) that allows to degrade certain molecules in order to make them soluble, which will then allow them to be evacuated from our body by the urine. The cat does not have this enzyme, so it eliminates much more slowly certain molecules contained in essential oils or other products. The elimination of essential oils, including phenols, is slow, which means that it will put, for example, 3 days to eliminate a certain amount of essential oil when other species will put 6 hours. If the dose is strong and/or the length of administration and without pause, it may have overload and toxic hepatitis. Essential oils will accumulate in its organism and mainly in its liver. This long-term accumulation can lead to serious health concerns, see the death of the animal. On the other hand, the cat is not a glucuronyltransferase deficit of alcohols, acids, amines.
Other reasons not to use essential oils with his cat
1 - The cat has a particular organ, located between the nose and the palace: the vomiter-nasal or Jacobson's organ. The one allows him this characteristic attitude of the felins called Flehmen (the fact that he regains the upper lip). it makes the air in this passage to detect pheromones. Overloading this essential oil organ can destabilize the cat and make it aggressive or apathetic.
2 - The cat is an animal that licks very often to make its toilet. The sprayed products on its hair will partly be ingested. If the administered dose is important, not only, the cat may dampen or vomit, but once again, its liver may suffer! It is necessary to take into account the composition of the essential oils that you wish to apply by avoiding essential oils containing phenols (carvacrol, thymol, eugenol...), by limiting those containing cetones (verbenone, menthone, piperitone thujone...) or aromatic aldehydes (cinnamaldehyde) but preferring those containing alcohols (linalol,
3 - The cat has an extremely developed smell. It is therefore very sensitive to odors and even if its olfactory surface is small, it counts no less than 70 million receptive cells and 20 cm2 of olfactory mucosa compared to 5 million and 4 cm2 in man! Just say that your olfactory feeling with essential oils is not at all perceived in the same way by a cat.
The cat and the diffusion of essential oils
This phenomenon can also be found in man with certain synthetic products (food, cosmetics, etc.) that slowly accumulates in our body and that there is a lot of difficulty in eliminating.
There are currently few studies on the use of essential oils on animals and even less on the cat. As a precautionary measure, it is therefore necessary better avoid using essential oils on the cat in internal use or skin application.
The diffusion of essential oils in a room where a cat is located remains acceptable on condition Of course not to broadcast constantly and not to saturate the ambient air (which is not good either for humans). Make sure to ventilate the room and leave an exit door to your pet. Prefer the use of a mistizer (water + essential oil). The diffuse mist is here composed of water and essential oils: the amount of oil molecules in the air is therefore much lower than a technology diffuser by nebulization (only essential oils, without water). Also try to leave (as much as possible) a possibility for your cat to get out of the room in question. Finally, although diffusers are often completely closed, do not let your essential oils in a place where your cat might come to taste them. They can be drawn but should not drink essential oils or water-oil mixture! Avoid the use of essential oils with too high concentration of phenols and cetones (thym, sarriette, peppermint, ...) and prefer mainly the following essential oils: Tea tree, true lavender, Eucalyptus radiata, Menthole Eucalyptus (in low quantity), Cineole Green Myrtle, Ravintslang, Saro, Orange, Niaouli
The therapeutic virtues of essential oils by diffusion also work on cats. It is all about the choice of essential oil, dilution, method and route of application, the number of daily applications, the duration of administration by not forgetting to observe breaks and to control the proper functioning of the body. Get close to a specialist veterinarian. Avoid self-medication!
If you want to practice aromatherapy on your cat, you can however using hydrolats, which do not have the same concentrations as essential oils and are generally perfectly tolerated by all organisms.
- Dr. Joëlle Robyns - VeterinaryEssential oils in the cat
- Charity, T. Healing by essential oils. Why and how does it work? Editions du Rocher
- Oral transmission of several veterinarians
- Antipoison assistance for pets (Pet Poison Helpline)