What Essential Oils are Bad for Cats image

Are Essential Oils Safe for Cats? – A Pet Parent Guide 101

Essential oils are perfume-infused extracts or concentrated essence prepared from certain pressed plants and herbs. Though these oils are widely used in aromatherapy and beautification procedures, prolonged use of these extracts is considered harmful to humans and our cats. Most people use these oils on their pet cats to improve their quality of life. One must know to handle these oils with extreme caution around their meowing friends. Too much exposure and ingestion are known to cause severe problems in cats.

Essential Oils That are Bad for Cats

Cats are known for their sensitivity, especially their sensitive skin and nose. Therefore, certain essential oils are categorized under the label “never to use anywhere near a cat”. In addition, since essential oils contain concentrated extracts, they pose a risk to our cats at home. Therefore, one must practice caution while using them around our felines.

What Essential Oils Are Bad for Cats?

Essential oils, especially concentrated ones contain compounds that cats can never absorb and metabolize properly. This is because their body organs don’t possess the ability to break down the compounds. In other words, the enzymes required to break down these concentrated compounds are not present in the liver to the cat. As a result, the compounds accumulate in the cat’s body, resulting in the poisoning of the cat The concentrated compounds one must avoid using at any cost are phenols, terpenes, and ketones. The usage of these may be toxic to the cat. As a pet parent you may wonder is lavender safe for cats, actually, no. Yes, the usual lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia) has linalyl acetate and linalool, both these are toxic to cats.

Essential Oils Toxic to Cats

  • Bergamot oil
  • Bitter almond oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Juniper oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Pine oil
  • Rose oil
  • Sweet birch oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Wintergreen oil
  • Wormwood oil
  • Ylang-Ylang oil

How Can I Keep My Cat Safe Around Essential Oils?

Most doctors from all around the world suggest that the best way to avoid the exposure of our cats to essential oils is to pet-proof the entire apartment.

#1 Pet-Proofing

One must make sure that the essential oils, potpourri, and essential oils diffuser are kept far away from the reach of their cats. They must also make sure that the cats don’t drink bottles of liquid potpourri or essential oils since they pose serious health issues like vomiting, fever, drooling, breathing problems, and lack of appetite.

#2 Highly Concentrated Oils

To minimize the risk of exposure to highly concentrated essential oils, doctors advise the pet parent(s) not to apply them directly on their cats. They are considered dangerous to the extent that they may burn the skin of our feline friends. If possible, it is better to avoid using concentrated essential oils altogether.

#3 Essential Oil Diffusers

One must never use essential oil diffusers around our cats since they may cause serious respiratory problems. Likewise, if the cats are sensitive to the fragrance diffusers, it is best to avoid them.

What Essential Oils are Safe for Cats?

There is no concrete, proven studies or research papers that state the benefits of using cat safe essential oils. But some cat owners have been using it throughout their lives and are satisfied with the outcomes. In addition, most cat parents swear that certain essential oils have improved the quality of their cats’ life.

Essential Oils Safe for Cats

  • Rosemary oil
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Jasmine oil
  • Clary sage oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Frankincense oil
  • Chamomile oil
  • Sweet basil oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Marjoram oil
  • Cypress oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Spearmint oil

What are the Benefits to Using Essential Oils for Cats?

#1 Flea Repellents

It is indeed a massive struggle for the cat to deal with all the fleas. Though numerous useful cat flea repellents are available in the market, most cat owners get extremely worried about exposing their little pets to harsh, harmful chemicals. In order to put them out of their misery and make them feel comfortable, one can use essential oils like extracts of rosemary and cedarwood, which are considered flea repellents.

#2 Enhance Mood

The cat not only has to feel safe around their owners, but they must also be calm and stress-free. One can use these essential oils to help them relax and get them to calm down from time to time. Jasmine essential oil and Clary sage essential oil are often used to reduce anxiety and help them rejuvenate in cats.

#3 Anti-Inflammatory

Essential oils are known for the anti-inflammatory properties they possess. Many cat owners who want to avoid exposing their pets to harsh chemicals use essential oils like chamomile basil extracts to cure their inflammation-related diseases or conditions. For example, these essential oils serve well and help the cat from bruising to arthritis.

#4 Digestion

Most essential oil lovers – cat parents love to provide these oil extracts to ease digestion in their pets. They help the cat suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea. Most cat parents use cardamom essential oil to help with their cats’ digestion.

Best Essential Oils for Cats

  • Anxiety – Frankincense, Marjoram, and Roman Chamomile
  • Arthritis – Chamomile and Spruce
  • Antifungal and Antiseptic – Cedarwood
  • Anti-inflammatory – Helichrysum, Basil and Roman Chamomile
  • Boost immunity – Frankincense, basil, and Lemongrass
  • Bones – Lemongrass
  • Digestion – Cardamom
  • Increase blood flow – Frankincense oil
  • Pain relief – Lemongrass, Frankincense, Marjoram, and Cedarwood
  • Respiratory problems – Cardamom oil
  • Insomnia –
  • Diabetes – Marjoram oil
  • Skin – Frankincense and Melrose
  • Ticks – Rosemary, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, and Mint
  • Stomach support – Ginger, Fennel and Black pepper

One must know that not all the essential oils mentioned above as bad and good may suit their pet cats. The usage of these crucial oils entirely depends upon the cat and its body type. Therefore, one must never start using essential oils on their pets without consulting their veterinarian.


The cat parent(s) must understand their pets’ nature and body type. Since essential oils are known for their concentrated extracts, one must always be cautious while using them around their felines. Not all the oils listed may work appropriately if the cats have taste and health issues. One should never start using an essential oil without consulting a doctor on their own since it may lead to severe problems.