Aromatherapy has gained prominence in recent years as a alternative therapy to help human beings with stress relief. Aroma therapy builds on the idea that certain scents can trigger different sensations in humans. For example, lavender can cause many people to relax and sleep better whilst peppermint tends to make people more alert. That being said, aromatherapy can also be used for feline friends as long as pet-safe aromas and essential oils are used.
PS. Are Ragdoll cats hypoallergenic? Let’s find out.
Research Cat Safe Oils Before Diffusing Any Oils
Cats are very sensitive to many scents and are innately curious. Cats should never be able to ingest any essential oils, nor should this be directly applied to any part of the cat’s body. Cats are not able to metabolize enzymes from essential oils as easily as humans can.
Essential oils can be safe for cats; however, a veterinarian or other animal professional should be consulted before using essential oils. There are some essential oils generally considered safe for cats. The best method of using essential oils in cats is diffusion. You will need to add water and 2-5 drops of essential oils to the diffuser. The diffuser should only be used for short periods of time.
A List of Safe Oils to Use Around Your Cat
1. Lavender: Lavender oil is one of the most widely known and used essential oils. Lavender can cause relaxation in many individuals and can be helpful in pets with anxiety.
2. Rosemary: Rosemary oil has the benefit of keeping fleas away from cats. The twigs will need to be boiled in water and diluted into the diffuser. Five minutes is a sufficient time to have cats benefit from rosemary.
3. Frankincense: This scent is also used to help with anxiety and stress. This may be helpful during extremely stressful situations such as Independence Day or Christmas when sounds and unusual activates can frighten your cat
4. Lemongrass Oil: A cat owners needs to be cautious and only use this oil sparingly. Too much can cause toxicity in the cat’s liver. Five minutes or less should be efficient for cats to benefit from the oil helping to keep fleas at bay.
5. Clary Sage: This scent helps cats to have stability of moods and to relax easier.
Essential Oils that Must Be Avoided
As mentioned above, cats have sensitive skin and can suffer from toxicity easier than humans or dogs. There are certain oils which should never be used around cats. Oils with high levels of ketones: Ketones promote cell regeneration and calming in humans.
However, cats cannot metabolize these types of oils. These include peppermint, myrrh, cedar, and spearmint, among others. Oils with high levels of pinene which include many types of tree oil including nutmeg, spruce, dill, eucalyptus, and juniper.
Beware of Your Cat’s Behavior
As long as you consult with a veterinarian and avoid oils that are toxic to cats, then occasional diffusion of essential oils can be safe for your cat. Be sure to keep the diffuser out of the cat’s reach. The best type of defuses are electronic, unrulier, and ultrasonic diffusers.
Owners need to keep a close eye on their cat and if any of the following signs are observed, take the cat to a vet immediately:
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty walking
- Muscle tremors
- Difficulty breathing
- Pawing at the mouth
With the proper precautions, essential oils can help cats with anxiety in certain situations.