Essential Oils And Cats

A viral post has circulated that Essential Oils were responsible for the death of a cat. I am a lover/owner of cats and a complete essential oil freak all in one. This quite scary viral social media post has raised questions and has people freaking out. I was hoping to quote the post, as to not misrepresent what was stated but the post has mysteriously vanished. I’ll do my best to rehash and address the content. To be clear, I do not wish to approach this as a defensive bash on this poor woman. If the story is true, she has suffered a loss and for that I am deeply sorry. I am looking to help calm the panic evident in my social media feeds.

The post stated that the essential oils were purchased from an unknown retailer on Amazon. This is a HUGE red flag to me. I use essential oils like Baptists use water for Baptism, full submersion (I’m almost kidding, lol). I ONLY EVER USE YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS purchased through Young Living. There is absolutely no possible way to be sure of what you are getting when purchasing from Amazon or your local grocery store. Young Living has a wonderful seed to seal promise on their oils. These oils can be used with peace of mind knowing the quality and purity of the product. When becoming part of the Young Living family of distributors I also had at my fingertips a vast network of kind people eager to help educate me.

The post goes on to state that the cat was exposed for at least 4 days from a diffuser running through the night. She stated that the cat loved to sleep with her. If the cat was under the covers, this would basically create a high potency scent tent not appropriate for cats. If on top of the covers, and the bedroom door was closed, again we create a highly concentrated environment that is not appropriate for cats. Plus if the diffuser ran through the entire night, it creates a too long exposure to essential oils, and this is not appropriate for cats. Dose and exposure duration matter when it comes to cats. Also, the same essential oil was used for 4 days in a row. Repeated exposure to the same essential oil increases the risk of adverse reactions in cats.

Lyndsay Elmore over at thefarmacistalabama.com has this great educational nugget of info to share:

Remember friends: cats lack the ability to glucuronidate substances and they lack a P450 system, so their metabolism is much slower than a human. So you need to use caution with oils that are high in phenols such as cassia, clove, oregano, thyme, and mountain savory, as well as oils high in monoterpenes like citrus oils, pine, spruce, and fir.

I have felt the vibe via comments about this post, that people are outraged there isn’t a warning on the labels. I don’t totally disagree as I am in favor of labeling anything that goes in and or on our bodies that could cause harm. (Cough Cough…. GMO… Cough Cough… Pestasides… Cough Cough… Hello Health & Beauty Products )

It is hard to put aside the visceral feelings involved when hearing about the loss of a pet but consider some prudent thoughts… Part of the think tank around not labeling could possibly be that it is common knowledge, some plants are toxic to cats. Essential oils are nothing more than concentrated particles of plants. Ergo…  a reasonable person could draw that conclusion without a label.

It took the death of a small child at Disney before the addition of roped off boundaries and signs were adequately put around the lagoon warning of the dangers of alligators. Sadly, it sometimes takes a tragedy to wake people up to connect the dots.

Labeling issues are a real problem in todays society. So much of what we put in and on our bodies is a mystery. Hopefully with awareness in general, better labeling can be done not just for essential oils but EVERYTHING. We owe it to our pets but most of all, we owe it to ourselves.

In conclusion, I have religiously (#likeabaptist … LOL… get it?? … #likeaboss 😜) used essential oils in harmony with my fur babies. I have rules in place to keep everyone safe and happy.

  • Mix up the oils that you use frequently
  • Be sure that the cat can leave the room if you’re using a diffuser
  • Dilute oils around cats
  • Educate yourself on the handful of oils that are a problem for your cat, just like I’m sure you have checked into what houseplants are toxic for kitty

Love Light Insight & Blessings To All!

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