Are Essential Oils Safe For My Cat

The internet would have you believe you cannot ever use essential oils with your cat.  I’d say that’s true if you’re using poor quality, adulterated oils.


Yes!  You can use essential oils safely with pets.   But there are some important things for you to keep in mind.   Much like we’d want to take some added precautions and considerations when using essential oils with babies or other sensitive animals.

Cats and Essential Oils

Many of you may have cats in your home.   And there are some special considerations with cats.

Cats are sensitive to household toxins.  This even includes candles, air fresheners, candles, and cleaning products.  We don’t often stop to think about what synthetic products we’re using in our homes, and don’t give it a second thought.   But let someone mention essential oils, and suddenly we think all the cats on the planet are going to be harmed.

You should be much more concerned about harsh cleaning chemicals in your home, synthetic fragrances, and other harsh chemicals and medications in your home, than a high quality Young Living Essential Oil.   You should be very concerned about inexpensive, poor quality, and untested brands – for everyone in your home.

General Use In Your Home / For Your Family

  • Using high quality essential oils like Young Living in your home can still be safe.  Young Living would be the only brand I trust.  You must do your research on quality, risk of synthetics, risk of adulteration, fragrance/parfum-based oils, etc.
  • Use your diffuser for your family in such a way that the cat can exit the room as the choose too.  They are pretty smart, and if they don’t like something, they will leave.   Other times, with some oils, you’ll see them seek out the diffuser and sleep next too it for a period of time.
  • Monitor your cat for change in behavior often when you first introduce essential oils into your home, or when you add a new oil to your collection.   If he shows signs of concern, turn it off!   And perhaps use more dilution (fewer drops in the diffuser at one time).  Consider using gentler oils (lavender, copiaba, peace and calming, etc) as a way to start acclimating your cat to essential oils instead of jumping straight into Thieves or RC — some of the stronger / hotter oils.   Go low and slow with your babies  & animals.
  • You act as a human diffuser.  If you’re wearing essential oils or have on diffuser jewelry, your cat may find this comforting.
  • Be aware if you have oils applied to your hands or body, when you pet the cat you are transferring some of that oil to the fur.   It acts as a wick to pull in essential oils to the skin & body.  Cats lick themselves for grooming.   So be sure you’re not wearing oils and petting the cat with oils not appropriate for the cat.

General Use For Your Cat’s Health and Wellness 

  • The key issue with cats and essential oils is the liver.  Cats are deficient in an enzyme that make its impossible to metabolize some drugs, medications and essential oils.  It’s no different really than synthetic products and fragrances.  In fact, that’s why it’s so problematic with some brands of essential oils.   They are filled with synthetic fragrance, alcohol, and solvents.  Sometimes even the plant they claim to be in the bottle isn’t the appropriate plant species…. Lavender is often Lavendin.   Frankincense is often not Frankincense Boswellia carterii, but a blend of 3 other plants.    Read your labels and do your research.
  • Wintergreen is typically one to avoid use with around your cats — unless you are guided through a health concern with a veterinary practitioner or other expert, in small doses & small time periods.
  • Other oils high in phenols would be one’s to avoid use with your cat unless you are under the guidance of a veterinary care professional or animal aromatherapy expert
    • Basil, Clove, Oregano, Melaleuca Quinquenervia. Thyme, Mountain Savory, Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Laurus Nobilis, Cinnamon Bark
    • And yet we can use Oregano, Thyme, Basil in the Animal Raindrop Technique customized for cats with an appropriate dilution and adding in supportive enzymes.  I can teach you how to do this for your cat when needed.
  • We often think more is more.   It’s not.  Essential oils are strong and very effective.   Less is more — go low and slow. Dilute 75-90%.   That means 1 drop of oil to 4 drops of carrier, or 1 drop to 10 drops — and then you use a drop of the new mixture.
  • Consider using the Animal Scents line of products
  • Gentler oils may be used in lesser dilutions or even neat — Lavender, Copiaba, Helichrysum, or Frannkincense, in some cases, including perhaps first aid.
  • Melissa Essential Oil is often referred to as a go-to for cat wellness concerns.  Again, discuss with your holistic animal care professional if you’re looking to address a health concern in your cat.
  • We even do a “Kitten Raindrop” for cats with the Animal Raindrop technique.   We use the same traditional oils we use for people and dogs, just diluted significantly more.    (Read More About Animal Raindrop)

Know that many veterinarians & families are using Young Living Essential Oils Safely Around Cats, Birds and other animals.    I recommend getting a copy of the Essential Oil Desk Reference for Animals from Life Science Publishing to further your own education.

Reference:   The Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference, Life Science Publishing 2017