Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Cats photo

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Cats

Not at all. Eucalyptus oil is one of the essential oils that is extracted from the eucalyptus plant for fragrance, sweet taste and more. Eucalyptus oil is extracted through cold pressing or distillation just like other essential oils. Other core uses of eucalyptus oil include; making insecticides, used for aromatherapies, antibacterial products, herbal remedy, and liquid potpourri.  

Uses of eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has been used since time immemorial to silence resilient coughing. If you buy over the counter medicines for coughing, you will find one of the major ingredients as eucalyptus oil. It is used to keep bugs and insects away that aid in the spread of dangerous diseases like malaria. Eucalyptus oil can be used to disinfect wounds and fight inflammation on the skin. It helps asthmatic people breathe easy, eucalyptus oil reacts with mucous membranes and loosens it so that you can cough it up easily. On the flip side for asthmatic conditions, in some people, it might worsen the situation. This oil is can regulate blood sugar levels for diabetic patients. Other specific use cases for eucalyptus oil include; soothing cold sores, fresh breath and ease joint pain. 

In as much as eucalyptus oil is important in whatever form, it poses a toxic risk to cats and other pets. Cats specifically get exposed to toxic eucalyptus oil either orally or across the skin and metabolized in the liver. Cat’s liver lacks an essential enzyme that can eliminate toxins such as essential oils thereby posing a risk of poisoning cats and may lead to damage of the liver or worst case scenario lead to total failure of the organ. 

Toxic essential oils for cats 

Essential oils were once considered safe for cats and could be used against mite infestation in cats, stress relief and to relieve cats from upper respiratory issues. If you must use diffusers in your home and you own a cat, you must keep your cat away when using it. You can close the door and send your cat away while using diffusers. Studies have shown that essential oils are toxic to cats whether ingested, passed across the skin, or simply inhaled. Exposure of cats to these essential oils may lead to liver damage or liver failure, seizures or worst of all death for cats. Cats lack enzymes to metabolize phenolic compounds found in eucalyptus oil and other essential oils. Apart from eucalyptus oil, other essential oils you should keep away from cats include; peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, citrus oil lemon oil included, pine oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, sweet birch oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, and ylang-ylang oil. If you realize your cat just ingested any of the above oil, call the animal vet immediately for intervention. 

Signs and symptoms your cat may develop when exposed to eucalyptus oil 

It can be difficult to tell when your cat has exposed herself to toxic essential oil. In some instances, your vet may not be able to diagnose a cat correctly and tell what is ailing their health without good leads. It might take the intervention of the pet owner to conclude essential oil poisoning.

Signs and symptoms your cat may show when exposed to essential oils like eucalyptus include; vomiting, drooling, tremors, wobbliness, low heart rate, respiratory distress, liver failure, or low body temperature. Inhalation of strong eucalyptus odor may cause some cats to sneeze, have watery nose and eyes, a burning sensation in the nose or the throat which may cause your cat to have difficulty breathing.

How to keep off essential oils from cats

Essential oil might be useful for your personal use but catastrophic for cats. In the same breath, you should keep your essential oil away from cats or in a cat-proof cabinet or drawer to help your curious friend off potential health risks. Many vets don’t recommend using essential oils in your home if you have a pet companion. Essential oils are known to cause more harm than good. If you are using passive diffusers like potpourri, note that your cat might knock them over exposing them to health risk. If your pet loves licking your hands or body, make sure you don’t use eucalyptus oil or essential oil products. If you can control, use them but don’t allow them to lick your hands. Keep airborne essential oils off the rooms you know your cat can access. If your cat inhales or licks the fur with essential oil droplets while grooming, it can be a health risk. Lastly, don’t put aromatherapy jewels on when your cat is around. It is a grave danger if your feline friend is a kitten or elderly suffering from respiratory issues. 

Although some essential oils are good and used with pets as calmers they are not good for their health. Some alternatives might be useful like canna-pet instead. You will need soothers to treat and relax your cat especially when they feel stressed up after fireworks, trips, travel and more. 

First aid for cats when you suspect essential oil poisoning

When you see your cat suffering and showing symptoms and signs of poisoning, what you need to do is move her to fresh air immediately and seek vet attention if symptoms persist. If your cat has pre-existing respiratory conditions seek vet attention immediately because respiratory irritation may become severe. Cat parents are advised to steer away from essential oils because they are unfriendly to your feline friend. And if you must use them anyway, take caution when using diffusers. Do not apply them directly to your cats either, especially the concentrated types. 

If you suspect essential oil poisoning, you need to act fast. Seek medical attention immediately from your vet. If by chance you can’t reach your animal vet, you better contact pet poison helpline or animal emergency medical center. Don’t give your pet any treatment without the consent of your animal vet. And if you know the oil that caused illness, take with you to the vet so that they know what oil they are dealing with sooner.

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