Is Lavender Oil Safe For Cats?

Is Lavender Oil Safe For Cats?
Is lavender oil safe for cats? This and other questions appear when trying aromatherapy and natural treatments with our pets at home. If you have a cat and are planning to use aromatherapy as an alternative treatment, please read this article on lavender for cats and safety concerns.

Is lavender oils safe for cats?

No. The use of essential oils can be toxic to cats. Cats have very thin skin, when essential oils are rubbed on the cat’s skin they are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. This in turn causes skin problems and disorders of the liver, resulting in vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, loss of appetite and decreased immunity in the cat.

It has been found that even a single drop of diluted lavender oil (or other essential oils with a strong aroma) may trigger various physiological changes in a kitten. In cats, physiological changes are often associated with psychological changes. The changes in their physical or biological funcitons can alter the moods of a cat, causing anxiety and stress.

Cats are known to be deficient in their ability to remove compounds through hepatic glucuronidation. This is the presence of an important detoxification mechanism in most animals except the cat. The lack of this important detoxification mechanism in cats can result in slower elimination and therefore the accumulation of toxic metabolites in the body which cause toxicity problems.

Why lavender oil is not safe for cats? Cat nostrils have 19 million nerve endings. The man possess only 5 million. Besides using their nose to smell, cats have an organ, called Jacobson, located at the top of the mouth.

As you may know, there is a plant that fascinates cats. It makes them enjoy sublime moments for a few minutes. This plant is called Nepeta cataria, or catnip, from the family of thyme and lavender. Its perfume triggers a behavior in the animal, similar to that of a female in heat. There are several fragrances that can trigger dangerous behaviors in cats, such as certain essential oils, which may be toxic.

Essential oils not safe for Cats

The main essential oils that are potentially toxic to cats are those related to mint and peppermint essential oil. The ASPCA recommends eliminating all mint plants from home far from reach of the cat. Also lavender oil which is not safe for cats, Melaleuca oil (tea tree oil), cinnamon bark oil, Wintergreen oil, thyme oil and birch oil, sage oil and rosemary oil. These essential oils contain phenols and thymol which are toxic to cats.

Many articles state that lemon essential oil is also toxic for cats, but there is no problem in putting the natural lemon juice on the couch so they do not go near it or sprinkle a few drops of essential oil in a defined area.

Is Lavender Oil Safe For Cats?
Is Lavender Oil Safe For Cats?

Safe Alternatives to Essential Oils for Cats


Hydrosols are a byproduct of the distillation of essential oils. The commonly used steam distillation process produces both the essential oil and hydrosols.

Hydrosols have small amounts of essential oils which have the same properties of the essential oils of the plant that produces them. You can prepare hydrosols at home.

These aromatic floral products are made from distilled water and essential oils. Generally, essential oils are added to an aqueous base but should not exceed 100 drops of essential oils per 100 ml (3 fl oz) of water.

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 100 ml (3 fl oz) of distilled water
  • 3 drops of essential oil (Do not exceed these amount)

Put the distilled water in an opaque glass bottle. On it, add the amounts described above drop by drop. Mix the preparation until completely dissolved. Once finished let seat for 4-5 hours, and filter with a cloth strainer.

We can use this recipe to:

  • Spray a small portion of this liquid onto your hands and apply on the cat.
  • Prepare sanitary napkins with the liquid in case of skin problems.
  • Use this mixture in aromatherapy diffusers whenever there are cats in the house. Never diffuse pure essential oils.

An inhalation also may have toxicity, remember that the liver metabolism of the cat has can be very sensitive.

Whenever you put an essential oil near the snout of an animal and they sneeze or you see that it bothers them, beware! It may not be a pure essential oil.

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