Apart from the eye-catching purplish flower, we all love the delicate smell that lavender releases. As a commonly used fragrance in aromatherapy, there are many advantages to the lavender plant.
It’s been scientifically proven that essential oils such as lavender can decrease stress and help humans relax. But is lavender safe for cats?
Since you are a loving cat owner, it’s always important to double-check everything. It is to make sure there isn’t anything harmful surrounding your feline friend.
We can confirm that lavender essential oil is considered as dangerous to your cat. Although it has a calming effect on humans, it can be regarded as life-threatening when your cat ingests large amounts.
But that doesn’t mean you should worry and quit using lavender altogether. Despite it being toxic for cats, there are many ways you can keep your cat safe and sound.
If you want to find out all about lavender and cats, then continue reading this article to answer your question of is lavender safe for cats?
What is lavender?
Considered as a popular flower that can be found all over the world, the lavender flower represents grace, calmness, and purity. There are many different types of lavender-over 40!
Lavender is popular everywhere, such as in the kitchen, soaps, or even in medicine. It belongs in the mint family and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
As a flower well-known in gardening, essential oils, and baking, it’s one of the most versatile herbs out there. Many studies have proven that lavender has many benefits, such as it can promote relaxation, treat anxiety, and fungal infections.
Why is lavender bad for your cat?
Many people may think that since lavender promotes relaxation for humans, it must be the same towards cats – but that’s not true.
Although using lavender can be beneficial for humans, it’s not quite the same for cats. For people who use lavender essential oils, it may be more dangerous for your cat than the plain plant itself. Because cats have trouble digesting essential oils.
The problem is that their liver isn’t the same as humans, which means they don’t have the enzymes to metabolize the lavender oil. And we all know, the liver is popular for detoxing the body. So, when the liver is sick, the bodily system goes abnormal.
Moreover, cats are sensitive when it comes to phenols and phenolic substances, which in most essential oils.
About lavender poisoning
Although lavender is a multipurpose plant and is common around one’s household, you should be extra careful when raising a cat.
Whether it’s lavender in baking, fragrance, or essential oils, when your cat ingests lavender, it may result in lavender poisoning. Depending on what form of lavender-based product your cat intakes, dealing with lavender poison can be easy.
Your cat can fall sick when having close contact with lavender such as when they accidentally lick lavender essential oil. It causes your cat to have respiratory irritation.
The symptoms are similar to any other poisoning which includes vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and lack of appetite. Your cat may also experience dizziness, low heart rate, or digestive problems if the poisoning is on a serious level.
It may not be easy to tell when a cat has lavender poisoning. But you should keep a close eye to see if your cat drools or excessively licks around their lips.
Other symptoms may include:
- Muscle tremors
- Redness on lips, tongue, and gums
How to treat
Depending on whether your cat has absorbed or ingested a large amount of the lavender oil. It’s only mildly toxic, and treating lavender poisoning can be relatively simple.
If your cat has exposed to small amounts of lavender plant or oil the fur and has no behavioral changes, then make sure your cat isn’t exposed to any more lavender. Give your cat a thorough bath with soap, and they should be fine.
However, if your cat has lapped a large quantity of lavender oil, immediately move your cat to fresh air and contact the Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCS) or your closest veterinary.
If your cat has ingested essential oils, you must take more strict procedures. Because essential oils are more dangerous towards cats as they are thousands of times stronger than the original plant form. If a cat licks a large amount of essential oil, it can result in a lethal chemical build up.
In the rare case that your cat has pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, second-hand smoking, or airborne allergies, they’ll have a higher risk of developing respiratory irritation. In this case, you should always have your closest vet on your speed dial. That way, you can always quickly contact if there are any problems.
Recovering from lavender poisoning
Although lavender is only mildly poisonous, it’s always best to stay safe and take your cat to the vet. Once the vet examines your cat, they’ll inform you of the appropriate treatment. This can be administering medication or going in supportive IV fluids.
If your cat has lost weight due to lack of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, or circulatory abnormalities, the vet might keep it for a few days to do regular check-ups.
The recovery process length ranges, depending on the method of treatment. But always remember that before your cat comes home, you should make sure you remove all traces of essential oils in your home or keep them hidden so your cat can’t get to it.
A: Apart from lavender, other plants such as chamomile, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are toxic to cats. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid essential oils altogether. If you want to use these essential oils, make sure it’s somewhere far from your cat.
A: It’s important to remember that whatever is on your cat’s body has a high chance of going into their mouths. Since cats use their tongues to groom their fur, they’ll most likely lick the lavender oil that you’ve sprayed on them. A better idea is to comb through her fur and use a non-toxic flea treatment spray.
A: Even if your cat is stressed, lavender essential oils do not aid relaxation as it does with humans. If your cat is showing anxious behaviors, it’s best to encourage your cat by giving it extra playtime or reward it with a treat. Additionally, the average cat sleeps for over 16 hours a day, which means she doesn’t need extra relaxation.
A: Lavender plants are less harmful to cats because they’re less concentrated. However, if you use lavender essential oils, they aren’t safe for cats. Because they’re extremely concentrated and is 500-1000 times stronger than the actual plant.
A: Lavender-scented products will not harm your cat, but your cat may not like the smell and avoid the product. You should use mild-scented shampoos that are formulated specifically for cats.
A: If you plan on using a diffuser, it’s better to place it somewhere far away from your cat. That will reduce any chances of your cat getting curious and ingesting any lavender liquids.
A: Lavender oil is toxic, especially in concentrated oils, is because they contain linalool and linalyl acetate. Cats are sensitive to these substances as they can cause liver failure and abnormal metabolism
A: It’s always best to keep your cat well ventilated and enjoying plenty of fresh air. Do it by keeping the window open or letting them go outdoors.
Many people enjoy using the lavender aroma to freshen their houses, but the aroma is potentially poisonous to cats. Just like how water and oil don’t mix, it’s the same with cats and essential oils.
However, if you want to use any form of lavender-based products, always remember that moderation is vital. When your cat overconsumes lavender, it may lead them to other more severe complications.
After reading this article, we hope you’ve learned how to answer the question of whether lavender essential oil is safe for cats. We wish you the best, and good luck on your cat journey!