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Essential Oil Safety for Cats and Humans by Solario

Greetings, humans. My name is Solario.

My favorite thing besides salmon treats and my water bowl is MY MOMMY!

I love her head. I love sleeping on her head.

I love it when she meditates most days so I can cuddle on her shoulder and head.

She says a lot of people have been asking her about essential oils and cats these past few days, so I am guest blogging here to help her tell you about essential oil safety with both cats and humans.

 

Mommy has been researching, selling, and using essential oils for 32 years, since long before I was born! That’s even before Elder Boo was born (he’s 22)! She has a big room in the house where over 500 oils are arranged on shelves. We (that’s me, Romulus, Remus, and Elder Boo) are NEVER allowed to go in that room. Well, Romulus sometimes tries, but Mommy catches him, picks him up, and carries him back into the rest of the house.

Mommy has lots of oils that she uses on her body and face in the bathroom. She loves essential oils and they have healed all sorts of things for her.  Her personal essential oils are all well diluted into carrier oils like sesame oil or Jojoba oil so they are safe for her sensitive skin.  She uses 10 drops per one ounce of carrier oil or sometimes even less. If she spills them, she wipes up the spill immediately, then makes sure there’s none left for us to walk over by cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol.  She also cleans her bottles of residue every day with the rubbing alcohol.

 She always makes sure to wash her hands several times before she leaves her workshop. Same after she has used oils on herself. That way she doesn’t get oils in our fur when we like to snuggle.  She’s also careful about when she feeds us.  She makes sure she doesn’t have oils on her hands when she handles our bowls.  Sometimes she likes to diffuse oils into the air, but she makes sure the house is well ventilated when she does, and she doesn’t diffuse for over 2 hours each day. 

 Mommy says I’m supposed to show you how concentrated essential oils are.

Here’s me with a pound of catnip: YUM! 

Here’s me with an empty one ounce bottle. 

Mommy says it takes 25-2,000 pounds of plant material to make one ounce of essential oil. That’s why you need to dilute them before you use them on humans.  Again, 10 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil is a good starting point. Sometimes you may need less, like when you use them on your face. Sometimes you can use more, like when you use them on your feet. When Mommy uses essential oils on her feet, she always makes sure it’s right before bed, or before she puts on socks and shoes so she doesn’t get essential oils in the carpet that might make us cats sick.  We can get sick from essential oils because we have very little of some specific liver enzymes which help us process essential oils. That doesn’t mean we have none of these liver enzymes; we just have far less of them than dogs and humans do. Also, I weigh about 12 pounds.  I’m mostly fur, as a purebred  Maine Coon cat. Since the average human weighs 150 pounds or so, and cannot handle undiluted essential oils, I can only handle very tiny bits of them, being much smaller.

 

Sometimes Mommy gets worried about some of her friends.  They say they put essential oils in water and drink them. Mommy knows that this is a very dangerous practice.  She says that you can erode your esophagus and your stomach lining because essential oils are so concentrated. She also says that you can get chemical burns since oil and water don’t mix and you’re drinking undiluted essential oils. She also points out that even one drop of pure essential oil is like eating 10 pounds of plant material.  If I ate 10 pounds of catnip, I’m sure it would kill me! I think if a human ate 10 pounds of broccoli, that human might get very sick. Drinking any amount of essential oils seems like a really bad idea to me.

 

Anyway, it’s time for me to get back to snuggling with Remus now.

  Let me know how you liked my blog. There’s some helpful science-y stuff here that Mommy thought you’d like to look at.

 

Bischoff K, Guale F 1998 Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil poisoning in three purebred cats. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 10:208-210

Court, M. H. (2014). Feline drug metabolism and disposition: pharmacokinetic evidence for species differences and molecular mechanisms. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice43(5), 1–20

Van Beusekom, C. D., Fink-Gremmels, J., & Schrickx, J. A. (2014). Comparing the glucuronidation capacity of the feline liver with substrate-specific glucuronidation in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics37(1), 18–24

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals