The calming effects of essential oils have made them a rage among people. While they have some excellent effects in calming the senses of pets, some of them could be dangerous for cats. Just so you can keep the feline members of your family safe, here is a list of the most toxic essential oils for cats.
1. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil tops the list of the most toxic essential oils for cats. If you are a cat owner, you must have learned by now that your cat hates the smell of peppermint oil. The olfactory receptors in cats are 14 times more powerful than humans. Therefore, while the fresh smell of peppermint oil might refresh your senses, it might not have the same effect on cats.
The aroma of the oil can make your feline friend experience rapid heart rate, breathlessness, and even aspiration pneumonia. Also, peppermint oil contains phenols and its compounds. Cats are sensitive to this substance. Therefore, inhaling or ingesting it can cause them a lot of trouble. A particular enzyme found in humans and other pets, such as dogs, is not found in cats. This results in their liver failing to remove harmful toxins such as phenols. Therefore, when the cat ingests peppermint oil, it can have harmful effects on their body. It can make its stomach upset and have severe effects on the nervous system. Also, ingesting the oil can prove to be fatal or cause liver failure in cats.
2. Cinnamon oil
Cinnamon has been identified as a non-toxic substance for cats. However, it can have toxic effects on them if exposed to cinnamon in higher concentrations, such as the amount found in cinnamon essential oil.
There are various reasons why cats are prone to get a toxic effect from cinnamon. One of them is that a cat’s liver does not have a particular enzyme that helps break down the compounds found in it. Therefore, when exposed to these compounds in higher concentrations, it can prove harmful to them. Also, if your cat is exposed to lower concentrations, but for a longer duration, it can have the same toxic effect.
Cats have a thin layer of skin. Thus, the compounds found in cinnamon can be easily absorbed when the essential oil is applied. This puts them at a higher risk of suffering from toxicity from cinnamon.
3. Oregano oil
Using oregano oil on cats can upset their stomach. However, the reaction is not as severe and can only be caused when oil exposure is in high quantities. It is a common misconception among cat owners that just because oregano oil is used in several home remedies, it will be safe to use it on their cats.
Oregano oil is way more concentrated than what it should be to be deemed safe for cats. It contains terpenoids and phenols, which are compounds that a cat’s body will not be able to digest. Thus, it can cause a toxic reaction and even result in liver damage, which cannot be treated.