Essential Oils Can Kill Your Pet

Reddit / BDPprisoner

A recent story out of Canada is highlighting the dangers of using essential oils in a home that has pets.

A Reddit user posted about her kitten, Marie, inhaling the vapors from her essential oil diffuser and ending up in the hospital. In the post, the user wrote,

“Essential oils are toxic to cats. I didn’t know this and got a diffuser for my apartment. This was the result – I came home to my kitten being limp and barely breathing. Big thanks to Terra Nova vet’s Dr. chaudry who saved my baby’s life. DO NOT USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR HOME IF YOU HAVE CATS!!!!”

sick-kitten-at-the-vet
Reddit / BDPprisoner

Essential Oils Hurting Cats With Greater Frequency

You’ve probably heard of essential oils – they’re super trendy right now. They’re supposed to have healing properties that temper one’s physical and emotional pain. Some people even think the oils can have benefits for anxious pets.

But unfortunately, essential oils can be toxic to our furry friends.

“I’ve seen a lot more cases lately,” says veterinarian Carly Fox of the essential oils illnesses. Fox works at the Upper East Side’s Animal Medical Center and spoke to the NY Post. “We’ll see one every few months,” she said.

Salt lamps and potpourri are dangerous, too. Potpourri is dangerous because the dried plants may be covered in essential oils.

“People just leave it out and their curious pets get into it,” Fox said of potpourri. And when it comes to salt lamps, “If your animal were to lick it, it could be extremely harmful and could cause salt toxicity [that could lead to] coma, seizure and even death.”

Why Do Essential Oils Hurt Cats?

A compound in essential oils is particularly poisonous to cats. The chemical compound called phenol makes cats vomit, have diarrhea, stumble, and even get liver failure. This could happen if the cat simply touches the oils, and can of course be worse if they eat them.

If they inhale the vapors from your essential oil diffuser, the chemicals “can cause significant lung damage.” They may even “stop breathing and go into respiratory arrest.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Respiratory tract burns
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash

Are Cats the Only Victims of Essential Oils?

No. Dogs are also susceptible to illness from essential oil diffusers. They might get stomach pain from inhaling the fumes, and certain scents will be poisonous, so it’s probably not worth the risk.

Oils that are toxic to dogs include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang