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Essential Oil Diffuser Safety around Cats

Essential Oil Diffuser Safety around Cats

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An Essential Oil Diffuser is a convenient device that can transform your home into a fragrant and pleasurable place.

However, the usage of essential oil diffusers can be dangerous for pets, especially cats. Veterinarian and cat owner Jovanka Panic shares her advice on how to use your diffuser safely in your home when you have a cat.

Your furry friend can inhale the oils poisonous for it, which may result in pneumonia caused by a foreign body at worst.

Therefore, be careful while using your diffuser and inform yourself in detail how to take care of your cats while diffusing essential oils in your home.

Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

Diffuser Types for your Home

How long you should let your diffuser run will depend on the type of device you have in your home.

Most modern diffusers come with a timer, which means that you don’t need to worry about the level of scent in the room while your cat takes a nap.

Passive diffusers

Until recently, passive diffusers were the most common option to practice aromatherapy. They are highly convenient devices producing a scent by evaporating the chosen essential oils. Of these passive diffusers there are four common types.

Heat diffusers

Devices such as candle burners, electric oil diffusers, and tabletop warmers use heat to release the essential oil.

 Reed diffusers

In this case, spreading the fragrance occurs after soaking up the reeds with the essential oil and gradual aroma discharges in the air afterwards.

Motorized diffusers

These devices blow air through a filter soaked up with the essential oil by using a fan.

Non-motorized diffusers

It is an excellent way to use airflow in your room to diffuse the aroma from your personalized diffuser embed in your necklace, bracelet, or pendant.

Generally, passive diffusers are not dangerous for your cat unless the oil drops reach their skin, or your kitty ingests them some way.

Another problem with these devices occurs when dispersed drops of essential oils irritate the respiratory tract of your pet.

As a result, strong fragrances may cause the development of watery eyes and nose, difficulty breathing, and a burning sensation in the throat, nausea, and vomiting. In more severe cases, even pneumonia can be developed.

Photo by Jaron Whelan on Unsplash

Active diffusers

Luckily, you can purchase active essential oil diffusers nowadays. They emit particles (microdroplets) of the essential oil into the air providing a pleasant aroma. The most popular models are:

Nebulizing diffusers

They have an atomizing nozzle, which releases a high-speed pressurized air filled with essential oil.

Ultrasonic diffusers

They use electricity to disperse a mist of water and essential oil into the air.

Both of these devices are almost entirely safe for cats. However, the droplets they release may pose a risk in rare cases when they collect on the fur of your kitty.

During licking, the cat can ingest the oil, which may cause a medical issue.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Safe Use of Essential Oils When You Have a Cat

If you use your diffuser adequately, you won’t harm your cat while bringing a lovely fragrance into your home.

Diffusing a new essential oil for the first time

Before you decide to buy a new essential oil for your diffuser, you should choose the one already tested and entirely safe for cats. The next step is to check the individual preferences, sensitivity, and reaction of your kitty.

For a start, add 3 to 5 drops of your new essential oil into your diffuser. Turn the device on for a while to determine the tolerance of your cat. Once you conclude that it tolerates that particular essential oil, you can raise the concentration and increase a period of diffusion.

Always use one essential oil at a time until becoming sure that the selected oil doesn’t harm your cat and that it can tolerate it. Just in case, you should provide excellent ventilation in the room and the ability to exit if your furry friend wants to leave.

Precautions when diffusing essential oils near your cat

In general, if you have a cat, the diffuser is the safest option to diffuse the essential oils in the room. However, this process requires strict precautions when applying it indoors. There are the most crucial ones that you should consider keeping your pet safe.

  • Let your kitty get used to the particular essential oil you have chosen
  • Don’t forget to dilute the oil before using it
  • Provide access to exit if your cat wants to leave
  • Keep the diffuser beyond the reach of the cat
  • Never use the device too long to avoid droplets of the essential oil reach the cat fur
  • Keep the oil far away from the face, especially the eyes and nose of your furry friend
  • Never use essential oils when your cat has kittens younger than three months
  • Keep the diffuser clean

Welcome and forbidden essential oils when you have a cat

Although you adore some essential oils, you should avoid them if they are harmful to cats. Before picking out the oil for your home, you should check the ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants for kitties.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Essential oils that are generally considered safe for your cat:

  • Lemongrass oil
  • Jasmine oil
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Frankincense oil
  • Clary sage oil

Read this article if you want to learn more about the safe use of essential oils around your pet.

The most harmful and highly dangerous oils for your furry friend:

  • Cinnamon oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Pine oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Clove oil

 In a case when you suspect that your cat has been poisoned, move it to fresh air right away and look for emergency veterinary care if the animal doesn’t recover quickly.

In an instance of poisoning, you can call the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) or the Pet Poison Helpline, and they will offer you all the necessary information and help 24/7.

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