Is Orange Essential Oil Safe For Cats?

With the use of essential oils on the rise, you might ask, is orange essential oil safe for cats?

The answer to this question is no, orange essential oil is not safe for cats.  Essential oils can pose a toxic risk to household pets, especially to cats. They are rapidly absorbed both orally and topically, then metabolized in the liver. Cats lack a certain enzyme that humans use to metabolize and eliminate them from the liver  (PDSA, 2020).

Cats are very sensitive to the phenolic compounds found in some essential oils. Other essential oils to avoid are any citrus oils, cinnamon, eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, and ylang-ylang.

Are There any Essential Oils that are Safe for Cats?

Is Orange Essential Oil Safe For Cats

Dogs and cats have a more sensitive sense of smell compared to humans. In fact, their sense of smell is said to be up to 16 times stronger than ours. Just as humans may preferences to some scents over others, so pets can be picky too. Just because a fragrance is deemed safe, does not mean your cat is necessarily going to like it.

That being said, there are several essential oils cats seem to really enjoy.  Scents such as rose and lavender may remind them of the outdoors. Both clary sage and sweet marjoram may help calm them, thanks to properties found within those oils. In all cases though, ensure they are able to leave the room if they like to. 

Understanding the Issues Surrounding Cats and Essential Oils

Cats do not possess the same enzyme we use in our livers to break down certain constituents, such as those found in essential oils. For this reason, the concentration of chemicals remains high in their systems, leading to such issues as breathing conditions, weakness, skin irritation, and more. For this same reason, even topical applications of certain oils will create problems, despite dilution as the oil is still present in the dilution.

Remember, every cat is different and just like humans they may react differently to different scents. It’s also important to remember that every animal’s biological makeup is unique and products will interact differently from species to species; accordingly, the physical response will depend on the specific pet. Check the airflow in whatever room you’re using the oils.  Also, make sure your feline friend is able to enter and leave the room easily.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Any time you introduce something new in the home, you must monitor to see if there are reactions. Essential oil toxicity can happen fast or build up over time. Symptoms can range from a runny nose, or itchy eyes to skin irritations and weight loss. 

Watch out for them drinking more water than usual. Be mindful of coughing as well. It may seem like they’re coughing up a hairball, but instead, they could be suffering from a respiratory infection. If you notice anything odd happening with your pet, first get them out into the fresh air. If removing them from the scent doesn’t help, seek urgent veterinary assistance. Usually being moved away from the scent will help. If not, then seek urgent veterinary assistance. If your pet is in distress they should be seen immediately. It may be a good idea to take whatever essential oil they’re reacting to with you.

Is Orange Essential Oil Safe For Cats - Conclusion

Is orange essential oil safe for cats? No. If they happen to come in contact with orange essential oil somehow, it’s important to remove them from the space and monitor their reactions. Sometimes just breathing in some fresh air will do the trick, depending on the contact. If concerned, contact your veterinarian and always take the oil bottle with you if you need to take your pet to be seen.

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