If you have cats, you know that they can be very emotional. Some are just naturally nervous or skittish, and any cat can occasionally suffer from anxiety, fear, or stress. Aromatherapy is great for calming humans, and it is also something that can be used to help your fur babies remain calm and stress-free.
Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years, but now people are finding that their cats can benefit from it, too. Cats have a strong sense of smell and can be affected in positive ways by the use of essential oils.
Essential oils are the best way to provide aromatherapy. They are made by pressing the oils out of various plants. These extracted oils contain strong aromas as well as medicinal properties.
To use them for aromatherapy, you have a few options. Some oils can be applied directly to the paws or the tips of the ears (never go deep into the ear). You can also apply them to an essential oil diffuser which will fill a space with the aroma. In addition, you can add oil to a cotton ball or washcloth and place it in the vicinity of your cat.
Some people suggest applying it to the skin, but since cats lick their fur, I suggest that you use one of the other options.
Before using essential oils on your cat, it’s important that you do some research and make sure that a particular oil is safe to use on cats. This is fairly easy to accomplish using Google and the internet. A few precautions:
- A cat has thin skin which will allow the oils to be absorbed quickly into their bloodstream.
- Because cats have such an acute sense of smell, only tiny amounts of essential oils are needed. Too much oil can be overpowering.
- Some oils contain substances that cats can’t metabolize, and they can damage the liver or cause a buildup of toxins in their bodies.
Keeping those points in mind, here is a partial list of essential oils that are NOT safe for cats:
- Cassia Cinnamon
- Any oil that contains phenols
There are several common oils that we already know can be safely used for cats.
If you have never taken a bath with lavender oil, you are missing out on a wonderfully relaxing experience. As well, lavender can be used to help bring calm to your cat. It can also be used to relieve allergies and skin problems. However, you don’t want to bath your cat for them to benefit from lavender. If you’ve ever bathed a cat, you know it’s not likely to lower their stress level. To use lavender on a cat, add it to the pads of their feet or the tips of their ears. Be sure to use Bulgarian lavender, as the camphorous type is not safe for cats.
Just at soothes people, chamomile can be soothing for cats. It’s safe for cats and can be applied along with an equal part of carrier oil to the pads of your cat’s feet. You can also add it to their ears.
Citrus oils can be used in a diffuser, but shouldn’t be added directly to a cat’s body. The scent of citrus can be very soothing, but it can be too strong for a cat’s gentle system when used directly. This includes orange and lemon.
Here is a partial list of other essential oils that can calm your kitty:
- Clary Sage
When it comes to using essential oils, it’s important to make sure that you’re using oils that are appropriate and safe. Cats tend to be very sensitive. If you’re unsure, the best way to use the oils is to diffuse them in your home so that they’re not making direct contact but provide a pleasant aroma.