No, chamomile essential oil is not safe for cats. Chamomile essential oil can be toxic to cats if they ingest it, and it can also cause skin irritation.
If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to help your cat relax, try using a diffuser with rosemary essential oil instead. Rosemary oil is safe for cats and has calming properties that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
As you’re here to read about chamomile essential oil, I’m assuming you want to know more about everything related chamomile and cats. So, in this article I’ll be discussing what chamomile essential oil is, its harmful effects on cats, and why it’s not safe to have around them.
What is Chamomile Essential Oil?
Chamomile oil comes from the chamomile plant, a small, daisy-like flower. The oil is extracted by steam distillation of the flowers and has a sweet, apple-like scent.
Chamomile oil is a blue or blue-green color and is thin in consistency. It is a non-toxic (not for cats), non-irritant, and non-sensitizing oil. Chamomile oil has many therapeutic properties and is used to treat a variety of conditions.
Chamomile oil is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent. It is helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and diaper rash.
Chamomile oil is also a relaxant and can be used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It is helpful in relieving muscle spasms and menstrual cramps. Chamomile oil can also be used to treat gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
Why Chamomile Essential Oil is Harmful to Cats?
Here I’ll go over a few reasons why chamomile essential oil can be harmful to cats.
1. It Contains a Compound Name Bisabolol
Recent studies have shown that chamomile essential oil is harmful to cats as it contains a compound name bisabolol. When cats are exposed to this oil, they can experience organ failure and even death.
Bisabolol is a natural compound that is found in chamomile essential oil. It has been shown to be toxic to cats, as it can cause organ failure and death. In fact, the amount of bisabolol required to cause these effects is very small, so even exposure to small amounts of this oil can be dangerous for cats.
2. It Can Cause Skin Irritation
According to a study published in the “Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care,” chamomile oil can cause skin irritation in cats.
The study found that six of eight cats who were treated with chamomile oil experienced skin irritation, including redness, itching, and swelling. In some cases, the cats required medical treatment for their skin irritation.
If you are using chamomile oil around your cat, be aware of the potential for skin irritation. If your cat experiences any signs of skin irritation after being exposed to chamomile oil, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
3. It Can Be Toxic if Ingested
According to the ASPCA, chamomile essential oil is harmful to cats as it can be toxic if ingested. This is because the oil contains a compound known as azulene, which can cause liver damage in felines.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that cats who ingested chamomile essential oil experienced signs of toxicity, including vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. In some cases, the toxicity was so severe that the cats required hospitalization. If you think your cat has ingested chamomile oil, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
4. It Can Cause Allergic Reactions
Chamomile essential oil is harmful to cats as it can cause allergic reactions (exactly like sage essential oil). A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care found that chamomile oil can cause anaphylactic shock in cats.
The study looked at six cats that were treated for anaphylaxis after being exposed to chamomile oil. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the lips and throat, difficulty breathing, and a drop in blood pressure.
5. It Can Be Fatal if Inhaled
Chamomile essential oil is harmful to cats as it can be fatal if inhaled. A study published in the Feline Veterinary Journal found that chamomile oil can cause respiratory distress in cats. The study looked at four cats that were treated for respiratory distress after being exposed to chamomile oil. Three of the cats required oxygen therapy and one cat died.
Interesting Read: Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
Symptoms of Chamomile Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats
The symptoms of chamomile essential oil toxicity will depend on the amount of exposure and the individual cat’s sensitivity to the oil. However, some common symptoms include:
- Skin irritation
- Respiratory distress
- Anaphylactic shock
If you think your cat has been exposed to chamomile essential oil, take her to the veterinarian immediately.
You can also read Is Rose Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
Do Cats Like Chamomile Essential Oil?
There is no definitive answer to this question as every cat is different. Some cats may be attracted to the aroma of chamomile essential oil, while others may be repelled by it.
To make this query real simple I tried this experiment on my own cat Gremlin, who I will just describe as a generally curious but also very lazy character.
I placed a drop of chamomile essential oil on a cotton ball and placed it near his food dish. He sniffed around it, but didn’t seem too interested. Then I placed a drop on his paw and he proceeded to lick it off.
So, while my cat didn’t seem particularly attracted to the smell of chamomile essential oil, he didn’t seem to mind it either. If you’re curious about whether your cat will like the smell of chamomile essential oil, you can always try the cotton ball experiment.
Just remember, if your cat does show an interest in the oil, to never let her ingest it. Chamomile essential oil is harmful to cats and can be toxic if ingested.
How to Prevent Chamomile Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats?
Here are some tips to prevent chamomile essential oil toxicity in cats:
1. Keep Chamomile Essential Oil Out of Reach
Keep chamomile essential oil out of reach of cats. If you use this oil in your home, make sure it is stored in a safe place where your cat cannot get to it.
2. Avoid Using Chamomile Essential Oil Around Cats
Avoid using chamomile essential oil around cats. If you must use this oil in your home, make sure to do so in a room that your cat is not able to access.
3. Choose a Different Essential Oil
If you are looking for an essential oil to use in your home, choose one that is safe for cats. There are many essential oils that are safe for felines and will not cause the same harmful effects as chamomile essential oil.
4. Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you are considering using essential oils in your home, talk to your veterinarian first. They can help you choose an essential oil that is safe for your cat and provide you with more information on the potential risks involved.
My Final Thoughts
As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to do your research before using any type of essential oil around your cat. While chamomile oil is generally considered safe for humans and dogs, it can be harmful to cats.
Cats lack a specific enzyme in their liver that helps to break down and metabolize certain chemicals, including the compounds found in chamomile oil. This can lead to serious health problems, including liver damage and respiratory distress.
If you’re looking for a natural way to calm your cat, there are other oils that are safe to use, such as jasmine or rosemary. Stick with products that are specifically designed for use with cats, and always consult with your veterinarian before using any new product on your pet.