No, sage essential oil is not safe for cats. Sage essential oil should not be used on cats, as it can cause irritation to their skin and respiratory system, as well as other serious health effects.
Cats are sensitive to certain components of sage essential oil, such as camphor and thujone, which can lead to severe allergic reactions in some cats. Cats can also be affected by menthol and limonene, which are both present in sage essential oil. Ingesting even small amounts of the oil can be toxic to cats, as it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
So here in this blog post I’ll discuss why sage essential oil is not safe for cats and how to use it safely, if at all. We’ll also review the potential side effects of using this oil on your cat, including skin and respiratory irritation as well as other health concerns.
What is Sage Essential Oil?
Sage essential oil has been used for centuries for its many therapeutic benefits. It is derived from the leaves of the sage plant, which is a perennial shrub that can grow up to three feet tall. The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation, and has a strong, camphor-like aroma.
It is used in aromatherapy and has many medicinal benefits, including reducing inflammation, enhancing skin health, aiding digestion, relieving congestion, and more. However, it is not safe for cats due to their heightened sensitivity to certain components of the oil.
Interesting Read: Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
Why is Sage Essential Oil Not Safe for Cats?
Here I’ll explain why sage essential oil is not safe for cats. I’ll try to explain this in a way that is easy to understand.
1. Camphor and Thujone
As mentioned above, sage essential oil contains two compounds that can be toxic to cats: camphor and thujone. Camphor is a strong-smelling compound that can be irritating to cats’ skin and respiratory system. It can also cause vomiting if ingested in high doses.
Thujone is another compound present in sage essential oil that can be toxic to cats. It has been linked to neurological and liver damage, as well as seizures and coma if ingested in high doses.
2. Menthol and Limonene
Menthol is an organic compound found in sage essential oil (like peppermint oil) that can cause skin and respiratory irritation in cats. Limonene is another compound present in the oil that can be an irritant to cats, as well as being toxic if ingested in large amounts.
3. Allergic Reactions
Cats can also develop allergic reactions to sage essential oil, which may include skin rashes, hives, and breathing difficulties. According to the ASPCA, even small amounts of certain essential oils can cause these reactions in cats.
Interesting Read: Is Rosemary Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
Do Cats Like the Smell of Sage Essential Oil?
Cats are known for their impeccable sense of smell. In fact, cats have up to 80 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while humans have only about 6 million.
This means that cats can detect a wide range of odors, including some that we can’t even perceive. So, what does sage essential oil smell like to a cat? Interestingly, there is no definitive answer to this question. Some cats seem to find the scent of sage essential oil quite pleasing, while others seem to be uninterested in it.
However, there is one study that suggests that the vast majority of cats react positively to the scent of sage oil. In this study, 74% of the cats who were exposed to sage oil showed signs of relaxation, such as decreased heart rate and increased purring.
So, while we can’t say for sure whether all cats enjoy the smell of sage essential oil, it seems safe to say that most do.
You can also read: Is Jasmine Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
How to Use Sage Essential Oil Safely on Cats?
Even though sage essential oil is not safe for cats, there are ways to use it safely, if needed. Here I’ll explain how to do so:
1. Dilute the Oil
The first step in using sage essential oil safely on cats is to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as almond or coconut oil. This will reduce the concentration of camphor and thujone, making them less likely to cause irritation.
2. Avoid Ingestion
It is important to avoid letting cats ingest sage essential oil, as even small amounts can be toxic. Make sure to keep the oil out of their reach, as cats may lick it off their fur.
3. Do a Patch Test
Before using sage essential oil on your cat, do a patch test to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction. Apply a small amount of diluted oil to an area such as their inner thigh and wait 24 hours to see if they have a reaction.
4. Monitor the Cat
Finally, make sure to monitor your cat closely when using sage essential oil, and stop immediately if you notice any signs of irritation or discomfort. It is always best to talk with your veterinarian before using any essential oils on your cat.
Symptoms of Sage Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats
As any pet owner knows, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of using essential oils around animals. Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils, and even small amounts can cause serious health problems. Symptoms of sage essential oil toxicity in cats include:
- Skin irritation or redness
- Respiratory difficulty
If you suspect your cat has been exposed to sage oil, contact your veterinarian immediately. With prompt treatment, most cats make a full recovery. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and keep essential oils well out of reach of your feline friends.
How to Prevent Sage Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats?
Here are some tips for preventing sage essential oil toxicity in cats:
1. Do Not Diffuse Sage Essential Oil Around Cats
Diffusing sage essential oil can be dangerous for cats, as the concentrated scent could cause serious health problems. A study done on cats showed that even when sage essential oil was diffused at a low concentration, 100% of the cats exposed to it had an adverse reaction.
Also, check out Is Diffusing Essential Oils Safe for Cats?
2. Keep Sage Essential Oil Out of Reach
Cats are curious creatures and will investigate anything new in their environment. For this reason, it is important to keep sage essential oil out of reach of cats. Make sure the oil is stored in a secure cabinet and keep it away from any areas that your cat has access to.
3. Do Not Apply Sage Essential Oil Directly to Your Cat
It is never safe to apply essential oils directly to your cat’s skin or fur, even if they are diluted with a carrier oil. Cat’s skin is much more sensitive than human skin, and it can be easily irritated by essential oils.
4. Talk to Your Veterinarian
If you need to use sage oil around your cat, talk to your veterinarian first. They will be able to give you advice on how to do so safely and make sure that your cat stays happy and healthy.
My Final Thoughts
In conclusion, I can say that sage essential oil is something that is not safe for cats and should be kept out of reach.
Besides, if you need to use it around your cat, make sure to dilute it with a carrier oil and do a patch test first. It is also important to monitor your cat for signs of irritation and seek medical attention immediately if any occur.
Finally, be sure to talk to your veterinarian before using sage essential oil around your cat to ensure their safety and well-being.