Aromatherapy and cats: Caution

Thumbing through the August 2007 issue of Cat Fancy magazine, I found an article with the following caveats.

  • Exposure to certain undiluted oils can be toxic — even life threatening — to cats
  • Pennyroyal is especially toxic to cats
  • An oil that affects dogs (or humans) in one way might have a different effect in cats.

Lavender is singled out as being “toxic to cats and should never be given to cats orally or applied topically, in my opinion,” says Dr. Arnold Plotnick on the Cat Fancy website.

This differs from research in dogs where diffused lavender odor is a practical approach to manage travel-induced excitement.

The bottom line?
Check with your veterinarian before exposing your pet to aromatherapy.

6/22/07 21:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.