Is Eucalyptus Safe for Cats – Eucalyptus is known for its calming scent and potential health benefits, but is it safe for cats? While humans may enjoy eucalyptus without issue, our feline friends can experience complications. Products that are safe for humans may be toxic to cats, so it’s important to take precautions to keep our pets safe.
What Is Eucalyptus?
Eucalyptus is a group of evergreen plants native to Australia and Tasmania that come in various sizes, from small bushes to large trees. Known for its relaxing fragrance, eucalyptus leaves are often used in floristry, while eucalyptus oil is commonly found in candles and bath products. Despite the plant being associated with health benefits, there is no scientific proof to support these claims.
Is Eucalyptus Safe for Cats?
Cats are curious creatures that might explore unfamiliar scents in unexpected places. Given the variety of eucalyptus products we keep at home, it’s crucial to determine their safety for cats. When ingested by cats, eucalyptus can be highly toxic and cause physical symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and lethargy.
While cats must eat a considerable amount of the plant to get seriously ill, if you suspect that your cat ate any part of a eucalyptus plant, contact your veterinarian immediately or a poison control hotline for advice on the best course of treatment.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oils are highly concentrated, more so than the actual plant, and considered toxic if ingested, inhaled or in contact with the skin. Although it would take a high dose of eucalyptus oil to cause toxic effects through skin contact or inhalation, active ingredients can be absorbed through these routes.
Cats’ meticulous grooming habits mean that anything applied to their fur or skin will eventually end up in their mouth, making it ill-advised to use topical products containing eucalyptus on cats.
Essential oils can cause irritation to pets’ respiratory passages and be toxic to them, making it best to avoid using diffusers in a feline household.
Essential oil diffusers pose risks to pets for several reasons. The oils themselves, or other ingredients in these products, might irritate the delicate lining of the respiratory passages and lungs or be toxic if inhaled.
There are some oils known to be more irritating than others, and the purity of the oil might also affect its quality. It’s better to avoid using essential oil diffusers if you live in a feline-friendly environment, especially if your cat is sensitive to odors or suffering from asthma, as pre-existing conditions make them more sensitive to air contaminants.
What to Do If Your Cat Eats Eucalyptus
If your cat eats a eucalyptus plant or eucalyptus oil-containing products, contact your veterinarian and the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline. Poison Control keeps meticulous records on toxicity cases and has up-to-date information on the best course of treatment. This is essential information for you and your veterinarian to plan the best course of treatment.
Some cats may experience mild tummy trouble such as vomiting and diarrhea, which usually resolves with supportive care. However, some cats might experience an allergic reaction from exposure to eucalyptus, leading to respiratory or serious clinical symptoms.
Severe lethargy, seizures or problems with the heart or blood pressure might necessitate hospitalisation. For cats exposed to oils on their fur or skin, decontaminate them thoroughly with a dish detergent like Dawn. Nevertheless, it’s best to contact your veterinarian before bathing a cat already displaying symptoms of toxicity.
Is eucalyptus safe for dogs to eat?
Eucalyptus can be toxic to dogs, especially if ingested in large quantities. However, some species of eucalyptus are less toxic than others. It is always best to consult with a veterinarian before giving your dog any type of eucalyptus.
What are the symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning in dogs?
Symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and seizures.
What should I do if my dog eats eucalyptus?
If your dog has ingested eucalyptus, it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the amount of eucalyptus ingested and the severity of the symptoms, your vet may recommend inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, or providing supportive care.
Can eucalyptus essential oil be harmful to dogs?
Yes, eucalyptus essential oil can be harmful to dogs if ingested or applied topically in concentrated form. It is best to avoid using eucalyptus essential oil around dogs, and if you do use it, make sure it is heavily diluted and used in a well-ventilated area.
Are there any eucalyptus products that are safe for dogs?
Some eucalyptus products, such as shampoos or sprays, may be safe for dogs if they are specifically formulated for canine use and are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian before using any eucalyptus products on your dog.