orange tabby cat sleeping under covers with bottle of doterra lavender and frankincense essential oil

Essential Oils can be a highly effective natural way to support your cat’s health. There are many essential oils that are safe to use on your cat, and there are several essential oils that can be highly toxic to your cat. It’s important to know which are safe, which are toxic, and how to safely use essential oils.

This article gives you everything you need to know from which oils you can use, how to safely use them, and which oils should be avoided due to their toxicity.

Essential Oil Safety with Cats

a list of essential oil safety tips for cats with a white cat

Dilute, Dilute, Dilute!

This is VERY important!!!

Start out with your oils MORE diluted when introducing Essential Oils topically to your cat.

You can use carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil, etc.

You can always increase the concentration if the desired effect is not reached, but it is difficult to remove an Essential Oil once it has already been absorbed.

Remember, each animal is an individual and your cat may be more or less sensitive than others.

Observe their behavior – they will tell you!

Did I mention… Dilute!!!

Top 10 Essential Oils Safe for Cats

a list of the top 10 essential oils for cats with a few cats pictured at the top

DigestZen Digestive Essential Oil Blend for Cats

doTERRA DigestZen is known as a “tummy tamer” blend due to its ability to aid in digestion, soothe stomach upset, and maintain overall digestive health.*

This unique blend contains Ginger, Fennel, and Coriander to help ease occasional stomach discomfort, including motion sickness and indigestion, while Peppermint, Tarragon, Anise, and Caraway aid with proper digestion and help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.*

DIGESTIVE BLEND ESSENTIAL OIL is great to have on hand when stomach upset occurs and is safe and effective. DIGESTIVE BLEND ESSENTIAL OIL is a healthy, natural, and gentle way to soothe an upset stomach or maintain a healthy digestive system.*

• Before a road trip, apply one to two drops for a calming aroma.
• Add a drop to water to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.*
• Eases feelings of queasiness.*
• Use with fractionated coconut oil for a soothing abdominal massage.
• Helps reduce bloating, gas, and occasional indigestion.*

Topical application:
Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

1 tbsp. carrier oil to 2 drops Essential Oil for cats and dogs up to 20 pounds.

Lavender Calming Essential Oil for Cats

Lavender essential oil is frequently used to soothe skin irritations and help skin recover quickly. Lavender Essential Oil is also very calming for cats.

Inhaling LAVENDER promotes relaxation and a restful night’s sleep, making it an ideal oil to diffuse at bedtime or when stress levels are high.

Due to its versatility and soothing properties, LAVENDER is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times.

• Widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities.
• Soothes occasional skin irritations.
• Reduces appearance of skin imperfections.
• Helps to ease feelings of tension.*

Diffuse for 2–3 hours as needed (but make sure your cat can leave the room if they desire.)

Topical Application

Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

1 tsp. carrier oil to 1 drop Essential Oil for cats up to 20 pounds.

• Diffuse for 30–60 minutes prior to a stressful event (e.g., before an oncoming storm, company, or vet visit).
• Use 2 drops diluted in water in a small spray bottle to bedding, toys, or blankets.
• Add to bath shampoo or apply to the back of the neck or base of the ears.

Frankincense Essential Oil for Cats

As the king of oils, FRANKINCENSE essential oil is known to promote cellular health and immunity and can be consumed daily for these internal benefits.

When inhaled or diffused, FRANKINCENSE induces feelings of peace, relaxation, satisfaction, and overall wellness.

• Known as the “KING of ALL OILS.”
• Promotes cellular health and DNA integrity.
• Supports healthy function of the nervous system.


Topical Application:
Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

1 tsp. carrier oil to 1 drop Essential Oil for cats under 20 pounds.

Balance Grounding Essential Oil Blend for calming Cats

Balance Grounding Blend contains the therapeutic oils of Spruce, Ho Wood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and German Chamomile as well as Fractionated Coconut Oil. It is a blend that promotes whole-body relaxation and a sense of tranquility.

This oil can be diffused or applied topically to promote restful sleep and to help ease anxiousness. This oil supports the nervous system, emotional balance, and is effective for muscle and joint soreness. 

• Relaxes sore muscles and achy joints.
• Supports healthy emotions and nervous system.
• Promotes relaxation.

Topical Application:
Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

1 tsp. carrier oil to 1 drop Essential Oil for cats under 20 pounds.

On Guard Protective Blend for Cat’s Immune System

The proprietary On Guard Protective Blend from doTERRA provides a natural and effective alternative to keep your pet healthy.

As one of the MOST POPULAR blends, On Guard protects against environmental and seasonal threats with Essential Oils known for their positive effects on the immune system.

This Essential Oil Blend can be used daily to maintain healthy immune function as well as used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaner.

When diffused, PROTECTIVE BLEND helps purify the air and support healthy respiratory function, and can be very energizing and uplifting.

It also provides cleansing and purifying benefits while promoting healthy circulation.

On Guard has Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf/Stem, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower Essential Oils.

• An effective alternative to synthetic options for immune support.*
• Supports the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.*
• Supports healthy immune function.*
• Protects against environmental threats.
• Supports healthy respiratory function.*

Diffuse for 2–3 hours as needed, but make sure your pet can leave the room if they desire.

Topical Application: 

Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

2 tbsp. carrier oil to 1 drop Essential Oil for Cats under 20 pounds.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil for Cats

Juniper Berry Essential Oil has a refreshing sweet, balsamic odor. This Essential Oil supports the digestive system, skin, and nervous system. It also supports healthy kidney and urinary tract function.

When inhaled or diffused, JUNIPER BERRY can freshen and purify the air and decrease feelings of stress.

• Natural skin toner– reduces skin blemishes.
• Supports healthy kidney and urinary tract function.
• Natural detoxifying agent.

Topical Application:
Apply 1–2 drops 2–4 times daily as follows:

1 tsp. carrier oil to 1 drop Essential Oil for cats under 20 pounds.

How to Apply Essential Oils to Cats

One of the easiest ways to apply essential oils topically to your cat is by using the “Petting Method”.

To use the petting method, perform the following steps:

  1. Only use essential oils diluted. Add 1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil.
  2. Use 1 drop of the mixture per use.
  3. Place a drop of the mixture into your hands and pet your cat along his or her spine.
  4. Be sure to use essential oils that are safe for topical use on cats. See the list of essential oils to avoid with cats.
cute cat in the background with directions for how to use the petting method to introduce essential oils to cats

Diffusing Essential Oils Around Cats

Always observe your cat for the first 15–20 minutes after you diffuse a new oil in your home. 

It’s better to use a water based diffuser rather than one that pulls directly from the oil bottle. 

Allow your cat to roam freely, and leave the room door open so your animal may leave if they choose to do so, or if they don’t particularly care for an oil (make a note of this for future reference, so you know it’s one they might not like).

Remember, some animals are more sensitive than others. But chances are, when you diffuse, your pets will try to sleep as close as they can to the diffuser! 

Other ways to use oils aromatically around your cat:

• Spray directly into the air with a water mist.
• Direct inhalation (let your pet smell it on your hands or a closed oil bottle).
• On a cloth, cotton ball, or your pets bedding.
• Hot water/ steam.
• Humidifier (be sure to use one that is safe for oils use!).
• In a fan or air filter in your home.

Safety Tips for Using Essential Oils Around Cats

Here are some additional safety tips for all pets:

• Dilute for topical use.
• Know your pet’s health status.
• Do NOT use oils on or near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals of your pet.
• Use a water diffuser for aromatic use and allow your pet to roam freely with an open door to the room.
• Caution should be used around animals that are pregnant, nursing, young, or on certain medications.
• Do not use oils topically on your pet if using a topical medication or dermal patch – this includes topical flea/ tick preventatives.
• Do not give any of the products containing xylitol (toothpaste, beadlets, etc.) to your pet.
• Only use Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.
• Observe your pet’s behavior

Essential Oils That Are Toxic to Cats

Toxic Oils to Avoid with Cats

The following essential oils are considered toxic to cats and should not be used topically or internally with cats. Most of these oils are safe to diffuse in a room as long as your cat can leave the room if he or she wants to. Never lock a cat in a room while diffusing essential oils.

Essential Oils toxic to cats:

  • Tea Tree
  • Basil
  • Citrus Oils (Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine)
  • Birch
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Spearmint
  • Wintergreen
a list of essential oils to avoid with cats because they aren't safe plus an orange cat

DIY Essential Oil Health Recipes for Cats

Following are several ways you can use your essential oils to support your cat’s health.

Calming Essential Oil Spray for Cats

calming spray for cats

DIY Natural Cat Toothpaste

DIY cats toothpaste recipe

Essential Oil Flea Collar for Cats

photo of cat and a recipe for an outdoor pet collar using essential oils

DIY Litter Box Essential Oil Blend for Pet Odors

photo of cats in a litter box with a recipe for litter box refresher using essential oils

Essential Oil DIY Cat Scratch Deterrent recipe

essential oil scratch deterrent cats

DIY Skin Support with Essential Oils for Cats

photo of grey cat with recipe for diy skin support using essential oils

Have Dogs? You will also like my article on Safe Essential Oils for Dogs

essential oils that are safe and healthy for your dog

You May Also Be Interested in Safe Essential Oils for Dogs

2 black and white cats with text the best essential oils for cats and what to avoid

Take Your Cat’s Health to the next level with my digital Cat Care Planner

Keep track of vaccinations, medications, grooming info, cat sitter info, and more. All in one place so you stay organized and never forget anything important for your fluff ball.

Wrap up of Essential Oils for Cats

I hope this list of the Top Safe Essential Oils for your cat was helpful and that you now feel you have the knowledge  to SAFELY and CONFIDENTLY use Essential Oils in your home and with your cats!

*Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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