Are you seeing lots of ads for the insect killer Zevo lately? I am too. Many insecticide brands, such as Zevo and Stem, are using natural plant derived essential oil ingredients, to kill insects by targeting their nervous systems. Sounds a lot better than using scary sounding chemicals, right?
Since these bug killer sprays are made from plants, the manufacturers claim that these products are safe to use around people and pets when used as directed, but are they safe for cats specifically?
Being a full blown cat lady, I feel I should share with you what I know about essential oils.
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What are essential oils?
As an esthetician, I have worked with essential oils for 40 years. They are natural. They are derived from plants. They are powerful. They are used only by drops at a time and are diluted in carrier oils for safe use on human skin. That's how powerful they are!
Essential oils are derived from various parts of a plant including the seeds, bark, roots, buds, leaves, twigs, stalks, flowers, wood, balsam and resin, through distillation.
They contain chemical compounds including terpenes, aldehydes, phenols, ketones, oxides, esters and alcohols.
Can you ingest Essential oils?
No. Essential oils can quickly become toxic due their high concentration. There are a few exceptions for humans but that topic is for another day.
How does the body metabolize essential oils?
Essential oils enter the body by absorption through the skin or inhalation. They circulate in the bloodstream throughout the body and are metabolized by the liver in humans and animals. The liver uses specialized enzymes to break down essential oils into small particles to be eliminated from the body.
Are essential oils safe for cats?
NO!!! Cats are always grooming. It is very easy for a cat to ingest essential oils that have gotten on their hair from diffusers, from products that have been sprayed, or from people who have essential oils on their skin.
They also can breathe in essential oil particles that are sprayed or diffused into the air. The inhaled droplets can cause foreign body pneumonia in cats.
Cats can't metabolize essential oils.
Cats lack essential enzymes in their livers to break down essential oils therefore, they have difficulty eliminating the chemical compounds in the oils. The essential oils build up quickly to a toxic level in a cat's body and can kill the cat.
Yes, essential oils can kill your cat!!!
Always store your essential oils safely. A wooden storage box kept in a cabinet or drawer is perfect!
Signs of essential oil poisoning in your cat include not eating, vomiting, drooling, watery nose and eyes, difficulty breathing, seizures, disorientation, and lethargy. Contact your vet immediately if you cat has come in contact with any essential oil or product containing essential oil!
So, is Plant Derived Bug Spray with essential oils safe for cats?
You must use extreme caution if you choose to use a plant derived insecticide with essential oils around cats since they lack the liver enzymes metabolize essential oils.
Follow the manufacturers instructions plus more! Do not let them breathe it in and do not get it on them. Thoroughly wipe away the product quickly after use. Then, dispose of the paper towel or rag used to wipe the product where your cat can't get it.
Zevo uses rosemary essential oil and cornmint essential in their natural insecticides to kill bugs.
Stem uses geraniol oil and lemongrass essential oil in their natural insecticides to kill bugs.
Safety Tips When Using Essential Oils around Cats
All essential oil products must be used with an abundance of caution around cats including natural household cleaners containing essential oils.
#1 Do not spray into the air or diffuse essential oils or any product containing essential oils if you have cats.
#2 Do not apply products with essential oils to your cat. No natural essential oil treatment products such as flea treatment products. It may be natural, but it will be toxic to your cat.
#3 Put your cat in another room with the door closed while you use products containing essential oils.
#4 Spray household products containing essential oil close to the intended surface to minimized airborne droplets.
#5 Be sure to thoroughly wipe up household products containing essential oil quickly after use. Then, dispose of the used wipe in a place where your cat can't get it.
#6 You can use essential oils on yourself, but do not get them on your cat through petting your cat. Do not let your cat lick essential oil products off of your skin.
#7 Store your essential oils safely so your cat can't get to them and knock them down where they could break or spill, such as, in a wooden storage box.
I use essential oils on myself for their powerful skin healing benefits but, I'm always crazy careful making sure my cats have zero contact with them. I keep my oils in a container in a cabinet so the cats can't get to them.
We must protect our fur babies from any harm by knowing the facts!
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about plant derived bug spray and how to use it safely around cats!