Short answer is No, orange essential oil is not safe for cats. Rather, you should not use most essential oils with cats. These furry friends lack certain enzymes which help humans synthesize the benefits of essential oils. PDSA The same has been mentioned by PDSA.
Let's understand the same in detail.
Understanding Orange Essential Oil
Orange as a fruit has always enjoyed a popular reputation on account of its health and decorative benefits.
This reputation is further extended to its uses as an essential oil flavor.
Its aroma as a citrus fruit is very energising and uplifting making it a very valid choice for aromatherapy enthusiasts. Like its citrus cousin lemon, oranges too possess antimicrobial properties that allow it to be used as a disinfectant for surfaces such as countertops, floors and other household surfaces.
Being a prominent member of the citrus family, it serves as a prominent source of Vitamin C, aiding in digestive relief. Orange essential oil can be applied topically to the abdominal area too to provide comfort from digestive pains.
It has its fair share of antibacterial, inflammatory or cosmetic properties too, finding use in lotions, face masks, creams and other such cosmetic products.
If making you feel good wasn’t enough, it tastes good too!
Orange oil can be added to food as a flavouring agent to enhance natural flavours or add an orangish tint to the flavour palette.
It really does have all-rounder uses, proving its image as a zesty, versatile fruit.
So, Cats and Orange Essential Oils: what do they have in common?
A growing enthusiasm and interest shown in both over the last couple of years. Sadly, that is just about all that they happen to have in common.
Many cat owners and/or essential oils enthusiasts have been disappointed to find out the two can’t share the same space even!
Is Orange Essential Oil Safe For Cats?
To put it simply, no. Our cute, furry friends are biologically incapable of co-existing with essential oils.
Cats possess a larger olfactory epithelium, the tissue responsible for odor detection. This bigger tissue results in a heightened sense of smell as compared to humans.
Essential Oils, including Orange Essential Oil, with its strong scent can be overwhelming and even irritating to cats due to this.
Smell, however, isn’t the only sense that’s more attuned in cats. They have a skin that’s thinner and hence more sensitive than ours. This means the concentrated nature of essential oils is more likely to evoke a reaction. This can be in the form of red patches visible on their skin, itchiness or even swelling.
Why is Orange Essential Oil Toxic for Cats?
Apart from heightened senses which react to the strong features of essential oils, it’s also a matter of their internal constituency which doesn’t take too well to essential oils.
The livers of our furry friends lack the hormones needed to break down essential oils and metabolise them. With no method of processing them, these oils just accumulate in the system of a cat, resulting in damage to the systems over time. Essential oils are, hence, poisonous for cats in a sense.
Smaller lungs with a higher rate of breathing means cats in general inhale more air than us in the same period of time. Cats exposed to essential oils are likely to inhale large amounts in a short span. This can cause irritation in the lungs as well as coughing and nausea.
Symptoms of Toxicity
If you see or feel your cat is reacting, the best course of action is to quickly take them to an open, ventilated space. Breathing in clean air should relieve them quickly. However, if you see their signs of reaction aggravate it is recommended to quickly take them to the veterinarian and make sure first aid is administered to them on time. Taking them to an open space however, generally does the trick.
It is vital to be vigil for your cats around essential oils as they can adversely affect them in many ways, right down to their nervous system as well. Make sure you check for signs of discomfort such as coughing, lethargy or excessive purring.
Does this mean cats have zero tolerance for essential oils?
Luckily, no. There are some essential oils that our feline friends can enjoy, such as Lavender and Chamomile to name a few.
What Oils Are Safe For Cats?
Lavender essential oil has always been regarded as one of the relatively safer choices when trying to accommodate cats. The scent, in particular, is known to be particularly enjoyable for cats and is known to calm them down and reduce their uneasiness.
Chamomile essential oil too, has a stature similar to Lavender in this regard. Often used in calming blends, it is known to reduce anxiety in cats.
Lavender and Chamomile, like certain other essential oils, may be safe to use for cats, but they must be used sparingly and with great caution as the potency of essential oils dictates even a slight imbalance can have adverse effects on your feline companion.
Is Orange Essential Oil safe for cats?
No. Orange Essential Oil, like a majority of essential oils, is toxic for cats.
Is any Essential Oil safe for cats?
Yes, Lavender and Chamomile are some of the few essential oils that are compatible with cats. However, even those have to be used sparingly and with great caution to ensure no side effects are observed.
What risks do essential oils pose for cats?
Respiratory issues such as coughing/sneezing, digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, skin problems such as rashes and swelling, to even behavioural or neurological issues such as lethargy, restlessness and even depression are some of the many risks essential oils pose for cats.
Is orange essential oil in a diffuser safe for cats?
No, orange essential oil should not be used around cats even in a diffuser.
Bottom line is, cats reject essential oils since it’s not meant for their bodies. Use the oils deemed safe, but be vigil for any issues that may arise. Our feline friends are unable to voice their discomfort, so the onus lies on us pet owners to keep tabs on their health and well-being in such precarious scenarios.