Are essential oils poisonous to pets?


Yes, experts say they can be.


American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, VCA Hospitals for Animals, Dr. Janet Roark, DVM


A Michigan woman shared her story on Facebook back in early January 2018 saying she was unknowingly POISONING her daughter's cat, Ernie, with an essential oil diffuser while he slept next to her. The post has now been deleted.

Sue said poor Ernie was lethargic, drooling and couldn't stand up for a few days after he was exposed to Eucalyptus oil.

The feline frenzy over essential oils and has since been circulating all over social media since Sue's post, so is the warning legit?

WUSA9 researchers first checked with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and they confirm yes, essential oils like eucalyptus and citrus CAN cause symptoms such as tremors in cats and dogs.

But they clarified on their Facebook page that you can still use a diffuser in a large open area, to limit your pet's exposure.

The VCA Hospitals for Animals explains if pets ingest the oils, it can be especially damaging to cats who lack a certain liver enzyme making them extra sensitive. An Austin based vet, Dr. Janet Roark was flooded with questions about the alarming post and responded via Facebook Live with valuable information.

So yes, essential oils can be poisonous to pets. Dr. Roark says if your pet has a topical exposure to essential oils stop using the diffuser, ventilate the room and wash your pet with detergent soap. Of course, feel free to also follow up with your veterinarian. You can also call the ASPCA hotline at 888-426-4435.

Click here to see the other toxic essential oils and plants to pets listed on the ASPCA website.