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Are Essential Oils Good for Your Cat?

Posted June 3rd, 2022 by daniel

In recent years, it seems essential oils are being used for nearly everything.  From relaxing to being energized, and from headaches to breathing issues, it would seem as if there is not a physical issue that cannot be treated -at least in part- with essential oils.

But are essential oils the answer for the things that ail your fur baby? After all, everyone knows that our furry friends love catnip! But what about other natural scents? Just how safe are those?

Essential Oils and Your Cat

Before You Begin

Before going too far with essential oils and cats, it is important to note several significant differences in using oils with cats versus with people.

  • Always talk to your vet before introducing essential oils in any form.
  • Never apply the oil directly to the cat’s skin!
  • Always stick with calming scents.
  • Consider using a hydrosol, also known as flower water, as the base for the essential oils.
  • Don’t combine types of oils. In addition, don’t use pure products or blends when you don’t know the concentration level.
  • Diffusers/infusers are not safe for your furry friends. They release the oils into the air and can cause respiratory issues and get into your cat’s skin. Then when they groom themselves, they ingest the oil.
  • Have a way your cat can leave the room/area where essential oils are in use, should they be overwhelmed by the scent. Remember, a cat’s sense of smell is stronger than a person’s is.
  • Don’t use essential oils or diffusers in a room where your cat typically grooms themselves.
  • Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using essential oils on yourself before handling your cat.

Essential oils Safe for Cats

  • Chamomile oil
  • Jasmine oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Rose oil
  • Frankincense
  • Copaiba
  • Neroli
  • Helichrysum

Essential Oils Bad for Cats

  • All Menthol oils
  • All Mint oils
  • Anis
  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Bitter almond
  • Clove
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Lemon and other citrus oils
  • Oregano
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine
  • Sandalwood
  • Tarragon
  • Tea tree
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Thuja
  • Wormwood
  • Ylang ylang oil

Signs Your Pet Has Been Around Unsafe Essential Oils

You are not with your pet all the time, so there is always the chance they could have been exposed to an unsafe essential oil. Or, it could be that, unknown to you, your pet got into a room where you used essential oils. If so, here are signs you need to watch for:

  • Gastrointestinal – Upset stomach- drooling, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Respiratory – Trouble breathing, sneezing, coughing, and panting
  • Dermatological -Watery eyes, runny nose, pawing at face, red lips or gums, red skin
  • Nervous system- muscle weakness, imbalanced, uneven walking, tremors, anxiety
  • Liver Damage – vomiting, yellow skin, eyes or gums, increased thirst, and excessive urination

So, essential oils- good for people, but not so much for your cat! If you are looking for alternative methods to help calm your fur baby, don’t immediately reach for the diffuser and oils! Talk to your vet and see what they suggest. After all, the goal is to make your pet feel better-not worse.

Coping with the Loss of a Pet

Posted February 20th, 2022 by daniel

Our pets are special to us. They bring joy and laughter, provide comfort and companionship, and can even give us encouragement and inspiration to keep on keeping on. These attributes and others make them family members. So, when our pets pass over the rainbow bridge, it can be a devastating blow to the whole family.

Sadly, though, dealing with the passing of a pet is part of having a pet. And, if children are going through the grieving process, it can be even more of a struggle. But there are ways to make coping with the loss a bit easier to do.

Dealing with the Loss of a Pet

Because losing a pet can be especially difficult, don’t think that you have to simply move on as nothing happened. Here are some ways to help cope with the loss of a pet.

  • If children are in your family, take time to explain the loss of the pet in terms they can understand. Death is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Also, let them know that being sad is normal and that you are grieving, too.
  • Grieve. It’s ok to take time to grieve and acknowledge the various emotions that go with loss. It’s unrealistic to expect household members to nonchalantly act as though things will continue as they were before.
  • Consider having a ceremony or service to honor your pet. If you have children, let them be involved in the planning of the service, as it can help bring closure and peace.
  • If you have other pets, be sure to keep their schedule(s). Be sure your other pets are eating and that you spend some extra time with them. It is not uncommon for other pets in a household to notice when one of their own is no longer with them.
  • Take time to reflect. Some people find it helpful to journal the journey of the pet’s loss or record favorite memories. Others find just looking at pictures helps out. Whatever it is that helps you smile and remember the happy moments- make time to do it.
  • Look for ways to calm yourself. Be it yoga, reading, hiking, meditation, etc., find something that helps you slow down.
  • Don’t feel foolish for needing outside support. Whether a pet support group or talking to a therapist, talking to someone as you work through your feelings will make the process a bit easier. A few organizations to check out are Lap of Love and the Rainbow Bridge; for a national database of pet grieving organizations, check out Red Rover.
  • Write a Thank You card to your pet and talk about your favorite memories, how much he/she will be missed and what you are most grateful for.
  • Don’t feel like you have to get rid of your pet’s things immediately. Do this at your own pace -not someone else’s.
  • Develop a new routine. Consider a new walking trail or route, pick up a new hobby, etc., whatever it is that helps you heal and brings you joy – as well as helps keep your mind a bit occupied.

The grieving process is different for everybody. For some, it might only be a matter of hours, while for others, it might be days/weeks. Regardless of the amount of time, don’t be ashamed of it. If you need to cry- then cry. It’s ok to grieve- and remember, you aren’t alone in your loss.

Cats and Superstitions from around the Globe

Posted October 21st, 2021 by daniel

Whether you are a cat person or not, chances are that you have heard any number of superstitions and sayings about cats. Some of them are silly and some can sound a bit sinister, but no matter the thought, cats have long been a part of cultural references. In fact, of all the animals in creation, there is likely more folklore, myths, mysteries, stories, and “beliefs” associated with cats than any other animal. After all, no one talks about dogs having nine lives!

So, given the month of October and all the lore often associated with it, we thought it would be fun to share some of the many superstitions and says having to do with cats.

Cat Superstitions from Around the World

  1. In the Netherlands, cats are believed to be gossips who will tell all your secrets. Hence, people, there are not inclined to whisper secrets to their feline housemates.
  2. If a cat suddenly starts grooming themselves, for no apparent reason, the Japanese believe that you are soon to have unexpected company. In America, some cat lovers believe that if a cat starts cleaning its whiskers that it is a sign that a visit from clergy is imminent. Hmmm…. these clues could be useful!
  3. In Indonesia, it is believed that a wet cat can make it rain. So, if the weather is especially dry a farmer or gardener might pour water over a cat to encourage rain.
  4. In Italy, it is believed that hearing a cat sneeze means that money is heading your way.
  5. Many Amish believe that putting a cat in a baby cradle means a baby is on the way: however if that cat jumps out then conception could a long time. In connection with this, according to Pennsylvania German tradition, if a single woman feeds a cat from her shoe then she will get married.
  6. Cats in the United Kingdom – Irish lore has it that if you kill a cat, you will have 17 years of bad luck; the Welsh as well as the French, believe that if a woman steps on a cat’s tail she will remain single that year; and in other parts of the U. K., it is thought that if you chase a cat you will be cursed with bad luck- forever.
  7. Also, in Japan, it is believed that black cats can heal sick children, and guard against evil, that light cats bring silver to your home while dark-colored cats will bring gold into your home.
  8. In Colonial America days, it was believed that if a cat sat with its back to the fire then there was going to be a cold snap soon. Also during the time, the colonists believed that if a cat washed her face in front of several people then the first person the cat looks at afterward would be the next one married.
  9. French peasants believed that a black cat could find a buried treasure as long as this specific process occurred: Find an intersection where 6 roads connected, then turn the cat loose and follow them…..next stop- treasure. A second French superstition is that if you find a single white hair on a black cat you will have good luck.
  10. Sailors believed that if a cat was thrown overboard a terrible storm would come. Their wives, however, believed that keeping a black would bring good luck and protect their husbands at sea.

Cats are a favorite pet for many people and as such there will always be stories and folklore associated with them. But no matter the scenario, cat lovers will continue to cherish their furry friends and spoil them, while being entertained by them for decades to come. And, should you find yourself with questions regarding your feline friend(s), be sure to talk to your veterinarian or give us a call- especially if you are looking for someone to help out with cat sitting!