No, Eucalyptus is not safe for cats.
Eucalyptus in any form (including essential oil, fresh, and dried) is toxic as the plant has chemicals that cats are not able to metabolize.
Exposure to eucalyptus can cause poisoning which presents with symptoms such as excessive drooling, vomiting, seizure, and collapse.
After a cat is exposed to eucalyptus, symptoms may appear immediately or can take several hours to develop.
If your cat has ingested or been exposed to eucalyptus, contact your vet immediately and keep a close eye on your cat for symptoms of poisoning.
Ask a Vet
Is Eucalyptus Toxic To Cats?
Yes, the Eucalyptus plant is toxic and unsafe for cats.
Cats can be poisoned by consuming, touching, or inhaling the eucalyptus plant or eucalyptus essential oils.
The toxicity of eucalyptus is the result of cats not being able to metabolise the eucalyptol chemical.
This chemical impacts their nervous system and organs causing weakness, drooling, tremors, seizures, collapse and even death if left untreated.
The severity of eucalyptus poisoning can vary depending on many factors including the exposure level but as your pet’s condition can deteriorate rapidly it’s important to contact a vet as soon as possible.
Can The Scent Of Eucalyptus Be Toxic To Cats?
Yes, the smell of eucalyptus is toxic to cats and inhalation of this plant or oil can cause respiratory problems that lead to serious complications.
Inhalation of eucalyptus via essential oil diffusers is a particular risk as eucalyptus essential oil is highly concentrated.
Therefore, even inhaling a small amount can cause toxicity symptoms.
Most cats naturally avoid strong scents such as eucalyptus but because of the high risk of poisoning, the safest thing to do is ensure there is no eucalyptus in or around your home.
When using a diffuser, be sure to use cat-safe essential oils.
Is It Dangerous To Put Eucalyptus Oil In Your Diffuser?
Yes, it is dangerous to use eucalyptus oil in your home when you have cats.
Essential oil poisoning is a risk because the oils are taken in by your cat and then they cannot be metabolized.
There are many ways a cat can be exposed to eucalyptus oil when it is used in a diffuser.
Remember that when you diffuse essential oils they are deposited throughout your home so this leaves many possible points of exposure for your kitty.
Your cat may inhale them, they may pick up the particles on their paws and coat which can be absorbed through the skin or may be ingested later when your cat is grooming themselves. Curious cats may also knock the diffuser over or try to drink the essential oil from the holder.
Cats may show symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning even if only a small amount of the diffuse oil has been inhaled.
Due to the risks, it is best to use your diffuser in areas where your cat cannot access and only use essential oils that are safe for use around pets.
Symptoms Of Feline Eucalyptus Poisoning
Keep a close eye on your cat for signs of eucalyptus poisoning.
If you know your cat has ingested or been exposed to eucalyptus in some way, contact your vet even if they are not showing any symptoms yet.
Sometimes the signs of toxicity cannot be seen for several hours so it is important to seek advice as soon as possible.
Common symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning in cats include:
- Watery nose and eyes
- Appetite changes
- Skin irritation
- Breathing difficulties
If your cat shows any of these symptoms after exposure to eucalyptus or any other harmful plant, oil, or substance they need to be taken to the vet immediately.
Mild symptoms should not be ignored as serious symptoms and complications may follow.
First Aid For Eucalyptus Poisoning In Cats
The most important thing to do is move your cat away from the eucalyptus (or wash the oil off their fur if it is on them) and contact your vet or a pet poison helpline immediately.
Don’t panic, the vet or helpline will be able to talk you through what to do next.
Ask a Vet
Do not wait to contact the vet as symptoms of poisoning can develop immediately or can take hours/ days to show and a quick response could make a huge difference to your cat’s condition and treatment.
The vet will be able to tell you what to do and will book an emergency appointment for you if necessary.
Don’t try to make your cat throw up unless your vet instructs you to as sometimes throwing up can cause more harm than good.
When you take your cat to the vet, if the poisoning has been caused by essential oil it may help to take the essential oil bottle with you (or a photograph of the bottle information) as knowing the concentration of the oil can help the vet determine the severity of the poisoning.
Is Dried Eucalyptus Safe For Cats?
No, dried eucalyptus is not safe for cats.
Eucalyptus in any form is toxic to cats.
When the eucalyptus plant is dried it tends to concentrate its active compounds so there is still a high risk of poisoning, because of this it’s best to remove any dried eucalyptus from your home.
Dried eucalyptus leaves are sometimes used in potpourri mixes so it is important to either remove these from the home or find cat-friendly alternatives to use instead.
If your cat ingests the dried eucalyptus leaves they will likely experience severe stomach upset including vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, and weakness.
If you have dried eucalyptus or eucalyptus essential oil in your home, consider keeping them in a secure, sealed container to prevent your cat from accessing it.
Can I Hang Eucalyptus In The Shower If I Have Cats?
It’s best to avoid having any eucalyptus in your home in you have cats due to the high risk of poisoning.
Even if your cat is kept out of the bathroom, there is still a risk of them inhaling eucalyptus particles carried by the steam of the shower or ingesting it from their fur or paws when they are grooming.
Eucalyptus is also toxic to dogs, so you should avoid having it in your house if you have dogs too.
Do Cats Usually Like Eucalyptus?
Cats generally stay away from Eucalyptus as they find the strong odour overpowering.
Most cats are naturally wary of things that are unusual and they won’t try to eat unusual items. In most cases, eucalyptus poisoning has been caused by accidental ingestion (e.g. ingesting during grooming).
It is unusual for a cat to like eucalyptus which is why some gardeners use eucalyptus plants as a cat repellent.
If you have poisonous plants in your garden, it is best to remove them and replace them with safe options to ensure your garden is cat-friendly.
With that said, we all know how curious cats can be and this can result in cats investigating eucalyptus plants or oil.
This exposure can cause poisoning which requires urgent veterinary attention.
For the safety of your cat, it’s important to keep toxic plants and materials out of the home.
Particularly when it comes to a plant or essential oil such as eucalyptus as it is known how harmful it can be to cats.
What To Do If Your Cat Loves Eucalyptus
If your cat has eaten eucalyptus or has been exposed to it in some way, contact your vet straight away.
Curiosity can sometimes get cats into trouble and although most will avoid toxic plants others may ingest some of the plant before realising it is not good for them.
If your cat seems to like eucalyptus, the safest thing to do is remove all eucalyptus and eucalyptus oil from your home and garden.
Even if your cat has not experienced any symptoms from being around eucalyptus yet, continued exposure can cause liver issues and other health problems.
How To Stop Your Cat From Eating/Sniffing Eucalyptus
If a cat eats eucalyptus they will usually throw it up shortly after and they may need veterinary treatment due to the toxic effects of the plant.
If you have eucalyptus in your home, put it in areas where your cat does not have access to avoid them being exposed to the toxic chemicals of the plant.
Most cats hate the smell of eucalyptus but if your cat does not, it is important to keep them away and not leave any eucalyptus within reach that may tempt them.
Cats are extremely sensitive to eucalyptus so it is best to either remove all eucalyptus and eucalyptus oils from your home or store them in secure containers or rooms where your cats do not have access.