Has your cat eaten some lavender? Are you worried the lavender will make your cat sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when our cats eat something they shouldn’t.
In this article, we’ll take a look at lavender and whether or not it can make your cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is Lavender?
You’re probably very familiar with lavender! Lavender is a flowering plant that’s in the mint family. It has a very specific sweet scent, which has become extremely popular in recent years. This plant is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and India. Back in ancient times, lavender was prized as a holy herb.
Lavender is more than just a gorgeous shade of purple! The lavender we’re talking about is that extremely popular plant. Lavender is a member of the mint family and has a distinctive floral scent.
Lavender has been used for thousands of years to add a sweet scent to rooms, clothing, and more. It was even once considered a holy herb. Today, lavender is used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.
Lavender is thought to improve sleep, treat skin blemishes, may relieve some types of pain, reduce blood pressure, and much more. It’s also used to calm our nerves and minds by easing symptoms of stress.
Today, lavender is still prized as an herbal plant with medicinal properties. Lavender is said to be calming, so it’s often used in herbal sleep remedies. It’s also used to calm migraines and other types of headaches. Lavender essential oil is also used to help treat blemishes on the skin and is also thought to help with chronic or acute forms of pain.
Lavender is generally considered a safe plant; however, can it make your cat sick? Will your cat get sick if she eats lavender?
Lavender & Cats
Unfortunately, lavender is toxic to cats. It’s not the plant that’s toxic but the substances found in lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil contains linalyl and linalool. These substances can cause digestive tract issues in your cat. Symptoms can include lack of appetite, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
The bad news is that if a cat ingests lavender essential oil, he can become very sick. This is because lavender essential oil is a highly concentrated form of lavender. Lavender essential oil can cause liver damage in cats. This is because their livers don’t contain the enzymes needed to break down the substances found in lavender essential oil.
If a cat eats some lavender plant, it’s possible the kitty will develop some mild gastrointestinal symptoms. However, essential is much more dangerous for a cat.
Lavender Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat ingests lavender essential oil:
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle tremors
- Pawing at face/mouth
- Redness/swelling/burns on lips, skin, gums, tongue
- Uncoordinated gate
- Uncoordinated walk
- Lack of appetite
If you notice these symptoms in your cat, it’s time to immediately call the vet. This is a medical emergency.
Treatment of Lavender Essential Oil Toxicity in Cats
At the vet’s, they will perform a complete physical of your cat. This may include lab work, too. The vet will look to see if your cat is experiencing liver or kidney damage from lavender ingestion.
Treatment will be based on the cat’s symptoms. For chemical burns in her throat and stomach, the cat may not be able to eat normally until things heal. So, the vet may have to give her a feeding tube until she’s better.
The vet will also treat any vomiting and diarrhea, as well as other symptoms. They will be focused on preventing damage to the liver, as well as the kidney.
The good news is that cats who receive prompt medical care have an excellent chance of making a complete recovery!