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Warning: This article, “Can cats eat lavender?”, is purely informative. On CatLicking we do not have the skills to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to bring your animal to the veterinarian if it presents the symptoms of a fever or a disease.
Lavender (or Lavandula angustifolia) has its origins in the Mediterranean mountains and grows in all warm regions of the globe.
Lavender is very present in our interiors, in various forms: dried plants, essential oils, product for the skin…
The benefits of lavender are well known for humans, and our cat friends may be attracted to the pleasant scent of lavender.
But what happens if a cat catches ingesting lavender? What are the dangers for him?
In this article we will answer this question: Can cats eat lavender? Let’s go!
Can Cats Eat Lavender?
Lavender is not recognized as a toxic plant for cats. However, lavender contains 2 substances, linalool and linalyl acetate, which can cause nausea and vomiting if ingested.
It is therefore not advisable for your cat to eat the lavender that is in your home.
And if you have kittens in your home, take even more precautions: they are more fragile and may endure eating lavender even less well.
Plus, they tend to be very curious and could easily be tempted to eat some of this smelling plant!
Can Cats Eat Lavender Essential Oil?
Especially not! Lavender essential oil contains a very high concentration of the plant, which makes it even more toxic.
On the other hand, in the form of essential oil, lavender diffuses very quickly (hence its use in the form of a spray).
The problem is that felines do not have the liver enzyme necessary for the assimilation of essential oil, an enzyme that we humans have.
What If I Have Lavender in my House?
If you can’t do without lavender, watch your cat’s attitude when he walks past a pot of lavender: he’ll probably smell it, turn around a bit, then walk his way. Check that he is not trying to nibble some of it.
If your cat persists in wanting to ingest the plant, place it in a place inaccessible to your cat.
If it is already too late and your furry friend has already started eating the plant, observe his reactions: is he nausea, is he vomiting, is he behaving in an unusual way?
If the situation does not improve, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
Symptoms of Lavender Poisoning in Cats
The most common symptoms are those we mentioned above: nausea, vomiting, lethargy, refusal to eat.
In addition to these common symptoms, cats can be prone to dizziness, low heart rate, and respiratory distress.
Observe your cat closely:
- Does he drool or lick excessively? This indicates that he may be going to vomit.
- When you take him in your arms, do you notice that he is breathing irregularly or that his heart is beating too fast or irregularly? It’s a sign of a lung problem.
- Observe her stomach to determine if her breathing is choppy or too fast.
- Unusual sneezing or wheezing are also signs that should alert you.
- Pawing at face and mouth
- Uncoordinated gait
What to Do If your Cat Is Poisoned While Eating Lavender?
Everything will depend on the amount of lavender ingested.
If you have managed to stop your cat before he has eaten all your lavender, and that this one does not present the symptoms mentioned above, you do not have to worry. Your cat is not poisoned.
If the quantity of lavender ingested is much greater, and if you observe the symptoms described, consult your veterinarian immediately. Do not try to treat your cat yourself by administering medication, you may do more harm than good.
Take the lavender with you for a closer look. Your vet will do urine and blood tests on your cat to find out how much it is affected by the plant.
Thus, he can set up the most appropriate treatment. More specifically, he will look to see if your cat is showing signs of a damaged liver or kidney.
You can also call ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control.
If your cat has suffered burns from ingesting lavender (or potpourri), he may not be able to eat properly. The vet will then put a feeding tube in his stomach.
He will also be given medicine to prevent him from vomiting and to protect his stomach. He will probably also have medicine to protect his kidneys.
Lavander-Based Products for Cats
If your cat seems really attracted to lavender, there are many products containing lavender, which will allow him to enjoy its sweet scent without any risk to his health:
- Lavender scented cat litter: your cat will be happy, but so will you, thanks to the fact that it retains unpleasant odors and will pleasantly scent your home.
- Calming lavender shampoo: it is used without water and contains coconut oil to fight against allergenic substances.
- Calming collar for cats: it contains pheromones that will soothe anxious or agitated cats.
Conclusion on Can Cats Eat Lavender?
In conclusion, we can say that lavender is not inherently toxic to cats, but it can become toxic in high doses.
If in doubt, it would still be best not to fill your house with lavender, and watch your cat as he walks by that pretty bunch of lavender you just potted.
And then as we have seen, there are several lavender-based alternatives that will be able to satisfy your mustache friend if he really cannot do without the scent of this pretty purple plant.
It’s Up to You to Speak!
What is your experience with lavender for your cat (s)? Does he like it or on the contrary does it push them away? Has your hairball had health problems from lavender? We would be happy to hear your opinion on this!