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Tea Tree Oil for Cats: Toxic or Effective?

 tea tree oil for cats

Tea tree oil is widely applied for treating skin conditions, as a natural antiseptic and fungicide. Tea tree oil is used for dogs to eliminate fleas and sometimes people recommend applying tea tree oil for cats. It is highly beneficial because as Wikipedia writes it possesses antibacterial and antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. But is tea tree oil safe for cats?

Is tea tree oil safe for cats?

Tea tree oil for cats may be toxic, especially if it is applied without dilution or in case of a high dose.  Many vets recommend against the use of tea tree oil for cats, although it may be safe in low doses and may heal.

The fact is that tea tree oil is one of essential oils, toxic to cats. Cats experience toxicity when they absorb the oil through the skin and even breathe the fumes. Cats are so vulnerable to tea tree oil because their livers can’t metabolize some components of tea tree oil. Such components include alpha-terpinen and terpinolene, which are in high concentration in tea tree oil according to Wikipedia.


SEE ALSO: Should we Use Olive Oil for Dogs and Cats?

Flea shampoos with tea tree oil for cats

There are flea shampoos for cats containing small doses of tea tree oil. Veterinarians warn that you should buy such shampoos only from reputable manufacturers and that it is obligatory to follow the instructions as the wrong dosage can be toxic.


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Small doses of tea tree oil if applied wisely may not cause damage to the cat’s health. A deadly dose for an average cat would be between 7.4 milliliters and 14.8 (1.5-3 teaspoons). A safe dose is about 0.4 milliliters or 5 drops, mixed with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Only diluted tea tree oil is allowed to apply to the cat’s skin. Avoid the eyes, mouth and nose and never let your cat swallow tea tree oil, lick or smell it.