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Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Cats? Or Is it lethal?

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Is peppermint oil safe for cats? Since aromatherapy and the use of essential oils as a treatment option for cats are hotly debated. It becomes difficult to know is it good for a cat or not! According to some experts, some oils, such as lavender oil, catnip is safe for cats. You can even use rosemary to kill fleas’ eggs.

Peppermint oil may have piqued your interest. But then again, is peppermint oil safe for cats? Should you use, or should you not?

Clearly, peppermint oil is unsafe for cats. It has enzymes that can attack your cat’s liver. In some cases, it can even make your cat dead. If it is orally or externally applied to your cat, she will get ill too.

is peppermint safe for cats

Cats and Peppermint Oil: Is it Safe?

The short answer is no, peppermint oil is not safe for cats. In fact, it can be lethal for cats. It contains the ingredients menthol and menthone, both of which are harmful to cats. Peppermint Oil is toxic as it can make their skin irritated and can cause an upset stomach. In large amounts, it can cause death.

Peppermint oil includes menthol and menthone, which may be comforting to humans but are extremely harmful to cats. It affects her skin and body badly.

peppermint oil safe for cats

Do you know the sense of smelling power in cats is 14 times superior to humans? Imagine if she sniffed peppermint, how strong it would be for her! Too powerful, isn’t it?

Moving on, it takes at least 3 days for your feline to excrete peppermint oil from her body completely. In severe cases, it can also damage your fluffy friend’s liver too!

Also, if your cat whiffs or while cleaning licks some peppermint oil, she can face problems like elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, excess drooling, unwillingness to eat food, and aspiration pneumonia.

Therefore, it is quite important that you keep your pet cat out of the reach of essential oils.

Why Is Peppermint Oil Good for Cats?

Usually, you may find peppermint oil refreshing and useful for a heavy head, muscle pains, and skin irritation for yourself, but what about cats? Does it benefit your cat?

Well, many cat owners believe it can help your cat to bring peace as it is pleasant and calming in nature if peppermint oil concentration is extremely small.

But, it is recommended that you use catnip as a substitute over peppermint oil because it is very rare that peppermint oil won’t harm her and help her to calm down.

Can Peppermint Oil Hurt My Cat?

Yes, peppermint oil can absolutely hurt your cat! Because they are quickly absorbed via the skin as well as through the mouth and can damage their liver, respiratory system and in serious condition, it can lead to death too!

will peppermint oil hurt cats

As per ASPCA, any essential oils be it peppermint or eucalyptus oil, or citrus oil, if you use 100% concentrated oil on cats, it is extremely poisonous for them. It can cause problems like depression, diarrhea, and vomiting in felines.

So far, you know is peppermint oil safe for cats or not! But, do you know what are the serious health problems caused by peppermint essential oils in cats? Check down below to know more.

Health Problems Caused by Peppermint Oil

As you can see in the chart below, cats can face problems like wobbling, depression, lethargy, hypothermia if you apply peppermint oil to your cat’s fur.

Heath issues caused peppermint oil if exposed to cats skin:
Weak muscles (Ataxia)
Feeling lethargy
Behavioral change

They can also face illnesses like seizures, low blood pressure, and a shortage of breath if they either smell your essential oil diffuser or lick the oil directly.

Heath issues caused peppermint oil if ingested or sniffed by cats:
Low blood pressure
Liver damage
Increased heart rate
No appetite
Coughing and sneezing

For the best of your cat, you must avoid using peppermint oil as an air freshener or diffuser. In case you use it, keep your cat out of its reach. It is not just limited to peppermint oil but also applies to various other toxic essential oils like cinnamon oil, ylang-ylang oil, wintergreen oil, etc.

What to Do if She Sniffs or Licks Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is dangerous for your cats. And, if she ingests or inhales, she can face many health risks. What steps can you take to save your kitty?

peppermint oil and cats

Well, most cats will have a distinct tolerance level for peppermint oil. Some may show symptoms like:

  • Watery eyes
  • Nose discharge
  • Low body temperature
  • Weight loss

A few cats may not even show any single sign of it. But, if your cat is sensitive towards essential oils, then she may show signs within a few hours of exposure.

So, the first step is to check symptoms in your cats. It is important that you observe her. Notice whether her eyes are becoming watery or not; is she panting and drooling excessively. Check her heartbeat rate; is it high? If it is yes, then it’s important that you take the next step.

And, the second step is to immediately take veterinary advice. It is extremely poisonous and waiting, and experimenting can lead to fatal situations, so to avoid risk take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Is Peppermint Oil Effective in Killing Fleas?

Yes, peppermint oil acts as a natural flea repellent; many people use a peppermint oil spray to get rid of fleas. It is a great home remedy for preventing flea. It targets the central nervous system of fleas, causing them to die slowly and painfully. But, it is not a safe practice for cats.

Cats can face health issues due to peppermint oil, as you already know. I would advise you to take your cat to the vet for proper flea medication before experimenting with home treatment.

Is Peppermint Oil Good for Kittens?

No, the scent of peppermint oil is not healthy and safe for kittens. They have delicate fur, and using oil can have negative effects on their skin. Plus, it makes your kitten weak. She can face problems like breathing issues, vomiting, diarrhea, may start drooling excessively.

It is so hazardous that it can be one of the reasons for your kitten’s death too.

Well, That’s a Wrap!

Is peppermint oil safe for cats? No, it is not. Peppermint oil is extremely poisonous for your cats. This is because their liver lacks a certain enzyme that aids in the breakdown of the poisons. Thus, in severe conditions, it can take their life too!

It can lead to liver failure, weakness, fever, excess drooling, breathlessness, increased heart rate, and many more.

Orally, physically or through inhaling, it is toxic for the cat to use peppermint oil in all three ways. You must keep them out of reach if you use an essential oil diffuser or potpourri at home.

Approved by Veterinary – Anthony Brooks, DVM!


  1. Cats and Essential Oil Safety – Tisserand Institute
  2. Essential Oil and Liquid Potpourri Poisoning in Cats – VCA Hospitals
  3. Essential Oils and Animals: Which Essential Oils Are Toxic to Pets? – Michelson Found Animals

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