How many people have heard that cloves can be used as a natural pest repellant? I personally have never tried it but a lot of people I know swear by it. Or are you decorating with cloves this holiday season? Have you gotten super into essential oils lately?
Is clove oil safe for cats? NO!
Here’s a little-known fact about cloves: they are harmful to cats! I found out from first-hand experience…
One day, when I was still living with my family, I noticed my cat, Sloan, acting really weird… she couldn’t stand up straight, she was drooling, and couldn’t jump onto the couch and she was generally acting like a drunk person.
My mom and I immediately took Sloan to the veterinarian.
They were pretty much useless because they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. They asked if she got into anything like cleaners or windshield washer fluid. We said no, so they were stumped. We ended up going home with some special cat food to try to feed her. Sloan wasn’t able to eat, drink or use the litter box. She just laid there, scaring the crap out of me.
My dad was walking around the house looking for anything that Sloan might have eaten and he spotted powdered cloves sprinkled by the back door. Ack! Is clove spice toxic to cats??
We did some research, and called the vet and asked: Is clove oil safe for cats?
We found that cloves have a numbing effect on pets when consumed. Doesn’t matter if it’s clove oil, whole cloves, or powdered cloves: It’s like a drug to them, and Sloan was high.
Sloan’s vision was impaired (she couldn’t walk straight), she had no balance (she couldn’t jump or climb) and she was numb (she couldn’t tell that she was hungry, thirsty or had to use the litter box). It’s bad for their liver and can cause symptoms like:
- difficulty walking
- coughing and difficulty breathing
This is a really big deal especially because essential oils (including clove oil) have gotten really popular recently, with folks using essential oil diffusers. I mean, we all love the aroma of lavender and eucalyptus oil. But ultimately it’s not worth an emergency trip to the veterinary clinic! I’m sticking to candles now, because it turns out that all these essential oils are bad for pets like cats and dogs:
- eucalyptus oil
- tea tree oil
- cinnamon oil
- citrus oil
- oregano oil
- pennyroyal oil
- peppermint oils, including wintergreen oil
- sweet birch
- ylang ylang oil
The good news is that my cat got better very soon.
She spent a lot of time laying down, but awake. So I’d mush up the wet food from the vet with some water and feed it to her on a plastic spoon. She loved the wet stuff and ate a lot of it. I also tried to make her drink a lot of water by putting it on a spoon and holding it right under her mouth.
I’m not sure how much of the powdered cloves she ate, or what would have happened if she was home alone… thankfully, she is fine and is still healthy and happy.
I fully support natural cleaning products and stuff, but now I make sure whatever I use is safe for pets.