Essential Oils and Cats

**UPDATED IMAGE BELOW

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I want to share this story with you – it’s going around Facebook and unlike most things on Facebook this one is true. I’ve had this argument many many times with pet owners who use essential oils. I don’t care how “certified pure” they may be – cats cannot tolerate them. Period. Don’t risk it at all. Larger animals like dogs and horses are fine but for cats – and birds – they are toxic. This fast of a reaction is not unheard of but more than likely your cat will develop liver failure over a longer period of time. Please just don’t expose them to essential oils period.

In the comment section on the original post found here people are still claiming “buy only pure EOs! I’m a distributer! I can help you!” No, no they can’t. Do not believe the marketing nonsense of these MLM culty companies.

That being said I absolutely do use essential oils myself and yes they are the “certified pure” kind. I make sure if I diffuse (rarely) it’s only at night in my closed off bedroom (my cats do not sleep with me). I don’t use them on my body until bedtime after I’ve put the cats to bed in their room. If I happen to have them on my hands during the day (almost never unless I’m making my homemade body powders and muscle rubs) I make sure I wash thoroughly and wait before touching the cats.

If you want to disinfect the air of your home the best thing to do is to open all the windows for 15 or 20 minutes – yes even in winter (unless you are back East during this cold bombing thing going on) – and let the air cleanse your house. I will also use Sage bundles or Palo Santo sticks as incense and the smoke kills bacteria in the air. Pinion pine incense also works. If you are local to Tuolumne County you can find Sage Bundles and Palo Santo sticks at Nature’s Whole Foods Depot in Standard. You can also check out Benjamin Fig downtown. If you have cats please do not use the cone and stick mass marketed incense found pretty much everywhere. It’s filled with chemicals. I also use real Frankincense resin incense but that requires a lot of accessories to burn it properly. Shoot me a message if you want to know more about real frankincense incense.

Here is the text of the post:

“This is my daughter’s cat, Ernie. He has lived with us most of his 16 years. I unknowingly have been poisioning him since Christmas and feel the need to warn everyone who might be unaware of the toxicity of essential oils. I bought a diffuser and a set of essential oils from Amazon. I gave it to my husband as a gift and also one to my daughter and daughter-in-law. We started using ours soon after the holiday and loved how the different oils made the house smell, trying a different one each day. I came down with a head cold. On the package with the oils, it said that eucalyptus oil was good for congestion, so we had the diffuser going several hours for several days in a row and close to where I was sleeping. Ernie loves sleeping with me. The first couple days I didn’t notice any symptoms with Ernie, but on the fourth day, he was lethargic, unstable on his feet and was drooling excessively. My husband instinctively Googled eucalyptus oil. It stated that it can be toxic to cats and they can’t metabolize it and stated all of Ernie’s symptoms. It also said that without medical attention, it could be fatal! So I took him to the Vet right away! The Vet gave him a shot of antibiotics and another shot of vitamins to boost him and instructions to watch him over the weekend. Ernie hasn’t been himself. He is eating and drinking a little, walking a little better, has some diarrhea, but is still not out of the woods. We also learned that out of the 8 oils in our set, only 2 are NOT toxic. Rosemary and Frankincense. Orange, Lemon, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lavender ARE toxic to cats and small animals. There is no warning anywhere on these essential oils, which I feel is shocking! We have also learned that the candles we love to burn are scented with essential oils. Sorry this post is so long, but if this helps to keep any of your animals safe, it was worth the rant!!!”

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***UPDATE***

A discussion happening right now on my personal Facebook page included this screenshot from the YoungLiving EO animal page. NO! Please NO! Consult your Veterinarian on EVERYTHING! It’s one thing to experiment on yourself. Please do NOT subject your fur children to experiments. There are natural herbal alternatives available for certain conditions (not Essential Oils but herbal) that have been developed by Veterinarians but always always ask your Veterinarian about everything. Please.

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NEVER give essential oils orally to your pets – no one knows for sure if they are okay for humans to ingest let alone pets!

Things Poisonous to Your Fur Child

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I’ve had a number of people tell me about recent poisonings of either their pets or pets of friends. First and foremost: Lilies and cats. A friend of mine called me a couple days ago to ask for Reiki for a friend of her’s cat who had chewed on lily leaves and went into renal failure. While it’s still touch at this time her liver and kidney numbers are stabilizing and we’ll know more by the end of the week. As the mother of seven little accidents-waiting-for-a-place-to-happen (remember Tigger’s fun this summer?) I take no chances so I have ZERO potted plants in my house. Cats will chew on anything green and with the holidays coming up please make sure your decorative greenery is plastic (which they will still chew so be aware). Chrysanthemums and Poinsettias are also toxic to cats and dogs.

Mushrooms are popping up all over and cats and dogs can ingest them while trying to eat grass. Clean your area of mushrooms if at all possible. These can be instant death to your pet.

Horse chestnuts are also toxic and can cause bowel obstruction.

Be careful what you compost and make sure your pet can’t get to anything in your compost pile. My friends here in Tuolumne County had their Aussie Shepherd back and forth to Turlock Animal Hospital all weekend. He was lethargic, stumbling, and vomiting. While they knew these were poisoning symptoms they couldn’t figure out what he got into. They finally found the cause: plums. An update just now:

“So I examined his poo this morning and found PLUM in it. A shriveled up plum. He got into my compost and probably ate 50! So then I googled and it turns out the pits are toxic to dogs – they contain cyanide and most dogs die within ONE HOUR of eating a few. Also, they of course cause obstructions. He had EVERY SYMPTOM. How lucky are we? I am so grateful and relieved to know what happened. I literally had a huge cardboard box of them composting in the yard, not knowing it was festering poison. That’s why he only felt better after the enemas – the poison was just sitting in my boy. “

It’s very hard to remove all dangers that your pets can get into (again – remember Tigger’s summer adventure) we can avoid the obvious. Who woulda thunk this guy would dig through compost to eat plums? No one. Just as I wouldn’ta thunk Tigger would impale himself on a gate latch. But we can be aware of the obvious dangers of potted plants and mushrooms and help our beloved fur children live long and healthy lives.

And with that let the Holidays begin!

 

 

It’s that time again!

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We had a fabulous time in Arizona: 2121 miles covered in seven days! I was back to normal on the 21st and now it’s time to book for the Holidays if you can believe it. I still have plenty of openings for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year but I book up fast so be sure to reserve your spot.

I’d like to ask everyone to review the Winter Pet Sit Recommendations too. Who knows what this year will bring weather wise, with Global Weirding and all, but please be prepared for snow and lots of rain just in case. I’m ready for a nice, normal winter (wet but not too wet; snow but not too much and above 5000′ thankyouverymuch) after the last two – how about you?

VACATION!

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Just a reminder that I will be on vacation from October 10th through the 20th. I’ll be back to work on the 21st. Thankfully October is always a slow month for Fat Tabby – folks recovering from summer and before the holiday madness – and I’m lucky that my former Independent Contractor Karen is covering the few clients I have scheduled while I’m gone.

One question I always get: “Who takes care of your cats while you are gone?” If my husband and I are gone together then my mom comes and takes care of the kids. This time I’m off alone and so the hubby will be here to do all the work.

So have a wonderful couple of weeks and I’ll see you after the 21st!

 

Tigger and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

8/1: Suitical update at the bottom!!

Soooooo . . . Tigger is now recovering from a very serious, and very freak, accident. He managed to slice his skin open and had, what I thought at the time I found him, a three inch gash. “Maybe even four inches,” I told my husband. There was no blood and he hadn’t punctured any intestines as far as I could tell – he was curled into a ball and I couldn’t see it all. It appeared that someone tried to skin him. We had zero clue as to what he did! So off to Twain Harte Veterinary Hospital we went!

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They couldn’t keep a cone on him so tried sending him home without since he wasn’t licking the stitches. But once he got home – yep. He popped one. Had to rush him back Friday afternoon for a staple.

I happened to be at the vet when he was going into surgery (I thought I’d stop by and snuggle with him if he was still waiting). Dr. Strand greeted me in the waiting room. “He’s on the table; Dr. Jackson is preparing to stitch him up. What did he do??” I said, “I literally have no idea but I will find out!” “Do you want to see it?” she asked. “YES!”

I was completely unprepared for what I saw. All three doctors, Dr. Strand, Dr. Jackson, and Dr. Crunk were in with him. His gash wasn’t three inches or even four. It was closer to SEVEN!

“Holy &^%$!” was my response.

Dr. Strand said, “It’s ugly but it’s just in the fat layer. He’ll be fine.”

Tigger had to stay the night and when I went home and started the search for what might have cut him. Not only do I want to make sure it never happens again but I want to make sure my three toddler grandchildren don’t get into it! And yes, find it I did.

About twenty years ago I make picket fence shutters for three windows – one of which is in the cat room. I put gate sized hook and eye latches for locking them. Have you ever noticed how sharp the ends of those hooks are? Yeah, me neither. The hook in the cat room somehow got flipped up and locked with the hook pointing up and out at a bit of an angle. There was cat hair and blood on it. Somehow – we think he was bug hunting – Tigger was on the window sill, jumped up, and impaled himself on the way down. Either his weight and trajectory or his struggle to free himself ripped him open seven inches.

So now we are at a new “normal:” Tigger is in a mesh, claw proof cat tent in the living room. I will never go back to a rigged up large dog kennel – having him in this tent is so much easier on all of us. I also ordered a Suitical Recovery Suit from Chewy.com which will arrive tomorrow. I’m hoping it gives him a more normal life for eating and drinking (his cone is starting to smell like Fancy Feast lol) if it doesn’t trigger “Kitty Flop.” I tried to rig up a baby onesie until it arrived but the velcro straps I added triggered a bad case of Kitty Flop. I’ll update as the experiments go along.

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THE SUITICAL IS A HUUUUUUGE SUCCESS! I’LL POST PICS AND VIDEO LATER TODAY! YAY!

All Dog Walks Cancelled

Well welcome to Fire Season 2017. Our sky is red and the smoke has drifted in from the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa and it has settled in like coastal fog. If the pattern of 2013 and 2015 holds it will lift in the afternoon but is still not safe for asthmatics like me to do strenuous activity. If your pup needs a potty break I will make sure we are out as long as necessary (you’ll know it’s me because I wear a breathing mask) but we will not be walking and exerting ourselves as it’s not good for the pups either. Meanwhile I’ll will send Reiki to Mariposa: to the firefighters, the animals wild and domestic, and the people.  One of my clients for this weekend has taken in a couple evacuated horses. Thankfully the weather is far cooler than 2013 and 2015 and let’s hope they get this one contained as soon as is safe for everyone.

One of the greatest news resources has been the Bass Lake Facebook page. Give them a like to follow the latest developments. The Union Democrat and Mymotherlode.com also have great coverage.

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Photo by Darin McKinney for the Union Democrat. Click for the full story by Guy McCarthy

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Heat Safety Tips

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Summer is in full swing – and last week truly was miserable for everyone. This week’s temps and humidity levels are simply delicious!

As a result, of course, heat safety is forefront in my thoughts. If you are away and I determine there are not enough water stations for your pet I will find other bowls to set out. I am adding ice – when available – to everyone’s water. Cats especially like ice cold water. I do love Frosty Bowlz and have one with 2 inserts so I can exchange as needed always keeping one frozen.

The Oregon Humane Society posted a great article on heat safety for pets. Check it out here.

And here’s an example of the Good Samaritan law being put into effect. Thankfully the pet parents were grateful but PLEASE! Just leave your pets at home during the summer. Please. I have a window breaky thingy and I’m not afraid to use it (after following the law’s guidelines of contacting the police and going to businesses the car is parked near).

Dog Walks Cancelled Due to Heat

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Oh my. Last week we were freezing to death and it was snowing in Tahoe. This week it’s like the 7th Circle of Hell. All dog walks are cancelled for this week and all jobs will be done as early in the morning as possible. If I am collecting your mail while you are out and it doesn’t arrive until the afternoon I will make another trip to your mailbox after the sun sets. I did my rounds this afternoon and when I started at 2PM it was 93 and when I finished at 6PM it was 100. Too much for me!