Is Patchouli Oil Safe For Cats?

by Hayley
Is Patchouli Oil Safe For Cats

Essential oils have been a big part of the daily lives of humans. Whether it is for cosmetics, health, skincare, or hair care, you can expect to come across even one solution involving essential oils.

However, when we talk about pet care, keep in mind that essential oils are considered a double-edged sword. There are some types that will be beneficial for your cats and dogs. On the flip side, some oils can be heavily toxic to them to the point that they can lead to chronic illnesses and, worst-case scenario, death.

Considering that Patchouli oil is one of the most popular essential oils on the market nowadays, where does it fit in the criteria for feline safety? More specifically, is Patchouli oil safe for cats? This is what we’re going to talk about in this article.

Is Patchouli Oil Safe To Diffuse Around Cats

What Is Patchouli Essential Oil?

Patchouli essential oil is mainly derived from the leaves and shoots of Patchouli flowers, which are under the mint family in plants.

It’s commonly used in aromatherapy because of its relaxing scent. This is also one of the first home remedies that most people turn to whenever they are dealing with certain skin issues, such as acne, dry skin, rashes, and even mild symptoms of eczema. It can also solve issues with dandruff and dry scalps for some.

Not only that, but the said oil is also used to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, making it very handy for people dealing with mental health issues.

Easily said, you can consider Patchouli essential oil to be a holy grail because of its many benefits and uses.

Read also: Is Cedarwood Oil Safe For Cats?

Is Patchouli Essential Oil Harmful For Cats?

Now, let’s answer, “Is Patchouli oil safe for cats?”

No matter how beneficial Patchouli oil is, it’s important to remember that its pros only apply to humans. Dogs can also access a moderate amount of its benefits.

However, you should not expect the same when it comes to cats. Since the essential oil at hand has a high concentration of phenol, Patchouli alcohol, and alkaloids, we will take a complete 180-degree turn when we talk about Patchouli essential oil and felines.

Simply said, it’s one of the most toxic and harmful essential oils that cats can come in contact with.

Another one of the reasons why cats won’t be able to handle Patchouli oil is because of the plant toxins present in it. This substance is extremely poisonous to felines. As a rule of thumb, keep plant-derived oils away from them.

Take a look at the following contact methods to see whether it’s something you should keep your cats away from:


Continuously inhaling Patchouli essential oil, even in little amounts, can already affect a cat’s health negatively. This means that if you have a Patchouli-based mist or recently finished an incense using it, it will be best to let your cat out first or put them in another room where they can get fresh air.

Note that some cats are actually attracted to the smell of Patchouli oil. There are some cases where they stay in a room on purpose just because they like the scent. However, this still doesn’t mean anything good. Keeping them away from the smell is still the right choice.


As we previously said, plant toxins are poisonous to cats. This is found in almost, if not all, plants and plant-derived substances like Patchouli essential oil.

That said, it’s evident that when a cat accidentally ingests Patchouli oil, its health and organs are very much at risk for serious damage. If this happens, make sure to bring them to the vet for immediate treatment. Delaying medical responses will just worsen their condition.

Physical Contact

Patchouli essential oil has long been used in the form of an ointment. Again, this is not the same for cats. The oil coming in contact with their skin not only makes them susceptible to the Patchouli’s strong scent but will also increase the risks of them tasting and ingesting it.

To avoid this, make sure that you store your Patchouli oil in a place that your cats won’t be able to access. Take closed cabinets and drawers, for example. Don’t leave them in open spaces, no matter how high the storage is.

Is Patchouli Oil Safe To Diffuse Around Cats?

Since the cause behind Patchouli oil’s toxicity lies in its contents, diffusing it with water or any carrier oil will still be harmful to cats. In fact, doing this may even increase the fumes that your cat may smell around the room, leading to worsened effects.

If you really need to diffuse Patchouli oil for your own personal needs, make sure that your cat isn’t with you and will have no way to smell the oil.

It will also help if you will diffuse the scent only in one room and keep your cat separated in another. Moreover, before bringing your cat back with you, wait for at least 1 hour or until the oil’s scent is fully gone.

Read also: Is Incense Bad for Cats?

How Does Patchouli Affect The Cats?

In a simple sense, cats coming in contact with Patchouli oil will always mean bad news. Although it’s not always that they will end up with internal problems, there are still no exemptions to this. The only thing that will vary is the intensity of the negative effects that your cat may experience.

Basically, the longer and closer the exposure is, the higher the risk of poisoning and other health issues.

For instance, if your cat inhales a small amount of Patchouli for a short time and they immediately get fresh air, then it’s unlikely to cause poisoning. On the other hand, if they inhaled either small amounts of it consistently or large amounts in a short time, expect that they will be dealing with a number of issues.

Speaking of issues, here are some of the most common health issues that Patchouli oil can cause in felines:

Liver Complications

If you don’t know yet, a cat’s liver is one of its most sensitive organs. Unlike other animals, they are very prone to liver issues because they can’t absorb and release toxins as easily.

That said, since Patchouli oil mainly contains plant toxins, it can easily cause problems, such as liver failure, liver damage, fatty liver syndrome, and a lot more others. Even small amounts of Patchouli oil can result in this when inhaled, but most especially when ingested.

All in all, this is one of the primary things you should look out for since cats may have a hard time recovering from liver-related concerns.

Digestive Issues

Mild cases of Patchouli oil poisoning usually reflect on a cat’s digestive system. These include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and other similar cases.

Despite these rather “light” effects, it’s still best if you get them checked up by a professional as soon as possible. This is because there is a chance that these are only initial symptoms of something more serious.

Respiratory Problems

Sneezing, gagging, congestion, cough, and cat flu are just some of the respiratory problems that Patchouli oil can cause. More often than not, these are tied to bigger, organ-related problems because this means that the toxins brought by the oil are still not yet released by the feline’s body.


Cats with underlying health conditions may immediately have a seizure once they accidentally smell or lick Patchouli oil. This can range from light to severe cases, so make sure to observe them if they’re making even the slightest convulsions since it’s one of the main indications of seizure. Still, take them to the vet with or without the presence of a seizure.


Sad to say that in the worst-case scenario, your cat may die on the spot. This usually happens to kittens that somehow inhaled or ingested a dangerous amount of Patchouli oil and were not given immediate medical response by professionals. Elder cats and those that have underlying health conditions are also prone to this unfortunate scenario.

What Should I Do If My Cat Licked Patchouli Oil?

Once you find out that your cat licked Patchouli oil, no matter how much it is, go and make a trip to your vet.

For a more immediate response, call your vet and ask for first aid before bringing your cat to them. Depending on your vet’s instructions, some first aid solutions may at least slow down the oil’s effects on your cat’s body.

Remember that Patchouli oil is considered the most toxic for cats, and thus, its effects will be severe. Because of this, don’t simply rely on home remedies, especially if you’re not a professional. Doing so will just delay proper and guaranteed treatment. You will also just be putting your cat’s life at risk.

Another thing that you shouldn’t do is force your cat to vomit. This can just make matters worse since this can damage their other organs.

Read also: Are Humidifiers Safe For Cats?

Wrapping Up

So, is Patchouli oil safe for cats?

Patchouli oil isn’t safe for cats. In fact, it’s one of the most toxic essential oils that you can expose your cat to. It’s because of the high amount of phenols, acids, and alkaloids present in it. This applies in all aspects, including but not limited to smelling, tasting, ingesting, and simply coming in contact with the oil.

To avoid inflicting serious health problems on your feline, make sure to keep Patchouli oil away from them at all times. Better yet, don’t store and use patchouli oil within the area that they live in.

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