Toxic plants

Is Eucalyptus Toxic To Cats?

by Clair Chesterman
Is Eucalyptus Toxic To Cats? 

The eucalyptus plant produces eucalyptol, commonly known as cineole, which is usually used as an essential oil. This oil, as well as the odor of eucalyptus, might cause harm to cats. Cats and dogs can be poisoned by both the leaves and the oil.

This oil, eucalyptol, is a gastrointestinal irritant when consumed in large doses, producing discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats. It is also neurotoxic, which means it can also cause neurological symptoms like depression, confusion, and seizures. 

What Is Eucalyptus?

Cat hisses at Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a tree that can be found in Australia, Tasmania, and other adjacent islands. Eucalypti are often known as gum trees or stringybark trees in Australia. Many species are commonly cultivated as shade trees or in forestry plantations throughout the temperate world.

While undiluted eucalyptol is toxic, it is a very beneficial liquid that has been used for centuries to treat skin issues, bad breath, coughs, and congestion. Products such as insect repellent and cough medicines both include eucalyptol.

Clinical Signs of Eucalyptus Poisoning in Cats

Eucalyptus and cats

Ingesting eucalyptol can cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage to cats, with symptoms that can take several hours to appear. It can also cause skin irritation when expose The following are signs that your cat has consumed too much eucalyptus oil:

  • Appetite loss
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Itching
  • Lethargy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

First Aid and Treatment of Eucalyptus Poisoning in Cats

Eucalyptus tree and a cat nearby

Inducing vomiting in the event of an overdose is not suggested due to the caustic nature of Eucalyptus oil, since this might cause severe damage. If any oil remains on the skin or in the eyes of the cat, the region should be carefully washed to avoid further negative reactions. To remove any leftover poison, the veterinarian may utilize stomach lavage or activated charcoal.

IV fluids for dehydration and sugar-and-electrolyte combinations to correct any imbalances are likely to be used as general supportive therapy. Laxatives and stimulants may be prescribed, as well as antihistamines and pain relievers to alleviate any itching, swelling, or pain.

Recovery from Eucalyptus Poisoning in Cats

It will help your cat recover faster if the atmosphere in which he or she will be recovering is peaceful and serene. Ample fresh water should be supplied, and additional bathroom breaks should be expected. Cats recovering from anesthesia for a stomach irrigation procedure may experience coordination issues and become confused and disoriented at first.

Prevention of Eucalyptus Poisoning in Cats

Essential oils and products containing eucalyptol should be kept away from your cat’s reach. If you live in an area where eucalyptus tree grows, restrict your cat’s outdoor activities. Try planting cat-safe plants that your cat can graze on at home.

If you love plants but have cats at home, check out these lists:

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