Holistic Pet Blog - Debbie Reynolds, DVM
Let's face it - cats are in charge and they don't like medicine. Many of my clients cringe when I ask them if they can give their cat medication. Many have battle scars from trying to do just that.
Here's some good news - essential oils made especially for cats, can treat many conditions and completely solves that problem. You simply pet a few drops on your cat and voila! Done.
The essential oil with the most broad spectrum use is called Kitty Boost (purchase here). It can help in the same way a vitamin can, which is overall health and immune boosting. It can also be used to treat specific conditions.
One of the most common uses is for arthritis in older cats. It is applied to the hip area and you will be able to notice a difference immediately. I began seeing a new patient when she was already 19 years old, and I suggested we start this essential oil for many reasons, including arthritis in her hips and wrists. The owner couldn't wait to call me and tell me that she had jumped up in her chair - something she hadn't done in years!
Another common use - and something we often need in cats - is for emotions. Whether there is a change in their environment, or if it is a multi-cat household, or if company is coming over, this is a great addition to help with the transition. Cats don't like change. Period. When change occurs they can get emotional and that is usually not a good thing. Kitty Boost can help with this and we almost always use it when we know a new cat or kitten is going to be introduced into the household - on all the pets in the home.
We use this as a go-to supplement for kittens with viral infections (runny nose, sneezing, eye discharge) because it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune boosting. And there are no harsh side effects from taking a lot of medications.
The ingredients are listed below and the primary benefits of each essential oil in this blend are listed beside them. There are so many good things that come from this blend, you'll just have to take a minute to soak it all in!
Let's walk through the individual ingredients to give you an idea of how many benefits a KittyBoost contains...
Frankincense which is heavily researched for anti-cancer activity but is also indicated for all forms of cancer, tumors, cysts, behavioral conditions, depression, brain disorders, seizures, immune system stimulation and regulation, autoimmune disorders, DNA repair, and more. Frankincense is also considered a "life force" oil and has been used extensively in critical cases in our veterinary hospital. Frankincense also seems to be what we refer to as a "magnifying" oil - which means that is appears to magnify and enhance the effects of other essential oils when they are used concurrently.
Copaiba is incredibly anti-inflammatory - and inflammation is present in all situations of illness. By eliminating chronic inflammation, healing of the body can take place, as well as the stress of that inflammation can be removed. Stress depresses the immune system, as well as results in delayed healing - not only from illness, but form surgical procedures and injury. Copaiba is commonly used for all sorts of urinary conditions, and is especially helpful for the urinary issues that are unfortunately common to see in cats. FLUTD, Cystitis, and the severe inflammation associated with urinary blockage and drainage are greatly benefited by the proper use of Copaiba with cats. Copaiba is often used as a replacement of NSAID's (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, for arthritis, skin conditions, and all sorts of pain in our veterinary practice. Copaiba also tends to magnify the effects of other oils and natural remedies as a regular course of action, and I believe the main pathway for this action is its elimination of associated inflammation, so that the remedy being used can do its proper job.
Helichrysum is truly a miraculous oil, and is worthy of use in almost every condition. Helichrysum is indicated in cases of blood clots (Saddle Thrombus) as an anticoagulant, but is also used in cases of hemorrhage, bleeding, and bruising. This is the interesting thing with many natural remedies, is that they tend to bring the body to a point of homeostasis. Whatever is needed within the body, appears to be honored. Helichrysum is especially indicated for nerve regeneration and neurologic conditions, hearing impairment, circulatory and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, blood clots, liver disease, hypertension, chelation of chemicals, toxin exposure, poisoning, vaccination detoxification, healing of lacerations and wounds, for control of pain, and as a topical anesthetic. There is not much that Helichrysum does not contribute to, and it falls into a category of "must have" oils in my opinion.
Oregano has properties which include anti-aging, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulation. Even alone, this oil is amazing. Then we add in the Thyme properties of anti-aging, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-oxidant, and immune support for even more benefits. These are "hot oils", high in phenols, and must be used properly in cats. Although these oils may carry more concern for some to see in a product for cats, rest assured, that I have used these formulas with thousands of cats, and even have documented blood work safety data for over 3 years on a cat who is getting an application of these oils TWICE A DAY! These oils are an amazing part of the KittyBoost when used in proper dilution.
Basil is widely used for anti-histamine type properties in our veterinary practice. Although there have been some cautionary statements in regards to Basil with individuals who seizure or have epilepsy, we have not found this to be an issue when used properly. The KittyBoost has been a hallmark treatment for many of our patients, especially those with seizures, and although we monitor all animals closely for any sort of adverse response to oils (no matter what the oil is) - in practice we have seen many more benefits than reasons to avoid the use of Basil. Basil also carries with it benefits of being anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, promoting circulation and decongestion of blood flow, antiviral, and anti-infectious. It has also been indicated to be helpful with liver and pancreatic concerns, encephalitis, arthritis, and so much more.
Cypress is mainly used to increase circulation, and aids in every condition with this quality. After all, almost every function in the body relies on proper circulation to work properly. Resorption of bruises, improvement of circulation, and circulatory disorders are primary attributes of this oil.
Marjoram is well known as one of the "muscle" essential oils, but it is also indicated for body and joint discomfort, arthritis, respiratory conditions (expectorant and mucolytic), ringworm, muscle spasms, muscle conditions, increasing motility of the gastrointestinal tract (promotes intestinal peristalsis), fluid retention, lowering blood pressure, vasodilation, circulatory disorders, and nerve pain. Marjoram carries effects for menstrual problems and PMS in humans, which appears to carry over into hormonal issues in animals as well.
Lavender is also well known for use with muscular issues, however, Lavender is an oil that is a veritable "Jack of all trades." Unfortunately, Lavender is also one of the most adulterated and synthetically altered essential oils on the market today. Very few available Lavender oils are pure enough to be called veterinary grade, or qualify for use in animals. We source our Lavender from a grower/distiller that I personally know, and the wonderful qualities of this particular source of oil, is exceptionally suited for use in animals. We are very fortunate to have continued and excellent access to this limited commodity of high quality oil. Lavender is especially indicated for skin conditions, ringworm and other fungal infections, for muscular concerns, for calming effects, for burns and frostbite, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, insomnia, and more.
Peppermint is not typically an oil that we think of first with cats, however it is actually related to Catnip (both in the mint family) - and we hear reports repeatedly of cats licking it off of their owners (after it is absorbed fully into their skin) or rubbing up against an application site! When used properly in cats, Peppermint is highly beneficial and not overwhelming to their system. Peppermint is often used as a "driving oil", which means that it appears to enhance the penetration of other oils. Peppermint's medical properties include anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic for worms, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, gall bladder and digestive stimulation, pain relief, and appetite suppression (although we also find that it's anti-nausea effects can help cats who are also not eating). It is indicated for conditions such as arthritis, obesity, Herpes infections, papilloma (warts), candida, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and colic.
Catnip oil is a relative newcomer to the scene of essential oils for animals. I have been "dabbling" with it for several years, as much of the research associated with it, considers it to be a more effective insect repellent than DEET. And, of course we know that cats and catnip have a long "romance" if you will. Catnip oil as an undiluted or neat oil - is actually quite repulsive. It is intensely strong, and must be diluted for proper use (or if you want other humans to want to be near you!) Since cats need routine help with flea prevention, treatment and prevention of ear mites, and even repelling of ticks - Catnip oil has become a fun introduction to our veterinary line up. Not only do cats love it for the "happy feelings" that it brings, but the anti-bug properties are showing amazing promise.
Fennel carries with it benefits for diabetes, blood sugar balancing, urinary tract infections, stimulation of milk production, as well for intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal concerns.
Myrrh, is often referred to as a "Mother Oil" it is that important. Its medical properties make it well indicated for use in diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, fungal infections, tooth and gum infections, skin conditions, and as an analgesic. Myrrh is also supportive for many endocrine and hormonal conditions including support of the Thyroid, growth hormone production, pituitary gland function, and hypothalamus function. Since many cats are prone to Hyperthyroidism, Myrrh is an important inclusion in the KittyBoost. We also have used Myrrh for pain management in many animals. When Myrrh is combined with Copaiba and Helichrysum in an oral form (remember, cats are going to be grooming too!) - we have very effective results. These small amounts and diluted ratios within the KittyBoost, are perfect for cats!
Citronella is also included in the KittyBoost for its safe and documented use for insect repellent properties in humans and animals. It is widely used for ear mites, mange, fleas, and ticks.
And finally, Melissa essential oil is one of my favorites for cats, and falls into a "must-have" category of oils for me. Although being quite an expensive oil, not many people were able to afford routine access to it, even when it would make critical differences in their animals' health. Melissa is a powerful oil with a very high vibrational energy. Melissa is incredibly anti-viral, and is especially indicated with Herpes Viruses. Melissa also has very high anti-histamine type actions. Melissa is used for many conditions including depression, anxiety, viral infections, pruitis (itching), hives, seizures, as a replacement for anti-histamines, anaphylaxis, nausea, indigestion, liver and gall bladder concerns, and even cardiac issues.
Click here to purchase your own bottle of Kitty Boost!