Is Lemongrass Oil Safe for Cats- What You Need to Know


by Cindy Smith


Is Lemongrass Oil Safe for Cats? People have used essential oils for a long time and many different things. From aromatherapy to medicinal properties, essential oils provide everything.

Lemongrass essential oil has a calming smell and is a repellent for ticks and fleas. Naturally, you’d want to apply some to your feline friend.

Before doing so, you have to make sure it’s safe!

Concentrated lemongrass oil is unsafe for your cat as it is too strong.

The smell might overwhelm their sensitive noses and can be fatal if accidentally consumed. There is a way to use lemongrass essential oil around your cat safely; read on to find out.

Table of Contents

What Is Lemongrass Essential Oil?

The lemongrass plant grows in tropical countries such as Cambodia, China, Guatemala, India, and Indonesia. And it goes upright in very dense bunches and loves warm, moist climates with well-drained soil.

This plant is commonly used in cooking and herbal medicine. Lemongrass is also made into tea, just like the famous green tea for cats

Lemongrass oil is extracted from the stalks and leaves of the plant and has a powerful citrus smell. Various soaps and lotions contain this scent.  

There are many benefits of lemongrass, such as:

  • Helping depression, anxiety, and sleep issues through aromatherapy
  • Alleviating pain
  •  Effective in keeping pests away
  •  It helps with digestive issues

However, aside from these benefits, lemongrass helps repel fleas and ticks and promotes healthy skin for pets.

Ass helps repel fleas and ticks and promotes healthy skin for pets.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

(Lemongrass Essential Oil)

Is Lemongrass Essential Oil Toxic to Cats?

In a nutshell, the concentrated version of lemongrass essential oil is extremely toxic to cats. While cats usually eat, the plant and the oil are used on dogs. However, the concentrated version is too strong for cats.

Cat Relaxing on a Towel

(Cat Relaxing on a Towel)

Lemongrass essential oil contains phenols and phenolic compounds, which may be beneficial to humans but toxic to cats.

This is because they lack essential enzymes in their liver to break down lemongrass oil and eliminate the toxins. So, the higher the oil concentration, the greater the risk to the cat.

How Should Cat Parents Use Lemongrass Essential Oils?

There are many benefits of using lemongrass essential oil, which your cat can also experience. And here are some dos and don’ts to using lemongrass essential oil for your cat.

Dilute the Oil

Lemongrass essential oil that is 100% natural is great news for us but not the best for your cat! The oil must be diluted before you use it on your cat.

A good way to do this is to use a carrier oil, such as pure vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. This carrier oil will allow you to ‘carry’ the lemongrass oil to your cat’s skin without harm.

Dilute the essential oil at a 40:1 ratio, which means 40 drops of carrier oil to one drop of lemongrass oil. Apply one drop of the diluted lemongrass oil to your cat, from the ear to the tail.  

Oil Diffuser

(Oil Diffuser)

Diffuse the Oil

Using a diffuser is the most common technique to practice aromatherapy and receive the benefits of improving their health and relieving anxiety. If your cat is oversensitive to stimulus, lemongrass helps to relax them. 

Simply add 3 to 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil to your diffuser and place it in the middle of the room. It will release a fine mist of air containing the lemongrass scent.

Observe Your Furbaby

Begin using lemongrass oil on or around your cat slowly and with caution. In addition, you have to observe your cat to see whether they like the smell of lemongrass.

And check if your cat is purring and investigating the diffuser, as this will indicate they are quite happy with the scent.

You must remember these DONTs when using lemongrass for your cats::

  • Don’t apply or feed pure, concentrated lemongrass oil to your cat. This will result in a serious reaction and may cause lemongrass poisoning. Moreover, ensure to leave the essential oil out of their reach. Cats are too curious for their good!
  • Don’t use lemongrass essential oil on cats with respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies. Also, it would be best if you did not use lemongrass on kittens, older cats, and cats with liver issues. 
  • Make sure to clean up a spill as quickly as possible. It can be fatal to your cat if they lick it up.
  • You should leave your cat by the diffuser for a short time. Diffusers can become dangerous as it uses water vapor to diffuse the oil into the air, which can be dangerous. 

Use diluted lemongrass oil in moderation on your cat’s skin, as it may cause itchiness.

Cat At the Vet’s Office

(Cat At the Vet’s Office)

Symptoms Of Essential Oil Poisoning in Cats and What Is the Treatment?

If you suspect that your cat has got into your lemongrass oil or knocked the diffuser and investigated the contents, immediate attention is important to survival and recovery. Look out for these symptoms of essential oil poisoning:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired balance
  • Lethargic
  • Difficulty breathing or breathing with their mouth open
  • Fainting or seizures  

In some cases, your cat might not display these symptoms. Still, you must sniff your cat’s fur or breath for the distinctive smell of lemongrass.

The veterinarian will give your cat various treatments to flush the lemongrass oil out of their system. Furthermore, They will force your cat to vomit, take out the oil, and use activated charcoal to absorb the toxins.

You should not induce vomiting or give your cat activated charcoal. However, you can use safe ingredients, such as milk thistle, for detoxing. 


In conclusion, to answer the question on every cat parent’s mind, ‘is lemongrass essential oil safe for cats’ the answer is yes and no! Concentrated lemongrass oil is toxic for your cats and should be avoided.

However, you can safely use lemongrass on your fur baby by using a diffuser or diluting the oil. Finally, be sure to look out for the symptoms of essential oil poisoning in your cat and get immediate attention if they experience any symptoms.