I call it the Big Smelly Hand Syndrome. You could also call it, "Why in the heck is my human acting strangely?...I better hide"
Either way you cut it, we often tip off cats that we are going to do something they may not agree with. Ever find your cat missing as soon as you even THINK about the fact that it might be time for a nail trim? Or if your cat has ever had to take medications, how long did it take them to figure out which cabinet you kept the bottle in - and to make sure to disappear as soon as you touched the handle? Cats are good. Real good. They're professionals!
We do hear it quite often. My cat "hates" oils. Or ran from me after a KittyBoost application. While I normally do find that cats will enjoy a KittyBoost application - read about KittyBoost HERE
- there are still some who decide they will not. There are, however, ways to make the application process go a bit easier - and result in a higher likelihood that your kitty will come to appreciate the oily event.
The "Big Smelly Hand Syndrome" is usually what I refer to when cats react poorly to "us humans" attempting to apply essential oils with the Petting Technique
. This method is often recommended as it is easy to apply a very light amount of essential oils to your cat, avoid having to count drops or dodge cat movements, and also is perceived as what most cats would enjoy most. Being pet. In reality - for a cat at least - coming at them with a hand coated in oils, seems less attractive to them. Like a raptor swooping in - we "sneak" up and apply. Even my cats are often disgusted with me when I
try to pick the time to pet them (without any oils in the equation at all!). Petting is usually on their time frame - and they definitely have a schedule of when it is appropriate for a cuddle session or not. I am usually clueless as to when this is, and just for fun, they seem to like to change the rules daily! But regardless, as a human being owned by cats - I have signed a contract to love these fickle felines - and embrace their individual personalities!
Much of what I do with animalEO takes into regard what the animal will not only tolerate - but how they best enjoy the process. Sure, there are a ton of things we can do to a cat - but if we can make it enjoyable as well - it is a win, win situation. This means there will usually be different recommendations for a dog, versus a cat, versus a horse, etc... Ease of application will result in better usage and results of essential oil products. Even if we cannot make a process enjoyable for a cat - at least I find we can make it an event that does not traumatize them or result in them running every time they smell an oil!
So here are some of the tips and tricks you can use with cats specifically - but will work with any animal who is not so impressed by our attempts to apply oils. First - I never recommend shoving a bottle of oils into your animal's face, or offering a bottle for your animal to smell directly. The oils are often far too intense right out of a bottle, and with the incredibly strong sense of smell that animals have - we are likely to create a negative experience directly linked to the bottle or the smell. If you would like to see how your animal responds to a blend or if you practice "self-selection" for some circumstances - you will be far better off to place the essential oil(s) onto a paper or smelling strip, lining them up, allowing your animal to come to it.
Next - don't act sneaky or weird. I think we would crack up if we ever saw a video of ourselves with a new bottle of something in our hands, approaching our animals. I'm sure as creatures who read body language "for a living" - animals just think we are the strangest thing in the world when we are thinking about how to approach our cat with a new item!
Now - I have yet to meet a cat who runs from you when you apply lotion to yourself. True they may keep their distance, but even with stinky, fragranced lotions, cats will generally lurk near the bathroom or my cat will even lick my legs (one of the reasons I use Coconut Oil with oils in it for lotion!). But, we are not trying to apply our lotion, hairspray, or perfumes to the cat directly. We are applying them to ourselves. So when we think about it - getting a cat used to a new odor by wearing it on our person - is an excellent plan! I often will recommend that if your cat has either already learned to "hate" oils, or if your cat is certainly on the "opinionated spectrum" - then starting out by wearing the oils yourself, is a great plan. I personally coat them onto my chest area - as this is where my kitties like to sleep at night. I love the fragrance, and others always comment on how good I smell! I get some health benefits too - and my cats start to associate the smell of the KittyBoost with our nightly feline demands - that they view as a very positive event. I will usually do this for about a week, depending on the cat.
For cats who may not sleep on you - you can create a Water Mist
with an essential oil - and mist it onto or next to their favorite bedding, cat tree, or areas they hang out. For those less sensitive, I will "Pet" the bedding or items with my hands coated in oils. I am careful not to use it too strong at first, but just as if I had washed their bedding with a new detergent - they are certain to get over the new scent after a little while - and return to the scene of the crime. Now - I'll just mention here that we do not endorse fragranced items like fabric softener, scented laundry soaps, and air fresheners as they do affect the health of ourselves and our animals - however, it is often an association that most people can understand. We often don't see animals avoid laying on your bed, even if it reeks of fabric softener (and trust me, I have smelled many animals who smell "Downy Fresh" coming to the vet clinic) - but we also do not come after them with the dryer sheet or blanket!
There are some situations where we may not be able to wait a week to get a "real application" of essential oils onto a cat. When there is a health concern, and we are wanting to support it with oils - getting the oils on NOW is part of the schedule. Or for feral cats who we are not cuddling with at night, or cannot touch - we may have to perform the "drops from heaven" scenario. I actually find this works best with almost all cats. I basically ignore them, and just drip the oils on their back! Timing this event with happy and distracting things like eating - is always a plus. So, while the cat is eating (and generally I make sure they are used to me being near by as well) - I will just drip the oils from the bottle onto their spine area. They may look up at me, and question "what was that?" - but I just ignore them and act like I have no idea what they are thinking! I have called these "sneaky drops" on our website - but make sure you do not act overtly sneaky! That's just creepy!
If I can pet the cat on the back afterward, I do. And most cats really do come to enjoy an application. In our Facebook Group
- we have a few videos of some of our rescue cats getting their KittyBoost. Because we have never acted like it was anything less than expected of them, and part of their normal care ritual - you can see that these cats accept and enjoy a KittyBoost application, much like they accept a nail trimming. It's just part of being a cat in our household! Like it or not - this is how we ROLL!
If your cat is brand new to KittyBoost (or the sister oils AdrenoBalance, CardioBoost, LiverBoost, NeuroBoost, SugarBalance, ThyroBalance, or UroBoost) - then I truly do suggest just trying to drip the oils onto your cats back as the first approach to application. We don't ask them to sniff the bottle, our hands with oils on them, or anything else out of the ordinary. Anything that is out of the ordinary - is more likely to make your cat think you are up to no good.
Remember that you can find some great help and assistance with recommendations in our animalEO Facebook group by CLICKING HERE and requesting to join! We have an admin team called the "Pack" - who have additional training with me in the "art of animalEO". And while not vets, and they still will have varying opinions - I trust them to give reliable and safe information - or to find out the true answer if they don't know. I can't thank them enough for their continued help and support with animalEO and the animalEO Facebook group! Simply wonderful helpers!
ORDER animalEO Essential Oils for Animals by CLICKING HERE
Please visit www.animalEO.info - and read more about our products, order a few to try out, and come back often for new information, products, and educational experiences! Make sure you are on our mailing list to be updated on all the new happenings.
And remember, I only recommend the use of what I term, "veterinary grade essential oils" for use with animals (or humans for that matter). The use of essential oils that have not been evaluated and proven safe for use in animals, is not recommended, and may prove dangerous for your animals. Through research, case studies, and retrospective studies - I am documenting the difference in qualities of essential oils in my veterinary hospital - and we are continually striving to provide more information to everyone who desires to use essential oils for their animals.
Until Next Time!
Melissa Shelton DVM
Disclaimer: This information was provided for educational purposes only, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, or treat any illness. If you or your animal have a health concern, you are encouraged to seek the counsel of a health care professional who is knowledgeable in your area of interest.