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“It appears that these products are potentially toxic to pets (cats in particular) and we’d advise pet owners to be cautious in using them around the house,” said Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the AVMA.

He added that if you choose to use the oils anyway, you should keep them away from your pets and monitor them for signs of poisoning like “drooling, pawing at the face, difficulty breathing, lethargy, vomiting, or muscle tremors.”

The ASPCA also warns against the dangers of using essential oils around animals, noting that cats are especially sensitive to them and can suffer gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression, and even liver damage. If animals accidentally inhale the oils, they can even develop “aspiration pneumonia.”

The ASPCA also advises that different companies and oil blends can contain different concentrations, which may lower or increase the toxicity.

“Based on this, we would not recommend using essential oils in areas where your pets have access, unless pets are supervised or the use of the oil is approved by your veterinarian,” they stated.

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