So, is lavender safe for cats? Unfortunately for cats, lavender is toxic. Bummer, right? This gorgeous plant with bright purple blossoms covers the south of France and smells like actual floral heaven, but is a big no-no for felines, especially in essential oil form.
“Diffused oils are very dangerous, as the oils are inhaled,” Bailey said. “Not only are these oil droplets dangerous themselves, but the inhalation of these oils can cause a foreign body pneumonia in cats.” Symptoms of respiratory irritation include a watery nose and eyes, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
However, some scents are safer than others to diffuse. For example, lavender essential oil, orange essential oil, and lemon essential oil are considered relatively safe to diffuse around pets, but you should monitor your pet when diffusing oils in your home. Keep your diffuser up high where your dog can't get to it.
“There is no established toxic dose for lavender oil,” says Richardson. “It depends on each individual cat's sensitivity to it and route of exposure.” Your cat may experience gastrointestinal symptoms rapidly, within the first three hours of exposure or ingestion.
Lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus Likewise, geranium and eucalyptus plants give off an odor that cats dislike. Keep in mind that lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus are all somewhat toxic to cats; if ingested, they can cause excess salivation, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, depression, or dermatitis.
As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can't stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.
“Lavender does contain the toxic substance linalool but in such low concentrations that it is considered a [dog-]safe plant to have in your yard,” Dr. Bonk told The Dodo. In fact, in small amounts, lavender can even relieve some symptoms of anxiety if that's something your pup struggles with.