Pennyroyal OIl Poisoning In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Pennyroyal oil comes from the plants that are part of the mint family, called Labiatae. It’s often utilized in flea sprays, powders, and fragrances. It might be toxic to cats, specifically when ingested. The active poison present in the pennyroyal oil is actually a chemical called pulegone. This is toxic to the liver and may cause austere liver damage. In this article, we will discuss some more interesting facts about pennyroyal oil poisoning in cats including its causes, symptoms, prognosis, and treatments. Read on to learn about these and more!

What is Pennyroyal Oil Poisoning in Cats?

Pulegone is actually the poisonous substance that is found in the pennyroyal oil. If this is ingested, it may lead to so many different consequences, which include failure of the liver and even death. Even though toxicity commonly takes place when the pennyroyal oil is utilized in treating fleas, when it is ingested, it’ll be just as dangerous.

Moreover, pennyroyal oil is frequently marketed being a natural product that’ designed for the treatment of fleas on both dogs and cats. Nonetheless, it is so important to remember that the term natural is not the same as the term safe. The pennyroyal oil is toxic to dogs, cats, as well as even humans when ingested, hence it must be used properly or better –avoid it.


Some animal or pet owners think that the pennyroyal oil is a natural substitute to punitive tick and flea medicines that are sold at pet stores. Hence, pet owners frequently buy pennyroyal oil with the idea that they are going to protect the health of a cat. Nevertheless, pennyroyal oil poisoning in cats is also a thing. In the actual fact, it can be so toxic to felines when ingested or consumed. As a matter of fact, veterinarians believe that cats are at a much higher risk of the pennyroyal oil poisoning, rather than in dogs.

Even though the owners might think that utilizing pennyroyal oil directly on the skin of a cat isn’t dangerous at all, there is actually no way that you can prevent the cat to lick itself and swallowing the oil. Even just a small amount of pulegone that is the poisonous substance in the oil, may impact the cat’s health seriously.

In addition, ingesting the pennyroyal oil is actually the most usual cause of the pennyroyal oil poisoning in cats, nonetheless, it may also happen if the cat ingests the pennyroyal plant that is typically available in Europe.


When left without any treatment, the pennyroyal oil poisoning in cats may cause permanent kidney or liver damage, and in some instances, death. The cat owners need to seek an immediate medical assistance for the cat if they start to notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coughing up blood
  • Bloody nose
  • Seizures
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting


If the cat starts to experience any of the aforementioned symptoms of the condition, take it immediately to the vet. You may need to provide the veterinarian with the info on the diet of the cat, as well as any products that you are using on it. Bring these products with you to the office of the vet if you can. This is for the veterinarian to look closely at the ingredients in the product. The vet might also ask if the cat is an outside or inside cat, as well as what plants or products it might have ingested without the knowledge. There is no examination in diagnosing the pennyroyal oil poisoning in cats, hence providing this info to the vet is important, so it may start to narrow down what really is causing the symptoms of the cat.

After the prognosis, blood tests might also be run for the determination of the extent of the damage to the cat’s internal organs. These tests might assist the vet in deciding what treatment is essential for the cat.

Treatment for Pennyroyal Oil Poisoning in Cats

Once a prognosis has already been made, activated charcoal might be given to the cat, in order to stop the poison in spreading even further all over the body. Moreover, charcoal is also a dominant absorbent, thus when it goes inside the body, it starts to absorb the toxins right before they even move in the bloodstream.

Moreover, the vet might also administer a stomach wash, which may induce the vomiting, as well as ensure that all the poison has been removed from the cat’s body. The cat might be hooked u[ as we’ll to an IV, to be able to receive fluids, which prevent dehydration coming from the prompted vomiting.

In the event that the pennyroyal oil was applied to the skin of the cat, the vet might also completely bathe the cat in getting rid of the excess oil, which might be lingering onto the skin. This might help in preventing the cat from ingesting more toxins when it grooms itself later.

In addition, cats, which have suffered from liver damage due to pennyroyal oil poisoning might be given NAC or N-acetylcysteine that is often utilized in treating liver failure due to acetaminophen. Due to the effects of acetaminophen and pennyroyal on the liver being similar, N-acetylcysteine is thought to treat both, no0nethelss, more research is still needed.


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