Question: Last summer I purchased a cedar oil flea treatment and now I’ve stumbled upon an article that says cedar oil is toxic to cats. I realize Wondercide is a different company than mentioned below, but you’re obviously a trusted company in the “natural” pet health community, so can you please explain if there is any truth to this statement? I’m a little concerned.
This is the information I found online:
“Cedar oil, marketed as a flea treatment, is also highly toxic to cats. It has been found to be toxic orally, when absorbed through the skin, and is an irritant if the fumes are inhaled. It is irresponsibly marketed by Cedarcide as safe for pets, but COSHH and toxicology data indicates it is toxic. Claims supporting Cedarcide are highly biased and were written for dog treatments (dogs have very different and more efficient liver function than cats). They are advertising claims, not scientific claims, and perpetuate the misconception that natural means “safe”.
- From Kristen K., in Indianapolis, Indiana
Answer: Thank you for your trust in Wondercide!
We researched the comment you mentioned and found the article. It seems as though the author is talking mostly about using tea tree oil on cats, but does add a comment about cedar oil, COSHH (the UK’s Control of Substances & Hazardous Health, similar to the EPA in the USA), and Cedarcide (A company that makes cedar-oil-based products. Cedarcide has no relation to Wondercide).
You are correct, we are not Cedarcide, so we can’t answer for them.
We can only speak about Wondercide products. All of our cedar-oil-formulated products went through rigorous testing before we released them to the public. Our products are EPA exempt under FIFRA (25)b and are made of FDA-approved human food grade ingredients that are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Wondercide products have been scientifically tested for effectiveness and are safely used by thousands of families and pets.
Let’s get to the “Is cedar oil toxic to cats” question.
Cats are more sensitive by nature and should be treated with more caution than dogs or people. Though essential oils are beneficial for humans, dogs, and horses, some essential oils can be overpowering to cats. Cats also have a unique physiology that make it difficult for their livers to metabolize certain compounds found in essential oils—specifically phenols, or phenolic compounds. Phenols are found in some types of cedar oil, which causes confusion for cat owners.
Wondercide products do use cedar oil, but do not contain phenols. We source our cedar oil from a species of cedar tree that does not contain phenols, and test each batch of cedar oil to ensure it doesn’t contain phenols.
According to GreenPaws.org, the following essential oils are very toxic to cats: Citrus, Bay, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clove (Eugenol), Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Pennyroyal, Rue, & Tea Tree. Essential oils that are safer for cats include: Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
There are many types of cedar. Several cedar species are toxic not only to cats, but dogs and humans as well. There are lots of warnings and negative claims about using cedar oil on cats, but most of the information doesn’t specify the type of cedar the oil comes from.
The Western Red Cedar is on example of a toxic cedar species. While this tree (native to the northwestern US) is beautiful, its dust and oil is toxic to animals and humans alike. However, children’s play equipment is made from Western Red Cedar because it repels insects and doesn’t decay.
Wondercide products use Texas Red Cedar from the Eastern Red Cedar family, which is non-toxic to humans and animals, generally including cats. Again, Wondercide cedar oil contains ZERO phenols. We also go one step further to ensure our cedar oil is safe for you and your family. Wondercide cedarwood oil is modified through a steam distillation extraction and fractionation process. Every batch of oil that we process comes with a certificate of origin and testing analysis to ensure our cedar oil contains no phenols.
Wondercide provides safe and natural flea control to thousands of pets including cats, dogs, and horses. Many people and holistic vets consider our products to be much safer than chemical spot-on flea treatments and toxic pesticides.
We highly recommend treating the source of your pest problem by treating your indoor and outdoor property. If you still see fleas, ticks, or other pests, then lightly mist your pets with Evolv, Wondercide’s natural flea and tick spray.