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VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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Can you suggest a safe insect repellent to use on

Customer Question

Can you suggest a safe insect repellent for me to use on myself or my clothing which will not not hurt my cats? My cats (indoor cats) are always sitting on my lap or licking me, and I am looking for something that will not cause harm if it transfers from
my clothing to their fur or if they lick where I have applied it. I'm looking at non-chemical repellents, but they contain essential oils which I understand are toxic to cats. Is anything safe? '
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi there! My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your question.
You are correct that cats are REALLY sensitive to essential oils. They are also sensitive to insecticides, so things like DEET are better avoided.
In most cases, a cat licking a small amount of something off of your skin is not going to be enough of an exposure to cause more severe signs, but if you want to be on the safe side, things with citronella oil are of low toxicity.
They can irritate the stomach a little bit, causing vomiting and diarrhea. If applied directly to the skin, we can sometimes see irritation to the skin.
A lot of citronella products will contain lemon oil or orange oil. Both of these have been linked tot he possibility of causing more severe signs in cats (nothing has been proved, it's just a possibility). Try and avoid citronella oils that have additional things like citrus oils in them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome! :)