As cat people - we all know that cats are individuals. Just because I find that many cats learn to enjoy a KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE application - does not mean that your cat will! It is definitely their prerogative. There ARE ways to introduce essential oils in a more acceptable manner - that is likely to increase your success. HERE is a past newsletter that focuses on various oil aversions and animals not liking oils. But I'll discuss one main thing I see with topical oil applications for cats. I call it..."THE BIG SMELLY HAND SYNDROME". It is true we recommend Petting applications of oils for many animals - and it has become a popular recommendation on how to start out with KittyBoost applications for cats. However, if I have my druthers - I actually prefer to expose cats with the "drops from heaven" or "how did that rain get in the house?" method. Basically - I have found by having hundreds of cats through my own personal home - that if they are a bit more on the difficult or sensitive side (take for example my Bengal cat who is a bit fractious) - that the less I "try" to apply oils, the better things go.
So for me, the first cat oil application is likely to look like this (of course, when we are using a properly diluted animalEO oil blend that is intended for topical use in cats...) I usually feed the cat - make it a happy event. Canned, raw foods, or special treats are great! While kitty is happily munching, I drip a couple drops (1-3 for a cat new to essential oils) of KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE on their spine. I don't really care where, and I don't really try to rub it in. If this is one of my more feral cats - I start with a few days of prep work before trying to drip the oils onto them. This will mean that I want them used to me standing near while they eat, and I usually carry the bottle with me as well - so nothing seems odd at all during the routine. It is just a normal thing that I feed them, touch a bottle or reach into my pocket and unscrew something. As many of our outdoor feral cats have taught me - they are food motivated. And if they are hungry but the "human" camps out near the food respectfully - they eventually will stay close and eat. After a while, this means I am able to "sneak" a topical application to these cats.
Thankfully, most of the cats who "own" you - are not quite as wild. But if you understand how we might make a feral cat happy with a situation - you will have a much easier time with a "regular" cat! Drip some oils onto your cat during "happy time" or meal time - and then ignore it completely. Like you were never there, and that you have no idea why they looked up suddenly or twitched their back. It is like rain coming down from the sky... Just a normal event. No need to worry.
When we coat our hands with a new and smelly substance, and then hover over our cat, approaching like a Hawk ready to take prey...it can be a bit intimidating. Although Petting can be a great and mild way to apply oils to many forms of animals - cats are definitely unique in if they prefer this method or not. Purely, I have found that starting with the "sneaky drops" seems to be a much better approach for most cats.
This really can vary with what you are attempting to do for your animal. For general health and well being, I try to apply KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE to our cats at least monthly. However, as part of our flea and tick prevention or treatment or with illness situations, we may apply daily, and in some cases twice a day! Usually every 3-7 days, is adequate for most conditions that require more than just health maintenance.
In general, I recommend that you apply KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE once, then see how your animal responds. You will be able to judge if the results you see last 1 day, 3 days, or maybe a week. For most conditions, this will be how we determine how often we will apply the KittyBoost. For serious conditions...it is more and more likely that I will select the original KittyBoost formula, and you may likely apply KittyBoost every 1-3 days initially.
KittyBoost and KittyBoost LITE have even been used with day old kittens! We routinely use it to bolster health and support a strong immune system for our rescue cats, and to help ward off fleas, ticks, and ear mites. For very tiny kittens, placing 1-3 drops into your hands, rubbing them together, and then just "cuddling" the kitten is an effective application. The KittyBoosts are also is helpful when taming feral cats, introducing new cats to the family, and in basic calming actions. When introducing cats to each other, we find it very helpful if all cats involved (and dogs too) are treated to a KittyBoost. When everyone smells the same, and have the wonderful calming effects of essential oils present, everything seems to move along smoothly!
Applying the KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE is super easy! Basically, just drip approximately 6-8 drops up the back, directly from the bottle, and stroke it in. This technique is similar to what was previously referred to as a Kitty Raindrop Technique - however the KittyBoost and KittyBoost LITE solutions are so much more superior to the basic "old" recipes and recommendation. Gone are the days of "not having every oil" or omitting an expensive oil because it was not within the budget. Every essential oil that is desired, is within KittyBoost and KittyBoost LITE and at the proper ratios and dilutions to benefit your cat.
There is no right or wrong technique when massaging or stroking the oils onto your cat. You can do it from tail to head, or head to tail. It will mainly depend on your cat, as to which method you use. Use whatever method makes your cat the happiest! However, we are always impressed at how much cats actually like the "backwards" stroke of the oils up their back. One might suspect that a cat might hate this, but they really seem to enjoy it! And now, there is good clinical experience that points to an actual benefit for the "backwards rub" of oils up the spine from tail to head. When cats experience pain signals (such as a cat with hyperesthesia) - their nerves are constantly firing in an unhappy way. We tend to "only" pet our cats from head to tail. Never changing our patterns of touch much. When we are trying to correct improper nerve signals, or calm down over excited nerve responses - a massage (or a backwards stroke of the hair follicles) - creates new nerve pathways. And in the presence of essential oils - may indeed really help to re-pattern a nerve signal and condition! How cool is that!? So - when possible - I will always support trying to massage oils into your cat, with a backwards stroke!
For cats who are a bit more particular in their stroke methods, or for more feral cats who may only give you a slight opportunity for contact, placing the KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE drops into your hands, rubbing them together, then just Petting your cat is an alternate application method. Again - doing what makes your cat the happiest - is the most important part to being able to maintain a routine and regular schedule of care. You do not want to make your cat hide or run away from an oil application. And, sadly, many people have caused their cats to dread oil applications through improper use of oils.
What you may not have considered with cats, is that they groom. Routine licking of themselves, means that any topical application of an essential oil, is being deposited into the mouth, absorbed into mucous membranes, and also being ingested to a certain extent. While some may see this as a scary event, I embrace it. Have you ever tried to get a cat to take an essential oil (or anything for that matter) orally? Not such a happy event! However, there are many chronic situations in which having oral contact with essential oils is incredibly helpful. We are seeing an over abundance of oral tumors (Squamous Cell Carcinoma), stomatitis (mouth inflammation), Rodent Ulcers, and FORL's (Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions) being reported in cats. This problem greatly stems from city water and the chemicals it contains, chronic feeding of processed diets and inappropriate food selections, and over-vaccination. So many of these oral issues, are improved by the grooming action of cats after they have the KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE applied to them. Slowly, gradually, in small amounts, and multiple times a day - their mouth can be exposed to anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immune supportive actions of the essential oils contained within the KittyBoosts.
Let's walk through the individual ingredients to give you an idea of how many benefits a KittyBoost contains...
Frankincense is heavily researched for anti-cancer activity but is also indicated for all forms of cancer, tumors, cysts, behavioral conditions, depression, brain disorders, seizures, immune system stimulation and regulation, autoimmune disorders, DNA repair, and more. Frankincense is also considered a "life force" oil and has been used extensively in critical cases in our veterinary hospital. Frankincense also seems to be what we refer to as a "magnifying" oil - which means that is appears to magnify and enhance the effects of other essential oils when they are used concurrently.
Copaiba is incredibly anti-inflammatory - and inflammation is present in all situations of illness. By eliminating chronic inflammation, healing of the body can take place, as well as the stress of that inflammation can be removed. Stress depresses the immune system, as well as results in delayed healing - not only from illness, but form surgical procedures and injury. Copaiba is commonly used for all sorts of urinary conditions, and is especially helpful for the urinary issues that are unfortunately common to see in cats. FLUTD, Cystitis, and the severe inflammation associated with urinary blockage and drainage are greatly benefited by the proper use of Copaiba with cats. Copaiba is often used as a replacement of NSAID's (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, for arthritis, skin conditions, and all sorts of pain in our veterinary practice. Copaiba also tends to magnify the effects of other oils and natural remedies as a regular course of action, and I believe the main pathway for this action is its elimination of associated inflammation, so that the remedy being used can do its proper job. KittyBoost LITE contains both Steam Distilled and Oleoresin versions of Copaiba.
Helichrysum is truly a miraculous oil, and is worthy of use in almost every condition. Helichrysum is indicated in cases of blood clots (Saddle Thrombus) as an anticoagulant, but is also used in cases of hemorrhage, bleeding, and bruising. This is the interesting thing with many natural remedies, is that they tend to bring the body to a point of homeostasis. Whatever is needed within the body, appears to be honored. Helichrysum is especially indicated for nerve regeneration and neurologic conditions, hearing impairment, circulatory and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, blood clots, liver disease, hypertension, chelation of chemicals, toxin exposure, poisoning, vaccination detoxification, healing of lacerations and wounds, for control of pain, and as a topical anesthetic. There is not much that Helichrysum does not contribute to, and it falls into a category of "must have" oils in my opinion.
Oregano has properties which include anti-aging, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulation. Even alone, this oil is amazing. Then we add in the Thyme properties of anti-aging, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-oxidant, and immune support for even more benefits. These are "hot oils", high in phenols, and must be used properly in cats. Although these oils may carry more concern for some to see in a product for cats, rest assured, that I have used these formulas with thousands of cats, and even have documented blood work safety data for over 3 years on a cat who is getting an application of these oils TWICE A DAY! These oils are an amazing part of the KittyBoost when used in proper dilution.
Basil is widely used for anti-histamine type properties in our veterinary practice. Although there have been some cautionary statements in regards to Basil with individuals who seizure or have epilepsy, we have not found this to be an issue when used properly. The KittyBoost has been a hallmark treatment for many of our patients, especially those with seizures, and although we monitor all animals closely for any sort of adverse response to oils (no matter what the oil is) - in practice we have seen many more benefits than reasons to avoid the use of Basil. Basil also carries with it benefits of being anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, promoting circulation and decongestion of blood flow, antiviral, and anti-infectious. It has also been indicated to be helpful with liver and pancreatic concerns, encephalitis, arthritis, and so much more.
Cypress is mainly used to increase circulation, and aids in every condition with this quality. After all, almost every function in the body relies on proper circulation to work properly. Resorption of bruises, improvement of circulation, and circulatory disorders are primary attributes of this oil.
Marjoram is well known as one of the "muscle" essential oils, but it is also indicated for body and joint discomfort, arthritis, respiratory conditions (expectorant and mucolytic), ringworm, muscle spasms, muscle conditions, increasing motility of the gastrointestinal tract (promotes intestinal peristalsis), fluid retention, lowering blood pressure, vasodilation, circulatory disorders, and nerve pain. Marjoram carries effects for menstrual problems and PMS in humans, which appears to carry over into hormonal issues in animals as well. Marjoram is an important part of our Hormone Blend.
Lavender is also well known for use with muscular issues, however, Lavender is an oil that is a veritable "Jack of all trades." Unfortunately, Lavender is also one of the most adulterated and synthetically altered essential oils on the market today. Very few available Lavender oils are pure enough to be called veterinary grade, or qualify for use in animals. We source our Lavender from a grower/distiller that I personally know, and the wonderful qualities of this particular source of oil, is exceptionally suited for use in animals. We are very fortunate to have continued and excellent access to this limited commodity of high quality oil. Lavender is especially indicated for skin conditions, ringworm and other fungal infections, for muscular concerns, for calming effects, for burns and frostbite, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, insomnia, and more.
Peppermint is not typically an oil that we think of first with cats, however it is actually related to Catnip (both in the mint family) - and we hear reports repeatedly of cats licking it off of their owners (after it is absorbed fully into their skin) or rubbing up against an application site! When used properly in cats, Peppermint is highly beneficial and not overwhelming to their system. Peppermint is often used as a "driving oil", which means that it appears to enhance the penetration of other oils. Peppermint's medical properties include anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic for worms, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, gall bladder and digestive stimulation, pain relief, and appetite suppression (although we also find that it's anti-nausea effects can help cats who are also not eating). It is indicated for conditions such as arthritis, obesity, Herpes infections, papilloma (warts), candida, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and colic.
Catnip oil is a relative newcomer to the scene of essential oils for animals. I have been "dabbling" with it for several years, as much of the research associated with it, considers it to be a more effective insect repellent than DEET. And, of course we know that cats and catnip have a long "romance" if you will. Catnip oil as an undiluted or neat oil - is actually quite repulsive. It is intensely strong, and must be diluted for proper use (or if you want other humans to want to be near you!) Since cats need routine help with flea prevention, treatment and prevention of ear mites, and even repelling of ticks - Catnip oil has become a fun introduction to our veterinary line up. Not only do cats love it for the "happy feelings" that it brings, but the anti-bug properties are showing amazing promise.
Fennel carries with it benefits for diabetes, blood sugar balancing, urinary tract infections, stimulation of milk production, as well for intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal concerns.
Myrrh, is often referred to as a "Mother Oil" it is that important. Its medical properties make it well indicated for use in diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, fungal infections, tooth and gum infections, skin conditions, and as an analgesic. Myrrh is also supportive for many endocrine and hormonal conditions including support of the Thyroid, growth hormone production, pituitary gland function, and hypothalamus function. Since many cats are prone to Hyperthyroidism, Myrrh is an important inclusion in the KittyBoost. We also have used Myrrh for pain management in many animals. When Myrrh is combined with Copaiba and Helichrysum in an oral form (remember, cats are going to be grooming too!) - we have very effective results. These small amounts and diluted ratios within the KittyBoost, are perfect for cats!
Citronella is also included in the KittyBoost for its safe and documented use for insect repellent properties in humans and animals. It is widely used for ear mites, mange, fleas, and ticks.
And finally, Melissa essential oil is one of my favorites for cats, and falls into a "must-have" category of oils for me. Although being quite an expensive oil, not many people were able to afford routine access to it, even when it would make critical differences in their animals' health. Melissa is a powerful oil with a very high vibrational energy. Melissa is incredibly anti-viral, and is especially indicated with Herpes Viruses. Melissa also has very high anti-histamine type actions. Melissa is used for many conditions including depression, anxiety, viral infections, pruitis (itching), hives, seizures, as a replacement for anti-histamines, anaphylaxis, nausea, indigestion, liver and gall bladder concerns, and even cardiac issues.
Go to our Cat Page to read more about cats and essential oils. (Click on the name of the page, it will always show up in a different color, and take you where you want to go!)
KittyBoost is a fundamental item for all cats. Cats are unique to the essential oil world, and they are certainly opinionated as well. All good cat owners know, that we should definitely cater to them. They are in charge. And, if we go against what their desires are, we are certain to be shunned, not allowed to pet them, and we might not see them materialize from under the bed for weeks!
The essential oils contained within KittyBoost are specially selected for a wide variety of feline needs. Expertly blended, and properly diluted, we have had thousands of cats using similar formulas for years. In our veterinary clinic - we document safety, results, and multiple samples of blood work and urine samples.
For the most part, either blend will be quite effective for your cat. As a veterinarian, if you would be dealing with a more serious or acute health concern, I would tend to lean towards selection of the stronger KittyBoost first. You can think of this as a dosage situation. A stronger blend is needed for a stronger situation at times. If you have a brand new kitten, who is basically healthy - then starting out with use of the KittyBoost LITE for routine maintenance will be just fine! If your cats accepts the original KittyBoost well - I see no reason for you to change things. Stick with what works. However, if you have a cat that consistently runs from you whenever you handle oils - then trying the KittyBoost LITE will be a great option for you!
Enter KittyBoost LITE. The same great essential oils as KittyBoost - KittyBoost LITE is designed for those cats who are a bit more overwhelmed by essential oils... If you have tried KittyBoost and feel that your cat has been less than thrilled - definitely try out KittyBoost LITE. The LITE formula contains a slightly different ratio of oils, further dilution, and is also unique in that it contains two versions of Copaiba essential oil - the steam distilled and the oleoresin. The oleoresin version of Copaiba is tapped directly from the tree, and does not undergo further distillation. Oleoresin therefore contains the heavier diterpene molecules which are not easily "brought over" during the steam distillation process. We have found some benefits from having this "whole oleoresin" included within our blends, but still find that the steam distilled Copaiba is much more amenable to regular use with animals. The oleoresin is as the name implies - more of an "oil resin" - so it is thick, sticky, and a bit dense and tenacious. Certainly not a version which we will want to use for diffusion. However, within a blend in which we desire some grooming and subsequent benefits for oral tumors, dental disease and gum health - resins (such as the Myrrh also included in the KittyBoost blends) add a wonderful effect of being "nature's band-aid" - and seem to really aid in certain healing effects. You will use KittyBoost LITE in exactly the same ways as recommended for KittyBoost.
KittyBoost & KittyBoost LITE are NOT for Diffusion as they contain Fractionated Coconut Oil!
Dogs and other animals can also use KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE. As an "all-in-one" option, or for a lighter approach for delicate, sensitive, or debilitated, sick or very weak dogs - KittyBoost might be a great starting place. All of the same benefits apply to dogs, horses, and ferrets - and these animals can easily use the KittyBoost or KittyBoost LITE just as it is described for cats. For birds and other exotic animals - the CritterBoost would still be the first recommendation however. For most dogs - KittyBoost LITE may be a bit on the "weak side" for them, and you may find the original KittyBoost your better option.