Cat care

Can Vicks Kill Cats? Is Vicks Safe For Cats To Inhale?

Not all drugs designed for humans are safe for cats. Your vet may sometimes recommend drugs like baby aspirin for certain conditions or Gravol to help alleviate motion sickness in cats, but they will never recommend Vicks, and you will find out why later in the article.

Can Vicks kill cats? For death to occur after your cat comes in contact with any Vicks product, the particular product and the level of exposure are what will determine if Vicks can kill your cat.

Cats are very inquisitive beings and could get into trouble if you don’t keep an eye out for them or if you are not a proactive cat parent who is on the lookout for what could potentially cause harm to the cat.

Table of Contents

Do Cats Like The Smell Of Vicks?

Vicks have the ability to cause harm on different levels to your cat, but why does it seem like your feline friend has a diabolic liking for Vicks?

Cats do appreciate the smell of Vicks, and they find it alluring, but this doesn’t mean it is great for them. Your cat lacks the great capacity of your frontal cortex, which aids your superior cognitive ability and helps you decide what is good for you or not, which is why they have an excessive liking for ADHD drugs like Adderall, which eventually kills them in certain amounts.

Experts liken the scent of camphor in Vicks to that of catnip and suggest this is the reason why cats are curious about Vicks and always want to go around where it was applied. However, camphor is nothing like catnip, and your cat should not be exposed to camphor products.

Is Vicks Safe For Cats To Inhale?

We humans have 5 million scent receptors, but cats have over 200 million scent receptors, which help them navigate their environment. This means that scents we would not react negatively to could upset their respiratory system.

While Vicks can be safe and soothing for us, camphor and menthol, an abundant compound found in peppermint oil and used in bug sprays like Cedarcide, can be very toxic to cats, even in small amounts.

If at all you need a decongestant for your cat, you should use a vet-recommended decongestant, as it would be easy on the cat’s heightened sense of smell. Also, any adverse effects experienced after your cat inhales Vicks should be reported to your vet.

Can Vicks Kill Cats?

In small amounts, even if ingested or absorbed, Vicks may not kill your cat, but it could cause serious problems like renal failure.

Ingesting Vicks could bring about GI upset, toxicity, and possible organ failure, which could shorten the length of your cat’s life.

Vicks contains several active and inactive ingredients, some of which can be problematic for cats. Here are the active ingredients used in making Vicks and how your cat could possibly react to them:

Menthol: Menthol is extracted from the mint family and is very abundant in peppermint, which could negatively impact your cat’s health. The absurd thing here is that research has not been able to quantify the amount of peppermint that could be toxic to cats, so it’s best to avoid it when possible.

Camphor: Although camphor can be toxic to cats, it is not as toxic as peppermint. If ingested or absorbed by your cat, you will notice the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, irritation of the skin, and possibly a seat if a significant amount is consumed.

Eucalytus oil: Eucalytus oil can be toxic to cats if ingested, according to the ASPCA. If your cat ingests eucalyptus oil, it will experience lethargy, excessive drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Turpentine oil, thymol, and nutmeg oil are among the inert ingredients that could possibly harm your cat.

Are Vicks Humidifiers Safe For Cats?

Humidifiers can be helpful in ensuring indoor air quality is maintained in all climates and can be beneficial for cats with asthma, according to the ASPCA.

Is Vicks Vaposteam safe for cats? Cats with clogged nasal passages could benefit from humidifiers, but Vicks Vaposteam was not made with cats in mind, which means it could help clear nasal congestion, but its ingredients could cause problems in the long term.

Safer humidifiers for cats could include ultrasonic and evaporative options, but you should bear in mind that they could be tipped over by your cats, causing burns.

Can I Put Vicks On My Cat’s Nose?

You should never apply non-cat-friendly products directly to your cat’s skin, as you could expose your cat to the risk of absorbing and reacting to the active ingredients present in that product.

As mentioned earlier, cats have a huge number of scent receptors, and Vicks contains eucalyptus oil, camphor, and menthol, which could disorient your cat and also be harmful if absorbed by your cat’s skin.

You will end up creating a counter-productive scenario where you’ll be creating respiratory issues rather than solving them as you may have intended. Vicks were not made for cats; consult your vet for a more cat-specific solution.

Does Vicks Repel Fleas On Cats?

No! Vicksvaporub doesn’t have much effect on fleas. Fleas are known to be notoriously resistant to a host of repellents,  including Vicks Vapor Rub. You have understood that it is not a great idea to apply Vicks directly to your cat, as they could absorb the toxic oil and ingredients used in making Vicks, and this could lead to organ failure.

You are better off using safer natural alternatives like lavender oil in combination with lemongrass oil to repel fleas. Before using an essential oil on cats, you have to do proper research to ascertain safe quantities and levels, just as I do when making use of vanilla oil to stop cats’ non-recognition aggression.

What Happens If a Cat Licks Vicks?

We never pray to witness such situations, but whenever they occur, we need to take swift action to prevent possible organ failure and to be able to reverse or prevent toxicity.

When it comes to camphor, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil poisoning, you don’t need to waste time; get in contact with your vet as soon as you can.

Here are the symptoms you will notice:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Excessive drooling

Ensure to take note of possible symptoms and the amount consumed, as this can determine if it will resolve on its own or if you need to get to the vet.

Decongestants for cats

There are safer alternatives to Vicks that you could use to decongest your cat’s nasal passage, but the majority of them are accessible only through prescription. If you feel your cat needs a decongestant, discuss it with your vet.

You can make use of nasal spray and other over-the-counter decongestants that could help make your cat comfortable. Vets will usually recommend Benadryl, guaifenesin, or chlor-trimeton to help decongest a cat’s blocked nasal passages.

Is Vicks safe for cats? Final Thoughts

For your cat’s optimum safety, you need to avoid using Vicks on or around them. If you feel your cat is experiencing problems or difficulty breathing, you need to consult your vet to determine a cat-safe option for you.

Joshua Kaynard

I am Joshua kaynard, an avid cat lover. Our pets provide an excellent way of connecting with nature; I am committed to helping you understand all the aspects of your feline friend's life. Enjoy!

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