Cat care

Safety Alert: Are Pillow Sprays Harmful to Cats

Pillow spray safety for cats There are a lot of benefits that come with using pillow spray. Not only does it help you relax, but it also has a calming effect on your mind and body. It is also believed to help you sleep better. However, can the same be said of cats? Is this pillow spray safe for our feline friends? You’ll find out shortly.

What is Pillow Sprays

Aromatherapy pillow sprays help you relax and fall asleep.

These sprays contain calming lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang.

Essential oils and water are used in pillow sprays to evenly disperse aroma. Sprays are frequently administered to both pillow sides or bed air. Inhale and skin absorb the aroma.

Pillow sprays may quiet the bedroom and alleviate stress and anxiety when used properly. This makes it ideal for insomniacs and people who wish to unwind and sleep.

Pillow sprays are straightforward to apply and available at most health stores and online. They are also cheap, making them a wonderful choice for people trying to sleep well on a budget.

Read: Dr Teal’s pillow spray, are they safe for cats?

Are Pillow Sprays Harmful to Cats

Common components of pillow sprays?

A large body of research exists on the herbal components commonly found in sprays. The following ingredients may have benefits for better rest:


Start down the pillow spray path, and it won’t be long before you encounter lavender.

Among [pillow spray] components, lavender is perhaps the ingredient that has been studied the most and shown to be associated with favorable sleep outcomes,” says Robbins.

A 2012 review that evaluated eight studies concluded that lavender oil might have a small-to-moderate benefit for inducing sleep.

Another 2015 study found that people who practiced good sleep hygiene and wore a patch filled with lavender essential oil at night had better sleep quality than those who only practiced healthy sleep hygiene.


You might be familiar with drinking chamomile as a soothing ingredient in tea, but how about inhaling it?

The research on chamomile oil’s dreamy effects isn’t as robust as that of lavender, but it may deserve an evidence-based place on your pillow.


Another standard addition to many pillow sprays is valerian. This root of a perennial flower native to Europe and Asia has been used as a sleep aid since the 1700s.

Strong evidence points to valerian as a safe and effective herbal remedy for better shut-eye. 60 studies determined that this humble plant had therapeutic benefits for sleep when taken internally as a tincture in water or alcohol, including:

  • reducing anxiety
  • shortening the time it takes to fall asleep
  • improving overall sleep quality


Vetiver is a key ingredient in the best-selling commercially made pillow spray Thisworks. But does it work?

Despite ThisWorks’ claims that vetiver “settles nerves and establishes a feeling of balance,” the evidence for these benefits in humans is lacking. Still, animal research has shown some promise.


Similar to chamomile, bergamot is used in both essential oils and drinkable teas. It’s the ingredient that gives Earl Grey tea its signature flavor.

While a big cup of caffeinated black tea might not help you unwind, bergamot oil does appear to have relaxing properties.

In a 2015 survey, participants were given an inhaler filled with essential oils, one of which contained bergamot and sandalwood. Sixty-four percent of the participants reported an improvement in sleep quality.

Read: Lavender pillow sprays, are they safe for cats?

Are pillow sprays safe for cats

Are you worried about your feline friend snuggling up to your pillow after you’ve sprayed it with a pillow spray? It’s a valid concern, as many of these sprays contain essential oils that can be toxic to cats.

Most cats like to slumber in a cozy area, and many people like to spray pillow spray or air freshener on their beds. However, if you have a cat, these items may contain hazardous substances.

Cats’ livers cannot metabolize essential oils’ poisons, making them especially dangerous. The pillow spray’s essential oil can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death in cats.

Fortunately, cat-safe pillow sprays exist. These sprays contain lavender, chamomile, and lemon, which are healthy for cats and relax them while scenting your bedroom.

Avoid pet-safe pillow sprays with essential oils by checking the label. Even pet-safe sprays can irritate cats’ delicate noses, so keep it out of reach.

Dangers of using Pillow Sprays for cats

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, cats are especially sensitive to essential oils.

“Effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression, and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities. Inhalation of the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia,” reads the organization’s website. “There are significant variations in toxicity among specific oils. Based on this, we do not recommend utilizing essential oils in pet-accessible areas unless supervised or approved by your veterinarian.” Pet parents are encouraged to use diffusers with caution.

Alternatives to Pillow Sprays

Some cats are naturally stressed and anxious as part of their demeanor, while others save their freak-outs for car trips and vet visits. This leaves many pet owners wondering how to calm a cat to give them a little stress relief in any situation. Fortunately, effective remedies and alternatives other than pillow sprays are available that are both natural and easy to administer. Try these herbs and flower essences to help calm down your cat. These include :


Why give a substance known to rile up Fluffy to try and calm her down instead? The key to using catnip for relaxing your kitty is to give it to her about 15 minutes before a stressful event, such as the dreaded veterinary trip. After she hangs from the ceiling and bolts around the room at lightning speed, she will be worn out and exceptionally calm.

Bach Rescue Remedy

Cats can benefit from this floral essence combination’s stress and anxiety relief, as humans have. Though technically not an herb, its reliable benefits bear a mention in any list of stress-reducing tactics. Perhaps the best feature of Bach Rescue Remedy is its immediate effectiveness. This formulation is excellent when you need to calm down your cat pronto. Be sure to purchase the alcohol-free version for Fluffy.


Many people drink chamomile tea before bed to help them relax, and the same anti-anxiety properties are just as effective for cats. However, dried flowers are a better way to expose your cat to its stress relief benefits.

Studies in animals have shown that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. The effect promotes relaxation and reduces stress.

Are Pillow Sprays Harmful to Cats

Final Thoughts

Human pillow sprays are great, but cats’ keen sense of scent makes them unsuitable. As tested, these pillow sprays contain essential oils like lavender, which can damage cats in high concentrations.

Since cats have a considerably higher sense of smell than humans and can be overwhelmed by even a small amount of oil, this spray must be used in a highly diluted solution and with cat-specific formulations.

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