I have been researching on the use of essential oils for both us as humans and for our cats, and here are my conclusions on the use of aromatherapy for cats.
Firstly, essential oils should never be applied topically to the cat’s body. Undiluted essential oils, no matter how natural they are, can cause adverse physiological reactions, not just to their skin and fur, but also because cats metabolise the topical application into their bodies. They should also not be ingested by cats.
For topical use of essential oils, always get pet products that are diluted with water and other carriers, and have been veterinarian tested. Some pet products that include essential oils can be used for calming cats that are prone to stress or are travelling to a new place. Other products use essential oil properties in their flea sprays. Some pet fragrances also use essential oils. Remember that none of these products should be sprayed into the face of your cat, or in sensitive regions like their stomach and inner limbs.
Essential oils can be used safely in vaporisers and burners without harm to your cat (bearing in mind to keep candles away from cat’s reach). Cats will not react adversely to such use of aromatherapy. It is good to note however that some cats are allergic to citrus scents.
Personally, I use aromatherapy in burners for my room, as well as in pillow sprays and massage oils. The oils I use include bergamot, vanilla, chamomile, lavender and tea tree. My cats have no reaction to the smells, and since they live relatively stress-free lives they sleep well anyway with or without the aid of aromatherapy.