A few weeks ago I had to make a long, twelve hour journey in the heat with four cats and three dogs. The dogs did not present a problem because they are used to travelling, but the cats were a different matter entirely! All four cats were originally street cats. One had become completely domesticated and is easy to handle. Two others (mother and daughter) were still feral in many ways, and the daughter in particular was nervous, fearful and shunned contact of any kind. Although the fourth cat was still a street cat, she is by nature sociable and amenable to contact. With this scenario it is clear that the trip was likely to be stressful and noisy in response to the engine noise and the movement of the vehicle over roads which in many places are less than perfect. The start of the journey came up to expectations.

Essential oils to the rescue!

On one of the stops I decided to offer the most nervous and frightened cat some frankincense oil to sniff or inhale. The result was remarkable and immediate. She stopped crying and tucked her legs under her in a relaxed way. Her pupils contracted to a normal size and her facial expression changed radically.

In view of this encouraging result I decided to offer all four cats frankincense oil. I poured a few drops of the oil on pieces of cloth which I attached to the door of the crates. I decided to also offer sandalwood oil to counteract the effects of engine noise and put some drops on a separate piece of cloth which I also attached to each crate. After that all four cats relaxed and were mostly quiet except when there were big bumps on the road surface which made for uncomfortable travel.

Surely this experience was an acid test of the efficacy of essential oils as an aid to helping animals adjust to difficult circumstances!