Too many flies are plaguing my office. Being herbally inclined I decided some essential oils diffused in the air would do the trick. My usual go to are lavender and peppermint. They’re very effective at repelling flies. But they are potentially poisonous to cats and I share my home with these two lovelies. So I’m on the hunt for a cat friendly essential oil that repels flies.

Max & Jasmine

I researched essentials oils that are toxic to cats (shout out to and Annares Natural Health who have excellent posts on this topic) to understand which essential oils are toxic to cats and why.

Why some essential oils may be toxic to cats

In essence because cats lack a liver enzyme called glucuronyl tranferase they are unable to break down phenols and monoterpene hydrocarbons. Common monoterpene hydrocarbons include terpineols, limonene and pinenes. This means any essential oil that you use, regardless of how you use it, that contains phenols or monoterpene hydrocardons may be toxic to cats. Unfortunately this means my favourite fly repellent, peppermint, is out of the running.

So which oil did I settle on to repel those flies?

My search for a cat friendly essential oil that also repels flies eventually led me to rosemary.

It does have camphor, pinenes and limonine in it but literature tends to suggest the concentration is lower.

As an added precaution, I am diffusing with a small concentration in a passive diffuser and an open window and door so Max and Jasmine can choose whether they want to hang out in a fly free rosemary infused room. A passive diffuser is one that warms the water using a tea light rather than shooting oil droplets into the air.

Annares Natural Health also has a great post on cat friendly essential oils and she suggests rosemary, lavender and chamomile can be used diluted around cats.

I’ve chosen rosemary over lavender (my other essential oil go to) because it is more stimulating, focussing and energising. As I’m in my office I’ve got a bit to get done today.

Does rosemary repel flies?

The tea light is lit, the rosemary essential oil is wafting through the room and the flies have left