Stroke in cats. The dangers of Tea Tree oil.

My 12 year old cat Joe had a stroke. He’s significantly better but he’s much slower. He’s lagging a bit, and he lays around more. He began eating a little the next day but he’s eating normally and drinking normally now.

The stroke was due to a toxin which unfortunately I introduced. I know full well that tea tree oil is highly toxic to cats but I had the oil before I had the cat, which is why the oil was here. I simply forgot. I wasn’t thinking and I used it in my hair and on my body for three days in a row. As a typical cat, and only pet, Joe was all over me. He sleeps on my head, chews on my dreadlocks and sleeps on my chest. He had quite a bit of exposure.

I was on the phone with Snow when his back legs stopped working. I knew something serious was wrong. It was horrible to witness my boy have a stroke.

I’ve since removed the tea tree oil from my home. I’m just grateful it didn’t result in death. It’s bad enough to lose a pet to natural causes, but to be responsible for their preventable death – how do you come back from that?

It is horribly embarrassing to post that I nearly killed my cat but I do so as a warning. Tea tree oil and cats don’t mix. Human error happens, we know that. But why keep tea tree oil in the house with a cat and risk his health? If you had a kid with a peanut allergy you’d go the extra mile to keep the child safe. Please do the same for your cat.

Relaxing, having fun

Joe will more than likely fully recover. I’m in supportive role right now. I make sure to give him his meds, keep him hydrated and comfortable. He’s walking around and stuff but he’s not back to normal yet. He will play if I initiate it. One thing I’ve noticed is how super clingy he is at times.

I was literally wailing in grief and guilt that I had hurt my boy. My neighbor came to check on me because she could hear me through the wall. His stroke is a moment I’ll never forget.


You may not agree with this but, when there was clearly nothing I could do but wait, I didn’t do the motherly thing and hold him. I began to record Joe so the vet could actually see what was going on instead of me trying to find the words in my broken head to accurately describe the symptoms. I showed him the video on my phone. I’m happy I did it bc he was able to quickly diagnose Joe.

I could have held Joe Schmoe and comforted him at the time of the actual stroke but I chose to record it for the vet. It was a hard decision but a good one.

3 thoughts on “Stroke in cats. The dangers of Tea Tree oil.

  1. Glad you trusted your intuition. You probably saved his life with that decision. Parenting is hard, and sometimes we unintentionally hurt but overall they know our heart is gentle and living. That’s what little Joe knows about you.

    1. Hey there sweet pea

      You know what else worked out about recording? He asked what time it all started. I had no idea. Was it 2 hours ago, 45 min ago? I had no idea bc I genuinely have no sense of time. .. but my phone does. I was able to look at the date and time on the phone call and the time on the recording.

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