Is Witch Hazel Safe for Cats? Important Facts

Witch Hazel is a group of flowering plants and small trees known for their decorative beauty and medicinal effects.

cats using safe witch hazel

While witch hazel has diverse uses for humans but is witch hazel safe for cats?

Let’s take a closer look at witch hazel plants and whether they are safe for cats.

What Is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel, scientifically known as Hamamelis, is a group of flowering shrubs and small trees known for their ornamental beauty and medicinal properties.

Its soothing and healing properties have made it a popular choice for treating various skin conditions and minor irritations.

safe witch hazel for cats

However, when it comes to using witch hazel for cats, it’s essential to exercise caution and consider the potential risks and benefits.

Witch hazel is derived from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginiana plant, which is native to North America.

It contains tannins, volatile oils, and other compounds that contribute to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

Traditionally, witch hazel has been used topically to relieve itching, reduce inflammation, and promote wound healing[1].

Is Witch Hazel Safe for Cats?

Witch hazel is safe for cats when used externally in tiny amounts. It can be used to clean minor skin irritations or as a gentle astringent.

However, it is important to use witch hazel products that are specifically made for cats and avoid any other ingredients that may be harmful to cats.

It is recommended to perform a patch test before applying witch hazel to a larger area of their skin. If any sign of reaction appears consult with the vet immediately.

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While witch hazel may be safe for external use on cats, it is not recommended for internal consumption.

It is not advisable to use witch hazel on your cat’s wound as it could lead to some major issues if it goes into your cat’s bloodstream.

Also, never apply witch hazel on the cat’s eyes or any sensitive areas because they have incredibly sensitive skin.

witch hazel usage for cats

What to Do if My Cat Licks or Swallows Witch Hazel?

If your cat licks or swallows witch hazel, it’s critical to act quickly.

Assess the amount swallowed and observe your cat’s behavior. Contact a vet for guidance and follow their instructions carefully.

They may recommend inducing vomiting or taking other necessary measures. While waiting for veterinary advice, provide fresh water and monitor your cat closely.

Ensure that harmful substances are kept out of reach in the future and maintain a safe environment.

Seeking professional assistance promptly is crucial to ensure your cat’s well-being and safety.

Safe Herbs for Cats

There are many herbs that are safe for cats.

However, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before giving any herbs to your cat as some herbs may not be safe for all cats and may interact with medications or cause allergic reactions:

  • Thyme
  • Valerian
  • Goldenseal
  • Catnip
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Unsafe Herbs for Cats

According to the experts at NLM, Some herbs are toxic to cats and should be avoided:

  • Garlic and Chives
  • Marijuana
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Chamomile
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
cat licking witch hazel herb


Is Witch Hazel Safe for My Cat Eyes?

Herbs that are considered safe for cats may be used to clean tear stains, including witch hazel, echinacea, licorice root, cat’s claw, and dandelion root.

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Is Witch Hazel Safe for Cat Acne?

Apply a small amount of witch hazel onto your cat’s chin with a cotton swab after disinfecting. The witch hazel acts as an astringent to further remove oil and tighten pores. Proactively applying witch hazel to a cat’s chin can also help prevent breakouts in the future.

What Does Witch Hazel Do to Cats?

I started to use witch hazel for all our feline blood draws. With each cat, I saw how they were calmer and did not squirm while prepping for a blood draw or catheter placement. I also noticed less grooming at the injection site, which is a good indication of less pain.

Is Witch Hazel Good for Fleas on Cats?

Herbal Sprays – A combination of vinegar, witch hazel, and water has been known to repel fleas. The flaw to this method is that you must do a heavy spray of everything in your home, and additionally, wash bedding, furniture, pillows, pet beds, and carpets.

Can Witch Hazel Be Used as a Natural Remedy to Calm a Nervous or Anxious Cat?

Using witch hazel as a natural remedy to calm a nervous or anxious cat is not recommended. While witch hazel has soothing properties, it is primarily used as a topical astringent and is not known for its calming effects on cats. When it comes to addressing anxiety or nervousness in cats, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian who can provide appropriate advice and recommend safe and effective solutions specifically designed for feline anxiety.


While using witch hazel on cats, it’s essential to prioritize their safety and well-being.

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While witch hazel itself may not be toxic to cats, certain things can pose risks. It’s best to consult with a veterinarian before using any new product, including witch hazel, and follow their guidance.

Always monitor your cat for any negative reaction and stop using it immediately if you find any.

By understanding the nature of witch hazel plants and their impact on cats, we can ensure the well-being of our cat companions while appreciating the beauty of these unique plants.


  1. Thring, T., Hili, P., & Naughton, D. P. (2011). Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea rose, and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells. Journal of InflammationNLM

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