Neem for Cats
We don’t typically recommend topical neem for cats because it’s almost always blended with essential oils that may cause liver damage. Essential oils – or natural fragrances – have therapeutic uses but they’re also important with neem products because they cover its strong sulfur/garlic scent.
Raw neem oil, in very small amounts, can be used directly on cats because it’s a pressed oil, like olive oil. Essential oils are distilled rather than pressed and tend to be more concentrated. That creates a greater potential for burning skin or damaging livers.
A single drop of neem oil on the back of your cat’s neck will be difficult for them to reach and ingest, but will carry through their body as part of the sebaceous gland system. For a small injury. you can use the Nothing But Neem salve stick which makes it easy to get a very thin layer of neem oil exactly where you need it. (If your cat sleeps on furniture, be aware that neem oil does have a strong scent.)
Cats, however, can eat neem leaf or neem bark (no one should ever drink neem oil). We usually recommend starting with a very low dose, less than an eighth of a teaspoon, in their food or water.
Please do not use neem internally or externally on pets that are pregnant or that you expect to breed. There is no clinical research showing that using neem topically works as a contraceptive but we’ve heard from a reputable breeder that neem oil should not be used on pregnant females. We’ve also heard from another owner that neem leaf taken internally prevented his male dog from successfully breeding. Several feral cat keepers report significant drops in litters when they started feeding their colonies with neem bark.
These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Neem Tree Farms does not sell products which are intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease, or kill or repel insects except on plants.