Can You Give Cats Rescue Remedy?

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About 6 months ago, my family and I made a big move to another city and were especially worried about how our little darling cats would react to all the change. 

We really wanted them to be as calm and happy as they possibly could be, as we all know that cats do not respond particularly well to change.

So, we began to look up the best ways to calm our cats without it being too invasive. Even though we all know that, whenever you need to administer any sort of medication to your cat, it always seems to be a huge inconvenience to them. 

My older cat always hates me for a couple of hours after defleaing her, but sorry little Boo Boo, we do not have any more space in our house for your flea friends. They must go. 

So, can you give cats Rescue Remedy? Yes, you can give the pet specific Rescue Remedy as well as the one for humans, but it should be alcohol free.

Below are a few things to consider if you are thinking of giving your cat Rescue Remedy.

What Is Rescue Remedy?

Rescue Remedy is a type of Bach Flower Remedy, a brand of flower essences created by physician Edward Bach. It is made up of a combination 5 different flower essences; rock rose, impatients, clemantis, star of Bethlehem and cherry plum. Rescue Remedy is made by infusing all five flower essences, which is done by soaking flowers in water and then leaving them to infuse in the sun. The flowers are then disposed of, the liquid is preserved with brandy, diluted with water (50% brandy and 50% water) and then sold in vials. 

Can You Give Rescue Remedy To Cats?

The Rescue Remedy that is used for people (in the drop form) contains alcohol, however the tablets do not. Rescue Remedy should only be given under certain extreme circumstances (e.g a big move). When we spoke to our vet about it, she told us that the tablet form of Rescue Remedy does not contain alcohol but the drops (for people) do. She advised us that we should only give the drops on the day of the move. She never mentioned the one that is specifically designed for cats. So the simple answer is yes, but only for specific events whereby they may become very distressed.You can buy alcohol-free Rescue Remedy for pets though of you desire, see below. 

When Should Rescue Remedy Be Used For Cats?

There are a few reasons why you might find it necessary to give your cat Rescue Remedy and those would be for reasons such as;

  • Your cat is anxious about visitors coming over or there are people at your house that your cat does not know
  • Your cat is stressed about a new cat in your home or neighbourhood
  • Your cat suffered a trauma such as, being hit by a car or being in a fight
  • Your cat becomes suddenly ill
  • Your cat experienced a major life changing event such as, moving house, change of furniture or new housemate or pet

How To Give Your Cat Rescue Remedy

As mentioned before, a cat should only be given Rescue Remedy when they have experienced or are going to experience something that may cause stress and anxiety. If this is the case and you are able to pin your cat down and force their mouth open (it is not fun and that is a warning), then place 4 drops on their tongue, on a treat (which my cats have never fallen for), or alternatively you can rub it directly on their nose. You should repeat this (they will never trust you again), every 5 to 10 minutes until they appear calm. The tablets  were easier to just place (and I use the word “place” very lightly, but you get my gist) down their throat, rather than linger with the bottle and try to count 4 drops. However, the tablets do not contain alcohol, so may not be as effective for things such as, long car journeys. According to Edward Bach, creator of Rescue Remedy, you cannot overdose a cat on Rescue Remedy so do not worry. 

Different Types Of Rescue Remedy For Cats

Bach Pet Rescue Remedy

Bach Pet Rescue Remedy is a drop form Rescue Remedy that is specifically designed for pets. This one does not contain alcohol. To use it, simply place 4 drops directly into your cats mouth. Alternatively, you could add it to their food, water bowl (although I don’t think that would be worth it, as cats do not drink all of their water in one go), or on a treat. The Rescue Remedy could also be rubbed directly onto your cats nose, paws or ears. It is important to make sure that your cat always gets the correct dose. 
You can purchase this Bach Pet Rescue Remedy on Amazon.

Ingredients: HPUS 5x dilution of helianthemum, clematis vitalba, impatients glandulifera, prunus cerasifera, ornithogalum umbellatum, 80% glycerin, 20% water

Bach Liquid Melts

Bach Liquid Melts are dissolvable tablets, that turn into liquid once placed into your mouth. These are not pet specific, but can still be used on cats. These are the ones that I used on my cats in the lead up to our move. They are easier to administer than the drops and are also alcohol-free. 
You can purchase these Bach Liquid Melts on Amazon.

Ingredients: vegetable carrier oil (grapeseed oil), capsule shell (fish gelatine, pectin and carnauba wax), natural flavouring (orange oil and vanilla), bulking agent (sorbitol), flower essences (helianthemum nummularium), clematis vitalba, impatients glandulifera, prunus cerasifera, ornithogalum umbellathum 


Bach First Aid Remedy for pets 

The Bach First Aid Remedy for pets, is also a drop form of Rescue Remedy. However, this one does contain alcohol but a very low content of it. The Bach First Aid Remedy is different from that of Rescue Remedy for pets, in that it contains two extra Bach flowers in it. White chestnut, which is for being troubled and Larch for increased confidence. This one is to be administered in the same way as the Bach Pet Rescue Remedy above, by placing 4 drops directly onto the tongue, given on a treat or rubbed onto their nose. The only downfall about this one is that it is super pricey and it is quite difficult to find. 

Ingredients: Contains all the same ingredients as the normal Rescue Remedy, except this one has added White Chestnut and Larch. 


Pet Remedy Natural De-stress and Calming Plug-In Diffuser

The Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress and Calming Plug-In Diffuser is really good to plug in a few weeks before you are planning on moving (as all the packing up and having boxes everywhere can be very stressful for a cat), if your cat is generally anxious about having visitors over, if you have moved into a new home and it is unfamiliar to them or if you have a new pet. This Plug-In Diffuser uses a blend of essential oils that help calm your cat is great as it lasts up to 8 weeks.
You can purchase the Pet Remedy Natural De-Stress and Calming Plug-In Diffuser on Amazon.

How Long Should Rescue Remedy Be Used For On Your Cat?

Rescue Remedy can be used every time your cat experiences something that my cause stress and anxiety, as there is no risk of overdose. It can also be administered if you know that your cat is going to experience stress and anxiety (when foreseeable), either before or after the incident, for a couple of days

However, if your cats feelings of stress and anxiety are ongoing and last longer than a week, then there may be a deeper rooted cause and you may want to talk to a vet and see what they recommend.

Alternatives to Rescue Remedy For Cats


Catnip is a perennial herb from the mint family, labiatae.
While it is true that cats mainly respond to catnip by getting high and going crazy, it usually does not last very long. But, you could use this natural exhaustion to your advantage. Give your cat a dose of catnip 15 to 30 minutes before they are about to experience something stressful, such as being placed in their carrier to go to the vet or moving house. All the energy that they would have used feeling stressed, they would have now used up by going crazy for catnip. Psych! 

Pet shops often sell cat toys that contain catnip in them. Alternatively, you can buy them in bags. I bought this cheap cardboard scratch pad for my cats, that came with a bag of catnip that you just sprinkle over it. They went absolutely nuts for it.  


Feliway is a calming plug-in diffuser that according to the company sends “happy messages” to your cat to make them feel comfortable. I am not entirely sure what that means as they do not state what is actually used in the diffuser. But I assume it emits some sort of pheromone to the cat to calm them. But don’t take my word for it. The only thing I know is that, we have used it before when we were looking after a friends cat for a few months, and he became very distressed by his owner leaving him, that he started pulling his hair out. The vet suggested that we try the plug-in diffuser and it definitely did make a difference.
It also comes in a spray form, which you can spray directly onto your furniture or whatever your cat likes to sleep on.

Disclaimer: I am not a qualified vet. This is all based on my own experience and research. Please consult with your vet before you administer any Rescue Remedy, as all cats my differ.

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About Me

My name is Tamsin and I’m obsessed with my two cats, Buddy and Bailee. Recently we took on a big move to another city and I needed a lot of info to keep them happy while we travelled. I created this site to share all the info I learned.

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