Castor Oil for Dogs and Cats

| Modified on Mar 27, 2024
Castor Oil

Castor oil is made from the castor bean. While the beans are toxic, their oil has wonderful medicinal uses in people and their pets. Castor oil is a popular remedy for tumors, cysts, and cataracts in pets.

While adults can use castor oil internally in modest amounts, it is not commonly used in pets. Castor oil has a laxative effect. However, there are other natural remedies that are more suited for constipation in pets.

Tumors, Cysts, and Growths

Castor oil is used topically on tumors, growths, and cysts in dogs and cats. The oil is massaged into the area of concern twice daily. A castor oil pack is an option, though it may be difficult to implement for most pets. With a castor oil pack, castor oil is applied to several layers of cloth, which are then placed at the site of concern, covered with plastic wrap, and then a heating pad is used for an hour or more at a time.

Castor oil should be used with caution and care for tumors. It can make tumors swell initially. Sometimes, tumors will open and drain. Aside from the concern of the mess this may make, if blood is lost in the process this can cause anemia in a pet. Excessive blood loss can cause death.

If a tumor does open up, the wound should be cleaned. Turmeric and/or honey can help stop bleeding and prevent infection.

Castor oil is also messy, so precautions for furniture and carpets may be prudent.


Older cats and dogs can develop cataracts in the eyes. Typically, eyes will have a cloudy appearance. To treat cataracts with castor oil, use an eyedropper and apply 1 drop of castor oil into each eye once or twice daily. It can take several months to see the desired results.

Fur Loss

Castor oil is used to promote hair growth. Depending on the cause of fur loss, it may encourage the growth of fur in pets.

Dry Skin

Castor oil is a rich oil. Massaging castor oil into dry skin areas can be soothing and promote healing.

Dry Nose

Castor oil can be used to moisturize the dry nose of a dog.

Joint Pain

Castor oil, massaged gently into painful joints, can provide pain relief. This is ideally only part of an overall treatment plan for arthritis in dogs.

Castor Oil Cautions

While the castor plant is poisonous, the extracted oil is not. However, if a dog or cat licks a significant amount of castor oil from the skin, it could have a laxative effect. If large amounts of castor oil are used topically on pets, the oil absorbs into the body and, theoretically, could cause loose stools.

Castor oil is a wonderful remedy for the owners of pets as well!

Have you used castor oil to treat your pet in some way? Please send us some feedback! Continue reading below to learn how Earth Clinic readers used castor oil on their pets, and please let us know if you tried this remedy!

Related Links:

Constipation Remedies for Pets
Effective Natural Treatments for Pet Tumors: A Guide


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Kewpie (San Diego) on 12/21/2015

Castor oil completely cleared very cloudy eyes on my boxer. I used one drop in each eye for several months. They looked completely clear and it also seemed that he could see better. He since died of other causes but he was 14 which is old for a boxer. Also used the castor oil on his benign cysts. It completely cleared one cyst and shrank the other larger cyst though it never completely shrank/cleared. If I hadn't seen it for myself I actually would not believe it. I am an RN and see cataract patients refered for surgery and keep thinking if only I could tell them about castor oil...unfortunately I am not at liberty to do so. I did tell my friend who owns an optometry store about my dog's cataracts and castor oil and she was pretty amazed. She trusts me so maybe she will mention it to her clients.

Replied by Jax

So thankful you shared your full experience of successfully curing dog cataracts with hexane free organic castor oil. How much, how often and how long till you began to see results? How long did you continue after seeing cataracts disappear?

Replied by Mary

I'd like to use it for myself, but I find the castor oil to be so thick. Where did you get your eye dropper for it, mine did not come with one.

(somewhere, europe)

Yes Mary, Castor Oil is indeed thick. That is why it is recommended to administer it at night when you don't have to use your eyes.

An eye dropper can be bought at any Pharmacy. It doesn't usually come with the Castor Oil.

Others don't even put it inside the eye, they just gently rub it on the eyelids and whatever seeps in seems to work.

Replied by Jenn

Hi, can castor oil be used to treat cataracts in humans besides dogs?

Replied by charde
(Omaha Nebraska)

It's legal to tell patients natural remedies that other people have tried.....


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lori (Ca) on 04/29/2018

I got Sam when he was 4 he had never had wet food, only cheap grain dryfood, and he is an eater, now that he is almost 12 he has developed constipation, though the moment I got, him I gave him wet grain free food, and grain free dry, I personally cannot afford 500 dollar vet bills so a cat saver person started me on Lacti lose and yes it works, and when her vet friend told me about Royal Canin fiber I bought a bag (very pricey} and introduced to handfuls twice a day and put a probiotic cap into the wet food and a less than level 1/2 tsp of mira lax into the wet these steps brought the 2 syringes of lactilose down to needing one syringe, but lactilose is a vet prescription only med, so I began to experiment due to my financial challenges to find away to create a mixture that would work as good as lactilose. I tried all these natural remedies that promised results -- nothing!!

Then one day I took a large feeding syringe filled it not quite full with cocounut water as I could see that the years he was given cheap dry food kind of caused a dehydration issue that made it difficult to void, I put a baking 1/4 not level or heaping tsp of cold pressed organic castor oil in the coconut water with a broken cap of probiotic powder sprinkled in, shook it to mix it administered it to him via the side of his mouth, he went the next day, a healthy stool, and a few days later gave that to him again, and he went in 15 min. so I do the lactilose maybe twice in a 5 day period and the coconut water mixture 1st of the week and last of the week, and when I give him grain free wet food I pour warm water in for the liquid hydration with mira lax need, I am careful to keep it spaced out and watch his cat box visits, so far he needs these mixtures, I am hoping he will need them less as time goes on.

Replied by Research Hound

I think your cat's issue could very easily be solved with just switching him to a raw diet. A single cat would literally only eat a few ounces of raw meat a day. The rule of thumb is around 3% of ideal body weight. Raw meat is what cats' bodies are designed to eat in the wild (birds, mice, rabbits, etc.). Their bodies are designed to get their moisture from their food, which is why kibble of any kind is so awful for them. It's dried up carbs basically, which is completely opposite of what nature intended cats to eat. Their bodies are in a constant state of dehydration, which is why so many cats have kidney failure as they get older, plus a number of other health issues. Lean raw meat like chicken thighs, pork loin, turkey, rabbit, quail, etc. would all be excellent sources of protein for a cat. They do need a small amount of organ meat, including liver, and bones, but that's easy to manage via chicken wings or a cornish game hen. Liver and other organs can be purchased separately and alloted in a few days' food and then re-frozen. They only need a very small amount of bone and organs added to their diet to make it complete. I have seven that I feed raw and most have never been to the vet once I took them in and had them spayed/neutered. All have excellent bathroom habits, teeth, shiny coats, ideal weights, etc. Other than a bit of extra time, there really are no negatives to feeding a cat raw, especially if you want to stay out of the vet's office and have a cat that lives a long and healthy life.

Replied by GloriA

Hi Lori, do you still have your cat and are you still doing the same way of things with the castor oil and such? My cat is at the vet now and so far it is 795.00 not counting today and he still hasn't passed the hard poo. Thanks for your comment!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Shepherdgirl (Seattle, Wa, Usa) on 05/11/2011


I have read many of the posts on this subject, and would like to add another remedy that will shrink and help subaceous cysts disappear. CASTOR OIL!! If you apply it, do so topically, not internally. My precious GSD is prone to these cysts, and I have gotten rid of every one of them by applying castor oil once or twice a day. It's best if low heat can be applied, but not necessary. It does take time, but certainly saves a vet visit. Also, any vet that tells you a subaceous, benign cyst must be surgically removed for $600 is being dishonest. I am going to start my baby on turmeric as well, and hope it will help alleviate any future cysts and help her joints. Thanks for listening.

Dental Issues

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Faith (USA) on 03/27/2024

My cat who has had teeth pulled a few years ago, recently started scratching the top of his head, his ear, under his chin and both side of his neck. Thinking it might be his teeth, I have an upcoming appoint with a vet to check out his teeth. Thinking it might be ears, I've been giving him Zymox (old vet script that still works) in his ears and his ears look better. I've been watching him closely, he's eating, urinating and pooping. Meanwhile, I've been recently learning about Castor Oil. (Ok for dogs and cats via Dr. Jones: ) I slathered it on him, which he didn't like, but he loved the rubdown. Well, here we are a few days later and I've only seen him scratch once and the scratched areas are looking better. I was afraid to put the oil on him daily, as he was licking it off, but I decided to put some on again today. Also, fyi, although he was still eating before, he was sleeping most of the time and the second day after the first application, he was up, eating like a king and wanted to be on our laps on the couch. I got the organic cold pressed oil through W-M and I'm really liking this stuff. I will update as things progress.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Yowza (Chicago, IL) on 12/26/2022

My 7 yo Cavapoo developed a histiocytoma-looking growth on her leg. It began irritating her after a month, because she gnawed it to the point I took her to the vet. Vet gave an antibiotic, did two separate wait-and-sees. I began applying castor oil at night, covering with thin gauze. Another drop during the day leaving it uncovered. Growth greatly reduced after 1 week. Gone by 3.5 weeks. I'm very pleased with the results and wished I'd done it from the start.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Daniellem97 (Ireland) on 03/21/2016

Hi all, cant believe it actually worked. After reading nearly all the reviews on this I was expecting the castor oil to work in a few days, it took 5 nearly 6 weeks.

We brought the cat to the vet and to get the tumor removed - it would have cost nearly 500 euro and because of my cats age of 15. It was risky to put him under, I found this site and decided to try it. at first the tumor (or cyst or large skin tag, not sure which) turned black and after about 2/3 weeks the black fell off and there was a pinky red lump still left, again we applied the castor oil and again the black scab appeared over it while it continued to grow, only a week later and this fell off revealing another smaller redish pink lump. We continued to apply castor oil this time soaking the growth in it, the growth was just under the cats eye, connected to the bottom lid and the cat is quite fiesty so it was hard to apply at times. 2 weeks went by and I was starting to lose hope as it just continued to grow and the cat started scratching it until it bled. But two days later and it all fell off completely and you wouldnt ever know anything was there.

Replied by Vanessa
(Las Vegas, Nevada)

I am trying to find out if Castor oil can be used for a Squamous cell carcinoma inside my dogs mouth?


I would not put it in your dog's mouth. When dogs ingest the oil, it is toxic to them and should only be used externally and in small amounts. If I were you, I would use CBD oil in his mouth. That would be a safer thing for him and it should shrink the tumor.

Replied by Marina

So is it safe if the cat licks it? I mean that my cat has a tumor on her jaw and the vets in my country won't take the risk to have a surgery because she's 16! Should I give it a try?

Mama to Many

The only risk would be loose stools. Definitely seems worth a try!

Also look into Essiac for pets on this site.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by RB
(Burbank ILLINOIS)

Working on a large one on my dog's head with castor oil twice a day, it is now like a mushroom with a stem, and the top of it is nasty and blackened. Hoping it will just fall off soon, as the castor takes its toll on the stem part too.

Tumors in Ears

Posted by Sweet Karma (ID) on 07/31/2021

Hello everyone,

My cat has some small (less then 1/2 an inch) benign tumors in his ears which cannot be completely removed surgically because of how many there are and how deep they go. If I am to apply castor oil in his ears and the tumors break open, in what ways can I then disinfect? Do you think I could use hydrogen peroxide for this situation?

Replied by Rob

Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide can be used to disinfect if the tumor breaks open. Now, if the castor oil does not work, here is a trick I learned working on 2 different cats.

1st Cat: She got bitten by some poisonous insect. We were thinking a spider since she was an outside cat. It bit her on her head behind the ear. Her face literally started melting off. Her owner named her zombie cat. 3 days after her wound, I came over with a bottle of turpentine pure gum spirits from humco and told her to dilute in coconut oil 1:1 and apply to the wound with a Q-tip. The owner did this for 4 days and the poison came out thru the cat's ear. It looked like pink tissue ball about the size of a gumball. It burst open and she cleaned it out with H2O2. The cat is still alive today however I think she has lost hearing in that ear.

2nd Cat: Another outside cat had a knot below the jaw line and was lethargic and not eating. Again, I brought turpentine over and had them diluted 1:1 with coconut oil and apply with Q-tip to the area. The cat completely recovered in 1 ½ days and the knot was gone.

Replied by Tessa

Hi Sweet Karma –

Here is an Earth Clinic link with lots of options (including hydrogen peroxide) for taking care of pets with tumors:

The link below is from a holistic pet care site. They recommend colloidal silver for cats but, then again, they sell it.

Here's a YouTube video about treating pets with colloidal silver. The comments below the video are enlightening! Lots of success stories.

Treating Dogs and Other Pets with Colloidal Silver

You can buy colloidal silver at a health food store or, if you know someone who has a silver generator, they can give you some to try out.

I hope you find the right answer for your cat's needs.

Take care,