Are Candles Bad For Cats?

Some of us like to light a candle at the end of a very long day. Others prefer to snuggle up with a good book and a warm cup of tea or coffee. But what about your cat? Is it okay for them to enjoy candles as well?

Cats And Candles

Cats love to spend time with friends and family. They enjoy being around people and having fun, but, when it comes to certain types of scents, they do not like them.

Some scents are more pleasant than others. Cheap scented candles are bad for both cats and humans. Paraffin-based ones are dangerous for both cats and humans!

Cheap candles are bad for cats because they emit harmful chemicals into the air. These chemicals include dioxins and carcinogens.

Petroleum derivatives, like paraffin, are used as the main ingredient in many candles. Petroleum based fragrances are often added to make the scent more appealing. 

Even though the ingredients may be safe for people, they can cause harm to pets if they are inhaled. Animal fats and stearic acid are sometimes added to produce a better looking product.

Burning these types of candles releases dangerous fumes that can harm both you and your cat.

Candle Safety for Cats: The Basics

When you think of cats, you probably don’t think of fire safety. However, there are some things that you should know about candles in order to keep your feline friends safe.

Candles come in many shapes and sizes. They can be made from wax, paraffin, soy, beeswax, and more. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages when used around animals.

Candles are safe as long as you take proper precautions. Keep them out of reach of any flammables, and never leave them unattended. Don’t let your pets knock things off the coffee table.

Cats can climb up to high places, and they can be knocked over by falling objects. If your cat knocks a burning candle flying, they may end up getting burned, or worse, set the living room rug on fire.

You should take the proper safety precautions for a child, as a result, you need to take those same precautions when it comes to your cat. 

Essential Oils And Cats

Essential oils are plant based fats that may cause adverse reactions in your pet if they get too close. Your cat probably won’t react badly to the scent of your candles, but you should be careful when burning them around your cat. 

Some oils are more toxic to your cat than others, and as cats are very sensitive creatures, to the toxic effects than other animals and humans.

However, various things can impact whether essential oils in your candle cause a reaction in your cat.

Essential oils come from plants. You should know what kind of plants are safe for your cat before using them. Some essential oils may be poisonous to cats if they are allergic to the plant that is used to make the scent.

As a result, if your cat is allergic to a plant, then if your candle contains that plant in some way, your cat could have a reaction from said candle. 

Cats’ noses are very sensitive. You should dilute the essential oils you put in your candles before using them around your cats. A strong smell could make them sneeze or cause them to have breathing issues, such as asthma.

The scent of the candle could even irritate their eyes as well. As a result, if you dilute the essential oils in your candle, then this will decrease the amount of oil your cat will come into contact with as well. 

Cats don’t have hands, but they do use their teeth and claws to grab at things. They use them to bite into things they’re interested in. When they chew on lit candles, they’ll get burnt by the heat inside. 

Also, if they swallow any of the wax that has been infused with the essential oils, that can cause both neurological and digestive issues. They could either become really sick or die, depending on the amount that they have consumed. 

Using Incense In Your Home

You may think that instead of candles, you will burn incense in your home. Incense is a common household item that people use to add a nice fragrance to their environment.

However, it can cause serious health problems for cats. Essential oils and plant materials used in incense can cause severe breathing issues in cats.

There are many ways to reduce bad smells. You can use air fresheners, sprays, candles, incense, etc.

Some people even put flowers in their house, but if you want to be sure that there won’t be any odors in your house, then you should clean the litter box often. You can also use natural scents such as lavender oil. 

How To Know If Your Cat Is Sensitive To Candles

If you want to know if your cat is sensitive to candles, then you should look at his behavior. You will notice more with scented candles, than plain candles if your cat is allergic or sensitive to them. There are a couple of symptoms to look out for. These include:

  • Itching,
  • Watery Eyes,
  • Rashes,
  • Coughing,
  • Runny Nose,
  • Sneezing. 

Final Thoughts

A lot of people enjoy burning a candle to help them unwind and relax after a long day. However, cats are known to be extra sensitive creatures. Therefore, the candle you are burning could cause a reaction in your cat. 

This depends on if the candle contains any essential oils that are either too strong or your cat is allergic to. Or if your candle is made from paraffin wax, which produces toxic smoke into the air.  

If you do want to burn a candle, you need to take all the proper safety precautions and possibly burn it in a room, where your cat doesn’t go into that often.

This will then reduce the chances of your cat coming into contact with the fumes that your candle produces.
Courtney Trent
Latest posts by Courtney Trent (see all)