Can I light scented candles around my cat, or would it make her sick?

Scented candles are not your ordinary candles. Burning scented candles is a great way to create a calming atmosphere and make the room smell lovely. It contains a soothing and relaxing scent that every human wants after such a tiring day in everyday life. It gives us the fragrant aroma that calms our mind while we are at a home hugging our little cute cat. But wait, we mentioned cat? Does it ever occur to your mind if using scented candles can harm your cute little cat? Well, let’s see if it safe or not.RONXS candle lighter helps you take the first step in lighting scented candles

Research wise, the harm may depend on the type and placement of the candle. If you would use a low quality, mass produced scented candles made of paraffin wax it will not be healthy for them. Most of the scented candles are made of paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is made from petroleum as a by-product of making gasoline. Paraffin is the final residue left from refining crude oil. It’s made from the sludge in the bottom of a barrel of oil which is then bleached by adding dioxin and other poisonous chemicals and then texturized with a chemical called acrolyn. And, afterwards, stearic acid, a byproduct of the meatpacking slaughterhouses, is added as a hardener. Many paraffin candle manufacturers also add animal fats to give their candles a more textured or rustic look.

The American Lung Association warns against burning paraffin candles as these types of candles can emit toxins and dangerous chemicals in the air. Chemical’s from paraffin wax candles can easily accumulate in cat’s bodies since they are much smaller than humans are and can’t process the toxins as quickly.

But, if you really want to enjoy some relaxing moment with your cat with a scented candle in the background, you can use the alternative organic wax candles. Organic wax candles such as soy wax, vegetable wax or coconut wax are much better for you and your cat. It has a lot of benefits as they don’t let out any toxins and carcinogens along with being completely biodegradable (derived from renewable resources). The fragrances that they use are also natural, and the candles themselves burn longer than the paraffin candles.  It is also environmentally friendly and better for your health. They are a bit expensive than the paraffin candles but they are worth it to buy, however ensure that you check the label carefully before purchasing. Additionally, you can also choose scents that are safe for your cats such as frankincense, chamomile, lavender, myrrh, catnip, valerian and peppermint.

In choosing a scented candle, you must be aware of the following candle ingredients and avoid them wherever possible.

1. Paraffin: Most candles are paraffin, a wax made from petroleum waste that releases carcinogens when burned.

2. Lead: Some wicks have a metal core, which may contain lead. It is entirely possible that the lead released into the air will be above the EPA threshold; even low doses can harm the central nervous system.

3. Benzene: This known carcinogen is emitted from the soot of some candles.

4. Acrolein, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde: These dangerous chemicals can also reduce the air quality in your home.

5. Toluene: Found in candle soot, it’s known to affect the central nervous system.

6. Artificial colors and scents: These can cause allergies and respiratory problems.

Now, we know about the candles we should avoid, let’s talk about the placement on where and how to burn candles.

Setting the candle on a surface that is stable and heat-resistant can protect the surface from damage and to prevent the glass container from breaking. Make sure that the candle is clear of any other objects that are flammable. This includes bedding, curtains, paper and anything else that could potentially catch a fire. Burn candle in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a tight home where air exchange is limited. Keep your fans running if possible and open up the windows to prevent candle fumes from accumulating in the room.

Keep out of reach of cats! Make sure you place burning candles out of your pet’s reach to avoid fire accidents. Cats loves to jump up on surfaces and sometimes knock things off them, so make sure you never leave a lit candle unattended. It can lead to a fire accident which may burn your cat or possibly your room, leading to a serious of unfortunate events.

Keep your cats away from scented candle wax. Aside from burns or fires, scented candles can cause health risks if your cat decides to lick or eat the wax. It may cause ingestion and will generally lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. Direct contact to skin can also cause irritation to the skin of your cats.

Using scent that is too strong can cause irritation to your feline friends. Cats are more sensitive to scents than humans as they metabolize fragrance materials differently. Usually, they don’t enjoy anything that smells too strong. Some fragrances can make your cat sick or just uncomfortable. Each cat will be different but some can be very sensitive to the smells or the scent of the candles. In rare cases, some might dry heave or even vomit if the smell becomes too much. One of the scents that cats don’t like is the strong, acidic scent of citrus. That’s because oils from citrus fruits like, oranges, lime, lemon, and grapefruit are toxic to them. Keep this in mind when it comes to choosing scented candles to burn.

Always check your cat’s respiratory health. Even if you are using organic candles, if you have cat with asthma or other respiratory issues it will not be recommended to use scented candles. And even if your cat doesn’t have any respiratory issues, they might start acquiring respiratory problems because of this. It is always advised to let your cat checked by the vet who knows better what is and isn’t safe for your pet. When you start seeing symptoms of a problem, immediately go to the vet. The symptoms are:

· Coughing

· Watery eyes

· Sneezing

· Itching

· Skin redness/rashes

· Runny nose

· Respiratory distress (difficulty of breathing, fast breathing, coughing)

· Vomiting

So are scented candles bad for cats? Yes! There are so many risk associated with scented candles and cats but as long as you are responsible about the type of candles you burn, where you place them and know your pet’s specific health needs then you can have your relaxing scented candles with no worries! Just remember these things if you burn your scented candles:

1. Avoid using paraffin wax candles

2. Use organic wax candles

3. Watch for fire hazards

4. Never leave the candle unattended

5. Add a protective shield or cover to your candles

6. Keep out of reach of cats

7. Avoid scents that is too strong

8. Burn in a well-ventilated room

9. Do not burn a lot of candles in one room

10. Always check your pets respiratory health


Scented candles provide humans with calming and relaxing effect but no one wants to give up their feline best friend too. You can keep them both! Just make sure you implement safety first to avoid unfortunate events in your home or in your pets. 


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