Candles are a great way to add ambiance and fragrance to your home, but it’s important to consider the safety of all household members, including your pets. If you have a cat, you may be wondering if candles with essential oils are safe for them.
In this post, we’ll explore the potential risks and hazards of using candles with essential oils around cats and offer some tips for keeping your feline friends safe.
Are Candles with Essential Oils Safe for Cats?
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are used for their aroma and therapeutic properties.
They are popular in a variety of products, including candles, diffusers, and personal care products.
However, it is important to note that essential oils can be toxic to cats if ingested or inhaled in large amounts.
Cats have a unique metabolism that makes them more sensitive to essential oils than humans or dogs.
Their livers do not have the ability to properly metabolize certain compounds found in essential oils, which can lead to toxicity.
In addition, cats have a highly sensitive respiratory system, which makes them more prone to respiratory irritation and problems when exposed to strong odors.
Can cats be around essential oils?
While essential oils can be toxic to cats, it is possible for cats to be around them in small amounts.
The key is to use caution and common sense when using essential oils around cats.
Here are some tips for keeping your cats safe:
- Keep essential oil products out of reach of your cats. This includes candles, diffusers, and personal care products containing essential oils.
- Do not apply essential oils directly to your cat’s skin or fur. Cats groom themselves by licking their fur, which can lead to ingestion of the oils.
- Use essential oils in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of respiratory irritation.
- If you are using an essential oil diffuser, keep it out of your cat’s reach and do not leave it running for extended periods of time.
Ideally, you won’t use essential oils in an area where your cat is sleeping or hanging out, but I know it’s not always avoidable.
Do candles present a burning hazard to cats?
In addition to the potential risks of essential oils, candles also present a burning hazard to cats.
Cats are curious creatures and may knock over a lit candle or get too close to the flame, which could result in burns or even a house fire.
To keep your cats safe, it is important to:
- Keep lit candles out of reach of your cats.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy and stable to prevent accidental tipping.
- Extinguish candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Never leave a lit candle in an area where your cat is sleeping. Your cat may wake up and be curious when you’re not in the room!
It’s always better to err on the side of caution, even if it seems like you’re going a little over the top to make sure your cat doesn’t come into contact with your candles.
Which scents are most toxic to cats?
Certain essential oils are more toxic to cats than others. The most toxic essential oils for cats include:
- Tea tree
- Ylang Ylang
If you are concerned about the safety of your candles with essential oils around your cats, it is best to avoid using these scents.
There are many other options for candle fragrances that are safer for use around cats, such as vanilla, Jasmine, and chamomile.
The bottom line is that it’s important to use caution when using candles with essential oils around cats.
While it is possible for cats to be around essential oils in small amounts, there is a risk of toxicity or respiratory irritation if too much is used.
It’s also important to take safety precautions when using candles, such as keeping them out of reach and extinguishing them before leaving the room.
Finally, it’s best to avoid using essential oils that are known to be very toxic to cats altogether, such as pine, cinnamon, citrus, lavender, tea tree, and ylang ylang.
Image credits – Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.