Scented candles are one of the biggest selling items during the holiday season. I used to save up money for months to purchase all the good smelling candles with the holiday scents. That is, until I learned how harmful they can be to our cats.

According to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, “Like air fresheners, scented candles can also contain dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and VOCs. Cheaply made candles can contain toxic levels of heavy metals in the wicks. When one of these candles burns, the lead particles are released into the air. Frequent use of these candles could contribute to the development of health conditions such as asthma, allergies and cancer.

Cats are very sensitive to airborne toxins and these toxins often trigger unwanted reactions, like asthma attacks. We had a cat with asthma many years ago that would suffer through attacks regularly. I had no idea that the plug-ins and candles I kept going year-round were a contributing factor to his pain. We’ve spoken with many cat parents who tell us that the allergies or asthmatic reactions went away after removing scented candles and other fragrances from their homes. It breaks my heart that I didn’t know this sooner. 🙁

But once we know better, we can do better.

There are many safe alternatives to burning candles in your home and still have a fresh scent. Opening your windows or having cat safe plants in the home can help cleanse the air. You can click here for some other ideas on how to scent your house without chemicals.

It is hard to find truly safe candles to burn around our cats, as the smoke from any candle isn’t great to breathe in – regardless of how natural it may be. That being said, if you do find a cat safe candle, be sure to keep it out of reach of your kitties and in a very well ventilated area. Our cats deserve better this holiday season!



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