Candles are perfect for many occasions: they help you relax when you get home after a long day and help make a romantic night with your special someone even more intimate, but if you keep cats as pets, there may be some unpleasant odour in your home that you want to mask whit them. Beeswax products are some of the most common and popular candles that are excellent for indoor use. But if you are a cat owner, the big question is: are beeswax candles safe for cats?
Is beeswax safe for cats?
But most beeswax candles are infused with fragrances and chemicals to make them smell better or to make the flame last longer. Cats are more sensitive to these potentially toxic or dangerous scents than humans. They have 45-200 million odour-sensitive cells, compared to only 5 million in humans. So it's no wonder they have a much stronger sense of smell than we do. Because of this, they can be disturbed by scents that we can't even smell.
Cats use different enzymes to metabolize substances than we do. This may mean that perfumes and other additives used in candle making may not be broken down by them.
Continued exposure to substances that cats cannot digest can lead to serious health complications the most common of which are lung and liver diseases. Some less serious but still, worrying symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Which candle scents are safe for cats?
Cats are known to be irritated by the smell of citrus. They also generally prefer dilute scents to strong ones. With these in mind, it's down to your cat's taste as to what scent they will and won't like.
Watch your cat
After you have chosen your scent, you will have to observe your cat's (or cats) behaviour carefully. It goes without saying that you should never leave an open flame unattended.
Also, make sure that candles are not placed on unstable surfaces or coverings, such as tablecloths, that could accidentally get caught by a passing cat.
Even if you use organic candles, avoid burning them if you have pets with asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory problems. Some cat breeds are more susceptible to respiratory diseases, so if you have a Persian or Himalayan cat, do not use candles. Try to light natural, fragrance-free candles and get plenty of ventilation in order to not let the smell linger for too long.
Allow your cat to roam freely in the house, and make sure it can go to a place where the smell of the candle is not strong. If you try a new candle, keep an eye on your cat's reaction. At the slightest change in behaviour, extinguish the candle immediately and ventilate thoroughly.
With all these in mind, you and your cat can enjoy your beeswax candles together without negative effects on the health of the kitty.
Once you're done with your beeswax candle, we have a great guide on how to upcycle left over beeswax!