Many people are aware that cats can be sensitive to various things that are harmless to humans. It is important for cat owners to be cautious about the food they give their pets, the cleaning products they use, and other factors. However, the question remains: are incense harmful to cats?
Indeed, certain types of incense can be harmful to cats. Although small amounts of certain incense may not cause significant harm, prolonged or high-level exposure to incense smoke can pose a danger to cats. It is advisable to refrain from using incense in the presence of cats.
No need to stress; we’ll go over all the important information about incense and cats, including why it can be harmful and safer alternatives you can try.
Reasons Incense Are Bad For Cats
There are 5 primary reasons why incense can be harmful to your cats and important factors to think about when considering burning incense near a cat.
We’re specifically looking at how incense affects your cat, but we won’t be discussing safety measures and preventing fires caused by incense.
If you decide to light incense, it’s important to consider fire safety and make sure your cat stays away from the burning incense to prevent any fire hazards.
Many Cats Are Sensitive To All Smoke
Most people are unaware that cats can be highly sensitive to various types of smoke. Unlike humans with larger lungs, cats have smaller lungs that may not effectively handle small particles such as smoke in the air.
If there is a lot of incense smoke in a room, your cat might struggle to breathe or feel tired.
As time goes on, being around incense smoke might cause your cat to feel sick, exhausted, grumpy, or lazy. Although these effects should go away once your cat can breathe in fresh air for a bit, it’s not good for their overall health in the long run.
The Scent May Be Too Powerful For Your Cat
Cats have noses that are much stronger and more sensitive than ours. This means that what might be a faint smell of incense to us is likely to be very strong and bothersome for our cats.
Think about entering a big pile of compost in an industrial area and how it might smell. That’s likely how strong the scent of incense is for cats.
This means that the smell might bother and annoy your cat, even if they don’t experience any immediate health problems.
Some Types Of Incense Smoke Are Toxic To Cats
It can be difficult to determine the ingredients used in incense.
Some smells can be harmful to cats, but these same ingredients can also be found in other scents. This makes it difficult to determine which scents are toxic and how to protect your cat from harmful ingredients.
Low-Quality Incense May Be More Dangerous
Controlling potentially harmful ingredients in your incense becomes more difficult as the quality decreases. Additionally, some low-quality choices may not disclose all the ingredients they contain, making it impossible to regulate.
Furthermore, cheap incense might not burn in the same manner, resulting in the creation of more harmful smoke, bigger smoke particles, or volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to both you and your cat.
Repeat Incense Exposure May Cause Health Problems
Breathing in large amounts of smoke and tiny particles, such as when cats are exposed to regular incense burning, is a major reason why cats develop asthma and other respiratory problems.
While incense may not be poisonous to cats, the smoke they inhale from it can still have lasting health effects. Using incense has been linked to increased rates of asthma and lung cancer, as well as other serious health issues in both cats and humans.
Can Cats Be Allergic To Incense
Yes and no. Cats can have allergies to specific ingredients in incense, and some cats may be more sensitive to incense than others, but not all reactions to incense are due to allergies.
It’s more probable that your cat will have a sensitivity to smoke rather than an allergic reaction. Additionally, certain reactions to harmful chemicals in the smoke from your incense might resemble allergic reactions but require different treatments.
So, even though it’s possible for your cat to have an allergic reaction to incense, it’s more likely that they will experience other negative health effects from it.
Can Incense Kill Cats
Using incense can be harmful to cats and potentially fatal, although this is not very common. However, it is more likely that regularly using incense can negatively impact your cat’s overall well-being and potentially reduce their lifespan due to long-term health issues.
So, although it’s not very likely that incense will cause your cat to die right away if they don’t have any existing health issues or allergies, using incense can seriously affect your cat’s lifespan and overall well-being.
Is Burning Frankincense Safe For Cats
Incense is usually considered ‘safe’ for cats, meaning that it’s not a scent or essential oil (a popular way to add fragrance to incense) that is known to immediately harm cats. However, this doesn’t guarantee complete safety since smoke can still be a potential issue for cats.
Burning frankincense incense occasionally and in small amounts should not cause significant harm to the majority of cats.
Is Patchouli Incense Safe For Cats
No, it’s probably not safe for cats to be around patchouli incense. Although there haven’t been specific studies on this, patchouli scents are usually made from essential oils derived from a plant that is related to mint.
While catnip, which is a type of mint, may be okay for cats, most mint-based essential oils and scents, such as incense, are too powerful for cats and have a lot of chemicals that cats struggle to get rid of.
So, even though patchouli incense hasn’t been specifically researched and patchouli scents aren’t listed as definite toxins for cats, there is a high chance of significant negative health impacts from patchouli incense.
Is Vanilla Incense Safe For Cats
Vanilla is a scent that might be less harmful to cats compared to others because vanilla itself is not considered dangerous for cats. Although the smoke from incense can still be an issue, vanilla is a strong flavoring and scented item, so only a small amount is needed to produce a pleasant-smelling incense.
So, vanilla incense is likely a better and safer choice for your cat, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe or good for their health.
Incense Alternative For Cats
Many people who have cats enjoy using scents to mask the smell of litterboxes and the presence of cats in their homes. Although incense may not be a safe choice, there are alternative options that are more suitable for your cats.
Using scented sprays such as Febreze is a great choice because they give off a nice smell and can get rid of bad smells. Plug-in diffusers are also a good option, but make sure to check the ingredients and toxicity to make sure the smell won’t harm your cat.
Regrettably, using essential oil diffusers, burning herbs, and other natural methods to add fragrance to a room are typically just as detrimental as incense. However, there is one exception – using scented candles without actually lighting them may be less harmful than incense, but it can still be harmful if you do light the candle.
Using other methods, such as regularly cleaning litterboxes and vacuuming carpets and furniture, can also help improve the smell of your home and reduce the cat odor.
If you want to get rid of bad smells without adding a new smell, scent absorbers are a great choice.