A question for the cat people.

So last night the boyfriend and I were out with some friends, which is always nice, because the boys have bonding time and us girls talk about kitties (yeah, most of my friends are cat people. I do have some dog people friends, but I don’t think I have ANY non-animal friends. So elitist of me). She has a Persian (I think, I mix them up with Himalayas…long hair is all the same to me) and therefore she has a groomer.

Here’s my question: the last time her groomer was over, she smelled a scented candle burning and told my friend that scented candles and plug-in scents are toxic for kitties. Something about how their livers can’t process them.

Now, I am not saying that this groomer doesn’t know what she’s talking about, anyone who would risk losing a paying customer by possibly offending them by questioning their scented candle use obviously feels strongly that it’s true. But I’ve NEVER heard this before. I know that burning candles isn’t particularly good in the carcinogen sense, but I’ve never heard that the scent could be harmful to a cat. I don’t burn candles all that much, but I do have the Bath & Body Works oil plug-ins around the house. I mean, how else am I gonna cover up the cat pee smell?

So I googled a bit, and I did find a few pages that backed it up, but not an overwhelming amount. And it’s weird that I’ve never heard this before. You’d think there would be more stuff on the interwebs if it was a serious concern. I remember a while ago there were all those email forwards going around saying that using Swiffer Wet Jets were bad for your animals, which turned out to be grossly untrue.

So I’m asking you cat people out there: have you EVER heard of this? I’m really interested to know, and if you HAVE heard this, what’s my aromatic alternative? I already have lemon cats, I don’t need faulty livers on top of that. Help!


  1. Oldcat

    I’ve never heard of anything like that. And it isn’t like in the wild cats aren’t exposed to smells.

    And a Himalayan is just a Persian colored like a Siamese (“Pointed”)

  2. christine

    I have heard that scented oils like Glade and Bath and Body are bad for kitties. But I don’t have anything to back it up–I think a vet tech mentioned it to me once but I am not a devout candle burner, so I never pursued it. Post back with your findings, please!

    • MEOWhearthis

      I saw something on pinterest about how to re-use the Bath and Body plug-ins with essential oils rather than the scents they put in there, something about chemicals…but that was for human health and I never really looked into it. I will definitely pass on anything I learn, but so far nada.

  3. Boomdeeadda

    Nope, never heard this before. I’ve always had a plug-in near their litter box. It’d be interesting to know the validity of it. My vets never said anything about it, you’d think they’d discuss it, if they had concerns. Someones always sounding an alarm about something….one week coffee’s a killer, the next week it’s beneficial. I think you’d hear more about it if plug-ins were a no-no with pets.

  4. Pingback: So here’s what I learned about cats and candles. « MEOW hear this!
  5. Russel Ray Photos

    I have heard that they are bad for kittens, i.e., cats that are extremely young and don’t have a fully developed immune system yet. If you expose the young ones to excessive smells like Glade and scented candles, do it in small doses, i.e., maybe a couple of hours for your dinner party. From what I understand, the kittens should be good to go at age one.

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