Is Incense Bad For Cats.

Is Incense Bad For Cats. Incense may be a nice way to breathe a little easier and provide a strong scent to many homes, but cats often develop terrible allergies from it.

Which is why you see very few incense burners aimed at the feline crowd.

In other words, your fluffy friends are likely to end up sneezing, wheezing, and even hacking because of incense that isn’t cat-safe.

Is Incense Bad for Cats

You may enjoy the soothing aroma of incense, but if you have a cat, this can be a problem. Cats have lungs that are more sensitive than humans and incense may be harmful to them. Incense can be bad for cats because it emits smoke which may damage their fragile lungs or cause issues such as respiratory infections and asthma.

Inhalation of Smoke and Incense

In a report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it was indicated that burning incense in close proximity to your cat can affect their health as well as yours.

Since your cat is so much smaller than you, they are subjected to more particulate emissions that can lodge in their lungs.

The EPA adds that these particulates may also contain mutagenic contaminants that cause health effects on both people and cats alike.

Powerful Fragrance for Your Cat

Cats have much stronger and more sensitive noses than humans. So naturally, when you smell something, cats can smell it in a much more overwhelming way.

This might be hard to imagine, but let’s think back to the last time that you walked into a room and there was an awful industrial-strength compost heap just waiting to get chucked out on the street.

Most likely that smell would be extremely noxious and overwhelm your sense of smell for a time even if it didn’t cause you any immediate health effects.

Similarly, incense scents might overpower cats and may irritate them even if they don’t suffer any immediate health problems such as an asthma attack or similar ailment.

Is Incense Harmful To Cats

You may enjoy the soothing aroma of incense, but if you have a cat, this can be a problem. It’s hard to tell for sure if an adverse reaction is caused by allergies, so it’s important to monitor your cat if he/she tends to be more prone to having incense smoke affect them.

What are the likely symptoms? It depends on what chemicals are in the candle/incense and how sensitive your pet is to them.

Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Seizures, Coughing, Retching What you should do If you’re using a candle or incense, keep it at least three feet away from where your pet sleeps, eats or drinks.

Which Scent is Safe For Cats?

Some safe essential oils for cats include lavender, copaiba, helichrysum, and frankincense.

If you diffuse oils in your home, it should not bother your cat because when an oil is used in a diffuser it is highly diluted, versus direct topical application or dietary supplementation.

Is Incense Harmful To a Cat’s Lungs?

Unfortunately, this may be true. Breathing in the smoke and particulate matter produced by incense can irritate a cat’s respiratory system quite adversely.

Because of a cat’s keen sense of smell, incense may be highly uncomfortable to them.


While cats don’t react well to incense, you can take certain steps to lessen the chances that your feline friend might get harmed. Still, with the Environmental Protection Agency classifying incense as a source of indoor air pollution, it might be worth investigating other more viable alternatives that are also friendly to your cat’s allergies.

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