Cats make great pets, and if you own one yourself, you know that you’d do anything to protect the health of your fuzzball. One of the most hazardous things that many cat owners don’t consider is perfume and other scented cosmetics and products.
While you can wear perfume around your cat, keep in mind that felines are extremely sensitive to many ingredients commonly used in scented products, including perfume. At the very least, you should avoid applying perfume while your cat is nearby. To minimize the risks, spray perfume in a separate room that your cat doesn’t hang out in.
This article will cover everything you need to know about using scented cosmetics and perfume around cats. If you’re interested in why perfume is dangerous to cats and what are some scent alternatives, keep on reading.
In this article..
Why You Should Avoid Wearing Perfume Around Cats
Cats are sensitive to many essential oils frequently used in perfume. Their livers can’t metabolize chemical compounds called phenols, which are very frequently used in perfumes and other scented products like laundry detergents and air fresheners.
As a result, you should avoid using cosmetics and cleaning products containing phenols around your cats. It’s also recommended not to cuddle with your cat right after applying perfume containing phenols.
In addition to that, many essential oils contain phenols and also pose risk to the health of your cat. Some of the most popular essential oils you should avoid when owning a cat are:
- Bay leaf
- Citrus oil
- Clove oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Pennyroyal oil
- Peppermint oil
- Pine oil
- Sweet birch oil
- Tea tree oil
- Wintergreen oil
- Ylang-Ylang oil
If your cat inhales, ingests, or comes in contact with essential oils high in phenols, it can experience a plethora of adverse health effects:
- Low Heart Rate
- Nasal Discharge
- Watery Eyes
It’s also possible that your cat could die from liver poisoning, so you should be extremely aware of your use of perfume and other scented products if you want to avoid the risk of hurting your beloved cat.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has compiled an extensive list of plants toxic to cats. We recommend you refer to it every time when buying scented products to see if it doesn’t include ingredients derived from these plants.
While many popular essential oils are toxic to cats, there are several options low in phenols that could be fine to use around your cats:
- Basil oil
- Easter Lily Cactus oil
- Fennel oil
- Hibiscus oil
- Jasmine oil
- Lemon Balm oil
- Rose oil
- Sage oil
- Thyme oil
However, you should always research individual products in-depth before using them around your cat. Even essential oils that are low in phenols could be damaging to your cat’s health if they contain other ingredients that are toxic to cats.
You can use safe essential oils in humidifiers and diffusers, but make sure your cat won’t get into contact with the vapors. Finally, you can even apply some safe essential oils onto your wrists as an alternative to perfume.
Safe Scents For Cats
Luckily, there are several options you can use to make you or your house smell nice without putting your cat at risk. The first option that comes to mind is burning candles, but you should only burn those made of wax that isn’t toxic to cats.
Some cat-safe wax types are beeswax, soybean wax, and coconut wax. These waxes are 100% natural and don’t contain any toxins themselves, making the candles safe to burn around cats.
However, you should avoid burning traditional candles that are made of paraffin. In addition to releasing black smoke called soot, which is dangerous to cats, paraffin candles usually contain other ingredients that can be toxic to your pet.
Keep in mind that you should still check the ingredient list to ensure that candles made of natural wax don’t include anything that might hurt your cat. It’s not unusual for natural candles to include natural essential oils which are toxic to cats.
For beeswax candles, you should look into Hyoola. This company has several beeswax candle options that are safe to burn around your cats. For example, you can get a pack of 12 9-inch candles for just $27.99.
These 100% natural candles were handmade in the U.S. using the highest quality beeswax. They feature a drip-free design that fits most candle holders. You can expect up to 5 hours of burn time from these unscented candles.
Soy Wax Candles
For soy wax candles, you should look into a company called Aira. It offers a selection of 100% natural soy wax candles with over 40 different scents. However, some of them are toxic to cats, like Clean Lemon, and you should research if a candle they sell doesn’t include essential oils which are dangerous to cats.
If you can’t be bothered to research the ingredients, we recommend unscented soy wax tealights by Calm Life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
(Q): Can You Wear Perfume Around Birds?
(A): It’s recommended to refrain from wearing perfume around birds. They have a unique respiratory system that’s completely different from ours. In addition to that, birds are much smaller than humans, so even compounds that aren’t very toxic to humans in small quantities can hurt a bird.
(Q): What Foods Are Poisonous To Cats?
(A): When it comes to diet, cats aren’t that picky and can indulge in foods that are dangerous to them. Some food that you probably have in your kitchen but is dangerous to cats include alcohol, grapes, liver, onions, garlic, leeks, chives, tomatoes, potatoes, and raw dough.
When it comes to wearing perfume around cats, you should be diligent and study the ingredient list before applying it. Many fragrances contain scents from essential oils which are dangerous to cats. However, we hope this article helped you find some alternatives that are safe to use around cats and allow you to enjoy scents even if you own a cat.