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cats & candles

Two of my favorite things.

Fall is approaching, which means so is one of the greatest things: fall scents! Pumpkin spice, a little bit of cinnamon, and oooh, don’t forget maple! There’s a few things I love more than fall, and one of those is my cats! That means when I’m deciding on my new scents, I’m keeping the kitties in mind.

So, what does that mean? Am I picking their favorite scents? Obviously, no, they can’t tell me... (But I think Batman likes pumpkin spice.) However, I AM picking the types of candles and scents that are good for them.

Back story: my oldest cat, Tory, has had a coughing problem in the more recent years, especially at our apartment. (She's fine, I promise - vet says so.) One day, I was scrolling through the good old internet and saw people discussing air freshener wall plug-ins, and how they aren’t safe for cats. Right there, it clicked in my mind. I had one of those in every room of the apartment, so I unplugged every single one! I didn’t really need the scents, I just liked them, so I didn’t care about giving them up. Surely enough, Tory BARELY coughs anymore. I realized that what the plug-ins were putting into the air is what was irritating poor little Tory! Why? The chemicals and ingredients used in these plug-ins are not 100% safe for cats. These are known as volatile organic compounds, (VOCs), and it's the same thing that occurs in paints, aerosol propellants, and more. It can irritate cat's lungs possibly causing asthma, or just make them sick.

Okay, so, since plug-ins are bad we can use essential oil diffusers, right? Wrong, sorry! You still have to be careful with diffusers around your little critters. Oils that are toxic or poisonous to cats include: cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, ylang ylang, wintergreen, and more. Essential oils can irritate cats by 1) getting into their respiratory system and 2) settling onto their fur, which they can lick and ingest. The oils are then metabolized in the liver, but cats lack an essential enzyme that assists in metabolizing these oils. It’s best to diffuse oils away from your pets if you use them, or not at all.

So no plug-in air fresheners. No essential oils. Now what? CANDLES! Yes, candles can still work! The biggest idea to keep in mind when candle shopping for a pet household is what type of candle you’re buying. The best choice is a “clean burning” candle, which can be made of soy, beeswax, or vegetable wax. You should avoid paraffin candles, as those release more toxicities into the air. I personally am currently using Swan Creek candles that I purchased at Village Gift Barn, and they are a clean-burn soy candle. Just look for any candle made with soy, vegetable, or beeswax!

We all want our living space to smell great, but if you have pets (especially cats), take these things into consideration. You may not have issues if your house is well ventilated, but still watch your pets! If you think about it, if certain oils and candles are bad for cats, how much better are they for humans? Find what type of candle is safe for your household, and happy fall scent hunting!

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