Thursday 25 March 2021

**New Series** at BBHQ ~ Cat Hazards ~ The Art of Keeping Your Cat Safer ~ The Dangers of Candles and Spray Air Fresheners to Cats

Cat Hazards Banner ©BionicBasil®

  Happy Purrsday supurr pals

Welcome to Cat Hazards ~ A New Series at BBHQ, and today we sharing Part Four.

If mew're new to being cat staff, then maybe there are a few things mew haven't thought about, and we're here to point mew in the right direction and share tips that we've garnered over 25+ years. And for those seasoned and veteran cat staff, do feel free to add more suggestions in the comments, as all tips and cat hacks are welcome. 

Remember our furst Cat Hazards post in September, click the link for a quick refresh; a few weeks ago, someone posted in one of the black cat groups on Facebook that she needed prayers for her cat, mew see it had eaten some hair bands and was being operated on, they actually found 21 in the poor cat's stomach. If that wasn't bad enough, as we went through the comments, we were horrified to see how many cat owners let their cats play with hair bands and think it's funny, and the majority of commenters seemed oblivious to the dangers. And the owner who was asking for prayers didn't even see that letting her cat play with hair bands was an issue, not even after her cat's surgery.

And funnily enough, the few peeps who commented on the thread about the stupidity of letting cats play with hairbands were shut down for supposedly trolling! Like WOW, freedom of speech is really at an all-time low right now.

Irresponsible and cretinous people like this should not be allowed to keep pets. It astounds us in this day and age of health and safety everything that so many cat owners are completely clueless about deadly hazards for their cats.

Let's Talk About Candles and Spray Air Fresheners

Who doesn't love the atmosphere from a real candle, and today there are so many delightful ones to choose from.

There are the supurr posh, mega-expensive, top-end designer fragranced candles in chic glass jars with shiny metal lids all the way through to a simple scented votive available for your aroma infused whims.

The Dangers of Candles and Spray Air Fresheners to Cats ©BionicBasil® Cat Hazards

And while these are lovely to burn in the home, they can pose a potential threat to Fluffy. A swishing tail near a naked flame is not a good idea, or a curious nose inspecting the flame sends shivers down our spines and visions of singed whiskers, or just a simple fly-by where a burning candle is, could lead to it being knocked over and the cause of a house fire. 

And while mew may think it's safe to burn votives in glass jars, we did have an incident about 16 years ago here at BBHQ -pre-blog- when Basil chased Humphrey over the mantelpiece and knocked two glass jars with burning votives in, and they smashed all over the hearth, so not only was there hot wax everywhere, there was broken glass too. Luckily no one was injured, but it could have been a total disaster. 

The dangers of a lit candle in the company of cats needs serious risk assessment, and we learnt that it's just not worth the risk. Ultimately, it's your decision, though we do hope that extreme care is taken if mew do burn real candles.

Moving on to the cans and bottles of spray air fresheners, and the ones that can be sprayed on furniture too. Purrlease check the label to make sure they are cat/pet friendly, and don't ever let your cat walk or sit anywhere where the spray is still wet or damp as the chemicals could potentially be quite harmful.

Only last week, we read that a poor kitty climbed on a sofa which had just been cleaned with well-known disinfectant spray. Needless to say, the kitty is sadly still at the vet's with chemical poisoning.

Even the so-called natural spray alternatives need to be approached with the same care; just because it's natural doesn't mean that it's safe for cats. As we said earlier, always check the label and if in doubt, don't buy it. There are many different ways to bring fragrance into the home without your kitty being near chemicals and burning candles.

Let's Talk Alternatives to Real Candles and Spray Air Fresheners

Today there are lots of alternative ways to bring fragrance and/or ambience into the home, and we know that everyone is different and likes what they like, but here are a few suggestions:
Plugin fragrance diffusers/humidifiers

Plugin air freshener

Electric wax melts

Battery wax melts

Battery candles/votives 

Oil Lamps


Reed diffusers

At BBHQ we use a plugin diffuser in the kitchen - see pic bottom left - and use a couple of drops of neroli or orange essential oil in the water; not only does it smell nice it also humidifies the air and stops it from being too dry. We also have battery candles which look very good, although obviously there is no fragrance from them.

The Dangers of Candles and Spray Air Fresheners to Cats ©BionicBasil® Cat Hazards

We also have several Ashleigh and Burwood Fragrance Lamps located around the house, so if we need a blast of purrfume, say after a particularly stinky litter box visit and an open window hasn't helped, this is the P.A.'s go-to method.

The Dangers of Candles and Spray Air Fresheners to Cats ©BionicBasil® Cat Hazards

Here's how to use one of these lamps if mew've never tried one before:

Remove stone/wick assembly and fill with your chosen fragrance oil 2/3rds full, replace small snuffer-cap and leave for about 30 minutes or so, as the fragrance oil saturates the internal wick and stone. Remove snuffer-cap and light stone; it should flame straight away. If not, then it needs more time and mew should replace the snuffer-cap and wait. Anyhoo once lit, yes we know it's a naked flame, but we're sure mew can stay with it for 2 to 3 minutes while the stone heats up. Blow out the flame and place the decorative larger crown cap over the stone and let whatever gorgeous fragrance mew have chosen fill your home for around 30 minutes or so.

Remove the crown cap, although be careful as it might be a little warm/hot to the touch. Replace the snuffer-cap, which will stop the oil from evaporating, so mew can have many more aroma sessions as and when mew like.

There are many different fragrances too, and the P.A. just bought one especially for cold and flu, so it has more of a menthol smell.

As long as mew don't leave the lit lamp alone while the stone is heating up, we think this is a great way to fragrance the home.

The plugin and battery wax melts are also nice, although there is the issue of hot wax to consider.

Reed diffusers are also an option, although to be honest we've always been disappointed with this method and find them very overrated and expensive with very little purrfume payoff.

The actual wall socket plugin air fresheners are ok too, but if left switched on can become rather intense, and some of the scents can be very overpowering and cloying for sensitive noses.

Incense is another option, although it can be smoky and some fragrances are rather not very pleasant.

Next time mew reach for that can of air freshener or smelly candle, consider some of the alternatives.

It doesn't take long to make your home a safe place, and mew'd do it for a baby/toddler/child, so do it for your cat too, and our K9 buddies, of course!

Next time on this new series we'll cover the Top 12 Safe Flowers For Cats, and if mew missed any of our previous Cat Hazards posts, stop by our Top Tips for Pawents page, and mew'll find oodles of useful stuff and pointers to help mew safely navigate pet pawrenthood.

Until next time...

Wing Commander Basil & The B Team

Graphics created with paid licence 


  1. We never play with hairbands or anything like that and we only have fake candles. Excellent information gang and yes, so humans are just plain stupid, no, some are extraordinaly stupid! Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  2. Our kitties are family, no way do we have anything out that could hurt them. I don't understand some folks who put their furbabies in danger.

  3. I have two oil diffusers, electric, and they are great, but I read somewhere that citrus scented oils are not the best for pets??
    They are the ones I love the best. Go figure.

    I react badly to many scents or the propellants in them, so we just don't have any of that stuff around in our home...and I have to constantly tell my co-workers not to use those things when I am around.

  4. We all have to be aware of what could be harmful to our babies. I always was and it pays off very well.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the kitties and a hug to mom. ♥

  5. What is the world coming to with free speech. Terrible. Dad never lights candles or sprays stuff around. He likes good old incense

  6. Great idea for a series. Excellent advice, but I wonder about oils as I have heard some can be unsafe depending on how they are made. No candles here with 8 cats. :) XO

  7. That is great information and good suggestions for alternatives. The trolling wherever you go on FB is the reason I very rarely go there now.

  8. My human uses those flickering battery-operated Luminara candles for ambiance. They are pricey but worth it for safety's sake!

  9. Excellent advice and very good to read!


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