Candle Safety and Cats

Many people enjoy the soft light and scent emitted by burning candles, especially during those cold winter nights.  However, burning candles can be a safety hazard for cats for a couple of reasons.

The most obvious hazard is the fire danger.  Cats are agile and can easily jump up onto tables, counter-tops and fireplace mantels where lit candles can be knocked over creating a fire hazard, as well as the risk of burns to your cat from the flame and/or hot wax.  Additionally, some cats may be sensitive to the chemicals, scents and soot emitted by burning candles, especially scented candles.  Candles should only be burned in a room with proper ventilation, and should not be burned at all if your cat has a respiratory condition such as asthma.

Consider safer alternative such as electric candles, or electric candle warmers which provide the scent of a burning candle without the flame.  If you do not want to give up the soft light emitted by a burning candle, you can place a cylindrical glass cover such as a hurricane lamp over the candle for added safety.  Most importantly, you should never leave a burning candle unattended with a cat in the room.

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