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Is a Plug-In Air Freshener Safe for a Cat? Vet Approved Points & FAQ


Mar 24, 2023
plug-in air freshener with white towel


plug-in air freshener with white towel
Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

The details is present and up-to-date in accordance with the most current veterinarian exploration.

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Cats are amazing animals and they are thought of the cleanest of all animals. You know how not often they can get smelly! However, a lot of pet moms and dads might speculate if it is secure for their cats to use industrial plug-in air fresheners to support increase the air. Regretably, most air fresheners are not secure for cats. Retain looking through as we clarify why this is the scenario and supply you with a couple choices that you can attempt as an alternative so you can get back to taking pleasure in refreshing air with your cat.


Are Plug-in Air Fresheners Protected for Cats?

Sadly, most air fresheners look to have dangerous substances that can damage a cat’s health and fitness. These items comprise unstable natural and organic compounds (VOCs), which are chemical compounds that can result in eye and throat discomfort, head aches, decline of coordination, problems to the liver, and even most cancers. An Environmental Impression Assessment Assessment examine discovered that when tests 25 popular business fragranced solutions1, each individual experienced at least 1 of 24 poisonous or dangerous VOCs, along with an common of 17 additional VOCs. Between these fragranced items, 8 have been air fresheners.

sick cat covered in blanket lies on the window in winter
Image Credit score: Germanova Antonina, Shutterstock

Difficulties Linked With VOCs

  • Eye, nose, and throat discomfort
  • Headache
  • Decline of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Destruction to the central nervous program
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver injury
  • Most cancers

Are Important Oil Air Fresheners Risk-free for Cats?

Unfortunately, critical oil air fresheners also consist of VOCs and can be just as unsafe as professional plug-in air fresheners. In fact, cats are primarily sensitive to these fragrances. In buy to preserve your kitty secure, you need to never ever use critical oils close to your cat2.

Symptoms That Your Cat Is Acquiring a Toxic Response to an Air Freshener

Indicators of a harmful response to an air freshener can commence instantly or create over time. Commonly, the cat will test to shift out of the location or start off to duck or crouch down. They could also start to cough, sneeze, and develop a discharge from the eyes and nose, very similar to what you could possibly see if your cat was enduring allergies due to pollen. Later, you may well observe a lack of hunger, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting. If your cat suffers from bronchial asthma or any respiratory condition, it is particularly critical to avoid air fresheners at all times.

Cat sneeze
Image Credit: Sergio Huainigg, Pixabay

How Can I Freshen My Home With out Employing a Plug-In Air Freshener?

Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for removing unwelcome fragrances all all-around the residence. You can incorporate it to your cat’s litter box to assist prevent scents from leaking out, and you can also distribute it about your carpet and furniture, enable it sit for a quick time, and then vacuum it up to get rid of odors outdoors the litter box. It is affordable, quick to find, and secure to use about pets. In truth, many professional cat litters already contain baking soda to help management odors.

Cat Litter

Certain cat litter brands comprise fragrance, baking soda, or other components to assist manage undesirable odors at their source. Even so, you have to be cautious with scented litter simply because it can be too robust for some cats, and several pet owners really don’t like how it smells, anyway.

Cleaning the Litter Box A lot more Commonly

Cleansing the litter box instantly right after your cat takes advantage of it can assist keep the odors from spreading through the household and obtaining trapped in the furnishings.

Cleaning litter with cat looking on
Picture Credit: galkova, Shutterstock

Shifting the Litter Box

Relocating your litter box to one more aspect of your residence can aid stop odors from getting into your major living room, so there is significantly less require to use an air freshener.

Pet-Friendly Air Freshener

If you will need to insert fragrance to your living room, we advocate hunting for a brand name that works by using components that won’t harm your pet. Several solutions are out there, which includes squirt bottles, sprays, and even odor-absorbing gels.

Air flow

The most effective way to maintain your residence odor-cost-free is air flow. Opening a window to allow new air to enter and odors to leave is the safest technique to freshen your home.



Unfortunately, most plug-in air fresheners contain components that can be damaging to your cat, even in modest quantities. Clinical indicators of a harmful reaction consist of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting, and deficiency of appetite. If you observe your cat suffering from these indications, cease working with air fresheners and get in touch with your vet. Thankfully, cats are very thoroughly clean animals, and you likely will not struggle to continue to keep your property odor-free of charge. Maintaining the litter box clean up, utilizing absorbent litter, and working with baking soda to assistance absorb odors can all assistance keep your dwelling smelling fresh. If you would like to use an air freshener, glance for a brand name that specifies that it is pet-harmless to preserve your cat healthier.

Highlighted Graphic Credit score: Kristi Blokhin, Shutterstock

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