Last Updated on: April 4, 2022 by Ingrid King
A cat’s sense of smell is far superior to that of humans. Cats have 45 to 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses compared to only five million in humans. A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times better than that of humans. Those facts alone are reason enough to avoid any products with a strong scent in homes shared with cats. This is especially true for air fresheners.
I’m extremely scent-sensitive (maybe I was a cat in a former life?,) so I may have a little bit of an idea of the impact scented products have on a cat’s sense of smell. Air fresheners in particular practically make my throat close up. But strong scent isn’t the only issue with air fresheners.
Air fresheners can be extremely toxic to cats
“If we are putting some kind of chemical into the air merely to mask scents, then we have to be concerned about the negative implications for our pets,” holistic veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney of California told PetMd. According to Dr. Mahaney, one of the main offenders in the ingredient list for most air fresheners are volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Dr. Mahaney also stated that air fresheners can have detrimental longterm effects on cats: “Cats have had an increase in feline asthma as a result of living in households where there are air fresheners, incense and cigarette smoke—or even just the aroma of cleaning products.”
Natural alternatives to air fresheners may be toxic as well
Essential oils are the latest catch phrase in natural cleaning products, and they can be extremely harmful, even deadly, to cats.
PetMd features a comprehensive article about the dangers of air fresheners around cats. Read How Air Fresheners Can Affect Your Pet’s Health for more information.
A better and safer way to keep your air fresh
Air purifiers are a much better way to keep the air in your home fresh. Not only do they break down and remove toxic VOC’s from the air, they also capture other air pollutants like pet hair and dander, dust, pollen, and smoke. We love the entire family of Okaysou air purifiers (FTC disclosure: The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of Okaysou.)
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Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.
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