Is Incense Bad For Cats? [ Here’s The Truth ]

Some cat owners know that their pets are cautious regarding their cat’s food, like which cleaning products your cats use and much more. But is incensed best for your cat? If you like the incense smell, you need to consider whether your cat loves it or not. So, it is best to prevent the use of incense around cats.

But do you want to use anything which can be a better alternative for the incense sticks? Do not worry, as the article covers everything you need to know regarding your cat and incense.

Is incense bad for cats?

What is incense? Incense is a substance designed from essential oils and plant materials and pressed onto bamboo sticks or shaped into cones.

When it gets burned, it creates a fragrant and catchy smell, is used in meditation religious ceremonies, and enhances the ambience.

Nowadays, people use incense during yoga and meditation. It also greatly helps to lower stress and anxiety. It is also ideal for religious practices and used as a sleep aid.

According to experts, some kind of incense is harmful to your cat. The lesser concentration of some incense does not have profound effects like the frequent exposure to a high concentration of incense. Here are some reasons that will tell you why incense can be harmful to your cats.

Smoke sensitive

Some people do not know that domesticated cats can be sensitive to every kind of smell. Their small lungs cannot handle tiny particles like smoke in the air as human lungs do.

It means your cat feels lazy or experiences a trickier time breathing in a room filled with incense smoke.

Excess cat exposure to incense smoke will make them feel tired, ill, lethargic, or irritating. But, the effect soon vanishes as soon as your cat breathes fresh air. A cat’s sensing smell is much more sensitive than the human being, making them ultra-sensitive towards sturdy odors.


Cats have a nose that is much stronger and more sensitive than a human nose. It means that an incense smell to you is soothing, but for cats, it becomes distracting. Imagine that when you enter a compost heap yard, and how that yard smells, that is the intensity of the smell of incense to cats. This smell might become bothersome and irritating for your cat, even if they do not experience any health effects.


The primary problem with incense is it is difficult to know about the ingredients used in it.

Various scents are hazardous for your cat and can cause allergic reactions in them. Unawareness of the ingredients makes it toxic for your cat and causes a hindrance in controlling your cat’s exposure to these ingredients.

The low-quality scent is more harmful

The lower the quality of your incense, the harder it becomes to control various harmful effects. This low-quality incense cannot burn in the same way, volatile organic compounds and massive smoke particles that are much more toxic for your cat.

Continuous exposure is harmful

Continuous exposure to a high concentration of incense can be one of the major causes of various respiratory conditions in your cat. Even if the incense is not toxic, continuous smoke exposure can cause long-term health problems.

Can cats be allergic to incense?

Domestic animals can show allergic reactions to different types of air pollutants, pollen, detergents, aerosol sprays, and makeup. Various home products like candles, room fresheners, and incense smoke can also give an allergy to your domesticated cat.

The primary thing for cat allergies is cigarette smoke that seems toxic to them. But, can a cat be allergic to incense? The answer to this question is a little confusing, meaning it can be both Yes or No.

Cats can be allergic to various incense ingredients, as some cats are much more sensitive than others. But, keep one thing in mind, not all incense reactions are allergic.

Your cat most likely pursues a smoke sensitivity rather than an allergic reaction. Moreover, different allergic reactions require various treatments. Besides getting an allergic reaction, your cat might also catch several health effects from incense.

Why is incense not good for your cat?

Incense might be relaxing for humans, but it is not safe for cats, as they are sensitive to smoke. Incense burning at home could result in upper respiratory symptoms in your cats, like congestion, sneezing, or watery eyes.

Incense burning might also trigger asthma to sprout up in your cat. Incense is not best for cats as it seems to be the primary factor in worsening various respiratory conditions.

Incense is so toxic and could kill cats, but that is rare. Perhaps, continuous use of incense might degrade your cat’s life quality and shorten their life from various long-term health conditions. Thus repeated exposure of your cat to incense could result in severe impacts on the length of your cat’s life and health.

What are some incense alternatives?

Various healthy alternatives exist to enrich your home with heavenly scents without harming your cat. Often, the incense scent signifies that you have entered a very safe and pious place enriched with spirituality and good vibes.

On the other hand, there are several alternatives where gentle smoke fills up your home and covers up your head with a pure sense of vitality.

For people who want to enter an area of unique aroma and fragrance but do not want to bring danger to your cat, various healthy alternatives are available to fill your home with non-harming scents.

Oven baking

A common alternative is to bake your food in the oven. The scent released from baked food can spread in the house and attains a pleasant aroma that will remind you of exciting winter meals.

Cinnamon food works well, as when you cook them, the entire house is filled with the sweet cinnamon aroma and will not be harmful to your cat. But, be careful not to burn the food as it could release a foul smell into your house. Oven-baked food is far healthier and more natural.

Homemade deodorizer

Homemade deodorizer seems to be the long-term solution and acts as a healthy alternative to harmful incense. Its scent will get released into the air for a longer duration and is not harmful to your cats. It is a very mild fragrance that needs to last for weeks and offers relief to you and your cat.

Oil burners

The best alternative for incense burning is super healthy and will not offer any harmful effects. Wait for it to get heated, and as soon as the scent starts to release into the air and in just a few minutes will cover up the entire home. Select any pleasurable oil that you find attractive and fragrant.

Develop your kitchen scents

Develop your kitchen scents to make your home smell great, and the most famous method is to design stovetop potpourri to create a sweet smell.

Make sure to use those scents that cats can also tolerate easily. Creating a pleasing scent might create wonders and keep your cat healthy and irritation-free.

Other Ways to make your home smell good

Before grabbing a room freshener or a candle, you should know about various methods which can be unhealthy, such as burning incense. So, keep distance from air freshening activities that include artificial things. Let us dive into some tips for eradicating unwanted odor.

  • Wipe off the dust continuously, as by doing this, you are removing its ingredients like pet dander, dead skin, insect droppings, and pollen. If left unchecked, dust could make your home smell dirty and also air quality.
  • Make use of baking soda to remove unwanted odors on your furniture. To avoid dust, sprinkle a little bit on it, wait for 24 hours and vacuum properly.
  • Ensure to use fragrant plants like lemon balm or rosemary. But, keep these plants out of reach of your cats, even though they are not toxic.
  • Use an indoor air purifier, as this would help to trap an offensive smell and destroy it before settling over your furniture.
  • Take a pot of water and add vanilla, apples, or cinnamon sticks into it. It would trap all unwanted odor.
  • Ensure to bathe your cat every four to six weeks to remove dust and keep your cat smelling nice.

Final words

So, consider your health and avoid incense burning around your cat, as it could be toxic for your pet.

Move towards incense alternatives, as they could offer short-term scents and vanish off the unpleasant odor sources. Before selecting various alternatives, check its ingredients and level of toxicity to ensure the scent’s security.

But, avoid incense burning, as it produces severe toxic pollutants, and cats have to suffer the adverse effects.

Protect your cat from incense as it could be irritating to your cat’s nose and eyes. To keep your cat away from various health issues, you need to prevent the use of incense and go for its natural alternatives.

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