Cats, while typically laid back, can be sneaky and tenacious little creatures. And if you’re like many people, you probably have a few candles sitting on your end tables. If your cat got into one of your candles, don’t panic!
Candle wax isn’t toxic to cats, but it can cause side effects such as diarrhea, difficulty urinating and vomiting if eaten. If your cat has ingested candle wax and you notice any of these symptoms along with lethargy, your cat is having trouble passing the candle wax and needs to see a vet.
The rest of this article will discuss:
- The different symptoms to look out for when your cat comes into contact with a candle.
- The other dangers candles might pose to cats.
- The best ways to prevent cats from eating candles.
What Do I Do if My Cat Ate Candle Wax?
Our animals eating things they shouldn’t is worrying to any pet parent, especially because our pets can’t tell us when something is wrong. So, if your cat ingested candle wax, your first instinct is probably to panic. However, most of the time, it’s not a big deal.
If your cat ate candle wax, monitor the cat for the next few days for symptoms such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your cat ate a large amount of candle wax, a visit to the vet is best because it might need a stomach pump. However, a small amount of wax usually isn’t harmful.
You should avoid allowing your cat to nibble on a candle, but it’s not necessarily toxic unless it ingested a considerable amount. Some severe symptoms to look out for include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Lack of appetite
After eating candle wax, your cat will probably be mildly sick for a few days. However, if you notice these severe symptoms persisting, you need to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.
The Dangers of Candles to Cats
While eating candle wax is somewhat dangerous to cats, there are other dangers that candles can pose to cats that might make you rethink having candles around your furry friend. You can easily avoid some of these dangers by putting the candles away or even monitoring the area when your cat is around.
Scented candles might not always smell strong to you, but cats have a powerful sense of smell. Cats can smell much better than people, although not as well as dogs. Where humans have about five million odor senses in their noses, cats have more than 200 million.
Therefore, the candles you’re burning in your house could irritate your cat.
While most of the time the scent and fumes from candles aren’t strong enough to cause any damage, cats can have allergies to certain things just like humans. So, watch your cat and make sure the candle isn’t causing irritation.
Are Scented Candles Toxic to Cats?
Scented candles typically aren’t toxic to cats. The smell can be overpowering and cause irritation at times, but the aroma isn’t considered toxic. The wax isn’t regarded as toxic either. However, it can cause issues with digestion if the cat overeats it.
If you’re ever concerned about your cat’s health, calling or visiting a vet is the best option. A vet will be able to give you advice on how to care for your cat.
While cats are typically agile and can stealth around without being heard, they can knock into things, especially if something frightens them and they’re running or jumping to get away.
If your cat gets frightened around a candle, there is a danger of the cat knocking the candle down and causing a fire. Moving the candle higher may not help matters, as cats can jump onto high services. Cats are also curious by nature and may try to swat at the fire, which could cause injury.
Here’s a video by MrFunnyMals showing how cats might act around candles:
Therefore, when you have candles around, it would be best to monitor the room where the candle is to ensure your cat doesn’t get too close to it.
How To Prevent Your Cat From Eating Candles
Whether your cat eats candles often or you went through a stressful time after the one time your cat did eat on a candle, knowing ways to prevent your cat from eating candles is best for every cat lover out there.
While vets aren’t always going to have the answers to why your cat gets into things it shouldn’t, you can take measures yourself.
Try Diffusers or Air Fresheners
If you love candles because of the aroma they distribute throughout the home, it might be a better idea to try diffusers or air fresheners instead of candles. Not only will this solve the problem of your cat eating wax, but it will still keep your home smelling nice.
However, be careful with diffusers, as putting too much fragrance in your diffuse can make the smell too strong and irritate cats.
Store the Candles When You’re Not Using Them
As easy as it is to blow out the candle and go on with your day, storing the candle in a cupboard when you’re not using it can help keep any cats away from the wax, and removing the temptation for your cat to nibble on it.
You’ll want to make sure where you keep them is stored where cats can’t go, or you can buy candles with lids and put the top on the candle when it’s not in use.
Ask a Vet For Advice
Sometimes strange behavior in cats, such as frequently eating candle wax, is linked to other issues. Some cats are prone to eating unusual things, which is a condition known as Pica. This usually includes items such as fabric or plastic.
However, it’s something cat owners have to look out for.
There are other problems your cat could be facing if it exhibits odd behavior, such as eating candle wax. Cat pica is a bit of a mystery, but veterinarians believe several things could cause it.
PetMD lists several problems that could be a result. Let’s look at some right now.
If your cat started trying to eat candle wax out of nowhere and exhibited other strange behaviors, there could be a medical issue. Feline leukemia and various feline viruses are associated with cat pica, so getting your furry friend to the vet to get checked out is recommended.
Your cat could be lacking something in its diet.
While cats don’t usually eat candle wax if they lack nutrients, it could be a way of your cat telling you they’re missing something in their diet. Asking your vet for advice and running some tests on your cat will tell you just what’s missing and how to fix it.
Cats, while typically independent creatures, still need attention occasionally. Your cat could be eating candle wax out of boredom. The best way to solve this is to ensure your cat has toys around or different things to do for entertainment.
Mental stimulation is essential in cats, so finding toys or cat trees to fit your cat’s needs is crucial.
If your cat seems to be compulsively eating candle wax, this could be a sign of compulsive disorder. Many animals are known to suffer from this disorder, especially dogs. The best thing to do for your cat, in this case, is to distract it when it tries to go for the wax.
Having toys around and things to do for the cat is recommended.
Lastly, your cat’s genetics may play a role in its odd eating behaviors. Some cat breeds, such as Siamese, are known for having Pica. However, this doesn’t always rule out every cat breed. Talking to your vet about your cat’s odd behaviors is best before deciding what you think is wrong.
Cats can make great companions for some people. While many people might think getting a cat will be easy, cats can exhibit odd behaviors, some of which can be dangerous to both the cat and your home.
While candle wax isn’t typically toxic to cats, if a cat ingests too much of it, it can cause intestinal blockage that would require a stomach pump. Your cat nibbling on candle wax here and there isn’t dangerous, but constantly monitor its behavior to ensure nothing is wrong.
- Texas A&M University: A Cat’s Five Senses
- Wikipedia: Cat Health
- Fetch by PetMD: Why is My Cat Eating That?
- PawsChicago: Cat Senses
- Candlemart: Are Candles Safe For Cats?
- Youtube: Curious Cats vs. Candles
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.