Is Burning Incense Bad for Cats

Is Burning Incense Bad for Cats? [Cat Expert Guide in 2024]

Burning incense is the ancient method to freshen up the scents of the indoor area. Incense is also used for spiritual and religious purposes. Many people believe burning incense helps to repel demons and evil spirits. It doesn’t matter for what purpose you burn incense, smoke inhalation could have many negative side effects.

Sometimes we forget how burning incense can affect animals in our houses like dogs and cats. This raises the question of, is burning incense bad for cats? To be honest burning incense is not a good idea. Animals like cat’s respiratory systems are more sensitive than humans and it could have many negative impacts on their respiratory system.

How Bad Is Incense for Cats and Humans Health

The burning smells of incense could be painful intense to cats. The practice of burning incense could reduce the breathing ability of cats and humans. A report in The Guardian Today state that “Incense smoke can increase the risk of developing cancers”.  Following are the list of disease cats and humans will get from burning incense:

  • Asthma
  • Lunch Cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Contact Dermatitis

As the cat respiratory system is more sensitive than humans, therefore cats could show the possible symptoms before humans.  Furthermore, a study mentioned in the National Health Service state that “Incense smoke contains the cancer-causing chemical”.

How to Ensure Your Cat Safety While Burning Incense?

If you love and adore your cats but also love the sweet smells of incense, you need to follow some safety steps to make sure your cats are protected from the smoke of incense. Following are the safety measures:

  • While you are using incense, make sure your cats are in separate rooms with the door closed.
  • While burning incense opens the window for plenty of ventilation. This helps your cat to breathe without difficulty.
  • Keep the burning incense in a safe place, to ensure your cats do not burn themselves.

What Are The Benefits Of Burning Incense?

Burning incense could lead to many health concerns, but there are also many positive aspects of burning incense. Following the benefits of burning incense —

  • Reduce stress and anxiety—incense odors helps you relax, which ultimately reduces heart rate and breathing. It also encourages your mind to stop worrying about daily life activities.
  • Improves blood circulation—a popular incense know as frankincense has an ingredient like boswellic acid, which as anti-inflammatory effects for improving blood circulation.
  • Meditation–Incense used in religious practice helps to focus, increase attention, and heighten senses while practicing medication.
  • Aid sleep—there is some kind of incense that helps you to reduce insomnia problems. Especially lavender incense has a natural cure to insomnia.
  • Increase Focus—Aloeswood used in incense help you to focus while studying or working. The delicate odor from incense effect the mind & body, making you engage in your work with detailed focus.
  • Cure neurological damage—Incense like Frankincense (an aromatic resin) proves to cure neurological damage & alleviating depression.

What Is Incense Made Of?

Incense is commonly made up using natural aromatic material which includes aromatic plants, seeds, barks, roots, plant resin, and flowers.  Sometimes the ingredients of incense are combined with essential oil to give them liquid form. Following are the list of some natural incense:

Agarwood—is produced by a tree known as Aquilaria. This tree can be found in Hainan Island of China and the Indochina peninsula, India. The resin of the tree can be used as incense and also as medicine to cure stomach aches

Sandalwood­–a tall tree cultivated in southern India. Sandalwood is a premium quality incense with sweet smells. It is also used as traditional Chinese medicine.

Benzoin—the resin from a flowering plant known as Styracaceae is used as incense. The resin produces a warm mild scent while burning.

Borneol— is a resin crystal used as incense. This resign is produce by old trees that are more than 1000 years old. These trees are found in Borneo’s jungles. This crystal produces sweet pleasant smells while burning.

Frankincense—this is known to be one of the most valuable substances in the ancient world. It is commonly used in religious ceremonies. This substance is collected from the resin of the trees (Burseraceae). Commonly found in northeast Africa.

Ginger Lily—is the root of the plant, it is dried before using it as incense. It is only found in Vietnam, Southern China, and India. The smell of the ginger lily smells is more like orchid flowers.

What Are The Alternatives Besides Incense?

Inhaling incense smoke can cause lots of health problems for both cats and humans. However, there are some safe alternatives for incense, that aren’t causing health problems. You can use the incense alternatives to refresh the indoor smells in healthy ways.

Following is the list of incense alternatives:

  • Oil Diffusers
  • Electric Wax Warmer
  • Diffuser sticks
  • Potpourri
  • DIY essential oil room spray

Final Thoughts

People use incense for thousands of years for different purposes. However, recent studies show that inhaling incense smoke is bad for both humans and animals. Some research also states that incense smoke can cause the same health problems compared to tobacco smoke.

I know nothing can be compared with incense odor with other alternatives. But it’s good to be healthy, rather than having respiratory problems.

However, if you still want to use incense keep your cats in a separate room. As animals are more sensitive to smoke and smell, make sure your room is inaccessible to the cats. Not only incense, as a cat owner you must know what your cat-like and dislike and what is good & bad for your cat