Are Yankee Candles Safe For Cats? (Candle Safety)

You can’t beat that warm glow and delightful odour of a scented candle – especially if you’ve got pets at home.

Yankee candles are seemingly the most popular scented candle brand, and for a good reason, they’re amazing!

However, if you have a cat, you might be wondering whether or not it is safe to light a scented candle around them. Of course, we love the fabulous aromas, but our cats can’t tell us if they don’t.

So, are Yankee candles safe for cats? Yankee candles are safe to use around cats. The majority of Yankee candles have paraffin wax as their main ingredient, while some use soy wax. Both of these are considered non-toxic when they burn, and they don’t emit harmful fumes. However some Yankee candles contain essential oils which may be damaging for your cats health.

While scented Yankee candles are safe non-toxic when burning, they are unsafe in terms of their flame and if they were consumed by a cat. So, as long as Yankee candles are used safely and out of reach of your cat, there is no reason why they are unsafe. 

This however changes slightly if the Yankee candle is scented by means of essential oil though. More on this later in the article!

A photo of a group of Yankee candles
Did you know that some Yankee candles contain essential oils that are toxic to cats?

A truly safe candle to have around your cat.

It can be quite a risk burning an unknown candle around your cat or any pets as it goes, essential oils and some fragrance oils can be toxic. Also most store bought candles are made from parrafin which is horrible stuff.

I found and love these pet safe candles that are available on Amazon. They come in a variety of beautiful scents and are 100% soy wax and contain no nasty chemicals, meaning they are purfect to have around your pet cat!

What is the main ingredient of Yankee candles, and is it safe?

Yankee candles originated in Massachusetts in 1969 when Michael Kittredge, the company founder, melted some wax crayons to gift to his mother.

Since then, Yankee has grown enormously as a brand and is now the most iconic scented candle brand worldwide.

The main ingredient of most Yankee candles is premium-grade refined paraffin wax. This means that the candles burn consistently and without producing soot.

Yankee wicks are made from entirely natural fibres and do not have any lead (which is a source of worry for both people and animals). The scents in a Yankee candle are created by using essential oils.

Just like their owners, cats will be attracted to the smell of Yankee candles.

Cats have a sense of smell that is 14 times better than humans, so it is no surprise that they’ll sniff the air whenever there’s a Yankee candle alight!

As previously mentioned, you don’t need to worry about burning Yankee candles around cats per se as they don’t pose a huge risk to their health.

However, you always need to bear in mind that cats can get almost anywhere! So even if you’ve put your candle on a mantlepiece, it still won’t necessarily be out of reach for your cat.

This is one thing you need to be warier of when burning candles around cats as opposed to dogs. 

There are, of course, so many benefits to burning Yankee candles or other scented candles around your home – especially if your cat uses a litter tray!

The cons of using scented candles

While Yankee candles may be safe for your cat, we should consider alternatives. The main ingredient of most Yankee candles is paraffin wax, which comes from crude oil, a fossil fuel.

So while burning these candles might be safe, it is not very environmentally friendly. There are alternatives out there that use soy wax, beeswax, coconut-based wax, or vegetable wax.

Some Yankee candles use soy wax, so it’s worth checking out their website to look at the ingredients for each candle and scent.

Are cats allergic to essential oils present in candles?

Essential oils are considered to be a natural resource, which we presume means they’re harmless.

However, if we expose our pets to Yankee candles and their associated essential oils, we need to look at their safety for our cats.

Essential oils typically come from plant extractions. But, chemically speaking, they aren’t really oils at all. Instead, they come from the volatile compounds found within a plant. 

Despite having wonderful benefits for us as people, certain essential oils can be harmful to pets even if they are not in direct contact with them.

Because essential oils are composed of highly reactive molecules, they are powerful substances. For humans, this is why we love them! But, conversely, this can cause problems for cats. 

Contact with essential oils via skin, ingestion or inhalation is toxic for cats. They can cause seizures, liver failure, and death.

Usually, when inhaled via a diffuser or scented candle, essential oils are not as concentrated, and so the harmful effects they can cause are quite rare.

It is, however, something to bear in mind, especially if your cat has existing health problems like asthma.

The following essential oils are toxic to cats:

  • Citrus oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Clove oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Oil of sweet birch 
  • Peppermint oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Pine oils
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Wintergreen

Dogs can also be allergic to the essential oils in scented candles, have a look at my are Yankee candles toxic to dogs guide for more information.

Do Yankee candles contain essential oils?

Yankee candles use essential oils and fragrance oils in their scents. When you visit their website, each product is listed with some ‘fragrance notes’.

They list which scents are the top notes, mid notes and base notes. It’s advisable to choose scents that don’t contain any of the essential oils listed above.

Tips to keep your cat safe when burning candles

When it comes to cats, candle safety is not just about the ingredients of a candle. One major consideration is where you put your candle, both when it’s lit and when it isn’t.

You might think that placing a candle on a dining table or worktop counter is far enough out of the way, but this isn’t the case.

Cats can jump an incredible height, and if they’re used to jumping up on a cupboard or worktop, they might do so out of habit and be completely unaware that there is a burning candle in their way.

What’s more, their tales could be easily burnt even if the cat is at a safe distance from the burning candle.

Candles are a fire hazard anyway, but this risk is heightened with a cat at home. You should make sure that candles are always extinguished whenever you vacate a room. 

As we’ve mentioned above, some essential oils are harmful to cats, so it’s important to know the signs of poisoning in case this should occur. Here are some symptoms of essential oil poisoning in cats:

  • They dribble excessively
  • They tremor or shake
  • They seem ‘drunk’ and are unsteady
  • They seem dull, depressed or lethargic
  • They breathe with their mouth open or in a laboured way
  • They collapse or have a seizure
  • They vomit

To avoid poisoning, you should keep all essential oil-based candles away from your cat even when the candles are not lit. 

Final thoughts on if Yankee candles are safe for cats

We can’t deny that no matter how much we love a Yankee candle if we’re a cat owner, we need to look after them first.

To summarise, Yankee candles are safe for cats, and your pet won’t come to any harm if you burn a Yankee candle when supervising your cat.

However, you do need to think about things more if you do have a cat. 

Remember, your cat has a much more powerful sense of smell, which means they can find odours overwhelming. So you should also make sure you choose a scent that doesn’t contain an essential oil that is toxic to your cat. 

Finally, since most Yankee candles are made using refined paraffin wax, you should ensure they are kept away from cats even when not alight so that your cat isn’t tempted to eat the candle.

To conclude, Yankee candles are safe for cats, but you always need to exercise caution when you have them around your home.   

Andrew Scents and Aroma