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Is Burning Sage Safe For Cats? Vet-Approved Guide

Is burning sage safe for your cat? Our vet-approved guide provides vital information on risks and precautions to maintain a pet-friendly environment.

Is Burning Sage Safe for Cats

Is burning sage safe for your cat? Our vet-approved guide provides vital information on risks and precautions to maintain a pet-friendly environment.

Today, the trend of burning sacred herbs to get rid of negative energies and promote relaxation is becoming increasingly popular. While it’s a source of serenity for us, it might not be for your pet. That’s why its safety is often questioned by pet owners who wonder: Is burning sage safe for cats?

Yes, burning sage is completely safe for cats if your cat doesn’t have any respiratory illness. It’s been observed that burning sage around cats rarely causes any harm if you keep the room well-ventilated. While sage smoke isn’t poisonous, it’s important to look for any allergic reactions that may occur.  

Despite all the claims, the odds of potential risks associated with burning sage and cats’ illnesses need to be addressed. After going through several pieces of research, we have put together this expert’s guide to dissipate your concerns by answering them here. 

What Does Burning Sage Do to Cats?

Burning sage around cats doesn’t inflict any harm except a mild irritation to their eyes, nose, and upper respiratory tract. Cats with sage allergies may suffer from watery eyes and sneezing if it’s burned nearby. Also, felines diagnosed with a respiratory condition like asthma or bronchitis sometimes exhibit symptoms of severe irritation and discomfort during smudging.

Is Burning Sage Toxic to Cats?

No, burning sage isn’t toxic to cats. However, you must avoid blowing smoke directly at your pet. Aromatic hydrocarbons present in sage incense sticks may provoke the symptoms of cats with preexisting breathing problems.

Though burning sage with cats in the home isn’t dangerous, many cats don’t like the lingering smoke of burning sage or incense and start acting out of their usual self. The reaction varies among pets.

Can Cats Eat Sage?

Yes, cats can eat sage, but in limited quantities. Since it’s not poisonous for both cats and dogs, you can allow them to occasionally nibble on it. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), sage is nontoxic to cats. However, ingesting large amounts of sage may result in stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In such cases, it is better to consult a professional vet like from Pet First Veterinary Clinic to seek professional advice if your cat consumes a large portion and there’s a reaction.

Is Burning Sage Safe for Cats and Dogs?

Yes, burning sage is safe for both cats and dogs if they aren’t allergic to its scent or smoke. When burning sage for aromatherapy, keep an eye on your pet to avoid any accidental injury from burning embers.

Cats, particularly kittens, are usually more curious and active. They may hurt themselves or singed paws with a burning sage bowl while exploring. Therefore, consider moving your cat outdoors during a smudging ceremony or keeping burned sage out of their reach.

Is Burning White Sage Safe for Cats?

Yes, burning white sage is safe for cats if you aren’t doing it in confined spaces. It’s a common ritual frequently practiced in households with pets. However, in cats with sensitive respiratory systems or breathing issues, it may exacerbate the symptoms. 

The right way is to keep your kitty out of the room where you burn white sage. It’ll minimize its chances of inhaling sage smoke and experiencing any adverse effects. 

Note that white sage is particularly used for cleansing and relaxing and doesn’t have any reported cases of severe toxicity in felines.

Is Burning Sage Bad for Cats?

Burning sage now and then isn’t bad for cats. However, long-term exposure might not be something to encourage. Sage, when burned, releases essential oils that can be harmful to a kitty’s health upon inhalation over a longer period of time.

Precautions To Take When Burning Sage 

You can make burning sage safe for cats by adopting the following practices:

  • Keep the doors and windows open for proper ventilation.
  • Move your pet outdoors or in a separate room when burning sage.
  • Don’t burn sage very close to your pet’s vicinity.
  • Observe your pet’s initial response to ensure it isn’t uncomfortable with the incensed smoke.


Sage is generally considered safe, whether it is burned around cats or eaten by them. However, it’s important to exercise moderation in both scenarios. Excessive exposure to sage smoke or ingesting it in large amounts can potentially lead to health issues for your cat.

With proper precautions and awareness, you can safely enjoy the benefits of burning sage while keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. 

Rico Alanan

Rico Alanan

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