Burning candles is usually a relaxing and soothing activity. It can be easy to forget that something might go wrong, such as your cat jumping on or near that burning candle. In this awful moment, you may find yourself scrambling as you try to figure out how to best treat your cat.
Fortunately, you can prepare yourself for such an event. Read on to learn about home remedies for burns on cats, the signs of burns, whether burnt fur grows back, and insight about the health effects on your cat from burning candles.
Home Remedies for Burns on Cats
Burns from a lit candle are considered thermal burns, which are burns caused by excessive heat. Home remedies for this type of burn can be invaluable for treating the burns on your cat.
Before discussing the home remedies that are available to you, it’s essential to first review the classification of burns. This is because some burns require the immediate attention of a veterinarian, and you’ll want to know when to employ your home remedies as well as when to call your veterinarian for help.
Classification of Burns
There are first, second, and third-degree thermal burns; they are classified by how extensively your cat’s skin is damaged.
- First-degree burns redden the outer layer of your cat’s skin and may singe his fur.
- Second-degree burns blister your cat’s skin by damaging multiple skin layers.
- Third-degree burns may blacken your cat’s skin by completely penetrating the skin layers and damaging the underlying tissue.
Second and third-degree burns require your cat to be seen by a veterinarian in order to treat any skin and tissue damage professionally.
Home Remedy: Dry Towel and Wet Cloth
You can employ this home remedy like a first aid kit for your cat’s burns. For first-degree thermal burns, wrap your cat in a dry towel (but not too restrictively because he can overheat), which helps to restrain him.
Cover the burn area with a wet, clean cloth for up to 20 minutes; this helps dissipate the area’s heat. When the heat has mostly dissipated, lightly pat the burn area with a dry towel to soak up any residual water.
Never excessively rub the burn area because this can cause further damage. If you have gauze nearby, you can cover the burn area in gauze before securely taping it (but not too restrictively).
For second and third-degree thermal burns, immediately call your veterinarian for an emergency appointment. Before taking your cat to the veterinarian, still wrap him in a dry towel and cover the burn area with a wet, clean cloth. Second and third-degree thermal burns can lead to shock, dehydration, and infection in your cat and must be professionally treated as soon as possible.
Home Remedy: Aloe Vera or Raw Honey
You can employ this home remedy if you have access to a couple of organic items. It’s primarily recommended for first-degree thermal burns because second and third-degree burns should be professionally treated by a veterinarian.
For first-degree thermal burns, cool your cat’s skin with a wet, clean cloth, and then apply in tiny amounts either of these natural healing agents for burns: aloe vera or raw honey.
Aloe vera and raw honey are natural healing agents for several reasons: aloe vera minimizes inflammation, encourages circulation, and prohibits the spread of bacteria; raw honey helps the burn to heal more rapidly because of its antibacterial properties.
Remember to never excessively rub the burn area because this can cause further damage. After applying one of these healing agents on your cat’s burn area, you can cover the burn area in gauze — if you have it nearby — before securely taping it (but not too restrictively).
What Does a Burn Look Like on a Cat?
Thermal burns on cats will manifest as any one of the following signs:
- Reddened or discolored skin
- Rough paw pads
- Singed fur (often emits a characteristic odor)
- Eschar development (thick dead tissue that temporarily covers and protects the burn)
Your cat may also limp or lick the burned area. The burned area may be hot to touch and painful to your cat if you touch it.
Does Burnt Cat Hair Grow Back?
After employing a home remedy or seeking a veterinarian to treat your cat’s burns, your cat’s fur should grow back if there was only slight burn damage to his skin. This slight burn damage to your cat’s skin may cause minor variations in the overall look of his fur.
If there was significant burn damage to your cat’s skin, his fur might not grow back at all. Singed fur will stay, at least for a time, somewhat rough in feel and appearance.
Is Burning Candles Bad for Cats?
Wisely Choose Your Candles
Artificial fragrances in scented candles can lead to illness in cats because of a feline’s heightened sensitivity to smells. Some candles also include paraffin, which is made from petroleum.
Burning paraffin can release volatile organic compounds, and these can cause respiratory complications for both you and your cat. On the other hand, there are safe candle options for your cat that do not include artificial fragrances or paraffin. Candles infused with soy, blue corn, and beeswax are considered safe and non-toxic to cats.
Supervise Your Cat
If you choose to burn candles, you may need to increase the supervision of your cat, which you or a family member can do. Due to your cat’s natural ability to jump, burning candles on high surfaces will not always prevent your cat from reaching those surfaces.
Additionally, choosing to burn a candle that’s too close to the ceiling can blacken the ceiling and quickly turn into its own fire hazard. This is why supervision of your cat is critical when you’re burning candles.
Even though burning candles is usually a soothing activity, it can quickly turn into an awful situation if your cat jumps on or near a burning candle. Preventative action is key to your cat’s safety. Being prepared for the worst allows you to enjoy the best when lighting candles around your cat, which is an extended period of relaxation with your kitty.