Are Humidifiers Safe for Cats?

Does your cat always have colds and a runny nose during winter? Cold weather can be a struggle if your cat is prone to upper respiratory tract infections. One way to ease the symptoms and help your cat breathe easier is by using a humidifier, an electrical device that increases moisture levels in a room house.

Are humidifiers safe for cats? 

Yes, humidifiers are safe for cats. These devices help ease dry and itchy skin during the cold and wintry months. They add moisture to the air to ease the irritating dryness. Water is turned into water vapor and blown out which increases the relative humidity in a room. 

Humidifiers treat dryness of the nose and throat and ease the symptoms of colds and flu. Cats are vulnerable to colds and nasal congestion, and these devices are a big help in clearing the airways.  

Take special notice of the following when purchasing a humidifier:

  • It should emit low noise if you plan to keep the humidifier and your cat in the bedroom at nighttime.
  • It should be small and compact, especially if you intend to move the humidifier to certain places.
  • Avoid warm-mist humidifiers as these can scald or burn your playful cat. 
  • A programmable humidifier is convenient if you leave your cat alone during the day. 
  • It should be sturdy as cats tend to interact with it or attack it if located in a reachable area.

A cool mist home humidifier is a good option if you have a cat since it is safer to use.  Place it in a room where your cat usually hangs out. You will notice a difference in her skin and coat after just a few days of use. If your cat has a runny nose and cough, the humidifier helps relieve the nasal passages and allows her to breathe comfortably. 

Types of Humidifiers

These are the common types of humidifiers:

  • Ultrasonic humidifier – It uses high-frequency sound vibrations to convert water into mist and has no risk of scalding. It has no filters which means it disperses an amount of white dust and potential allergens.
  • Impeller humidifier – It is also called a cool-mist humidifier. It has a rapidly rotating disc that pushes water against a diffuser which breaks the water into droplets that float in the air. This humidifier does not have a filter and causes white dust which poses a risk for bacteria and molds.
  • Vaporizer/ warm-mist humidifier – It is portable and inexpensive. It can provide heat and humidity at the same time. It converts water into steam which kills microorganisms, but there is an increased risk of burn and injury since it generates heat to function. It sometimes comes with attachments for the use of medicated cups or essential oils which can be dangerous for pets. 
  • Evaporative humidifier – It requires filter replacement. It absorbs water via a wick filter and sends moisture into the air with a fan, reducing the emission of white dust as the filters trap the minerals and prevent them from dispersing into the air. Some of these humidifiers are also called cool-mist humidifiers. 

Can cats be around humidifiers?

Yes, cats can be around humidifiers, especially if you have a cool-mist one. However, take extra precautions with a warm mist humidifier since it produces heat. It could inflict burns or injury to your cat if she comes near it or accidentally tips it over. 

Are humidifiers bad for pets?

Humidifiers are not bad for pets. They have health benefits like alleviating symptoms of dry skin and colds and adding moisture to the air during cold weather. However, your cat is at risk if you are using a warm-mist humidifier. It can scald and injure your cat if she tips it over. 

Consult your vet if you suspect that your cat’s symptoms, like dry skin and runny nose, are not just due to colds. It could be signs of more serious medical conditions like tumors, viruses, allergies, and others. Your vet will have to assess first if a humidifier is necessary to avoid further complications. 

Is humidity bad for cats?

Yes, humidity can be bad for cats. High humidity and heat together put your cat at risk of heat stroke and hyperthermia. Keep your home cool with air conditioning or fans during hot and humid days. Provide water bowls for your cat and refill them with fresh water regularly. 

Will a humidifier help a cat with asthma?

Yes, according to the American Society For Prevention of Animal Cruelty, humidifiers can help cats with asthma. Having one at home makes it more comfortable for you and your cat since it maintains optimum moisture levels and prevents asthma attacks.  

Conclusion 

Cats are prone to respiratory infections during cold weather. You can help ease your cat’s runny and stuffy nose by placing a humidifier at home. This electrical device is safe for cats, increases the moisture level in the air, and alleviates symptoms of dry skin. It also helps your cat to breathe easier, provides relief from colds, and prevents asthma attacks. 

Image: istockphoto.com / Maryviolet