Can an Air Purifier Make My Cat Sick?

Air purifiers have become an essential addition in homes and are no longer a question of luxury. However, with the numerous air purifiers available, reports have shown that some are unsafe for human health. Many people wonder if these air purifiers can also cause potential health problems to domestic pets like cats.

Ionic air purifiers and ozone emitting air purifiers are not pet-friendly. They can cause your feline mild to severe health conditions. If properly installed and maintained, HEPA and PCO air purifiers are ideal for pet owners.

Keep reading to learn the essential details about suitable air purifiers for your cat. I’ll also share safety tips on how to handle these air purifiers for pet owners.

Are Ozone Air Purifiers Safe for Cats?

Not all types of air purifiers are pet-friendly. Some emit dangerous byproducts into the atmosphere, which is unsafe for your pet to inhale. Even worse, these harmful substances released can be detrimental to pets and humans.

Knowing what type of purifier is safe for your pet begins with understanding those you should avoid. 

Here are major pet dangerous air purifiers and why you shouldn’t install them in your home:

Ozone Generators

Top on the list of anti-pet air purifiers is ozone generators. These purifiers are configured to release ozone that purifies the air in a room. 

Although ozone is harmful to health, it effectively eliminates bacteria, odors, and mold from the atmosphere. It achieves this function through an oxidizing process. Hence the reason for the production of ozone generators.

There is a safe way to use an ozone generator if you must. Unfortunately, most people misuse it because they’re unaware of the danger it poses to their household, pets included.

The safest and only period you should run an ozone generator in the house is when everyone is out. Meaning you should ensure that both humans and pets evacuate the home temporarily until the atmosphere is clear.

If you’re experiencing severe odor or mold problems at home, consider hiring the service of expert cleaners. These cleaners can help take care of the situation while everyone is out for the day. As a result, your home will smell and feel fresh and will also be ozone-free on your return.

Unless you’re conversant with its usage and mode of operation, my advice is that you avoid installing ozone generators. Else, you’ll make both yourself and your pet vulnerable to harmful ozone effects.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Another harmful purifier for your home is an ionizer or ionic air cleaner. These air purifier types operate by releasing charged ions that fasten themselves onto pollutants. By attaching themselves to the impurities, these ions make them too weighty to keep floating in the air. 

Eventually, the heavyweight pollutants will drop to the floor or get pulled and trapped into the air purifier. At the initial process where the ions get fastened to the airborne pollutants, ozone is created as a derivative substance.

However, the ozone level produced by ionizers is nothing close to the vast amount released by ozone generators. Most ionizer producers ensure that the ozone level emitted by their product follows the government’s safety limit stipulations.

That said, you’d want to keep away from ionic air purifiers, so you don’t gamble with your pet’s health, or worst still, life.

Air Purifiers Safe for My Pet

Thankfully, other air purifier options won’t threaten you or your pet. I’ll go ahead to discuss some of the most effective air cleaning mechanisms safe for your pet.

HEPA Air Purifiers

This air purifier works by drawing air inside and trapping down any impure particle found in it. Then the clean air is recirculated back into the room through the duct positioned deep inside the purifier.

HEPA filters perfectly for catching all sorts of airborne pollutants like pet dander and dust mite.

For something that can help remove unpleasant odors, go for HEPA purifiers with activated carbon filters. They help reduce cat litter odor and dust without causing harm. In addition, this air-purifying combination eliminates dander from domestic animals like dogs, weasels, birds, etc.

One primary disadvantage with using HEPA air purifiers is that their parts require frequent maintenance and replacement. In all, HEPA purifiers are ideal for you and your pet if frequent filter changing won’t be a bother.

Photocatalytic Oxidation Air Purifiers

This purifier is commonly known as a PCO air purifier. PCO air purifier is not only pet-friendly and effective for most, if not all, indoor air challenges. This purifier is one of my favorites, especially the Airocide PCO air purifier.

PCO air purifiers function by neutralizing airborne pollutants. This is done utilizing densely concentrated ultraviolet radiation plus titanium dioxide. Both powerful elements attack and decompose any encountered air pollutant.

The good thing is that you don’t have to bother about harmful byproducts. For example, the PCO purification process only produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20) as byproducts.

Early PCO air purifiers indeed emitted ozone. However, that’s no longer the case. Their manufacturers have greatly improved and are now using more advanced technology.

As a result, PCO purifiers no longer produce dangerous ozone. 

The quality Airocide PCO purifier has a wide range of coverage, up to 3000 square feet. It can handle and eliminate toxic contaminants from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to odors and gases. It also removes allergens like pet dander.

Another appealing factor is that PCO purifiers don’t require frequent maintenance, as seen with HEPA. The reactor chamber can last as long as three years before you’ll need to replace it.

Can an Air Purifier Make My Cat Sick?

This depends on the type of air purifier selected, among other factors. Even the pet-friendly air purifiers could cause harm to your pet if mishandled. Continue reading to find out some safety measures to follow when using air purifiers around your cats.

Essential Safety Measures for Pets When Using Air Purifiers

Now that you’ve learnt about the type of air purifier suitable for your pet, let’s explore some basic safety measures. These safety precautions will ensure that your pet isn’t exposed to any harm whenever your indoor air purifier runs.

For pet owners, an essential factor to consider before installing an air purifier in their home is the suitable location. Choosing an appropriate area to place your air purifier is key in keeping your pet safe.

Especially for active pets like cats and dogs, you might want to buy air purifiers that can be wall-mounted. Another good position is your countertop. This way, you’re sure that the purifier is clear of your pet’s path.

Pets love to toy around with nearly all small objects on which they can lay their paws. Unfortunately, leaving the air purifier within your pet’s reach can result in electrocution when they poke it.

Ensure that your indoor purifier is positioned away from their sleeping area for cats or dog owners. It also needs to be far from your cat’s litter box. If possible, at the opposite end of the room.

Also, pet owners using HEPA air purifiers should abstain from wiping and changing their device parts around their pets. Instead, I’ll advise you to do all the necessary cleaning and replacements outside your room. 

Doing this indoors might expose your room’s air to the same pollutants you’re trying to free them from. Asides from that, if your pet is around the cleaning area, you risk sending the trapped pollutants into its respiratory system.

Lastly, do well to go through your air purifier’s accompanying manual thoroughly for additional safety tips.

What Are the Effects of Ozone on Cats?

Ozone is a harmful substance emitted by some air cleaners. So if you’re a pet owner, you should avoid purifiers containing ozone.

The fact is that this same ozone is what shields the entire globe from harmful sun rays. Research has shown that this same earth-shielding element is unsafe for humans and most animals alike.

Your pet is at risk of developing respiratory issues if exposed to ozone saturated air. Inhaling it for a long time could also cause other severe health conditions. The risk is doubled or tripled if your furry buddy has been previously diagnosed with a respiratory condition.

With even minimal exposure to ozone, more fragile pets like birds could frankly die. So, if you must keep yourself and your pet safe, you should keep away from all ozone emitting air purifiers.

Do Air Purifiers Work for Cat Allergies?

Most people have the erroneous belief that merely being exposed to pet hairs causes pet allergies. 

The simple reason you’re allergic to pets is that you have a more sensitive immune system. Thankfully, you can use devices like air purifiers to control these pet allergens.

Air purifiers effectively clear particles, including pet dander, from the atmosphere. These types of purifiers work great if your immune system is easily triggered by pet dander.

Air purifiers that are most effective for pet allergies are those with a True HEPA filter.