are air purifiers safe for cats

Are Air Purifiers Safe For Cats?

I have two cats. Both girls. One is named Lucky and one is named Merida.

They are both rescue cats brought home by my lovely wife who is a bleeding-heart mercenary who’s also populated our home with two dogs and two rats.

At any given moment, When I am at home, I have a cat sitting in my lap or draped across my chest when I’m laying down.

I also have two air purifiers. One air purifier is a HEPA filter type and my other air purifier is a photocatalytic oxidation air purifier.

Cats tend to be into everything, so safety is a concern not only for the cats but also for the humans that have to live with the cats.

Are air purifiers safe for cats?

HEPA Air purifiers are absolutely safe for cats. They work by pulling air through a series of filters that capture the pollutants out of the air. That simple. Nothing that could harm a cat.

Almost nothing. If your cat has a habit of sitting on top of the air purifier or sleeping right next to it then there is the possibility that the cat is inhaling a lot of garbage that is being pulled toward him or her by the air purifier.

In other words, by sitting where the air purifier is, he or she could be a direct target.

Also if the air purifier has not been maintained and the filter is extra dirty, sleeping right next to the air purifier would mean being exposed to the germs on the filter.

Are air purifiers harmful to catsHonestly my cats don’t seem too interested in the air purifier and I haven’t noticed them sleeping next to it.

Another concern might be the electrical cord. But no more so than any other appliance. Cats don’t seem too interested in extension cords either.

My other air purifier is a PCO air purifier. That stands for photo catalytic oxidation.

That air purifier is more like an air treatment than it is a fan.

The PCO air purifier has a lot more potential to be dangerous to animals for a couple of reasons.

One it has a glowing blue UV light illuminating out of the top of it.

Staring at it is about like staring at the sun. It will eventually burn your eyes.

I don’t put it past the cats to stare at the bulb.

And two, it creates ozone is a by-product. You can smell it every time the ozone interacts with any pollution in the air.

It’s not a rash amount of ozone but ozone and still ozone and it can build up in a confined area.

Ozone is a known lung irritant go cats may have nine lives I’m not sure that means they have 9 sets of lungs.

Regardless of whether or not the machine creates a lot of ozone or not, it is technically still a ozone generator since ozone is being generated.

And to me that puts it in a different category than the HEPA cleaner.

Two different types of air purifiers

  1. One that you can set it up and leave it on.
  2. And one that you run when there’s no one home.

PCO is a run it when there’s no one home type.

And that includes the animals. They go outside or in the garage when I use that air purifier.

It sounds like more of a hassle then the HEPA filter,

But you have to remember, PCO air purifiers do something that HEPA purifiers can’t.
They actually disinfect the air as well as the surface is in the room.
Also they don’t use a filter and that’s a big plus.

But if I had to decide on one or the other, I would go with the HEPA filter air purifier over the photocatalytic oxidation air purifier for animals.

Not only for the cat’s sake but for my sake too.
Though the PCO air purifier is better at getting rid of pet dander it doesn’t do much of anything for pet hair.

The reason is, it is essentially an ionic air purifier the charges the air and clumps the particles together.
When the particles get heavy enough they fall to the surface.

When you’re talking about cats, cat hair is one of the worst things about having felines.

To help control cat hair, you have to have a filter to catch it. Ions can’t cut it.

Also by reducing the amount of cat hair, you are reducing the pet dander
Because dander is actually bacteria on the hair the gets there by the cat licking itself.


Air purifiers are safe for cats as long as you are using a HEPA filter type. HEPA filters basically capture pollutants being pulled into them by a fan. Nothing harmful for cats.

Other air purifiers like photocatalytic oxidation work more as an air treatment. It’s because they use ionic technologies that create ozone as a by-product.

They are very efficient because they are not just capturing pollution, they are disinfecting the air as well as the services around the machine.

But because they create ozone as a by-product, operating them in the same room as animals or humans can result in breathing issues.

Ozone is better left to only using it in an unoccupied room and letting it air  completely out.

As far as a air purifier for Cats goes, the HEPA air purifier is the better choice.

The reason is, cat hair.

PCO ionic air purifiers don’t do much of nothing for hair.

Filtering air purifiers can reduce cat hair thereby reducing the pet dander that is on the hair.

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Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @