As a kid, I used to suffer from asthma attacks, seasonal allergies, topped off with dry, cracking skin in the winters. It was tough dealing with all that growing up, but it wasn’t until I got my beloved cat did I discover that our feline friends could also suffer from similar respiratory issues.
I was determined to make life easier for my asthmatic and allergic cat because I knew how painful it can get, so I had to look for the best humidifier for cats.
Today, I’ll be presenting you, fellow cat owners, with the top 5 humidifiers on the market and a detailed buying guide to help you make the most out of your purchase.
Table of Contents
How does Dry Air Affect Your Cat?
Have you noticed that in winter we tend to use up so much lip balm and hand lotions just to avoid skin cracking and feeling rough? This is because of the cold, dry air that pulls moisture from our skin.
It doesn’t stop there though, dry air goes beyond leaching moisture from the skin and actually draws it from your airways and sinuses. This can cause you to be more vulnerable when it comes to sneezing, coughing, and nosebleeds.
The reason why I’m talking about what dry air can do to us humans is that cats can experience the same respiratory problems associated with dry air. So when winter rolls in with the cool weather, you may start to notice a few issues that weren’t there before.
For one, your kitty’s soft coat may become riddled with dandruff so it keeps scratching its skin all day and night long. This happens because your cat’s skin can dry out, produce dandruff flakes, and develop a prolonged itch.
Dry air can also have your cat sneezing and coughing more frequently. You see, when dry air steals moisture from your kitty’s airways and sinuses, those dried up mucous membranes become very susceptible to irritation.
Unfortunately, irritation leads to coughing and sneezing, which leads to more irritation, which leads to more violent coughing and sneezing, and so on. Your cat ends up caught in a vicious cycle that’s only worse for cats with asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions.
Additionally, dried out mucous membranes means that the cilia present in a cat’s respiratory tract can’t function properly, compromising its role in natural filtration and cleaning. This all but increases the risk of your cat catching various diseases due to bacteria and viruses entering its body much easier now that there are fewer barriers in their way.
Not to mention that coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, and the many irritations caused by dry air will affect the quality of your cat’s sleep often resulting in snoring. Not only will your cat have a difficult time getting a good night’s rest, but it’ll keep you up as well with noises of scratching and snoring.
How do Humidifiers Work?
To deal with the issues caused by dry air, we turn to air humidifiers for help (along with proper medication if needed). But what are humidifiers and how do they work?
Humidifiers are machines that give out water vapor or steam to increase humidity or moisture levels in the air. So basically, these devices provide dry air with an alternative source of moisture instead of drawing it from your cat’s skin, nose, lungs, or any of its mucous membranes.
As for the mechanism of action of air humidifiers, it differs depending on the type of humidifier at hand. There are mainly 6 types of humidifiers you can find on the market:
- Central humidifiers – these devices are built into your house air conditioning and heating system. They’re meant to humidify air across the entire house.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers – these devices produce an extra fine cool mist using high-frequency vibrations. They’re considered the quietest type of humidifier.
- Steam vaporizers – these machines use electricity to boil water via a heating element, releasing steam into the room to add moisture. Steam vaporizers may not be very safe to have around pets and children due to the risk of burns.
- Evaporators – these machines utilize fans to blow air through a wet wick, belt, or filter under high pressure to turn liquid water into vapor.
- Impeller humidifiers – these devices use a rotating disc, which runs at a high speed, to fling water at a diffuser that breaks it into fine droplets. These droplets float into the air as a cool mist.
Humidifiers for Cats with Allergies
As we mentioned above, dry air can cause serious health issues when it comes to the respiratory system of a cat. This can only be more severe for cats with allergies.
Such cats already suffer from allergic reactions, such as sneezing, coughing, and itching, in response to allergens found in the air that may include pollen, dust, lint, and smoke from a wood stove or a fireplace.
Now imagine adding dry air into the mix! Further irritation of nasal passages and airways is likely to cause complications such as bronchitis and sinusitis.
Dry air can also lead to the production of extra mucus as your cat’s body tries to compensate for the dried up mucous membranes. This can cause extra difficulty in purging allergens so the allergic reactions become even more exaggerated!
Using a humidifier allows for a well-balanced level of moisture in the air, which helps keep your kitty’s airways and nasal passages clear of mucus. This means less irritation, improved breathing, and a better chance of eliminating allergens.
Humidifiers for Cats with Asthma
Similar to cats with allergies, humidifiers can also help soothe respiratory issues for cats with asthma.
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), feline asthma develops when an allergic reaction to an inhaled allergen causes the immune system of a cat to overreact. Common triggers for an asthma attack include smoke, kitty litter, dust, mold, perfume, pollen, and household chemicals.
The thing is, dry air can worsen the symptoms of an asthma attack due to increased irritation and blockage of airways and nasal passages. Humidity is an environmental factor that could be making your furry friend suffer without you even realizing it.
Setting up a humidifier in your home can create a more comfortable environment for you and your cat. This way, you can maintain optimal moisture levels for your pet, as well as reduce dust that typically lingers in the air.
Using a humidifier is especially important in winter since the air becomes dryer, making your kitty more susceptible to asthma attacks with higher frequency and severity.
Are Humidifiers Safe for Cats?
That’s an absolute yes! Not only are humidifiers completely safe to use around pets, including cats of course, but they also offer a range of beneficial effects from easing respiratory conditions (such as feline asthma and allergies) to reducing skin irritation due to dry air.
Perhaps the only safety concern is related to the risk of burns when using certain types of air humidifiers. This can easily be avoided by choosing a suitable humidifier for your home and placing it in a proper location that’s inaccessible to your cat.
How to Choose the Best Humidifier for Cats?
When shopping for the best humidifier for cats, there are a couple of features you should always look for if you want to receive the most satisfactory experience.
A timer is a true blessing when it comes to controlling the duration that the humidifier stays on. A humidifier equipped with a timer comes in really handy when you’re all snuggled up in bed, and suddenly remember that you need to turn off or refill the machine.
This is a crucial safety feature that prevents overheating. Humidifiers with automatic shut off technology will turn off when unable to detect water.
How long a humidifier can run depends on the capacity of its tank. The bigger the tank, the longer the runtime per full tank, which means fewer refills and extra convenience.
5 Best Humidifiers for Cats
1. LEVOIT LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier
Kicking off our list with a very popular hybrid humidifier, the LEVOIT LV600HH doesn’t just produce cool mist, but it also dispenses warm mist which helps kill bacteria that may be present in the water. This feature makes for a reliable device to use throughout the whole year for humidifying dry air in every season.
Being ultrasonic, the LEVOIT LV600HH operates almost silently to avoid bothering you at night. It turns off the display to make sure it doesn’t wake you up. It’s also equipped with a built-in sensor that adjusts humidity levels on your behalf for extra convenience.
The LEVOIT Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier comes with a 1.5 gallon (6 liters) capacity, allowing up to 36 hours of continuous runtime. It also includes an automatic shut-off function to keep you safe and protect the device if the tank runs out of water.
A nifty feature of this humidifier is the aroma box that lets you add your favorite essential oil to create a fresh scent in the room. There’s also a remote control to make it easier for you to adjust the settings from a distance.
Most cat owners praised the LEVOIT LV600HH, particularly enjoying the dual mist temperature and the flat design that reduces spillage during refills. The negatives were the higher price point and the tricky-to-clean corners.
- Provides cool and warm mist
- Convenient remote control
- Aroma box
- Flat design minimizes spills
- The remote doesn’t turn off display lights
2. Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier
The filterless design of this unit will save you the typical hassle of replacing filters like other humidifiers, as well as cut down the costs of maintenance and buying new filters. It features a huge tank of a 1.6 gallon (6 liters) capacity, lasting up to 50 hours straight.
The LED-lit water level window allows you to check when a refill is due at a glance. But just in case you miss it, the auto shut off function ensures your safety and prevents damaging the unit when the water runs out.
Moreover, if your cat is particularly sensitive to loud devices, the whisper-quiet operation of this unit won’t give you any issues. The Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier also comes with a tray for essential oils to act as a diffuser and create a pleasant aroma.
This unit had a whopping amount of positive comments regarding its durability and runtime. Some complaints mentioned the black model showing fingerprints too obviously and the refilling made tricky by the bulky dimensions.
- The filterless design saves you effort and money
- LED-lit water level check
- Very quiet
- Huge tank capacity
- Great value
- Can be tricky to refill
3. GENIANI Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Next up, we’re looking at the top-rated GENIANI Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with its smart design, easy-to-use system, and adjustable operation.
This unit is one of the quietest models out there, promising all the benefits of cool mist without disturbing you or your furry friend throughout day and night times. It even comes with a soft blue light to help you better relax when you sleep, but you can always turn it off if you don’t need it.
The GENIANI Ultrasonic Humidifier is perfect for small spaces thanks to its compact design. The included 0.66-gallon (3 liters) tank runs for 12 hours on the highest mist setting and up to 24 hours on the lowest mist setting. It’s also available in a 1-gallon(4 liters capacity) in case you want to go bigger.
The GENIANI Ultrasonic Humidifier features a 360-degree nozzle that lets you adjust the direction of the cool mist. It’s BPA-free, ETL certified, and offers a 2-year warranty for a risk-free purchase.
Cat owners are generally impressed with the quality of this device, emphasizing on how quiet it operates and how easy it is to figure out. Several customers pointed out that the power light indicator is too bright.
- Compact design
- Adjustable mist flow and direction
- BPA-free and ETL certified
- 2-year warranty
- LED power light can be a bit too bright
4. Homasy Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This affordable yet reliable unit comes with an 0.58-gallon (2.2 liters) tank that allows continuous production of cool mist for up to 24 hours on the low setting. The nozzle of the device rotates 360 degrees to deliver thorough coverage across small and medium-sized rooms.
If you’re worried about loudness, the Homasy Ultrasonic Humidifier has got your back. It operates at a low noise level of 28dB (that’s quieter than a computer) to ensure humidification without disturbance whether you’re working, studying, or sleeping.
This unit features a handy dial knob that lets you control the mist output more precisely than a button panel. It also includes an ergonomic arc-shaped handle with anti-slip grooves to give you a secure grip while carrying the device.
The Homasy Ultrasonic Humidifier features a wide 3.25-inch opening to make refilling and cleaning way easier. Moreover, this unit automatically shuts off and triggers a red LED light when it runs out of water.
The majority of cat owners seem satisfied by the quiet operation of this unit, as well as how easy it is to clean and refill. A few customers commented that it’s too small than they had expected.
- 28dB noise level
- 360-degree rotating nozzle
- Easy to clean and refill
- Dial knob mist control
- Not the largest capacity
5. TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Last but definitely not least, the TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier offers a sizable 1.06-gallon (4 liters) capacity that lasts up to 30 hours of straight runtime. It operates at a noise level of 38dB so it won’t be too loud for you or your cat.
The built-in LED display lets you keep track of the moisture levels in the room so you can always maintain optimal humidity. You can choose between 3 mist outputs to suit your humidity requirements.
As for nighttime, you can choose to turn on the relaxing blue nightlight or enter sleep mode to turn off the light and the LED display for uninterrupted slumber. Once the tank runs out of the water, the device will automatically shut off to keep you safe and prevent any damage.
Complete with a timer and a small footprint, the TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier proves to be as convenient as it is reliable.
Reviews are soaring when it comes to the TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier as cat owners praise its low noise level, ease of use, and handy sleep mode. However, some customers aren’t very impressed with the performance of the unit’s filters.
- Decent capacity
- 3 mist levels
- 38dB noise level
- Handy sleep mode
- Requires filter replacement
- Short power cable
Choosing the best humidifier for cats can get a bit confusing, this is why I included only the top-performing humidifiers on the market to make sure you land a great purchase no matter what.
That being said, I recommend the LEVOIT LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier as the best humidifier for cats.
This unit has just about everything you’d need in a humidifier. It’s quiet, durable, and comes with a huge tank capacity. It also features an automatic shut off function, a remote control option, and an aroma box for essential oils. All of which provide reliable humidification and convenient use.