Sharpie smell bad for cats?

Moonlight_wolf

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I know that smelly substances are often bad for cats, and sharpies have a very strong smell. Well I’ve been using sharpies a lot lately (black out poetry) and was wondering if I should keep my cat out of my immediate area while using them? She doesn’t seem to care but then again that doesn’t necessarily mean anything
 

Silver Crazy

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Sharpies have a solvent in them the same as used in auto/industrial paints and that's what you can smell.
Maybe you can use markers from children's coloring sets that are non toxic if you are really worried about it.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Honestly, I'm not certain, having never considered it before. I have used Sharpies around my cats for decades, and have never had an issue with them, although I'd be SURE to put the cap on securely, and store them where a curious cat doesn't decide they're a toy.
 

Caspers Human

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There's nothing to worry about as long as you work in a place with adequate ventilation. Open a window or something.

If the smell doesn't bother you it shouldn't bother your cat. If you have any concern, just keep your cat out of the area until the air clears.

Sharpies have a solvent in them the same as used in auto/industrial paints and that's what you can smell.
Those "industrial solvents" are called "alcohol."

The Safety Data Sheet for Sharpie markers can be found here:

Here's a rundown of the contents:

Butanol: A form of alcohol. (butyl alcohol)
Butanol is an ingredient in some foods such as butter, cream, fruit, rum, whiskey, ice cream and ices, candy, baked goods and cordials.
It takes more than 500 mg. / kg. of body weight to make you sick from butanol. For a 10 pound cat, that's over 2 grams. Are there 2 grams of butanol in a Sharpie marker? He'd probably have to eat more than a dozen of the things to get sick from butanol.

Propanol: Also known as isopropyl alcohol.
Companies often use the technical names of substances in their disclosure documents.
I'm sure we all know what isopropyl alcohol is, how to handle it and how it can affect our cats. I don't think we need to go into this ingredient in detail.

Diacetone Alcohol: Another form of alcohol, often used in making paints, lacquers and textiles.
Toxicity is low. 4 g. / kg. -- A 10 lb. cat would need to ingest 16 grams of the stuff to get sick.

Ethanol: Common drinking alcohol. Nothing special here.

Since we know that your cat is only likely to smell these ingredients, we can be sure that he will be getting such small amounts that it would be well below the threshold of making him sick.

However, even with all this said, it's still a wise move to make sure that there is adequate ventilation.
 

kittenmittens84

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Sharpies are non-toxic in humans for normal use (i.e. don’t eat them lol). as long as they’re not deliberately sniffing the markers for extended amounts of time in a poorly ventilated space or licking them, it’s fine. The primary concern with inhalants/huffing stuff is that the molecules from the chemicals replace the oxygen that would normally be going to the brain, which means to get enough concentration of marker smell from a single sharpie to cause harm you’d have to be trying really hard. Like sitting in a sealed closet or something.

Pretty sure the main solvent in normal sharpies is just alcohol, which evaporates quickly.
 

Caspers Human

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If we assume that the dosage where we start to see negative effects from alcohol is half of the dose that is known to be toxic, we would say that it takes two grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight to make a cat get drunk. (Or sick.)

Even if we assume that alcohol is more potent when inhaled (which it isn’t necessarily more potent but it takes effect faster) a person or cat would have to inhale a hell of a lot of Sharpie markers to see any effect.

A person would have to do something stupid like cutting the ends off the markers and sticking one up each nostril then inhaling like Darth Vader.

I can’t even IMAGINE a cat doing that! ;)

If the smell bothers you or if you think it might bother your cat, just open a window. :)
 

fionasmom

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My cats hate the smell of Sharpies. I use them to mark dates on the outside of larger bags of cat food and if they are next to the bag when I get the Sharpie out, they run.
 

kittenmittens84

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My cats hate the smell of Sharpies. I use them to mark dates on the outside of larger bags of cat food and if they are next to the bag when I get the Sharpie out, they run.
This is my cat with toothpaste. Every morning I go in the bathroom and he jumps onto the counter, and then I open the toothpaste and he sniffs the air, makes a horrified face, and then sprints away. You’d think they’d learn...
 
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Moonlight_wolf

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Thanks guys! I’ll be sure to open a window if the smell gets too overwhelming. I think I just worry too much about my kitty 😂 But yeah she doesn’t seem bothered at all by the smell. Lol. And I’m certainly not sticking it up her nostrils 😂😂 Thanks for the reassurance guys! 😊
 
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