Categories: Zoos

Is Calvin Klein perfume safe to use on big cats in zoos?

Banham Zoo, Norfolk, UK: Banham Zoo has appealed for unwanted perfumes from visitors because they are a ‘roaring success’ with the big cats as they ‘respond very positively to unique scents when sprayed in their enclosures’. I see the importance of stimulating captive big cats because they have a very boring and unstimulated existence normally.

Is perfume safe to use to stimulate big cats at zoos?

The problem I have with the idea of using perfume is that they are made of artificially created chemicals. How safe are they?

A simple and immediate Google search throws up some big question marks. People ask, ‘are perfumes toxic?’. And the answer: fragrances are highly toxic! This is according to the website. Other sites concur. Many studies conclude that the chemicals in perfumes can be classified as ‘as allergens, hormone disruptors, asthma triggers, neurotoxins and carcinogens’.

I am not going to trawl over all the chemical details as you can find them online very quickly. The simple conclusion that you have to draw from the research is that zoo keepers should question the use of donated perfumes as a way of stimulating captive big cats.

Perfumes are highly convenient. You just spray then in the enclosure and apparently they love it. But has anyone asked if it is safe? One issue is that the chemical composition of fragrances are trade secrets. Apparently the fragrance industry is self-regulated. This means that safety testing does not have to be confirmed by regulators. Yes, they are also unsafe for humans. I guess it is about quantity. In small doses perfumes are probably considered safe. They are like plugin, home frangrance dispensers. These too can be harmful to health.

There is obviously something in perfume which gets the cats going but there are better but less convenient ways to achieve the same result and the health of the cats is paramount. On my research the call by Banham Zoo for Calvin Klein perfume needs to be carefully thought out again. The active ingredient it apparently a pheromone, cicerone which is derived from the civet cat. In an ironic twist, the poop of civet cats makes super expensive coffee!

P.S. I’d advise zoo keepers of big cats to contact Big Cat Rescue in Florida for advice on this. They are the most knowledgeable.


With Doc Antle finished, Carole Baskin can now push on with her Big Cat Public Safety Act

It is end of days for the big four "Tiger Kings" of America. One of these prominent big cat exploiters ...
Read More

Trophy hunters can select the lion that they want to kill from a brochure

Wealthy clients who take pleasure in shooting lions for entertainment are sent brochures with photographs of captive male lions via ...
Read More

What do big cats smell like?

This is a slightly bizarre but also interesting question thrown up by a Google search. You won't find the answer ...
Read More

Roadside zoo “Wildlife in Need” – further court injunction stopping big cat abuse

Tim Stark owns a controversial Indiana roadside zoo called "Wildlife in Need" (an ironic name as the cats in it ...
Read More

Can a domestic cat mate with a lion or a tiger?

Without quoting any experts, common sense dictates that domestic cats cannot, or should not on ethical grounds, mate with a ...
Read More

Do big cats play with laser pointers?

No, big cats do not play with laser pointers. We can thank Big Cat Rescue (BCR) for finding out conclusively ...
Read More

Why are there no big cats in Australia?

People ask why there are no big cats in Australia but they could also ask a much wider question namely, ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

10 thoughts on how to make your cat less timid

I'm going to rely on chapter 19 of Jackson Galaxy's book Total Cat Mojo to…

4 hours ago

Has this cat hater gone too far with his DIY automatic anti-cat device?

NEWS AND COMMENT - PERTH: A peeved and frankly angry Australian man, Craig Turner, built…

13 hours ago

Should I let my cat lick me?

This very fundamental question is asking whether cat owners/guardians they should let their cat lick…

16 hours ago

3 reasons why you might lose your cat to your neighbour

We know that we don't truly own our domestic cat companions. We might think that…

17 hours ago

What type of cat is the Whiskas cat?

The Whiskas cat 2020, judging by the latest videos on YouTube, is likely to be…

1 day ago

Russian stray cat survives minus 27 degrees Celsius

Below is a stitched together narrative from many Twitter tweets in Russian (translated by Google)…

1 day ago