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I've got these neighborhood cats roaming around and they come up to my front door. I put some moth ball in jars, because I know they're toxic, and placed them by my front door to keep them away.

I can smell the odor, which I can deal with them, and let Toby sit at the front door - I guess the odor isn't bothering him too much.

But, is the odor by itself dangerous to him if he sits there too long?
 

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I've got these neighborhood cats roaming around and they come up to my front door. I put some moth ball in jars, because I know they're toxic, and placed them by my front door to keep them away.

I can smell the odor, which I can deal with them, and let Toby sit at the front door - I guess the odor isn't bothering him too much.

But, is the odor by itself dangerous to him if he sits there too long?

I'd wonder what that says about the efficacy of moth balls at keeping cats away... ;-)

Yes, the chemicals (naphthalene in older versions, now 1,4-dichlorobenzene/paradichlorobenzene, sometimes with added camphor) are indeed toxic in their gaseous form; that's how they kill moths, after all (the chemicals sublimate and are breathed in).

Yes, that's kill, not 'repel'. I think it's a common misconception, so it's worth repeating: mothballs are not repellants, they are pesticides.

A faint smell occasionally is unlikely to kill you or even do noticeable lasting damage. But of course it's up to you to decide how much of a risk you're willing to take.
 
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