Have you ever seen a cat stare at a candle for what seemed to be hours? I have. The cat seemed to be mesmerized by the flickering flame. I wonder if it was the movement of the flame or something else that had caught the cat’s attention. Normally I would think the cat would treat it much like any other prey and try to touch it but to prove that cats can and do play with the flames, here is a video showing just that.
Personally I think that the cat owners are the stupid ones here. Anyone who has been around candles knows that the flame is not the item that can do damage, it is the hot wax. Of course a house fire is not out of the question either.