House Hold Cleaners & Cats, the Dangers in Your Home

Exposure to household cleaners accounted to approx. 6% of feline-related calls to the pet poison helpline in 2015. Worst offenders are floor, surface & glass cleaners. The most dangerous are oven cleaners, rust removal agents, lime removal products, certain toilet bowl cleaners.

What are the signs of your cat being poisoned?

The cat may have profuse drooling, difficulty breathing and vomiting, even organ damage. Also with more dangerous chemicals (corrosive), oral ulcerations and burns to the mouth, skin & eyes may occur.

Why is this?

Household cleaners & disinfectants that contain phenols (it goes cloudy when water is added) are very toxic to pets, in particular cats. Most leading brands do put a warning on their products of this danger as a cat will ingest phenol from the litter tray, or when licking their paws after walking on a newly disinfected floor.
The phenol can then build up in the cat’s liver and kidneys causing organ failure, which can be fatal.

What is the treatment?

Contact your vet. The treatment will most likely be Anti-vomiting medication and/or fluid therapy (intravenous) may be needed for more benign household cleaners. More dangerous chemicals must be carefully and copiously lavaged and flushed.

What can I do?

It is important to make sure all areas that have been cleaned with household cleaners have all residues removed and all excess liquid is wiped up or eliminated, pets should only be allowed back into the room after the whole area has dried.
Alternatively, you can use pet safe household cleaners.

What cleaner can I use?

If your cat urinates in the house you shouldn’t use normal household cleaners as most cleaners have ammonia in them, ammonia encourages the cat to go back to the same spot, animals can sell ammonia but we cannot.
Using a cleaner like simple solutions (available for cat & dog) will break down the enzymes in the ammonia.

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