Many people in the world today are becoming more environmentally friendly. If you are one of these people, you are already attempting to do something to help protect the earth. As a cat owner, you are also deeply aware of how much animals mean for the planet and you. You will want to protect them in every way possible. How you clean your home is a vitally important topic for protecting your beloved pet.
Standard cleaners that are purchased in most stores and online used to be the regular choice for households. Now, environmentally friendly consumers know otherwise. Pet owners must heed this movement to keep our family pets safe. Cats are curious creatures and often lick any and everything. Also, they groom their skin and paws, which come in contact with the floor and more.
Regular store-bought products have dangerous toxins in them that affect not only humans but our pets. For these reasons, let us examine why regular cleaning products are hazardous for pets, what not to buy, and what to buy and where.
Amazon carries a number of safe, pet-friendly cleaning products. One highly recommended product line is Nature’s Miracle. One of its cleaning products that can help with many cleaning problems is this spray:
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Another fantastic group of pet and environmentally friendly products is Mrs. Meyers. Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate, Lemon Verbena, comes in many different scents. As they contain essential oils, it is best to rinse the surface that was cleaned after using it. They range in price depending on the products you choose. Check them out here.
Why Standard Cleaning Products are Dangerous
Family felines are fun creatures, but also very curious about everything! They are also immaculate groomers and as such, they come into contact with nearly all the cleaning products used in the home. As they walk on the floor with their bare paws, they can pick up toxic chemicals from the products you use in the house and proceed to lick them off when grooming. For most people, except young babies and children, there is no need for concern about what is used to clean the floor. In addition, adults do not investigate or taste new detergents, cleaning products, or essential oils brought into the home. Cats do.
Vet Warnings About Cleaning Products
Veterinarians are aware that many pet owners have no clue how toxic some of their household cleaning products can be to their cats. Sadly, a large number of regular compounds can cause illness in your cats, from mild stomach upsets to death. Some of the potential illnesses are caused by your cat grooming its paws and fur, or by ingesting even a small amount. Other severe illnesses can be caused by inhaling the compounds, especially when degreaser products, such as an oven cleaner and bleach are in the mix.
Here are some vet-noted signs that your pet has been exposed to a caustic or corrosive substance and needs help right away
Skin is red and raw
Their skin begins to blister
Pawing at the mouth
No desire to eat, or not eating
Pawing at the eyes
Their eyes tearing up
Three Chemicals Toxic to Cats
There are a number of ingredients in regular household cleaning products that are dangerous to cats. Three of the top compounds are:
In some products, ammonia is shown on the label as, Ammonium Hydroxide. No matter what it is called, it can cause major problems for your cat including, bad eye, skin and stomach illnesses. If enough of it is consumed or even inhaled it can also cause death.
Ammonia is a natural product and very alkaline. An alkaline product has a PH level over 7 and too much of it can make a person sluggish, wheezy and cause diarrhea. You know when you clean with oven cleaner, how your throat and eyes hurt? Imagine how much more hostile this is to your cat with a much tinier respiratory system. It is a dangerous chemical for your feline friend to come in contact with, even in small doses.
Ammonia is quite bad for your cat, but chlorine is even worse. Chlorine is also an extremely alkaline compound, but the real problem for felines is that it is thicker than air. That means that its fumes can be quite poisonous to our feline friends. The toxic fumes are even more noxious to them as it can take over the air, at your cat’s level and as they breathe in more quickly than humans, the toxicity of this chemical gets to their respiratory system faster.
Another problem chemical for humans, as well as animals, is Formaldehyde. It is a word normally associated with TV shows about morgues, or criminal investigations, but it is also a common ingredient in many cleaning products. It is used for its antibacterial properties.
It can cause a number of negative physical symptoms like irritation and problems in the mouth and throat lining, but worst of all, it is a known carcinogen. As Dictionary.com explains a carcinogen is, “any substance or agent that tends to produce cancer.” These are the problems that humans can get from inhalation, or contact with Formaldehyde, so our feline friends would have even more significant illnesses.
There are other toxic chemicals that are used around the house and a comprehensive article elaborating on them can be found here.
Highly Concerning Products
As noted above, some of the chemicals in these products’ ingredients are dangerous to not only our feline companions, but dogs, other pets, and humans. They include:
Treated Toilet Water
Laundry Detergent, Liquids, Capsules
Laundry Dryer Sheets
Carpet Shampoos and Fresheners
Products to Consider Purchasing
If you have the time to truly make your home feline-friendly, you can create your own household cleaners. The real difference between the standard cleaners and DIY products is the time it takes to make them and also that many have to be left working overnight to be fully effective. The other positive reason to use them is they are not harmful to pets, children, and those who suffer from scent allergies.
The two most used are vinegar and baking soda.
What are Safe Ingredients
There are a number of ingredients you can buy to make DIY cleaning products and most of them are quite safe for our pets too. The one controversial element that works in DIY cleaning products, but not so much for cats, are essential oils. If you can make your cleaning products without them that would be best, but if not, make sure you thoroughly rinse any surface that the essential oils have come in contact with before your cat gets anywhere near it.
Here are some of the most common tools and ingredients you can purchase to make your own cleaning products:
· Baking Soda
· Distilled Water
· Cream of Tartar
· Salt, regular and coarse
· Dish Soap
· Hydrogen Peroxide
· White Vinegar
· Lemon Juice
· Tea Tree Oil
· Sweet Orange Essential Oil
· Grapefruit Essential Oil
· Eucalyptus Essential Oil
· Castile Soap
· Spray Bottles
· 32 ounce/946 ml glass jars with lids
DIY Cleaning Product Recipes
There are a number of articles online that can give you great recipes for making your own DIY Cleaning Products. It will depend on what your household normally uses to clean up with. Once again, a number of these recipes include essential oils. If that is the case, always remember to rinse off any surface you used that DIY cleaner on with a wet cloth after use.
Also, make sure that the surface is completely dry before you let your curious feline walk on it. This will protect their paws and skin from any contact with the essential oils.
Check out the recipes here for DIY Cleaning Products
Safe Cleaning Products and Where to Get Them
As more and more people go Green in their choice of cleaning products, the stores that offer these products increases. One of the best places to search for natural products is Amazon, including some of the compounds recommended on DIY cleaning recipe sites.
For example, Green Works Glass Cleaner Concentrate can be found here.
There is one laundry detergent that is recommended in myriads of pet-friendly articles and on Amazon itself. It is the Seventh Generation Natural 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent. The detergent comes in a few fragrances for you to try.
The subject of standard cleaning products vs. pet-friendly ones can be a hard choice. The reasons for this can be as simple as time and needed effort. What you choose to clean your home with is up to you, but now you are informed and can make a positive impact on your pet, their safety, and the air quality of your home.
If you choose to use standard products due to time restraints or financial obligations, make sure you keep your feline friend out of the area until you rinse the cleaned surfaces with a clean cloth and water. Also, make sure the surface is completely dry before they get in and check out everything you have just done.
If you use the option of DIY, or safe products, a lot of worries will be eliminated regarding your pet’s health. You will also be helping anyone in your household who suffers from allergies or asthma.
The decision is yours and now you know what you can do and where to continue to look for further information. Congratulations on taking the time to be informed.
If you suspect your cat has been poisoned please call for help right away.
In the USA dial: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
In Canada, you are advised to call the same number, but a service fee may apply.
Those in the USA and Canada can also call the Pet Poison Helpline (service fee applies) 1-800-213-6880