is bleach harmful to cats

Bleach can also be incredibly harmful to our much-loved pets if ingested because of the chlorine content. ‘If you have to use bleach make sure to rinse the area with plenty of water and allow it to dry,’ says Deyan. ‘Keep your pet away until it is completely dry.

Pets may also be at risk from over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen, which is one of the pain and fever reducers people take for COVID-19 symptoms and comes in a variety of brand names. In March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U. S. calls to the ASPCA’s national pet poison hotline have increased due to pets inadvertently ingesting medications like Tylenol, according to the organization.

Think of your pets like young children, Hodges says. “Small amounts of things can really, really hurt them. ”.

Smart cleaning can be difficult in the confusion and occasionally chaos of interrupted household routines and families living in close quarters while under “stay at home” or “shelter in place” orders. People must be extra vigilant, says Dr. Barbara Hodges, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association’s director of advocacy and outreach

In the midst of a pandemic, millions of people are staying at home, cleaning, disinfecting, and taking cold and flu medications—there’s a chance they could accidentally poison their pets.

Dogs do not groom their coats like cats do, but they do lick their paws, and they are frequently bigger than cats in terms of chemical metabolism. Additionally, they might eat or drink cleaning supplies or medications, particularly liquids that are left in buckets.

How is Bleach Poisoning Treated?

Cases involving ultra-concentrated bleach are emergencies. See a veterinarian right away if you believe your pet may have ingested concentrated bleach, been exposed to it topically, or may have gotten any kind of bleach in her eyes.

Sometimes exposure to color-safe and diluted household bleach can be treated at home. Give your dog a long bath with lots of water and a small amount of dog shampoo or gentle dishwashing soap if the irritation is just on the skin, advises Hovda. When pets swallow small amounts of color-safe bleach, they typically throw up a few times before feeling better.

You should encourage your dog or cat to drink in order to wash away any bleach that may still be in contact with the lining of his digestive system if they drank some and are drooling but aren’t vomiting. For dogs, who typically consume whatever is placed in front of them, this is less difficult than for cats. For cats, Hovda recommends adding a small amount of tuna water to make it more enticing to drink. Offering a tiny bowl of milk to your cat or dog can also help him drink and help offset any residual bleach.

According to Hovda, the majority of these cases should see a decrease in symptoms 30 to 45 minutes after treatment. If they don’t, it’s best to see your veterinarian, who can assess your pet’s condition and, if required, recommend drugs to ease discomfort and promote healing of the gastrointestinal tract lining.

How Do Pets Get Into Bleach?

The majority of it is exactly what you would expect, according to Tina Wismer, DVM, DABVT, DABT, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s medical director. “They’re using a bucket to hold bleach while they clean their floor,” she says. Perhaps they forget to keep their pets out of it when they take a brief break, or they spill something and can’t clean it up quickly enough. “.

Before using bleach to clean, dilute it with water to avoid the worst possible poisoning. According to Wismer, “the more diluted it is, the less toxic it is.”

The animal’s exposure level determines the degree of poisoning as well, and dogs, cats, and certain breeds of each will respond to the chemical differently.

“After tasting bleach, some dog breeds, such as Pomeranians, will turn their nose up at it,” according to Hovda. “Labradors, however, might down the entire bucket. She continues, saying that although cats are more like Pomeranians, they could get bleach poisoning if they step in a spill and then lick their paws.


What does bleach do to cats?

It causes ulceration of eyes, skin, paws pads, the lining of the airways, mouth and rest of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of exposure to bleach therefore include drooling, difficulty/pain on swallowing, vomiting and abdominal pain or painful eyes (watery red eyes, squinting/closed eye(s), rubbing at eyes).

Can I clean my floor with bleach if I have a cat?

If you’re cleaning the floor with bleach, make sure it’s diluted with water and rinse the floors afterwards. Be sure to wait for it to dry before letting your pet into the room. A wet floor means that bleach can be transferred onto your pet’s fur more easily, where they’re at risk of licking it when grooming later.

What happens if a cat licks bleach water?

This being said, if a cat were to breathe in a significant amount of concentrated bleach fumes or lick and swallow industrial-grade concentrated bleach, this could cause serious damage to their lungs or burn the lining of the esophagus and stomach.

What is the safest disinfectant to use around cats?

Many experts, including Dr. Bonk, point to vinegar and baking soda as two natural cleaning products that are safe to use around pets. Baking soda not only possesses natural odor-absorbing powers, but it also makes a great stain remover and general cleaner.