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Is Lysol Toxic To Cats? Concerns &Safety Tips

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team


Is Lysol Toxic To Cats? Concerns &Safety Tips

When you adopt a pet, you will probably find yourself cleaning more often. However, many of the cleaners that we use are filled with harsh chemicals. They get the job done in the fight against germs, but they are also dangerous to other living creatures.

If you use cleaners like Lysol, you might wonder if you are doing your part to keep your cat safe. Can household cleaners such as Lysol hurt cats?

No, Lysol shouldn’t hurt your cat, so long as you keep them away from any recently cleaned spots that are still wet with the cleaner.

In this article, we go over using household cleaners if you have cats and what kinds of cleaners are safer to use around animals in your home.


Cat ball divider 1Are Household Cleaners Like Lysol Safe for Cats?

As a general rule, household cleaners such as Lysol or Clorox are safe to use when animals are in the home if you carefully follow the bottle’s instructions. The most important thing that you can do is keep cats away from surfaces that are still wet with the cleaner. Once the cleaned area is dry, it no longer presents any danger to your pet.

Reading the label often gives you valuable instructions on how to use it, not only for your cat’s safety but also for yours. For example, cleaners like Pine-Sol instruct you to dilute them with water.

Even once you do dilute them down, though, it is best to ensure that the cleaner and water mixture is completely dry wherever it was applied. Do not allow your cat to walk on it or lie down on surfaces that are still wet.

The phenols and cationic surfactants found in many cleaning agents can pose problems for your cat if they eat them. These chemical substances are found in all kinds of cleaners, including hand soaps, sanitizers, and even essential oils.

Signs and Symptoms of Adverse Reactions That Cats Can Have From Household Cleaners

Some cats are allergic to some of the properties and chemicals in cleaning agents like Lysol. That said, many animals won’t have an adverse reaction to them unless they roll in them while still wet, ingest them, or get them into their eyes.

If you suspect that your cat got into one of the cleaners before it dried, watch out for signs of adverse reactions. They might not manifest immediately but could become evident within the following 24 hours. If you think that they might have the cleaner on their fur, you should bathe them with gentle cat shampoo.

Your cat will experience different reactions depending on whether they ingested it or rolled in it.

Signs and symptoms that you should watch out for include:
  • Sneezing repeatedly
  • Tearing and eye discharge
  • Throat irritation
  • Bumps across their skin
  • A rash and increased itchiness
  • Hair loss from overgrooming or scratching
  • Pulling out fur

If you have noticed any of these in your cat, particularly the negative grooming habits, talk to your vet. Often, they will prescribe some kind of salve. If your cat has ingested the cleaner, take them to the vet immediately.

Choose Pet-Safe Cleaners

Some cat owners are nervous about using cleaners when their cats are in the house, even if they are not near the spot. One solution to this is to find cat-safe household cleaners.

Unfortunately, this is not as easy as it sounds. There are options available that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable, but even these products can contain essential oils. Although these oils are not harmful to the environment because they are naturally derived, cats will often have allergic reactions.

Do not worry, though. Even the harshest household cleaners, such as bleach, can be safe if you follow the directions carefully and make sure your cat isn’t around while you use them.

cat paw dividerWays That You Can Protect Cats From Household Cleaners

You can protect your cat and other pets from household cleaners by using them correctly. Look through this list to ensure that the cleaners that you bring into the house do not end up causing any damage.

1. Store the containers properly

Start by storing them safely in an area that you are sure your animals can’t get into. Any residue left on the exterior of the cleaning bottle can get licked and lead to chemical poisoning. If you need to, put a child safety lock on the outside of these doors.

2. Keep cats away from areas where cleaned surfaces are still wet

woman cleaning her pet cat's litter box
Image Credit: sandyman, Shutterstock

If you use a cleaner, keep your cat away from the area being cleaned until it is dry. Consider keeping them in a different room so they don’t inhale any fumes that could cause throat soreness, and don’t allow them to step on or roll in the cleaner.

3. Read and closely follow the directions

As long as you follow the cleaner’s directions closely, it should be easy to keep it in a safe form for your animals. Many cleaners have been tested for safe use around the home. That not only means making them safe for humans, but smaller creatures as well.

4. Monitor your cat if they come anywhere near the area

man cleaning cat litter tray
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Once you are finished cleaning, monitor your feline until you are sure that the cleaned area is safe for them.

5. Watch out for adverse reactions

Cats are sneaky creatures. Just because you didn’t see them in the area doesn’t mean that they didn’t get mixed up with the cleaner when you weren’t looking. It is best to continue to watch for any signs of adverse reactions. Sometimes, cats are susceptible to lingering vapors from cleaners. In this case, you will need to find a healthier product for your cat.

Featured Photo Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

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