Caution is the Key When Using “Green” Cleaning Products Around Your Cats

In honor of Earth Day, we have some tips and suggestions for your spring cleaning and keeping your pets safe from harmful chemicals, this year.

Photo: Cayusa. Foter.com. CC-BY-NC

As companies offer more environmentally friendly alternatives to toxic cleaners, pet owners should keep in mind that what’s considered ” green” to a human can be dangerous, and even deadly to animals. Be sure to read labels.  Remember, the term “natural”  may also be misleading. Many products say that they are green when they are not.

Most household cleaners are safe if used according to manufacturer’s directions, but many home-made cleaners do not have the benefit of instructions, so be careful to check out individual ingredients as well.

Photo credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Lmbuga / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Cats can get stomach aches from orange, lemon or peppermint essential oils added to cleaners, said Dr. Camille DeClementi, a senior toxicologist at the Animal Poison Control Center.  She adds, “Many commercial green products are safe for animals, but owners should still exercise the same precautions as with chemical alternatives. For example, do not use fabric softener sheets that contain cationic detergents, (kills bacteria) because they can give your cat stomach distress.”

It is important to keep pets away from an area that is being cleaned and to make sure that sprays are not used directly on a pet. ” A good rules of thumb is when the instructions say to keep out of reach of children, it is a good idea to keep out of reach of pets as well,” DiCleminti said.

It is possible to be clean, environmentally friendly and provide a safe environment for your cat.

 

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