Many common cleaning products can be hazardous to cats. They contain chemicals that can be toxic, and even deadly. Cats are especially at risk because they groom themselves, therefore ingest chemicals on their fur and feet. Additionally, cats can have allergic reactions to the chemicals and fumes found in commercial household cleaning products. Luckily, there are safe and cheap alternatives to these common products that are also environmentally friendly.
Using a non-toxic cleaner on floors is especially important because cats are low to the ground. Use a vinegar and warm water solution on wood, ceramic tile, linoleum or vinyl flooring. If you’re using a carpet steam cleaner, use a water and vinegar solution (one part water to one part vinegar) to clean.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
Use baking soda to dust surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens, then wipe with a moist cloth or sponge. Another option is to use vinegar and warm water. If you’re trying to remove mildew or grease stains, first spray them with lemon juice, let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a brush to scrub the residue away.
Unclogging a Drain
Drain cleaner contains numerous chemicals and comes with a multitude of warnings. Instead of a commercial cleaner, use baking soda and vinegar. Pour a few tablespoons of baking soda down the drain, then a cup of vinegar. The reaction of the two products will help unclog the drain. Afterwards, rinse with hot water.
Olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice (two parts olive oil, one part lemon juice) makes an excellent furniture polish.
The self-cleaning feature on ovens often release fumes during the cleaning process that can irritate cats and humans alike. Instead, make a paste of baking soda and water, then coat the inside of your oven. Let it sit overnight, and then scrub away the dirt the next day.
The chemicals contained in dryer sheets, as well as in fabric softeners and laundry detergents, are absorbed by your skin and therefore your cats’ skin as well. These products are known to contain carcinogens and neurotoxins.
Sometimes it is unavoidable to expose our cats to toxic fumes. When it comes to painting, ensure that the area being painted is well-ventilated. One way to do this is with an ionic air purifier. If you don’t have one, set small bowls of vinegar around the room, and change them daily. The smell of the paint fumes will be absorbed by the liquid. Leave these bowls out until all paint odor has dissipated.
While these homemade cleaning projects might require a little extra work, you will have peace of mind knowing that not only is your cat safe from toxic chemicals and fumes, but that you are also saving money and contributing to a healthier planet.
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.