Every cat mom and dad knows that keeping your home — especially your floors — squeaky clean isn’t the simplest task with a fur baby around. The kicker is that the products you’re using to clean those icky floors may not be safe for your little one.
It’s important to know when choosing the products to clean your home what’s safe or unsafe for your kitty – especially since she spends so much time right up close to those floors. Besides, if a product isn’t healthy for your fur baby, you probably don't want to be around it either.
So, what should a cat mom or dad look for when checking labels in the cleaning aisle? And what are some alternatives to popular floor cleaning solutions?
Chemicals to Avoid in Cleaning Products
You want your home to be clean, but you also want to make sure that everyone stays healthy. This, of course, includes your four-legged kiddos.
So, when go shopping for floor cleaning products, keep your cat mom eyes peeled for these harmful ingredients:
- Methanol - An organic solvent found in windshield washer fluid, paint thinner, and some household cleaning products. According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, it can be toxic to cats.
Essential Oils - While they may seem like the healthy alternative, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), "cats are especially sensitive to essential oils, and effects such as gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression and even liver damage could occur if ingested in significant quantities."
- Acids such as Vinegar - Vinegar is often used as a natural cleaning product, but according to the ASPCA, "vinegar (depending on the solution concentration) acts as an irritant. Ingesting concentrated, or undiluted, vinegar can cause vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation and pain."
- Bleach - While cleaning your fur baby's pet carrier or toys with a very diluted bleach solution can be okay if rinsed and allowed to dry and air out properly, it's not the best idea to use it in a quantity that would be needed to clean your floors.
- Formaldehyde -Some wood polishes, air fresheners, and cleaning products contain formaldehyde which is dangerous for your pet to inhale or ingest.
If there's ever any doubt about the safety of a product, be sure to consult your vet. With the health and safety of your little one, it's better to be safe, than sorry.
Be Super Cautious
While we're erring on the side of caution, there're some products that are okay to use in moderation, but only if you follow the package instructions carefully and allow ample time before letting your feline friend back on your freshly cleaned floors.
According to the ASPCA, the following products are safe with a few caveats:
- Carpet Fresheners - When using powdered carpet fresheners, make sure you vacuum it all up before letting your kitty back in the room. If your little one accidentally steps in the freshly applied powder, wash her paws with soap and water.
- Carpet Shampoo - Most carpet shampoo products are okay for your fur baby, but allow the carpet to dry first. This prevents the risk of any skin irritation or upset tummies.
- Swiffer Wet Jet - Contrary to a wide-spread internet rumor, Swiffer Wet Jet products don't contain ethylene glycol from antifreeze and are safe to use in a pet home. However, it's best to keep Fluffy off the floors until they're dry.
As with anything, always read the label carefully and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Floor cleaning is often a task that is best performed without your kitty's presence — despite how purr-fectly helpful she usually is.
Healthy Alternatives for Cat Mom, Dad & Fur Baby
Thankfully, there are natural and completely pet-safe alternatives for every cat mom and dad to use when cleaning the house — including your floors.
For example, plant-based or bio-enzymatic cleanersare pet-friendly and highly effective. Companies like Nature's Miracle, Puracy, Mrs. Meyer's, PetSimplicity, and Simply Green offer products that are natural and safe for your little ones, but still get the cleaning job done.
Another pet-safe alternative is baking soda. This amazing ingredient is safe enough to put in your favorite cookies and can be used to scrub almost anything in place of bleach. Bonus: baking soda is far less expensive than many household cleaners — natural or otherwise.
Whatever your cleaning needs, make sure to do your research on the products you use to keep your home happy, healthy, and clean.