Why Do Cats Like Bleach?
**Important- The information in this blog post is for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be deemed as medical or veterinary advice. If your cat has consumed bleach then you should consult a veterinary professional immediately **
Has your cat ever had a strange reaction to bleach?
Don’t worry, your cat isn’t the only one. Many pet owners have noticed that their cat is attracted to the smell of bleach. Some cats have the same reaction to bleach as they do to catnip.
But why does this happen? And isn’t bleach toxic? What should you do if your cat drinks bleach?
First, don’t panic. We are going to look at all of this together. By the end of this post, we hope you have a better understanding about why cats like bleach and what to do if your cat consumes this toxin.
Why Do Cats Like Bleach?
So why are cats attracted to bleach?
Unfortunately, we don’t really know. But researchers believe it is related to the chemical composition of bleach. Specially, they think cats are attracted to the chlorine in bleach.
Remember how we mentioned that some cats have the same reaction to bleach as they do to catnip?
Well, there is probably something in the catnip and chlorine that acts like a pheromone to cats. A pheromone is a chemical that causes a natural reaction in certain creatures.
So, when cats are exposed to pheromones or chemicals that mimic pheromones, they are attracted to the smell. And they naturally start to behave differently. That is why your cat might droll, roll around, or purr when exposed to bleach or catnip.
So cats are just naturally attracted to the chlorine in bleach. But is that a problem? Keep reading to find out.
Is Bleach Toxic to Cats?
The short answer is yes.
But, this really depends on the type of bleach and how your cat consumes the product.
If your cat smells bleach, they will not be poisoned. But drinking bleach can cause serious health issues.
Also, highly diluted bleach is not as dangerous as undiluted bleach. When you use commercial bleach at home, you are likely using a diluted version. You can also add water to further dilute the bleach.
How to Prevent Bleach Poisoning
The best way to prevent your cat from bleach poisoning is to keep them away from bleach.
If you are going to use bleach, put your cat in another room. This will make sure that they don’t drink any of the solution.
Additionally, you should dilute your bleach solution. Add plenty of water to your bleach before you use it. Highly diluted bleach is less toxic to cats than undiluted bleach.
Once you are done using bleach, clean up any spills and put the remaining bleach in a secure area out of your cat’s reach.
The bleach fumes are not poisonous to your cat, so once the bleach is cleaned up, you can let your cat into the area. They still might roll around or droll because they can smell the fumes. But as long as there is not bleach for them to lick or drink, they shouldn’t experience bleach poisoning.
Signs and Symptoms of Bleach Poisoning
If your cat does drink or consume bleach, you should be aware of the signs of poisoning.
Your cat might exhibit a natural reaction to the bleach fumes. They might droll, purr, or roll around in the area. This does not mean they are poisoned. This is just a harmless reaction they experience and it is similar to the reaction they have after being exposed to catnip.
But, there are some signs that your cat has consumed the toxin. These include:
- Skin irritation
- Stomach pain
- White patches around the mouth
- Excessive drooling
These signs could mean that your cat consumed bleach. And if this happens, you need to be ready to treat the symptoms.
What to Do if Your Cat Consumes Bleach
If you cat consumed bleach, it is important to stay calm. Yes, this can be a stressful and scary situation. But there are ways to treat the symptoms.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Bleach They Consumed
If possible, you should try to figure out what type of bleach your cat consumed. If they drank a small amount of very diluted bleach, you might be able to treat the symptoms at home.
But, if your cat consumed undiluted bleach or you don’t know what type they consumed, you should take your cat to a veterinarian immediately.
Step 2: Treat the Symptoms
You need to try to flush the solution out of their digestive tract. The best way to do this is by getting your cat to drink water or milk. This will help remove the toxic bleach from their system.
But, as most cat owners know, it can be very challenging to force your cat to drink something. If you can’t get your cat to drink, you should take them to the vet immediately.
If your cat does drink water or milk, their symptoms should go away within 30-45 minutes. But, if the symptoms last longer, consult your vet.
Step 3: Prevention
Remember, the best way to keep your cat from drinking bleach is to keep them away from bleach. So, if your cat drank bleach, clean up the area. And, from now on, keep the bleach out of their reach.
Although there hasn’t been a lot of research conducted on this topic, most people think cats are attracted to the chlorine in bleach. This chemical causes them to have the same natural reaction they have to catnip.
But if they drink bleach, cats will experience bleach poisoning. They might vomit or get a chemical burn. If this happens, try to give your cat water or milk to flush out the toxin. Or, take your cat to the vet if the poisoning seems very serious.
Ultimately, the best way to deal with bleach poisoning is to prevent it in the first place.
Is your cat attracted to bleach? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.