In order to keep your home clean when you own pet cats, you need to disinfect litter boxes, pet beds and other surfaces in your home. Unfortunately, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, contact with some disinfectant chemicals can poison cats. To avoid the toxic effects many cleaners have on cats, use natural, green cleaners to keep your cats safe.
A safer alternative to chlorine bleach, you can use hydrogen peroxide safely around cats to disinfect hard surfaces and fabrics. Use simple 3 percent hydrogen peroxide from your drugstore as a straight cleaner for kitchen surfaces, on laundry stains or in your dishwasher to remove odors. Scrub litter boxes clean and germ-free with hydrogen peroxide or combat urine, feces or vomit stains with it. Mix it with an equal part water to spray around your home and kill mold or mildew or with baking soda to form a scrubbing paste. Hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial, antiviral and disinfectant properties to make it an effective cleaner. It breaks down into water and oxygen and does not require rinsing as it leaves no residue on fabrics or other surfaces. You can also use it to clean and medicate any wounds on your cat.
Both white and apple cider vinegar contain 5 percent acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties that kill many germs, bacteria and mold. Like hydrogen peroxide, you can use vinegar straight to clean surfaces and fabrics. Wipe down litter boxes, sinks, bathrooms and even cat food dishes safely with vinegar. Dilute it with an equal part water to make an all-purpose cleaner to use anywhere in your home around cats and add 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar to laundry to remove odors and stains from pet bedding. Vinegar neutralizes cat urine and you can use it to clean soiled carpeting or furniture. Vinegar also helps kill any fleas in or on your cat. Mix it with an equal part castile soap and water to make a natural, cat-safe flea shampoo.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties that kill a variety of germs. It leaves no toxic residue and some hospitals disinfect with it. Clean bathrooms, kitchens, litter boxes, cat bedding and floors in your home safely around your cats. Dilute 10 to 20 drops of the extract in 1 gallon of water to make an all-purpose cleaner that you can wipe surfaces with or use in a carpet cleaner to remove cat accident stains. Rinse fruits and vegetables with a solution of grapefruit seed extract to remove pesticides and microbes and preserve meats with it. Due to its nontoxic nature, you can even use a drop or two in your cat's water during emergencies to decontaminate it.
When considering what disinfectant cleaners to use around your cats, keep in mind that many antibacterial cleaners can harm your cat if accidentally ingested while grooming. Cats have trouble detoxifying certain chemicals since their liver enzymes are not as efficient those in other animals, according to CatHealth. Some of these chemicals include: phenols, pine oils, petroleum distillates, alcohol and chlorine. Many disinfectant cleaners like chlorine bleach and Lysol contain these chemicals and you should not use them around cats. Instead, opt for safer, natural options that leave behind no chemical residue or fumes.
- Photo Credit glass cleaner image by Randy McKown from Fotolia.com
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