It’s the sweetest thing in the world when one of our kitties start giving us a bath. We know that they do this as a show of affection to each other, so for a moment we feel like a loved, fellow cat. But is letting our cats lick us healthy for them? We need to explore this more.
Cats are often attracted to menthol smells. Menthol is common in products like Ben Gay and other creams like Vicks vapor rub. While it may be cute that they want to lick our skin after application, these creams are actually toxic to cats. The FDA has reported fatal incidents where the kidneys of cats shut down after absorbing this into their bodies.
13 years ago Adrienne put Ben Gay on her arm for carpal tunnel syndrome. Our cat, Mr. Bittles, went crazy! He jumped on the bed and incessantly started licking her arm. We laughed and thought it was cute until he started foaming at the mouth. We were very new to the pet nutrition industry and didn’t know much about cats or cat health at the time. We immediately flushed his mouth with water and shot a syringe of water and Oxy-Cat down his throat. Luckily he didn’t die (another reason to have Oxy-Cat on hand in case of emergency).
Fast forward to today and he’s in stage 2 kidney failure at the young age of 14.
Cats will sometimes do the same thing with everyday lotion that we apply to our skin. Those who live in dry climates often forget that they’ve even got lotion on their skin because it’s second nature to apply it after a shower. Letting our cat lick us with lotion on is also unhealthy for the kidneys of our kitties. Use organic coconut oil or pet safe lotion instead.
We always say, once you know better you do better. I’m not implying that you stop using lotion or muscle cream. But we should know what our kitties are exposed to and we should think twice before letting our cats lick us with chemicals on our skin.