The findings of this study by the Environmental Working Group are significant for anyone trying to minimize the exposure of household toxins in cats. We know we live in a contaminated world, but this study shows just how susceptible our cats are to absorbing large amounts of contaminants.
Who doesn’t like to keep their home clean and smelling fresh? There is an entire industry dedicated to household conveniences… Everything from floor cleaners and fragrances to fire retardants and bug sprays. All these things are intended to keep our homes clean and safe. But a closer look reveals that most have a caution statement. It’s usually something like ‘do not ingest,’ ‘use gloves,’ ‘do not inhale’.
Easy enough, right? But this study shows that those we share our home with are ingesting and inhaling these things.
Household Toxins In Cats
The cats sampled in this study contained 46 different industrial chemicals and toxins. These include 9 carcinogens, 40 toxins that effect the reproductive systems, 15 chemicals toxic to the endocrine system, and 34 neurotoxins.
What’s worse is that the level of contamination in cats are found at 5 times the amount in people. Why? Not only are cats a fraction of our size, they spend about 40% of their waking hours cleaning themselves. Their paws are also very vascular – meaning they absorb contaminants into their bloodstream through their paw pads. And they are low to the ground. Everything in our air lands on them – and ends up in them when grooming.
So, how can we minimize our cat’s exposure to these toxins?
Start by evaluating the products in your home for pet safety. We’ve found most are not actually safe for our cats. And many really aren’t safe for us either. Eliminate aerosol sprays, plug-in fragrances and candles – which trigger asthma and allergies in cats. Use natural floor cleaners – or make one yourself. Be mindful of products we use on ourselves – like lotions and hairsprays. Find a natural detergent for your cat’s bedding and blankets – and avoid all dryer sheets.
Taking these small steps can make a big difference in the lives of our cats. We can’t remove everything toxic in our world, but we can do our best to make our cat’s world better.