Us humans often apply all kinds of stuff to our skin without worry. While there are topical dangers that we should be concerned about, we aren’t ingesting these topical products like our cats do.

Cats groom themselves around 30-50% of their waking hours. When you do the math (and realize they sleep approximately 12-16 hours a day) that’s a LOT of licking. This is why it’s important to be mindful of what you are putting on your cat topically.

Some common topical applications are:

  1. Shampoo – make sure to read the ingredients and only use a natural ‘cat-safe’ shampoo.
  2. Creams – sometimes cats are prescribed a cream for a wound or to treat a topical issue. Always ask about the side effects before administering them. If they are not safe for ingestion, you may want to find a natural alternative.
  3. Flea & Tick Medications – have you ever wondered why you have to apply these chemicals to the back of your cat’s neck? Because if they ingest it they could die. I know that sounds harsh, but we should think about this before using harsh chemical flea medications.
  4. Vaseline – if you Google this everyone will tell you that Vaseline is safe for cats to ingest. This product, however, is made from 100% petroleum jelly. Petroleum is used for transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation as well as asphalt and road oil. Don’t you think there might be a safer alternative for this?

In addition to what we apply to our cats, it’s important to understand topical dangers of the products we use on ourselves. If your cat likes to lick your skin or hair, what are you allowing them to ingest? We learned this lesson the hard way.

Common human topical applications that can put our cats at risk are:

  1. Hair products – if you’re using hair products that you wouldn’t want your cat eating, I’d recommend keeping your kitty from snuggling your head!
  2. Cosmetics – while we don’t have face lickers, some cats do lick their owner’s cheeks. If you use spray tans or there’s a chance of your cat ingesting your cosmetics, let’s fix that.
  3. Muscle creams – and this is where we went wrong. Many years ago when we were young, our cat was in love with the menthol scent of the muscle cream Adrienne used. We thought it was cute that he would nearly attack her arm and lick it – until it almost licked to death. He started foaming at the mouth and we had an emergency on our hands. If we’d been using a little common sense we would not have found that cute, so please think about these things before it’s too late!
  4. Lotions – read the ingredients of the lotion that you use on your body if you have a licker. There are so many awesome natural lotions that are safer for you and your cats!

Many of these products contain ingredients that are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, or just plain toxins that take a deep toll on vital organs and brain function. So, let’s take some time to think about what topical dangers our cats are exposed to.


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