Antiviral-antibacterial disinfectants, for various cleaning tasks in homes with cats, and is never stressed enough.  The fastidious nature of the cat results in toxicity incidents since cats spend an estimated 5-25% of their waking time in grooming.  Disinfectants in the cat’s environment must be safe in case of inadvertent ingestion via grooming occurs. In addition, sources of toxicity include absorption through the skin; inhalation of irritant or toxic, fumes, caustic burning of the paws and other areas in direct contact with disinfectant, and the tip of the tongue and esophagus when attempting to groom the toxin off.


The words sterilization and disinfection are often used incorrectly. Sterilization is the use of physical or chemical procedures to destroy all forms of very small life. This includes highly resistant bacteria. Sterilization is frequently done using high-pressure steam in an enclosed area (involves lab equipment).  Other means are by ethylene oxide gas, or prolonged exposure to dry heat. Disinfection is the elimination of all microorganisms and viruses from an inanimate object. It does not remove bacterial or fungal spores. Disinfection processes lack the margin of safety achieved through sterilization procedures although sterilization is rarely available to catteries. A number of factors significantly influences the effectiveness of a disinfection procedure.  This includes:

  • The nature and number of microorganisms.
  • The type and condition of the materials disinfected.
  • The amount of organic matter present.


Disinfection is a potent means to reduce the number of pathogens on a surface. It minimizes the risk of infection for animals and humans that come into contact with that surface.

Disinfection is always non-specific. In the first place, it does not inactivate specific pathogens. Disinfecting will kill most of the bacteria on a surface, including the pathogenic ones. Most of all it is important, that a disinfectant is capable of substantially reducing the bacterial burden on a surface.

Laundering items exposed to viruses or bacteria do not necessarily kill the virus or bacteria.  Certain bacteria/viruses can readily survive the typical home laundry process.  The home washing temperature of a hot wash is 118 F; a washing temperature well known to be inadequate to assure sterilization.  Effective cleaning products, used in conjunction with washing to achieve cleanliness, disinfection and relative sterilization.


Household vinegar (2.5 and 5% acetic acid) is cheap and readily available and used for cleaning as well as cooking. In fact, after 1 minute at room temperature, undiluted vinegar substantially reduced Salmonella.  Although, acetic acid fumes make it unpleasant to work with for some. It is harmless to humans and cats.

Benzalkonium Chloride (Lysol products). Never use for cleaning cat areas.  Cats can develop oral and esophageal ulceration and chemical burns.

Phenol/Formaldehyde, used in making plastic and dozens of household products.  Take extreme care due to chemical burns while using.  It is very inexpensive so used in many items; epoxies, nylon, herbicides and laundry detergents and pharmaceutical drugs.  One must wonder how a substance that kills weeds is also safe in a drug safe to consume.  Cats that come into contact with phenol cleaning products and laundry detergent can have dark green urine and phenol can be a cause of cancer.  Read your cleaning product labels carefully.

Chlorine-based bleach is not a safe option for eliminating germs.  It is not safe for humans, pets or the environment.  It can cause respiratory issues, burn the skin, create nervous system damage and if used around pregnant queens, it can cause birth defects. Bleach does not penetrate organic matter. It will sterilize the surface of smeared stool or fat, but it will not penetrate the surface to get the virus underneath. Not a good choice for antiviral-antibacterial disinfectant.

Pinesol, owned by Clorox, has several products available.  Since 2014 it seems like Pinesol contains no pine at all.  Pinesol got into trouble claiming germicidal and bacterial abilities of the products.  Most breeders know not to use the product because it can cause extreme ataxia and even death.

Hydrogen Peroxide is, in fact, an effective antiviral antibacterial disinfectant and anti-fungal cleaner.  Sold as a 3% solution, and used for most any surface cleaning job, straight out of the bottle.  It is impractical to use as a laundry detergent.

Antiviral-Antibacterial Disinfectants that are safe

Antiviral-Antibacterial Disinfectants Virkon S
Virkon S a disinfectant and virucide

Finally, here is a list of safe and specific disinfectants recommended by website:

  1. Chlorhexidine Solution kills fungal spores and is an excellent disinfectant around nursing puppies and kittens.
  2. Virkon penetrates organic matter, making it effective in a Parvovirus outbreak. It is safe to use around kittens and is great for rock or dirt runs where we need to penetrate soil surfaces. Use once a week to penetrate areas that are difficult to clean. Virkon is a great choice to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and Parvovirus.
  3. Oxine®is excellent against all viruses and bacteria as well as fungi and fungal spores. It is very safe to use in foggers. Catteries use it to get ahead of respiratory issues. It will kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and Parvovirus and will also penetrate organic matter.
  4. Health GuardLaundry Additive & Disinfectant disinfects the laundry without harming your washer. It kills bacteria, fungi, and virus when used in a washing machine. Works well for odor removal as well as cleaning and disinfecting carpet or upholstery. Safe to use on items that will be around mom and her babies.

For a comprehensive list of consumer household products and a way to look up ingredients and safety please use this very helpful site:

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