Disinfectants, for various cleaning tasks in homes with cats, are never stressed enough.  In fact, cats spend about 5-25% of their time in grooming.  That means anyone who owns a cat should know what is in the products they clean with. Especially because some ingredients in our cleaning products can cause unwanted and terrible effects for our pets.

There are many ways toxicity can hurt pets.  Here are some to watch for.

  • Absorption through the skin.
  • Inhalation of irritant or toxic, fumes.
  • Caustic burning of the paws and other areas in direct contact with a disinfectant.
  • The tip of the tongue and esophagus when attempting to groom the toxin off.

What’s worse is that the outward symptoms may be mistaken as illness or allergy.  As a result, vet bills can run up trying to find the source.  When all we had to do was check the ingredients in our products.  Therefore, it is important to take a look at some of the things we can do to keep our pets safe.

As a rule, sterilizing something and disinfecting something are two different things.



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 done using high-pressure steam in an enclosed area and requires lab equipment.  Other ways are by ethylene oxide gas, or prolonged exposure to dry heat.

The only way a person has available to sterilize something in their home is to boil it.  But there is a specific way to do so.

First clean, scrubbed hands must clean the object as well.  Then it is put in a pot on the stove.  It is best to plan ahead about removing the object.  Put the tip of the tongs in the pot as well.  The pot must be large enough to completely cover the object.

Once the water is brought to a boil with the object in it, boil for 15 minutes.  Use the tongs to remove.  Finally, place the object on a few clean paper towels to cool.

It’s obvious that we are very limited in a home with what we can sterilize.  However, we can disinfect everyday items.



Disinfection is the elimination of all microorganisms and viruses from an object. It does not remove bacterial or fungal spores. Several factors influence 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 minimizes the risk of infection for animals and humans.

However, disinfection is always non-specific. Disinfecting will kill most of the bacteria on a surface, This includes the pathogenic ones. Most of all it is important, that disinfectants substantially reduce contagions on a surface.



Laundering items exposed to viruses or bacteria do not necessarily kill the virus or bacteria.  Some bacteria and 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 will achieve cleanliness, disinfection and relative sterilization.



Here we present many products.  Please read the unsafe product section.  The bad products are listed with side effects.  It is important to go forward cleaning safely.  In addition, it is now easy to evaluate your current household items.  Also, there is a list of safe products for your convenience.

Unsafe Products

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 contact 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 way to 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 has no pine at all.  Pinesol got into trouble claiming the germicidal and bacterial abilities of the products.  Most breeders know not to use the product.  It can cause extreme ataxia and even death.


Disinfectants That Are Safe

Household vinegar is acetic acid.  It is available in many different dilutions.  In addition, it is cheap and readily available and used for cleaning as well as cooking. In fact, after 1 minute at room temperature, undiluted 5% vinegar substantially reduced Salmonella.  Although, the acetic acid smell makes it unpleasant to work with for some. It is harmless to humans and cats.

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.

Chlorhexidine Solution kills fungal spores and is an excellent disinfectant around nursing puppies and kittens.

Virkon S 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.


Disinfectant and virucide Virkon S
Virkon S a disinfectant and virucide


Oxine®is excellent against all viruses and bacteria.  Fungi and fungal spores as well. 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.

Health GuardLaundry Additive & Disinfectant disinfects the laundry without harming your washer. It kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses 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.


Coronavirus it the precursor to Feline Infectious Peritonitis.  It’s imperative to keep all surroundings and bedding clean. This is especially true for kittens.

Find The Products Here

Finally, many of these products are easily had at Revivalanimal.com.



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