Cat Lung Ailments Could Be Caused By Deodorants And Cleaners

Life-threatening lung disorders are commonplace in the cat world so says the Cornell Feline Health Centre. A cat’s lungs are very similar to ours bar some minor differences. It is fair to argue that what affects our lungs is likely to affect a cat’s lungs similarly. For instance passive smoking affecting cats is an issue in some households.

Findings published in the journal Science have claimed that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from domestic products such as bleach, perfumes and deodorants are a source of air pollution on a par with car fumes. Yes, it is surprising, even shocking.

We would not leave our cat next to a busy road in a cat carrier all day. In some households that is what is effectively happening in terms of the inhalation of VOCs.

These household products are often derived from petroleum. In Los Angeles as much as 50% of VOCs come from domestic products. The same probably applies to other cities.

Twenty years of professional cleaning resulted in a fall in lung capacity and rise in asthma akin to that suffered by regular cigarette smokers.

Despite being used in vast quantities vehicle fuel is combusted efficiently these days. In terms of quantity these petroleum based household products are small compared to fuel but they give off VOCs in similar quantities. This is because petroleum based family products have been overlooked in terms of air quality.

The VOCs react with sunlight to form ozone and PM2.5 particles which are harmful to health. PM2.5 are a major global air pollution concern.

“The net result is it [VOCs from household products] rivals that from vehicles.” (Prof de Gout of the University of Colorado Boulder).

For the sake of human health I’ll predict that manufacturers of deodorants, oven cleaners and other products based on petroleum will have to find alternative ingredients for their products.

In the meantime cat owners should also be aware of these findings. They should ask if it is time to stop using deodorant for instance. Cat owners should research this topic and make up their own minds but the evidence will build. What affects us often affects our cats due to their similar fundamental anatomy.

5 thoughts on “Cat Lung Ailments Could Be Caused By Deodorants And Cleaners”

  1. It’s good to know what I thought about most man-made or man-altered products that are harmful to most living things is true. I have not used most of these products in many years, preferring nature-made items. Thank you for the articles and the comments of others.

  2. Hi Michael. I think the weather here is only a tad better than in the UK, We have mostly overcast days with drizzle and sometimes strong winds and rain. It can get pretty cold at night too. The 2 toms I mentioned who fell foul of Brillo made a full recovery. Isadora’s only kitten Messalina in turn only produced one kitten Missina but she is stunner,

  3. Laundry detergent is extremely toxic to cats. One of my best Turkish Angoras, Isadora, suffered from pica. She would seek out the detergent and eat it. I thought I had solved the problem by lashing the cupboard handles together with strong iron bailing wire but one night she opened it up anyway and ate a fatal dose of detergent. It was very difficult for me to unwind the bailing wire bur she found the way. Why did I keep her in a room with detergent? Well it was because she was very aggressive with the other cats and the laundry room was the only place I could keep her to prevent serious fights. Russian scientists have found that pica is associated with chronic toxoplasmosis, and the poor survival rate of her kittens suggests that, but she was also a very bad mother who ignored her kittens and did not allow them to suckle. Only one of her kittens grew up to be healthy. I also had the experience of 2 of my toms who got very sick. I was using Brillo floor disinfectant which I deduced was slowly poisoning them. It wasn’t from inhaling the fumes but from ingesting the disinfectant from the floor by licking their paws, Typically there was no warning on the label. I saved their lives by stopping the use of Brillo and force-feeding them water to flush out their kidneys. The Vet told me not to do that which of course I ignored. I only use household bleach now and there have been no health issues for many years. All mammals have hydrochloric in their stomachs, so how can chlorine be harmful?

    • My God, that is horrendous, to eat detergent. What a shame. And your story about Brillo floor disinfectant is also sad but interesting. Goes to show how easy it is to introduce dangerous chemicals into the home. And your snippet of info about chronic toxoplasmosis causing pica is also very interesting. Nice to hear from you by the way Harvey. How are things under the hot sun?!

  4. This is so true. My cat had what I perceived as breathing problems but only at night when she is sleeping. I made a video of her doing this and sent to my vet and he said it was nothing to worry about. This was after her wellness check. Of course I still worried big time. After thinking about it I replaced our laundry detergent with non toxic, natural cleaner and washed all her bedding in it. I also run a humidifier to help her. I now hardly ever hear her having issues. I also changed out some of the other harsh cleaners I was using. A plus is that my boyfriend and I are sneezing a lot less also.


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