Phthalates in vinyl flooring poisoning domestic cats?

This is another article in a series about hidden chemicals in household products which may insidiously be poisoning domestic cat companions who are particularly susceptible as they spend time lying on surfaces such as sofas containing fire retardants, carpets containing preservative chemicals and, in this instance, vinyl flooring to look like real wood which contains phthalates to plasticise the product.

Cats play on fake wood flooring which may contain phthalates which are poisonous to humans and animals
Cats play on fake wood flooring which may contain phthalates which are poisonous to humans and animals
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I am speculating, but I was prompted to write this article because on the Reddit.com website it is stated that there is, “Evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates, found in plastic packaging and common consumer products, to altered cognitive outcomes and slower information processing in their infants, with males more likely to be affected”. The author referred to another websit which I could not access at this time.

So phthalates are poisonous to people and they affect their cognition. So the first question is can phthalates in household products such as vinyl flooring be released into the atmosphere? And the answer is yes. There is a study on the Pub Med website which states that, “Phthalates are ubiquitously present in indoor environment and could enter humans”. They say that phthalates are an important endorcrine disrupting chemical. And research indicates they cause a wide range of health issues in humans from autism to cancer.

So through wear and tear phthalates in vinyl flooring can be released into the atmosphere inside the home. How many times have we seen domestic cats lying on kitchen flooring belly up sometimes, resting? A lot is the answer. Are they breathing in small amounts of phthalates? Is the amount sufficient to harm them? We don’t have answers but you can see the possibility for a gradual buildup of this chemical inside a domestic cat.



There are still quite a lot of idiopathic illnesses affecting domestic cats. This means illnesses without a known cause. I’m going to suggest that sometimes a possible cause is chemicals in the home environment. Chemicals are likely to build up inside the home if it is poorly ventilated. In fact, chemicals from the outside can be more concentrated inside the home. The same problem exists with vehicles. Often pollution inside the vehicle is higher than pollution on the road outside because the air is trapped.

Phthalates are not, for the sake of clarity, used in plastic beverage bottles or food containers. The term “phthalates” is short for “orthophthalates”. They are a class of additives used in some plastic products made with a particular type of plastic, polyvinyl chloride, which is why I have referred to vinyl flooring. There are also vinyl shower curtains, cables and wiring.

I’ll leave it there but end by saying that I am a believer in the possibility of gradual poisoning by household products of all kinds affecting both people and their companion animals, to which I believe people should be more aware.

P.S. Cats sometimes lick plastic bags? Why and is it dangerous? Click here.

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