Triclosan is harmful to cats, or is it? What is Triclosan? Where does it come from? Well it is probably manufactured by a number of companies throughout the world but a search indicated that a high percentage are based in China. One company is from Tianjin Bailing Disinfectant Co.,Ltd. Another is from Jiangsu Equalchem Co.Ltd. There are many others both inside and outside China. China is not known to be highly ethical in respect of their products. See for example Melamine in Cat Food. And on a different subject, Cat Meat Name and Shame.
Triclosan is a “potent wide spectrum antibacterial and antifungal agent”. It is an ingredient of antibacterial soap. The idea is that its presence in soap has an added benefit over ordinary soap in that some of this chemical stays on the hands after rinsing, which then kills bacteria. All well and good but the trouble is that this chemical ( 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol) has been linked to health issues in humans and as a consequence Triclosan may be harmful to cats as well.
Triclosan can be converted to dioxins (a known cancer producing chemical) on contact with free chlorine in tap water via an intermediary chemical called 2,4-dichlorophenol, as one example. Studies have also concluded that Triclosan can act as an endocrine disruptor (in the North American bullfrog). In other words it can disrupt the production of hormones. Also it is felt that its presence can contribute to creating drug-resistant bacteria. Apparently in humans this chemical has been linked to human health issues such as:
- endocrine system abnormalities (mentioned above)
- weakened immune system
- birth defects
- weight loss that is abnormal and
- cell growth that is abnormal (src: http://www.drbenkim.com)
The major point is this; it is argued that ordinary soap does just as good a job in getting rid of bacteria. So the inevitable conclusion is that Triclosan is, indeed, harmful to cats because cats will invariably lick our hands and other parts of us. If the chemical is still on us when we are licked then it will then be ingested and cause harm to our cat. I would stick to ordinary soap. Where health is concerned we must “play safe”.
Triclosan is Harmful to Cats — Sources: