Is Lysol Toxic To Cats?

Lysol is a common cleaning product found in many of our homes, especially during this pandemic. Its fresh scent and disinfecting capabilities make it a reliable household product, but it does come with a few drawbacks for cat owners.

Lysol is capable of causing both respiratory and organ complications in our feline friends, adding it to the list of toxic cleaning supplies to be aware of.

In this article we will discuss the details of why Lysol is so toxic to cats, and help you better prepare for a potential toxicity going forward.

Is Lysol Dangerous To Cats?

Is Lysol Toxic To Cats

Unfortunately, Lysol can be dangerous to the cats in our home.

Some forms of Lysol contain an ingredient known as phenol, which can be extremely toxic to a cat when ingested in any way.

Phenol is the main ingredient that disinfects any surface the Lysol touches, along with leaving behind the chemical scent we associate with cleanliness.

Cats are unable to metabolize phenol like you and I can, leading to devastating impacts on their health if they are exposed.

Phenol can lead to kidney and liver damage if they accidentally consume phenol, some of which can be irreversible if care is not sought immediately.

Not only is the presence of phenol a concern, but any form of Lysol can lead to respiratory irritation when the product fills the air.

Though some cats may only experience mild sniffles, others can be sent into respiratory distress. With so many risks on the table, many cat owners are beginning to shy away from using Lysol around their pets.

Is Phenol Still In Lysol Products?

Most Lysol products in the US no longer contain phenols due to so many people having pets in their homes.

However, you still may find the occasional Lysol product with phenols, especially if you live outside of the US. Because of this, we always suggest reviewing the ingredient list closely to be sure.

No matter what, Lysol still can lead to respiratory and skin irritation even without the presence of phenols.

In order to keep your feline friend safe, we suggest practicing care when using any household cleaner around your cat.

How Can Lysol Toxicity In Cats Occur?

Thankfully, our cats would have to drink directly from a Lysol bottle to experience a severe phenol toxicity. The likelihood of this happening is very slim to none. However, there are more common ways for our cats to be exposed to this potentially toxic substance.

The most common way that cats are exposed to Lysol is by walking on a wet surface and licking their paws afterward.

Not only can they lick the substance from their feet, but they can also groom their face with their soiled paws. This introduces the Lysol to their mouth, but to their skin and eyes as well.

Cats can also breathe in Lysol fumes if you have just recently cleaned a surface near them. Breathing in the fumes can be extremely irritating for a cat, especially if the smell is concentrated in the area.

The last possible way for a Lysol toxicity to occur in cats is if your cat accidentally takes a drink from a bucket that contains Lysol.

If your cat thinks a bucket or bowl contains water, they may go in for a sip before they catch a whiff of the scent.

Signs Of Lysol Toxicity In Cats

The signs of Lysol toxicity in your cat will often vary based on which area of their body was exposed.

To help you better understand all the possible symptoms, let’s list some of the most common Lysol toxicity signs below:

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Itchiness
  • Pawing at their face or eyes
  • Skin redness
  • Hives

Some of the more severe signs of Lysol or phenol toxicity in cats include:

  • Disorientation
  • Stumbling or abnormal gait
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your feline friend, we suggest contacting your vet immediately to rule out a potential Lysol toxicity.

If your cat has come in contact with Lysol, your vet can determine the best plan of action going forward.

If your cat has ingested Lysol, or any other household cleaner, we suggest contacting the Pet Poison Helpline on your way to the vet’s office.

Be sure to bring the bottle of cleaner along with you, as this will help the veterinarian work with your pet poison specialist in determining their treatment plan.

Treating Lysol Toxicity In Cats

If your cat is experiencing a Lysol toxicity, you likely have questions about what their treatment plan could entail.

Treatment for Lysol exposure will vary based on the area of the body that was exposed, so let’s break it down into different possibilities.

Skin Exposure To Lysol

If Lysol has come in contact with your cat’s skin, there are a few treatment options that your vet may explore.

First, your vet may bathe your cat to remove any residual Lysol still present on the skin or fur.

Next, they will likely examine the skin for any irritation, hives, or even chemical burns. Based on the results of their physical exam, they can send home medications or prescription shampoos to resolve any trauma to the skin.

Eye Exposure To Lysol

If Lysol has come in contact with your cat’s eyes, your vet will likely explore a few different treatment options.

They will first flush your cat’s eyes thoroughly to remove any Lysol that may still be present.

Once they are confident that their eyes and the surrounding area is Lysol free, they will likely perform an eye exam.

This eye exam will search for any obvious injury to the eye, ranging from ulcers to scratches. Based on what they see on your cat’s eye exam, they can send home appropriate medications.

Respiratory Irritation From Lysol

If your cat is experiencing respiratory irritation due to Lysol exposure, their treatment options will vary based on how severe their symptoms are.

If their respiratory irritation is minor, they may resolve with simply being removed from the environment.

However, if their exposure leads to respiratory distress, your cat may require critical care. This may involve putting them on oxygen support, prescribing medications for any swelling in their throat or nasal passages, and treating any other symptoms as they develop.

Oral Exposure To Lysol

If your cat licks or drinks Lysol, your vet may explore a few different options.

First, they will need to examine their mouth for any sign of irritation or injury.

Next, they will likely flush the mouth in an effort to remove as much of the toxic substance as possible. Your cat may need to be monitored in the hospital to rule out any damage to their liver and kidneys, as well as monitoring for any developing neurological symptoms.

Once your cat is in the clear, your vet will likely send your cat home with GI protectants to resolve any GI irritation, as well as medication to treat any current GI upset.

If your cat ingested a large amount of Lysol, you can expect their treatment to be more extensive.

Final Thoughts

Lysol may get the job done when it comes to cleaning our home, but it can be dangerous to use in a house with cats.

We suggest switching to a natural household cleaner that is free of any harmful agents, or making sure your cat is kept away from cleaned surfaces until they are dry.

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