Many household disinfectants, such as antibacterial sprays and some patio cleaners, contain benzalkonium chloride, which is a cationic detergent.
Cationic detergents are irritant and can cause adverse effects in cats that have licked or walked over treated surfaces.
Disinfectants can be harmful to pets and so should be used sensibly and only when necessary.
The most common effects of Benzalkonium Chloride exposure are dermal irritation or ulceration at the site of contact (most commonly the feet) and oral irritation/ulceration as a result of self-grooming. Chemical burns can also occur if there is contact with concentrated solutions.
General advice to owners:
• Do not allow cats to walk over a recently treated surface.
• Prevent access until the product is dry.
• If used outside try and restrict access if a recently treated surface becomes wet after rain.
• Avoid using disinfectants where possible. Steam cleaning or anionic/non-ionic detergents (such as washing up liquid are safer alternatives).
Most animals recover fully from benzalkonium chloride exposure but it can take several days for the ulcers and inflammation in the mouth to heal fully.
Remember you can always call us for treatment advice on 02073055055
Owners can call our Animal PoisonLine on 01202509000 (charges apply)