Bleach Is Harmful to Cats

Last Updated on April 13, 2020

Cleaning out the litter box can be a stinky situation. You not only have to worry about the smell but the germs that come along with it. This is commonly why people use bleach to clean them. Bleach is not a safe cleaner for humans and especially not for cats. What is a safer alternative?

Why Bleach Is Bad

Cat owners commonly reach for bleach because it is advertised as a cheap “do it all” cleaner for the home. They hardly speak about the dangers of its use around adults, children or pets. Bleach is considered to be a bioaccumulate within the body. It can be absorbed very easily through the skin and lungs, the damage it does will accumulate over time. Cats have glands within their paws so if they walk on surfaces where harmful chemicals are used, they can easily be absorbed at a much faster rate. It doesn’t matter if you allow the surface to dry, there will always be particles left over when it comes to chlorine substances.

This cleaner is also one that CANNOT be mixed with other chemicals. One of the worst chemicals you can mix bleach with is ammonia. What is found in cat urine? You guessed it, strong levels of ammonia. When a cat’s metabolism breaks down urea, it produces ammonia which is considered a toxin in its own right. Mixing the two can lead to serious health problems for you and your cat.


Bleach is a powerful disinfectant but the risks tend to outweigh the benefits. For more information, read more on the dangers of bleach

What To Use Instead

Something most homes have in them is laundry detergent. Brands that have baking soda in them, such as Arm & Hammer, do wonders for cleaning out litter boxes. These soaps completely get rid of the urine and ammonia smells without risking the dangers of mixing chemicals and making toxic fumes. You only need a tablespoon amount for a large litter box to clean it so it ends up being very affordable. Laundry detergent also washes clean and leaves behind little to no residue on plastic. While it won’t kill all germs, when mixed with hot water, it does a great job of killing most of them.

Extra Cleanliness

If you want to be extra clean with your boxes, simply spray a bit of 3% hydrogen peroxide after you have washed and rinsed your litter box. Allow it to dry before putting the fresh litter in. This will take care of any germs left behind and is 100% safe for your kitties paws.

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