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Cat Safe Labeling

As any cat will tell you, they are NOT dogs.They are, in fact; gentle, sensitive creatures worthy of our admiration. I know, I know, I slay me sometimes. But the truth of the matter is that they are not dogs and are truly sensitive. And by sensitive, I don't mean touchy, feely, (unless you are referring to their teeth and claws), let's talk about our emotions, but their bodies are much more fragile than that of other pets.

The biggest physiological difference is that cats lack the enzyme Glucuronyl tranferasses. Almost every other mammal has it. Without this enzyme, the detoxification mechanism in cats is slower or nonexistent. It results in the buildup of toxic metabolites which caused toxicity problems when certain substances are inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. 

That is why I look for products that are specifically labeled cat safe. This way I know that they do not need that enzyme to metabolize any of the product’s ingredients.

Here is a short list of what is NOT cat safe. It is by no means a complete list:

Essential oils and plant based ingredients as could be found in shampoos, conditioners, spa products, and aromatherapy. A good site for a list of toxic essential oils and plants is

Any product ending in OL, such as Pine Sol, Lysol, and Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol). They contains phenols. One of the many substances that their livers cannot metabolize.

Bleach can cause contact irritation and rashes on mucous membranes as well as damage the esophagus and lungs.

Calcium Hypochlorite as found in some mildew removers is deadly.

Products containing pine tree oils such as Pine Sol and shampoos.

Any cleaners that contain petroleum products.

Flea shampoos and treatments that contain Permethrin (synthetic version of the Chrysanthemum flower) and Piperonyl butoxide.

I love grooming cats, but I am always aware of what I use on them AND what I used to clean with. My first aid kit contains the necessities needed in case of accidental poisoning along with the number for Animal Poison Control. 1-888-426-4432.






Great article, very informative. Thanks


What about the grain alcohols found in many gel teeth cleansers marketed as cat safe? It's the 2nd ingredient listed in one I'm looking at right now.

mary oquendo

Good question Sheryl. Does it tell you what the % of alcohol is? Some have %'s of 25%, which is not safe for cats. Others use a minimal amount as a preservative. Not great. I probably would not want to do their teeth daily. The flip side of not doing their teeth is bacteria entering their bloodstreams, causing multiple organ damage. So, there really isn't a good answer for this. For my pets, personally, I don't use commercial dental products, but use raw bones instead. That's material for another blog. It's now on my to do list.

first aid training

It is no secret that cat containment can be a sore issue for many animal lovers. Ranging from cat shelters, cat fences and window boxes, keeping your kitty cat safe is not new.

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