Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Cat charity highlights dangers of disinfectants
Ulcerated tongue
Drooling, redness and ulceration on the tongue of a cat, 12 hours after licking a patio treated with a cleaner containing benzalkonium chloride.

Seventy cats a year poisoned by patio cleaner

Cat owners are being warned about the dangers of benzalkonium chloride and other disinfectants as part of International Cat Care's campaign 'Keeping Cats Safe'.

Benzalkonium chloride is a cationic detergent that can be found in many household disinfectants including patio cleaners. Cationic detergents are irritants and can cause adverse effects in cats that have licked or walked over treated surfaces and then groomed or cleaned their paws and ingested the chemical.

Symptoms of benzalkonium chloride poisoning are often seen several hours after exposure and typically include drooling, a red inflamed tongue and a high temperature. The mouth may be extremely painful and cats can stop eating. The skin may also appear red and irritated. In very severe cases, especially without the correct veterinary treatment, exposure to the disinfectant can be fatal.

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service reports receiving an average of 70 calls per year about cats being poisoned as a result of exposure to benzalkonium chloride, and around 35 calls each year for other disinfectants.  

Now, International Cat Care are highlighting several of these cases on its website to help raise owner awareness.  One case involves a cat who developed a high temperature and ulcerations it his mouth just 12 hours after walking on a recently cleaned patio.  The cat was treated with fluids, pain relief and fed soft food only, and after six days was lucky enough to make a full recovery.

International Cat Care recommends that owners keep all disinfectants well out of the reach of cats, as the greatest risk ones when cats are exposed to concentrated solutions of the disinfectant.

Cats should also be kept off treated surfaces until the area is complete dry, and where concentrated disinfectants are used, the area should be thoroughly rinsed. This is particularly important if the treated areas becomes wet again as the product may still be present. To be completely safe, the charity has issued advice on several alternative methods of cleaning.

Finally, the charity urge owners to wash off any disinfectant that their cat may have come into contact with and seek veterinary advice immediately -  the quicker the cat receives treatment, the more positive the outcome.

To learn more about the dangers of disinfectants, visit 

Image (C) International Cat Care/Bates and Edwards, VPIS)

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.