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Contaminated clothing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Help??
I have 7 foster kittens which were feral so I don't know what diseases or parasites they may have. I was keeping bedding I used for them separate and washing it in bleach. Unfortunately one of my family members did wash and he took the basket with their bedding in it (which I had set aside away from the laundry) and dumped the bedding on top of a basket of my clothes waiting to go in the washer, and used the bedding basket to put clean clothes in which were coming out of the dryer.
I'm not sure what to do. I can't bleach the clothing he mixed the bedding with because it is mostly black and delicate. Any advice?
post #2 of 14
Can you at least wash everything in hot?
post #3 of 14
Putting things in a large trash bag and sealing it and putting it into the freezer for a couple of days will kill pretty much anything. Then just launder as usual. That's what we tell people to do when they've been diagnosed with scabies or lice and need to wash all their stuff.
post #4 of 14
I wouldn't get too upset about it. I would just wash everything in hot water, then wipe down the laundry basket with bleach or disinfectant.

I personally wouldn't put my clothes in the freezer but that's just me.

We've had lice when Jennifer was in grade school and they are very simple to deal with - not sure about scabies since I've fortunately never had that.

I wouldn't overthink the situation - just wash the clothes and I'm sure they'll be fine.
post #5 of 14
I'm not sure freezing would kill any virus... Take the influenza virus for example, it can last indefinitely if frozen. The same with many other live virus that are kept frozen in labs.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I'm not sure freezing would kill any virus... Take the influenza virus for example, it can last indefinitely if frozen. The same with many other live virus that are kept frozen in labs.
Lice and scabies aren't viruses though.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
I have 7 foster kittens which were feral so I don't know what diseases or parasites they may have.

She didn't say anything about lice or scabies. Diseases - ie colds, FIV, FeLv would be a major thing to worry about though.

Double checked, I saw reference to tapeworm eggs and larvae in meat that freezing can kill them. But at normal freezer temps it would take at least a week.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
She didn't say anything about lice or scabies. Diseases - ie colds, FIV, FeLv would be a major thing to worry about though.
Natalie_ca specifically mentioned lice and scabies. As for FIV, FeLv, I honestly don't know if washing in hot water would take care of those things but my guess would have to be yes since otherwise people working at vets offices who had their own pets at home would have to have hazmat suits and go through some sort of special unit for decontamination before going home at night after work.

Why not just call your vet and ask them?
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
but my guess would have to be yes since otherwise people working at vets offices who had their own pets at home would have to have hazmat suits and go through some sort of special unit for decontamination before going home at night after work.
Very true! Some viruses can't even live in the open air...same as some bacterium....but I'm sure by the time the 'bugs' go through hot, soapy water, and then the hot dryer.....they would be killed or at least incapacitated. After the washer/dryer, could you hang the clothes outside for the sunlight to 'bleach' then and hopefully kill anything that did survive.

Phoning the Vet is a good idea. Or even a local university that would have a microbiology specialist or a science lab that may be able to tell you the life cycle of any of the common feline virus/bacteria, or how to best kill/deactivate them.

If all else fails...you could throw out the clothes as a last resort.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Most information I've found recommends bleach to kill the common viruses/bacteria/parasites but unfortunately if I use bleach the clothing would be ruined...
post #11 of 14
Some viruses are very fragile, others are very hardy. I would not be worried about FIV or FeLV because they are not transmitted through casual contact.
Do the ferals have snotty noses or any indication of upper respiratory infections? What about diarrhea? Have all your resident cats had their basic kitten vaccinations?

Actually, if you are not taking off your socks and the rest of your clothing as soon as you leave the feral room your cats are pretty much already exposed to anything the contaminated laundry might expose them to. Washing the laundry over should suffice. However, if you are really worried call the vets office and see if they think their is anything to be concerned about.
post #12 of 14
This might sound weird but hrm...you COULD microwave them. I've heard that you can microwave a dish sponge to disinfect it, so I don't see why it wouldn't work with clothes.
post #13 of 14
You could also try putting the clothes in a black trashbag, out in the sun, for a few days. The heat generated, at least down here, should kill almost anyone.
Just warn everyone so te bag doesn't get tossed.
post #14 of 14
Do you change your clothes everytime you handle the kittens and go back to your own cats? If not, then there's not a whole lot of difference.

I would think most common diseases would be killed by washing in hot (distemper, I believe, is hardy virus that might survive). I would separate the kitten bedding and wash that got mixed in. Also, I would rewash the clothes that came out of the dryer in hot.

If your current cats are vaccinated against the major diseases, I wouldn't think there's much to worry about. However, if you're really paranoid, it might be worth just putting the contaminated clothes in a garbage bag until the kittens are checked out by the vet. Mainly for peace of mind. Some have said put them in the freezer or outside in the sun for a few days....but you'd probably still worry that you haven't done enough!
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