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Is bleach ok to use on Sisal Scratcher?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Zachary, my newly adopted shelter cat has come down with a case of ringworm.

I've got the cats taken care of, the constant cleaning of the house under control, and I've thrown out all the cardboard scratchers.

I've spent quite a bit on money on a Purrfect Post - which my cats absolutely LOVE. Is it ok to spray the sisal on the post with a bleach solution? Had anyone had any experience in disinfecting this type of scratcher?
post #2 of 13
I would imagine a 10% bleach solution is ok, as it is the same way you would disinfect your carpet... I would not use a higher concentration though... IMO
post #3 of 13
I'm sorry he has ringworm - it's a nightmare for those at the shelter. Have you let them know?

As for bleaching the sisal post - I bleached mine with very diluted bleach & had no issues, however, I did keep it away from the cats for a few days to ensure it was dry.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I'm sorry he has ringworm - it's a nightmare for those at the shelter. Have you let them know?

As for bleaching the sisal post - I bleached mine with very diluted bleach & had no issues, however, I did keep it away from the cats for a few days to ensure it was dry.
Yes, the shelter already knows, they are going out of their way to help me deal with Zach's situation. No kitty had it when I brought Zach home, but it showed up on a couple of his cubicle mates about a week before his started. I'm hopeful that no one else will get it.

I'm going to try the 10% bleach solution on the post tomorrow that Carolinalima suggested. I thought if I put it outside in the sun for a few days after the bleach that would help too. I just don't want to throw it away since it was expensive and Forrest dearly LOVES that scratcher.

I hate ringworm.
post #5 of 13
You could try vinegar, which is also a disenfectant and doesn't smell nearly as bad as bleach. I personally hate the smell of bleach. I went through this when Sammy first came to me. I had 2 other cats and all I did was bathe the three of them once a week (with special shampoo from the vet) for about 4 weeks. Neither of the other's, nor me, ever was infected.
post #6 of 13
How about trying a steam cleaner? It should be safe but effective.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernGlow View Post
How about trying a steam cleaner? It should be safe but effective.
I thought about steam cleaning it too. But then, the sisal must be glued onto the post itself and the steam may loosen the bond.
post #8 of 13
Water or steam will not kill the spores unless heated to at least 110F (43C).

You could ask the shelter if they have some chlorhexidine that they use for cleaning. This will kill spores and is usually used in shampoos, rinses, and even directly on reptiles (if you want to compare it's use on a very sensitive animal) without problems. It typically comes in huge jugs that may be a little out of your price range so if your shelter does use it and are willing to part with a small amount that would work perfectly. You wouldn't need much as you're supposed dilute it for cleaning.

Another idea that might work is to scrub it with a shampoo that has an antifungal and chlorhexidine in it to kill all the spores.

Undiluted bleach is one of the few things that will actually kill the spores very quickly, but this isn't practical. If you do use diluted bleach, and anything else, be aware that it may not kill all of the spores. Don't forget the heating and air vents.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Water or steam will not kill the spores unless heated to at least 110F (43C).
Most steam cleaners heat up to 140C (284F).
I have cleaned my sisal sratching post with it when one of my cats marked it.. The sisal part was just fine, though I did only a quick wash to it (the worst mess was on a fabric covered platform) so I'm not sure if it would damage the glue when used longer.

Usually they sell some disintectant-solutions in drugstores or even in grocery stores, same brands that are used by vets and cat show people.

Taking the scratcher to sauna would also work, but you propably don't have those there..?
post #10 of 13
But most glue will come away at 110C too so not a great idea if you have to do a really thorough cleaning to get rid of ringworm spores.

We use bleach on ours at the shelter on a regular basis and they are fine as well as using a veterinary cleaner with fungicide that includes the following

Didecyldimethylammonium chloride 9.2%
Alkyl (C12, 67%; C14, 25%; C16, 7%; C18, 1%) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride 7.6%
Alkyl (C12, 40%; C14, 50%; C16, 10%) dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride 6.2%
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioCat View Post
I thought if I put it outside in the sun for a few days after the bleach that would help too.
I was going to suggest this also. The bleaching by the sun will also help to evaporate any residual bleach you use on it.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
This morning I sprayed the post with a 10% bleach solution. It seems just fine and I don't think it changed the color much at all. (I tried to coat the sisal evenly so just in case the color did lighten it was the same all over)

Once I think it's totally and completely dry I'll rub it down with catnip and I'm sure the boys will be back vigorously scratching it in no time.

The plus side to this ringworm invasion is that with the daily vacuuming, dusting and cleaning of everything I've noticed my Cedar Tree allergies this year are not so bad.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioCat View Post
The plus side to this ringworm invasion is that with the daily vacuuming, dusting and cleaning of everything I've noticed my Cedar Tree allergies this year are not so bad.
For the most part this won't do anything to the spores in your house - you're just picking some of them up when you vacuum. What's more important for the cats getting over this is that they're immune systems are strong enough to prevent getting it again.

Admittedly, I did not clean as much when Sho got it - he did get it twice but the second time followed him getting a small cut on his nose after darting outside. I've never had ringworm, so I'm one of those people to tend not to get stuff like that.

Is the cedar as bad down there as it is here? Half the trees you see growing around here, if there are trees in some areas, are cedar.
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