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Now I'm confused. Bleach or not??

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was talking about how funny Saki was on another cat forum after I cleaned and bleached the litterbox earlier (dilluted bleach of course) and someone replied this:

You should NEVER use bleach to clean a litter box! Urine turns to amonia, and amonia mixed with bleach is bad bad BAD! It it toxic and can cause axphixiation, lung damage, and brain damage in your cat and you! You should only use a mild detergent (but not Dawn) to clean a litterbox, and avoid any that contain lemon or orange.
So which is it?? I always hear about people using bleach and also Dawn for that matter!
post #2 of 27
I am one of those who don't use bleach. Never tried it because saw no need for it, just used detergent!
post #3 of 27
I use baking soda ........
post #4 of 27
No more bleach here....I finally realized if the fumes were that difficult for my lungs, forget it.

I use a spray on litterbox disinfectant and deoderizer that I buy at Petsmart, I also have used xo-plus cleanser which is excellent.

Not sure what the deal is re its original formula, I used it for years as part of a show bath routine. Never a problem with it!
post #5 of 27
I know many people who use bleach products, but I try to stay away from harsh cleaning products.. I have had relatives who had environmental reactions with some cleaning products, and my skin has even reacted to Tide laundry soap! So if humans had bad reactions to cleaning products, floor cleaners, scented candles etc., imagine what a cat 'might' experience.

So now I try to use the most natural environmentally friendly products as possible.

I'm not sure though, what is wrong with Dawn dish soap?
post #6 of 27
It's true you're not supposed to mix household ammonia with chlorine bleach, because it will produce a toxic gas. In fact, it's not really good to mix ANY household cleaners for that reason. They contain chemicals and unless you know what those chemicals are, might react with each other. There have been incidents in the restaurant business where staff have mixed a bunch of cleaners, thinking they were making a "more powerful" cleaning solution, and it got them sick.

What I **don't** know is if that's the same thing as mixing water-diluted chlorine bleach with trace amounts of urine when you're cleaning a litterbox in an open room. I'm not sure it's the same thing, because the chemical reaction comes from mixing specific chemicals, but you would need an expert opinion.
post #7 of 27
i'm pretty sure if it was bad hissy would have said something in the other thread. I know you are not supposed to mix clears, but it is not straight ammonia or pure bleach you are using. I was always told it was good to clean things with bleach because after it dries it is not toxic. I dont know, i could be wrong.
post #8 of 27
I use bleach - AFTER rinsing out the box thoroughly, I'll fill it again with water and add little bit of bleach & let it soak for a while (locking the cats out of the bathroom to keep them away - for some weird reason they're attracted to the bleach smell). Then I'll pour out the mixture and rinse the box thoroughly, dry it, and return it to use.
post #9 of 27
Well that's a new one on me, but I don't clean the litter pans in the house anyway. I clean them outside. I fill a large rubber trash barrel with a combination of bleach (about a quarter of a cup) and hot hot water. I rinse the boxes, then dunk all the boxes (don't even ask me how many I have! LOL) in the bleach mixture and let them soak, then use a toilet brush to scrub them out good. I then rinse them with hot water- we have a hot water spigot on the side of the house, and let them air dry. After that I spray the bottom of the pans (inside) with PAM cooking spray-take them back upstairs dump litter in them and I am good to go. I suppose that if there is urine in the litterpan and you dumped bleach on top of it, you would create a noxious mess- but who would clean a litterpan without rinsing it out first?

About Dawn, I use it to bathe kittens, cats, and to clean my cat room. Unless they have changed their formula and it is now toxic for cats? I guess I better do some research! It could be entirely possible of a new formula. After all, the new kaopectate is now toxic to cats, where before, it was all I used to stop diarrhea and stomach upset. I'll let you know what I find.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Maybe the person thought I meant I was just dumping full strength bleach onto the litterbox. Not sure. I mean I can certainly understand that mixing bleach and urine in a large amount could produce something toxic.

It's irritating because I try to do everything I possibly can the right way for my cats and it seems no matter what you do, there will always be someone that tells you its the wrong way.
post #11 of 27
Originally posted by Sicycat

it seems no matter what you do, there will always be someone that tells you its the wrong way.
Too true! Don't even start asking about food!

This place is a fantastic source of info, but with so many members, we're bound to get differing opinions. If I'm unsure of something & get conflicting info, I just go straight to the vet with my questions. He's a cat specialist, so I know he won't steer me wrong.
post #12 of 27
i think the fumes (even diluted) give the kitties some type of high

hopefully it's not gonna cause any damage to em

on a side note, i had some boxes on my patio and this stray cat loves to visit the patio at night and play with the big chunk of that white packaging styrofoam it just rubs its body all over it and claws and plays with it for like an hour

kitty seems to love it
post #13 of 27
Hey dogg, just so you know stryofoam can cause big time blockages for cats in their gastrointestinal tract. If the cat is nibbling or eating on the stryofoam, I would take it away from her.

My neighbor uses packing bubbles to fertilize his garden. After watching his "process" I make sure never to let my cats around stryofoam or any type of packing bubbles. The stuff is nasty with a capital N!
post #14 of 27
You should never mix bleach and amonia together, but I doubt the small amout of amonia that is in the cat box is going to cause any problem. Most of the amonia is in the litter itself. I do not use bleach though, unless I had a cat that was sick and wanted to disinfect the box. I use simple green or just plain dish soap.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
The main reason I was using bleach is because of Zoey's worms.

I got some plain dish soap though that I guess I'll use from now on.
post #16 of 27
we use Baking soda...never bleach
post #17 of 27
Interestingly enough, I just read something online that elluded to dish soap being toxic. The article was about feeding fincky cats and stated:

"Detergents. The smell of washing-up liquid (dish-soap) on a food bowl can put cats off their food with good reason - the detergent residue could be toxic. Always rinse the bowls well after dish-washing."


I have been using dawn to wash their bowls, and I do rinse them. I might just start using hot water and some natural soap or something.

As far as bleach is concerned... as long as it is rinsed out well and diluted I think it's okay myself. I'm guessing that if you pour straight bleach into a pan, then just dry it, then the amonia from the cats mixes with it, it might cause fumes but thats just my own speculation at how this scenario could happen.
post #18 of 27
I don't use bleach and I don't have bleach in my house. My home business revolves around safer products in the home, but I won't go into that here.

Bleach is something I don't feel is necessary to clean with. I use a mild organic cleaner on my litter box and it works just fine. I think that the residue left behind by bleach does more harm than good. I think good ole elbow grease with a safe organic cleaner and hot water are all that is needed.

FIY the products sold in grocery stores are Not safe just because a store can sell them. One of the popular disenfectant sprays sold actually contains the same things as agent orange . I use a lot of baking soda and vinegar, they work wonders and are safe for us, our animals, and the environment.
post #19 of 27
The reason why you don't mix household cleaners together is to
prevent the release of chlorine gas which is an irritant and can cause breathing difficulties.

Household bleach often has soduim hypochlorite in it. In short they have chlorine in them. Separate, the cleaners are relatively stable and the gas is released in small amounts. This is why you should always use these products in well ventilated rooms otherwise the gas builds up.

But when household bleach is mixed with ammonia, intermediate chloramine compounds are produced. (I won't go into the list of chemical equations here.) One compound is particularly unstable, trichloramine. It quickly breaks down to Nitrogen gas and Chlorine Gas. In this case, a lot more chlorine is being released quickly leading to a serious problem.

But after saying this, I do use bleach to clean the litter pans, but only after thorough rinsing and in a well ventilated laundry without either cat being present.
post #20 of 27
I also use bleach to clean the litter boxes . I clean my boxes outsite in the drive way . After cleaning them out I hose them down and spray the box with bleach cleaner . I let it stand for about 3 minutes then I scrub the boxes with a brush . After that I hose the boxes down with water hose again and let air try them . But I use cold water and have no warm water outsite .
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ok then can someone name the products they use instead of saying "natural cleaner" I'd like to know so that I know what my alternatives are.

I clean my box out on the patio with hot water that I get from inside the house.
post #22 of 27
XO-Plus is a natural cleanser and a favorite of mine.
You can find it at a great price at revival (their site is

Off to pop in the turkey!
post #23 of 27
I got my no brand (cheap) cleaner with bleach - spray from super-wal-mart . Btw. Sicy , I clean with bleach the litter boxes over 20 years and never ever something happen to my cats .
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Wow 20 years.. thanks.
post #25 of 27
Originally posted by Sicycat
It's irritating because I try to do everything I possibly can the right way for my cats and it seems no matter what you do, there will always be someone that tells you its the wrong way.
Agreed. Welcome to the information age! I mean the mis-information age!
post #26 of 27
I find Baking soda does the trick. Actually I started using a new type of scoopable litter, Swheat Scoop. It's awesome. When I switched, the kitties were kinda confused. Aiko started eating it.. LOL. It does not have the harmful Clay in it that most scoopable litters have. I didn't realize.. some of them expand up to 15x its size in the cats' stomach. Not good! My kitties now love the new Swheat Scoop, and it doesn't leave any odours at all. (unless of course you don't clean it out regularily)
post #27 of 27
I swear by vinegar and water!! Its natural, and it disinfects. I clean the cats dishes with it, and their litterbox. I make sure to rinse well, so theres not a lot of lingering vinegar odor, and have had no problems. I used bleach once and Gibbons promptly peed on the rug in the next room after sniffing his box.
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