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kitten poisoned by Windex inhalation

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello. I am new to this site. A friend of mine posted about a week ago about my sick kitten I adopted from the shelter. We may have found out why he is sick and the rest of the litter died. The staff was cleaning the cages with Windex with ammonia in it. Has anyone ever had any experience with this? Squirt is about 6 weeks old, and he has been on antibiotics since Aug 3. He has improved in that he is now eating soft food again, but is lethargic and has a brownish yellowish discharge from his nose. His condition has stayed the same for about 3 days now. When he is disturbed or excited, he starts coughing. Any suggestions or ideas? I am calling my vet first thing in the morning. I just found out about the Windex about an hour ago. Thanks.

post #2 of 14
This is just terrible. I'm very very sorry. They are really fragile creatures when young, in many ways. Hugs, Vik

I'm not finding ammonia on the list of poisonous substances for them, not that that means anything. But I am now curious about this. Here is a link about poisons:
post #3 of 14
oops double posted somehow...
post #4 of 14
I've been TRYING to find anything at all about Windex, or windex with ammonia being poisonous to felines and I am finding nothing, even in these forum's searches.

You need a simple diagnosis and then treatment for this kitten, but I wouldn't go into it assuming it's been poisoned by the staff of the shelter. I would think they would be using safe products to clean the cages, you know?

The kitten does sound very sick, however and needs to be seen and treated right away, with that I totally agree!!

Here is hoping everything turns out okay.
post #5 of 14
Was there a vet involved yet? I do know that bleach is extremely poisonous, often certain kitty litters will cause allergic reactions.
It sounds like there is either permanent lung/heart damage or your kitten could have asthma. I do believe they have very positive treatments for asthma in pets.
post #6 of 14
The problem with Windex is that it includes phenols in it's list of ingredients- a substance known to be toxic to cats. If they cleaned cages with it it could have been absorbed through the skin or licked off the feet.
An animal shelter should know better than to use phenols around cats.

Not that this is necessarily what is causing this kitties problems, but still...
post #7 of 14
I really wouldn't wait until tomorrow to call the vet. From what you've described this poor baby sounds like he needs to be seen now
post #8 of 14
Yes, the sooner the better to get to the vet with your little one......
post #9 of 14
Ammonia is dangerous for all animals and can cause respiratory and eye problems from the fumes. Ever seen pictures of rescuers entering an animal hoarder's house with respiratory protection on? It's because of the ammonia fumes.

I'm not sure what exactly it would do if it was ingested (licked off fur, etc), but it is a more toxic form of the urea that we excrete in urine so it won't build up to toxic levels in our body. (Yay, biology!)

I hope your kitten will be okay. And I hope that shelter stops using poison to clean!
post #10 of 14
Amonia inhalation can cause a severe form of pneumonia,if enough is inhaled! In humans and animals. It can also burn lung tissue....I'd think I'd get him to a vet!
post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by Naturestee View Post
Ammonia is dangerous for all animals and can cause respiratory and eye problems from the fumes. Ever seen pictures of rescuers entering an animal hoarder's house with respiratory protection on? It's because of the ammonia fumes.
I actually try not to use ammonia based cleaners on the floors where my kitties tread...well sometimes you can't avoid it but I don't like them walking on such surfaces. The feet absorb so much in humans and paw pads for cats. It can go straight into the system and make you very ill. Ammonia can also be used to put small animals to sleep from fumes. When I was little my mom did this with a deformed baby hamster, so a small kitten might not be that little but it could certainly cause health problems.
post #12 of 14
Of course you can avoid ammonia in cleaning products. Any good natural product like Murphy's will be a lot safer than stuff with ammonia. I use only biodegradable, natural cleaners since I believe they are good. They also do not aggravate Gizmo's allergies.

Even mainstream supermarkets will carry Murphy's soap, one of the all time best cleaning products. Check out the alternative stores for other stuff. I even use a locally made soap called Thieves's Blend that is superb.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Squirt has been under my vet's care since we adopted him on Aug 3. It wasn't the shelter, but the adoption center at a very well known national pet supply chainstore that used the windex. As soon as the rescue workers found out Squirt was sick, they immediately pulled all of the cats from the adoption center, had them put under vet care, and sanitized everything (thinking it was a bad viral infection). The shelter manager saw the bottle of Windex, and that's how she found out it was being used to clean the cages. When it was brought to the attention of the manager at this pet supply superstore, the manager rolled her eyes and said "not my problem". I am writing a letter of complaint to the district office and requesting that they at least help cover the vet bills.
Squirt has been improving thankfully. He is now eating on his own, and is more active. He still spends most of his time sleeping and he has a discharge from his nose, but the vet has him on an antibiotic and a decongestant. We are hoping he will make a full recovery.
He is still not urinating in his litter box, so we're concerned about that as well. However, if he has some sort of chronic permanent issue from the windex exposure that is causing him to not use his litterbox properly, we will diaper him or figure something out. I'm not willing to give up on him. I would be suprised if it was from a UTI as he has been on antibiotics for almost 2 weeks now.
I also use all non-toxic cleaners around the house to clean, as we have birds as well as dogs and cats. Murphy's oil soap is awesome stuff. I use it to bathe the dogs with as well as my cabinets and wood furniture, and have bathed the kittens in it since it is a non-toxic cleaner.
When I said I was calling the vet first thing in the morning, I meant to tell him about the windex exposure. Again, he has been under my vet's care since Aug 3, and has been seen 4 times since then. We have been watching him very closely. I want to thank everyone here for their concern and advice. I am wondering about long term affects for poor Squirt and what his prognosis may be. My vet said we will treat him symptomatically, and that his odds of making a complete recovery are high. This is my first time dealing with a situation like this, so I'm pretty worried.
post #14 of 14
I've been thinking about cleaning products quite a bit. I want to keep my counters clean for cooking and eating but I also want my kittens to roam where it's safe. Keep them off the stove but the do like to hang out and watch me in the kitchen and that involves them being on not only the floors but the counter and table top.

So here is a good site I found.

Then you can click on the tiny text that says, "more nontoxic cleaning solutions" for a huge list of information about everything you would ever want to know about this subject. Pretty neat info.
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