Hypochlorous Acid – the best sanitizer you may never have heard of – how to make your own

Hypochlorous Acid (HOCI) is nature’s oldest disinfectant and sanitizer, and interestingly, right now it’s walking around in about 7.5 billion people. Yes, that includes you!

Hypochlorous Acid is a substance your neutrophils (white blood cells) produce all the time and which are the first to arrive on the site when an invading pathogen is detected. Your white blood cells will chase down and engulf the pathogen through phagocytosis. Upon contact, neutrophils release a burst of bactericidal chemicals including its most powerful oxidizing agent: Hypochlorous Acid. This kills the pathogen by tearing down its cell membranes and proteins. Hypochlorous Acid is the perfect weapon to fight germs. It hits hard against pathogens like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

The knowledge that white blood cells contained a substance with this ability is not a new discovery. Early attempts of replicating sanitizing Hypochlorous Acid in laboratories using electricity to charge and change the chemical structure of water and salt began in the early 1900’s just in time for the horrors of World War 1 when it was used for wound irrigation and healing, and equipment sterilization. The problem was that with the technology of the day it couldn’t be stabilized, so after 90 minutes or so the fluid would revert to saltwater.

The good news is that modern scientists and chemists have created machines that can make can electrolyze salt and water to create Hypochlorous Acid which stays stable to effectively kill viruses, bacteria, and to sterilize and heal wounds. And its cost effective! You can now create your own right on your kitchen countertop. All you need is a machine (and we have a recommendation for one), Kosher salt and water.

Better than bleach: Bleach is widely used in hospitals and medical practices and shares the same chlorine family as Hypochlorous Acid. Research shows that they both kill bacteria, fungus, spores, and viruses. Yet bleach is highly irritating to the eyes, skin, and lungs—and inhalation over long periods could be carcinogenic. In contrast, Hypochlorous Acid has a temporary and mild chlorine smell that dissipates quickly, it is non-irritating, and it does not have poisonous side effects.

Better than alcohol: Alcohol is a popular disinfectant in clinics for wiping down instruments, furniture, and is a key ingredient in hand sanitizers. Ethyl alcohol (70%) is considered by some to be more effective compared to isopropyl alcohol. Both are bactericidal, fungicidal, and viricidal BUT are not effective against bacterial spores.

Hand sanitizers with alcohol are used daily in many medical offices, but over time repeated use may lead to hand dermatitis. Many daily users become allergic to hand sanitizers after several months. Such reactions are extremely irritating and embarrassing and can take months to resolve. In one study, the prevalence of contact dermatitis related to hand hygiene ranged from 25 to 55 percent. Fortunately, Hypochlorous Acid can also be used in place of hand sanitizer with no irritating side effects. Moreover, the punch it delivers to pathogens is more powerful than the one delivered by alcohol.

We heard about Hypochlorous Acid the night of the day that California’s Shelter In Place took effect when our house-call veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Brown paid one of our cats a visit. While all of us (excluding Clifford the cat) were decked out in gloves and masks we talked about a range of topics including various ways to stop/kill a coronavirus. Being quite a science nerd, Dr. Sarah told us about Hypochlorous Acid and the machine she bought for home use. She carries spray bottles of various sizes, for various uses, in her vehicle. She gave me a gallon jug of it as a gift and I love it.

Hypochlorous Acid:

  • Kills COVID-19
  • Used in hospitals in the US and Japan
  • Safe around all animals, babies, people of any age with any health condition
  • Allergen free
  • No fumes
  • No residues which need rinsing off – just spray it and leave it!
  • “Nature Made” Green, nontoxic
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Used as an eye wash – ophthalmologists use it!
  • Sanitize entire house, office, laundry room, patio, car
  • Doorknobs, handles, drawers, closet doors
  • Refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen gadgets
  • Floors, walls, windowsills
  • Kills biofilm
  • Soak produce and greens
  • Approved by the USDA for “organic” farming uses!

Some of Auntie Cat Faerie’s favorite uses:

  • Spray face mask while it’s on your face when outside every 20 or 30 minutes to kill anything which may have landed on it
  • When you get home spray the front and back of an N95 mask which is not washable and hang it to dry
  • Spray hands and forearms
  • Spray on shoes starting with the soles and let dry by the front door or in the garage
  • Sprayed on shipping boxes when they leave Cat Faeries
  • Spray boxes and mail that have been delivered
  • Kills biofilm (we’ve written about biofilms before and how bad they are as harbors of disease, bacteria, and parasites)
  • CAT BOXES! And the floor around them (Rinse cat boxes first to remove urine/ammonia)

CAUTION! DO NOT USE HYPOCHLOROUS ACID (HOCL) ON OR WITH OTHER HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS OR SOLVENTS AS SERIOUS CHEMICAL REACTIONS COULD OCCUR

Make Hypochlorous Acid in your own kitchen in 3 minutes!

You can find pre-made bottles of Hypochlorous Acid for sale online but we caution against them as it is unknown how they were made or by who, and if they are truly stable/effective. There are machines that allow you to make your own and you’ll see a variety of machines for sale online but again, we are cautious, especially of the cheap ones (under $50).

We bought this onehttps://store.ecoloxtech.com/ecoone – because it’s the one Dr. Sarah uses and we know how obsessively she researched it. Here’s a brief video about how it quick and easy it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDK9vb8zrE4

Here are two very brief and very impressive videos:

1) How a dental office uses Hypochlorous Acid, as well as how they use masks to protect themselves – excellent video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Iethr6hcA

2) Firefighters using it on equipment and medical devices to kill viruses in seconds!
https://hocl.healthcare/tulsa-firefighters-using-hypochlorous-acid/

 
 
 
 

Financial Aid Support for Animals by State!

It breaks our hearts to hear that many animals are being surrendered during this time because of the financial strain. No one should have to give up something as precious as their furry companions. There is help and Cat Faeries took some time to track down some resources for you!

Everyone’s favorite, Best Friends in Kenab Utah has once again come to the rescue! This link will take you to a page on their website where you can research financial aid to care for your cats or other animal family members if you are needing it.

https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/financial-aid-pets

Another great organization is called Red Rover. Red Rover staff and volunteers provide temporary emergency sheltering, resources, financial assistance, and emotional support when animals and people are in crisis. They also work with educators to help children develop empathy and awareness of animals’ well-being and increase awareness about the importance of the human-animal bond.

https://redrover.org/

This website lists various grants and assistance for animals with specific illnesses or diseases (some of the links don’t work):

http://www.keepyourpet.com/vet-care-assistance/

And because the Bay Area is our neck of the woods here are resources for the SF Bay Area. Thank you, Cheryl Schwartz, DVM and Friend of Cat Faeries for compiling this and being at the forefront of care and compassion, as you always are!

LOCATIONS: Drop-Off/Pick Up sites for 6 Bay Area Counties to pick up cat and dog food.

Alameda County. DONATE – Mail delivery only to Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS) 1590 Fortmann Way Alameda CA 94501. PICK UP – Sat. 10:00a.m. – 12 p.m. at same location. (510) 337 8565 for additional information

San Mateo County. DONATE Drop at door or ship to Peninsula-Humane Society & SPCA 1450 Rollins Road, Burlingame, CA 94010. PICK-UP – Call first to register at 650 988 5280 for Pet Food Bank.

Marin County. DONATE Marin Humane.org website. Go to the Donate page, then Pet Care Assistance Program to donate cat or dog food. “Gift to Ritter Center”. PICK UP Ritter Center 16 Ritter St. San Rafael, CA 94901 M-W-F-10-12 AM, 1-3 PM. SAN Joaquin County DONATE & PICK UP. Salvation Army 1305 E. Weber Ave. Stockton, CA. Mon-Fri 9-12, 1-3 PM

Santa Clara County. DONATE & PICK UP. San Jose Animal Care Center 2750 Monterey Rd. CA 95111 Attn: Lorrance Gomez 7 days 7AM -7PM

Contra Costa-Solano County. DONATE – CCHS 171 Mayhew Way Suite 101 Pleasant Hill CA 94523. Tues, Thurs 1-5 p.m. PICK UP – Call (925) 676-7543 or email info@foodbankccs.org for Food Bank registration, locations, and hours.

San Francisco County. DONATE – The Animal Connection – 2550 Judah St. San Francisco, CA 94122 PICK UP – Email info@animalconnectionsf.net for appointment

This link has more Bay Area resources AND A LINK TO A NATIONAL SERVICE

https://badrapconnect.org/resources/

Other ways to find assistance

Being a good internet hunter/gather of information can unearth many treasures. Play around with words and phrases to find what you are looking for. Start with words like the name of your city or county, then add words like financial aid, disaster relief aid, veterinary aid for cats, free cat food during disasters and so on. Try fresh words and try rearranging them until you find what you need. Last year we stopped using Google because they store your searches – we are using www.ecosia.org instead.

Perhaps your local animal supply store can ask their distributors to donate any cat food or other supplies that have old expiration dates – the foods could still be viable and safe.

If you are one of the fortunate ones whose health is vibrant and who are secure financially and if you can donate to any of the organizations, please do! They need both money and supplies. Cat Faeries donates regularly as we have done historically in a time of serious need.

Would you like to donate Cat Faeries items to an animal organization or a friend who is suffering? It’s so easy. Place the order. Put your name and information in Bill To and put the name of the organization with the address in Ship To. If you wish us to include a note or request for a tax form for your donation use COMMENTS to tell us and we’ll do the rest at no extra charge – it is our pleasure to be of service.
 
 
 
 

April Fools Fun!

Let’s have some silly fun on April Fools Day! The first prank comes from cat loving – and very handsome – George Vezilic. In his own words: “ I am a blogger, photographer and cat enthusiast, owner of lifewithcatman.com. Writing about cats and taking photographs of them is something that I am most passionate about. My biggest goal is to show the world what divine creatures the cats are and make them feel appreciated.”

April Fools Prank For your Cat – Create a Maze From Cardboard Boxes, by George Vezilic

Here’s a prank that your cat will actually love because it involves one of their favorite things (besides you of course) and you’ll have fun setting it up! Sequester the cats in another room while you set up your prank Get 10 to 20 cardboard boxes and set them up haphazardly or in a pattern in your living room. Bonus points for putting Cat Faeries toys inside some of them! Once you’ve created your maze let the cats out. Your maze could confuse them at first, but once they figure out that this is a kitty-wonderland of boxes they won’t know which to try first! Perhaps the best of the prank isn’t that you goofed on the cats but when your housemates see your creation they’ll think you’ve gone bonkers and need an intervention!

April Fools Prank for the human cat lover in your home. Yes, Auntie Cat Faerie really did this to Mr. Cat Faerie many years ago!

  • On your best platter serve a sandwich filled with canned cat food. Surround sandwich with cat toys.
  • Quench their thirst: 1 tablespoon of dried Catnip with 1 cup of boiling water poured over it. Let your tea steep 5 minutes. Cool it down then pour it into a wine glass and add some ice. Honey, sugar or vodka are optional.
  • There’s always room for dessert so take two cookies and spread a layer of cat food in between them to create what looks like an ice cream sandwich. Spread a thin layer of more canned cat food and sprinkle kibble on it.
  • Clean the hair out of your hairbrush and wad it up. Dampen with water and leave it on their pillow so they know how much you love them.

 
 
 
 

COVID-19/Coronavirus and Cats. Coronavirus And YOU. We’ve got precautions.

So far cats and other animals are not getting this latest Corona Virus: COVID-19. But as we know, viruses can mutate so we are monitoring this closely and if conditions change and if cats are getting it, we’ll notify you immediately.

But then there is you dear reader, human customers who we care about greatly. After all, you are your cat’s caregiver, Maid or Butler, Litter Box Attendant, and personal Chef so it’s mandatory that you stay healthy to perform these duties! This article was compiled by Jeff Nobbs, a buddy of Auntie Cat Faerie. He’s smart. He’s practical. And he’s got a very cool head which is so refreshing right now. So. with permission from San Francisco blogger and co-owner of Kivava restaurant, Jeff Nobbs we present to you The Coronavirus Diet – supplements, dietary changes, and easy to do precautions that everyone can/should being doing now and in the future which go way beyond washing your hands for 20 seconds. (This is from Jeff’s blog that you can subscribe to.)



The Coronavirus Diet

by Jeff Nobbs

Part of what makes coronavirus so scary for some people is the feeling of helplessness. There’s no vaccine and no cure. We simply have to sit and wait and hope.

Maybe we’re not totally helpless though. Just like hand washing can help lower our chances of getting the virus, a healthy diet may aid us in fighting it off. If you contract COVID-19, you’re relying on your body’s immune system to recognize the enemy and create antibodies to defeat it.

If this were an actual war between humans, and there was an enemy at the gates, wouldn’t we want our army to be strong, well-fed, and ready for battle? The same logic can be used when we’re thinking about our immune system. We want our white blood cells warriors to be capable of swiftly defeating the enemy.

Just as human warriors who are starving, nearsighted, hard of hearing, or disabled would have a harder time defeating an enemy, our immune system has a harder time defeating viruses when it’s handicapped by a lack of nutrients.

You won’t hear this advice from most medical professionals. Nutrition is not well-studied by most doctors. Their continued education is often facilitated by pharmaceutical companies, not the kiwi fruit coalition. As a result, “natural” medical interventions are often used as last resorts, instead of our first line of defense.

Let’s take a look at what we can do to train our army of immune cells and prepare for battle with coronavirus:

Selenium

Eat a couple Brazil nuts every day.

Coronavirus seems to steal from your body’s selenium reserves. In addition, for immune cells to have a high killing capability, they need antioxidants to protect themselves, which are supported partly by selenium.

It would be smart to start eating foods high in selenium, including oysters, liver, and sardines. Shrimp, eggs, and salmon are all good sources of selenium as well. If you’re vegan or looking for the easiest solution, have a couple Brazil nuts every day and you’ll be getting all the selenium your body needs. Don’t overdo it on the Brazil nuts though–ten is not better than two in this case.

Vitamin C

Pop a Vitamin C tablet every day, 500–1,000 mg.

Vitamin C is helpful against many viral infections, but vitamin C deficiency is widespread. 31% of Americans have inadequate intakes of vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed to maintain levels of glutathione, the immune system’s primary antioxidant and a key component of being able to fight off pathogens.

Vitamin C is one of the safest nutrients. While many nutrients are actually toxic at megadoses, vitamin C has been found to be safe at almost any dose. It’s one of the most well-studied supplements, and certainly safe to supplement at doses of a few grams per day. Some doctors have suggested that megadoses of vitamin C are an effective treatment against coronavirus, but the jury is still out on those claims].

It is possible to get enough vitamin C from food, but you’ll have to eat a lot of citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli, and kale. To be safe, it’s probably best to supplement with 500 mg of vitamin C per day.

Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Water

Get plenty of sunshine, drink enough water, and eat orange foods.

Wherever coronavirus might enter your body–mouth, nose, and eyes–you have compounds that kill pathogenic microbes. Secreting enough of these compounds is dependent on having enough vitamin D, vitamin A, and water.

The best source of vitamin D is the sun. The UV rays in sunlight also happen to kill viruses and give you an attractive tan. Triple win. If you don’t get much sun, consider supplementing with vitamin D3.

Eat foods rich in vitamin A, including liver and egg yolks. While the form of vitamin A found in plant foods is not as bioavailable, it is still helpful. Carotenoids like beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash and lycopene in tomatoes are what give those foods their orange and red colors. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and chard are also good sources of vitamin A precursors.

For water, you don’t need to overdo it. Just don’t be dehydrated. Listen to your body; if you’re thirsty, drink water.

Iron

If you eat red meat, don’t supplement iron.

Iron is a tricky one. While your body’s immune system needs iron to be most effective against pathogens, too much iron can also feed the pathogens themselves. Iron is an essential mineral for nearly all life, including coronavirus. Not enough iron and your immune system is limited; too much iron and your body can’t starve pathogens of this key mineral.

If you’re eating a real food diet that includes red meat, you’re probably getting enough iron from food. To prevent iron overload, avoid iron supplementation and give blood regularly (for men and post-menopausal women). If you don’t eat meat or shellfish, your risk of having excessive iron levels is low.

Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption, so there’s more for you and less for unwelcome pathogenic visitors.

Zinc and Copper

Enjoy oysters and dark chocolate.

Just like with vitamin C and iron, it’s important to get enough zinc and copper to give your immune cells the best chance of success in battle against coronavirus. Fortunately, the foods highest in zinc and copper are also delicious.

Shellfish and especially oysters are by far the best source of zinc, with a half dozen oysters per week mostly satisfying your zinc requirements. Chocolate is an excellent source of copper, with just a few squares of dark chocolate (85% or above) per day satisfying your copper requirements.

Cashews are also a good source of both zinc and copper.

Iodine

Eat stuff from the sea.

Iodine is an extremely effective mineral employed by our body for immune killing. Like with vitamin C, high dose iodine treatment has been used to cure some infectious conditions.

To keep your immune warriors strong, feed them a few hundred micrograms of iodine daily. You can supplement with iodine, or simply eat foods from the sea. On days you eat seafood, shellfish, or sea vegetables, there is no need to supplement.

My favorite form of iodine “supplementation” is to eat seaweed snacks.

Smoking and Air Pollution

Don’t smoke.

Coronavirus started in Wuhan, China, where air pollution is a major problem and a high percentage of the male population smokes. Whereas only 3% of Chinese women have smoked, 62% of Chinese men have been smokers at some point. The coronavirus death rate among men in China is 2.8% compared to 1.7% for women, and some point the finger at smoking rates to explain the difference [https://fortune.com/2020/02/19/coronavirus-china-smoking-rate-men/].

Coronavirus seems to work by binding to the ACE2 receptor in the lungs. One study found that cigarette smokers have a higher density of ACE2 receptors. If that relationship is causal, lung health may play a major role in fighting the virus, and air quality would play a role as well. While there’s not much you can do if you live in an extremely polluted city, you can certainly refrain from intentionally sucking down smoke in the form of cigarettes.

Summing it up, in order to boost your immune system in preparation for battle with coronavirus, you may want to get more of the following:

Brazil nuts, bell peppers, kale, kiwis, broccoli, liver, egg yolks, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, oysters, dark chocolate, cashews, shellfish, seaweed, clean air, water, and sunshine.

Even if/when coronavirus is no longer a threat, we want our immune systems to be strong, healthy, and able to easily fight off infection.

Our immune system is not just sitting around waiting for the next outbreak; with every breath of outdoor air, we take in 50,000 germs]. While most of these germs do not cause us to get sick, they do keep our immune system busy, regardless of coronavirus.


To Jeff’s great blog piece Auntie Cat Faerie would like to add a few of her favorites:

  • Colloidal Silver – make your own for pennies. All you need is distilled water, a big glass jar to “cook it” in for 4 hours, and glass bottles to store it. Drink it. Wash hands with it. Clean your house with it. Spray it in your mouth and near your nose and eyes. Keep a bottle in your bag to spray your hands. The machine is easy to use and it’s American made: The Silver Edge.
  • Elderberry syrup – apparently it has to ability to bind with flu and cold bugs to purge them from the body. Two that I like: 1) Whitney’s Best which is Elderberry with honey and other herbs – very tasty; and 2) less tasty but powerful is undiluted Elderberry syrup from Western Botanical Medicine. It’s pretty intense and you don’t need much of it. Mix either into bubbly water for a refreshing and healthful mock-tail.
  • Microgreens. Did you read our article from a few weeks ago? If you are now growing your own double the amount you are eating every day. If you normally eat one cup of them, double it to two cups. One that is great for people (but NOT for cats) is leek micro greens which bind to microbes and viruses. You only need a little of this highly powerful and fragrant allium to battle the bugs and feel like Wonder Person.
  • My favorite Vitamin C is a powder from Marcus Rothkranz a well known raw fooder and plant expert. Just mix it with water for a nice tangy flavor. Add some Elderberry syrup to give it an extra boost. You can’t over-dose on this powder Vitamin C because it’s powdered plants – no rushing to the toilet!
  • And BE HAPPY. Really. It’s the best medicine. Laugh in the face of evil to disarm it. Laugh. Smile. Play with your cat. Be kind to others. Don’t shut down.

 
 
 
 

Ways in Which Your Cosmetics Could Harm Your Cat

Matthew Burke is a very talented makeup artist living in Brooklyn. In his first article for us he cautions about common nasties in many, far too many, skin care and make up products. He’s also an animal lover, and very smart and nice guy. Like us, Matthew is all about clean toxic free living and we share a common obsession with products, including make-up, that we insist be scent and toxin free. And it’s easier to do than one might think! If becoming a professional makeup artist is a dream of yours, check out his blog mentioned in his bio at the end of the article. The reason this article is so important to us cat-servants/parents is that some cats are very licky, and love to lick our moisturizers and other body care products, and any topical medicinal products that we might use. Cats can’t read labels, but we can. Being armed with knowledge can be lifesaving or certainly something that can prevent disease later in life.


Ways in Which Your Cosmetics
Could Harm Your Cat

By Matthew Burke

Did you know your cosmetics could potentially harm your cat? These days, most of us are well educated about the chemicals in makeup that can harm human health, or the non-biodegradable and fume-exuding products and packaging that take their toll on the environment. If you’re an animal lover, we’re sure you’re also in the habit of looking for that “cruelty-free” bunny on every cosmetic you buy!

However, the cosmetics that can harm our cats are often different than the ones that can harm humans or the environment! There are a few products you might have lying around that you think are innocuous but could end up making your precious fur baby sick. Keep reading to learn exactly how your cosmetics may harm your cat.

Fumes
Cats have a very powerful sense of smell, so what might seem like a delicate scent to you can be as overwhelming to your poor cat’s nose as a locker room full of Axe-loving teenage boys. This is why you should be careful to avoid scented cosmetics, and we’re not just talking about perfumes — hair sprays, moisturizers, and even certain makeup products can be overladen with fragrance and since they stay on the skin, unlike cleansers, they can irritate your cats when they come over for a cuddle. While they don’t pose a serious health risk unless your cat is asthmatic or has other breathing issues, you don’t want to bug your cat either!

And then there are Phthalates which fragrance is loaded with and which are known carcinogens banned in many countries (except the US) which causes various cancers and diabetes among other diseases which are found in the plastic used to wrap food, bottled water or other beverages, paper including receipts (don’t touch them with wet hands or just refuse them). This article digs deeper into the cesspool that is synthetic fragrance and why for the sake of your health and your cat’s health it must be avoided.

https://www.nontoxicrevolution.org/blog/wtf-fragrance

Ingestion

Chances are your kitty is smart enough not to start lapping up spilled shampoo or facial cleanser, so the real risk of ingestion comes when something spills on your cat’s fur. If a bit of a cosmetic product spills on your cat, it is highly likely that they will end up consuming it when cleaning themselves up. It is also possible for your cat to ingest a bit of the leave-on cosmetics you use after giving you an affectionate lick.

With cosmetics, it’s the dose that makes the poison, even for tiny cats, so keep reading to learn which cosmetic ingredients may pose an ingestion risk to your furry friend and should be dealt with more carefully.

Fur or Skin Contact
If a product gets on your cat, the main risk is that they will lap it up while cleaning themselves, but there is also a minor risk that an ingredient will irritate their skin. Cats have sensitive skin, and there are certain ingredients that are highly likely to irritate them. This is why you should be careful to keep cosmetics (especially cleansers) away from where your cat can play with them, and only ever clean your cat with special shampoos intended for felines.

Common Cosmetics and Ingredients That Could Harm Your Cat

Fragrances

Both synthetic fragrances, which are listed in ingredient lists simply as fragrance or parfum, as well as many essential oils can be quite bad for cats, especially if ingested. When it comes to synthetic fragrances, there’s the additional concern that they’re “proprietary,” which means companies don’t have to disclose what they’re actually comprised of! Because of this, fragrances can often hide phthalates, which are hazardous to both pets and humans.

The most harmful essential oils come from tea tree, mint, citrus oils, ylang ylang, spike lavender (English Lavender tends to be okay), sweet birch, pine, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and clove.

Try to avoid applying anything to your skin that contains a fragrance, especially if you’re going to hang out at home with your cat. Wash-off products like cleansers and moisturizers or makeup with fragrances that fade away within a few minutes after application shouldn’t pose a risk if you use them as intended. While the products are still damp on your face, don’t allow your cat to lick you! Once everything dries down, however, it’s usually okay.

As we’ve already mentioned, be extra careful to avoid fragrances if your cat is asthmatic, and skip the trendy essential oil diffusers.

Detergents

Detergents is the term we use for all kinds of cleansing agents commonly used in shampoos, body washes, facial cleansers, as well as household cleaning products. They pose both an ingestion risk but also a skin contact risk to your pet. If consumed, they can make your cat very sick (although non-cosmetic detergents are the most toxic), while if you wash your cat with a human cleanser or shampoo of some sort you risk seriously irritating their skin since those products are not formulated at the right acidity level for cats.

Alcohol

Even small amounts of alcohol can cause liver and brain damage to cats, so in addition to keeping your liquor bottles locked away, you should also have a second look at your toner, setting spray, and hair spray, which often contain alcohol. Keep ‘em away from your cat anyway, but especially if they list SD alcohol or alcohol denat as one of the ingredients. We have a little secret: alcohol is pretty drying for your skin, so better to skip it altogether in your skincare products.

Hair Dye

There are a ton of ingredients in hair dye that are not safe for cats, from ammonia in lighter hair dyes to henna in natural hair dyes. Permanent hair dye formulas pose the highest risk, and they can also have very strong fumes, so prevent both ingestion and inhalation by keeping your cat away when dyeing your hair. Oh, and definitely don’t dye your cat’s fur!

Deodorant

We suggest staying away from spray deodorants because of the smell and the particles which go in the air which you are breathing and if your cat is nearby, your cat is breathing too. Even stick deodorants can cause GI upset if consumed by your kitty. Recommended are coconut oil based cream deodorants such as the ones made by shmoopys.com (don’t worry, you won’t smell like a coconut!)

Preservatives

There is a wide range of preservatives that are commonly used in cosmetics that have gained a bad reputation for being harmful to human health, but what could their effect be on your cat? The truth is that very little research has been done, so we don’t know what the long term effects of exposure could be.

The preservatives most frequently maligned are parabens and as it turns out, many cats are ingesting parabens from their food! The levels are parabens are the most high in dry/kibble cat foods. When it comes to limiting your cat’s exposure to potentially harmful preservatives, the concern is in both your cosmetics and the cat’s food. Seek out recipes for homemade cat food or natural brands. When in doubt, call the company and demand lab studies.

Parabens

Ideally you already know about the hazards of the (unnecessarily in our view) common preservative in cosmetics and in many pharmaceuticals which are endocrine disruptors as well as being a precursor to many serious diseases for both species. These man-made preservatives can interfere with hormones which may have harmful effects on developmental, reproductive and neurological systems. The 3 most commons parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. If you apply cosmetics which contain any of the parabens to your skin, you are absorbing them and risk them wrecking havoc on your body. If you cat licks you where you applied that product your cat is ingesting them.

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-cats-dogs-consuming-parabens.html

Benzalkonium Chloride

This topical antibacterial agent is often found in handwashes, sanitizing wipes, and acne-products, and while it’s benign for humans it can give cats mouth ulcerations. Don’t let anything with benzalkonium chloride get on your cat’s fur, and don’t let them lick you if you use leave-on products that include it.

Salicylic Acid

Sometimes marketed as BHA, this anti-acne ingredient is closely related to aspirin and if large amounts are ingested it can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and even damage to the central nervous system. The main danger comes when cats are fed large amounts of aspirin rather than from salicylic acid in skincare, but it’s still important to be aware.

More Beauty Safety Tips for You and Your Cat

The most dangerous thing your cat can do is get into your cosmetics and eat them. It’s not particularly likely — your cat is more likely to drop a bunch of bottles on the floor or play with a precious brush than they are to start eating something that could hurt them, but it’s better not to take risks. Keep all cosmetics in a place your cat won’t be able to reach them, like in a drawer or in a medicine cabinet with secure doors.

Be extra conscientious when applying cosmetics, especially if you have a curious cat. Shut the bathroom door, and if you’ve used anything that gets in the air like hair spray or perfume, make sure to turn on the fan and wait for the product to dissipate before letting your cat have access to the area.

Finally, if you do suspect your cat may have eaten something they shouldn’t have, don’t pause too long — take them to the emergency vet clinic immediately, along with a sample of whatever it is you think poisoned them!

Matthew Burke is a makeup artist in Brooklyn, NY, who helps makeup artists get started in their careers. As a big proponent of clean cosmetics, he’s stopped by to tell us about how some of the most common beauty products can be downright terrible for our little loved ones! www.makeupartistessentials.com

 
 
 

Cats and Winter – Fast Facts

Cats can get seasonal depression or mood changes similar that that of we humans. Here’s what you can do to help, which will help you too:

  • Run the heater at a temperature you can afford to pay for
  • Place the cat’s bed near a heater vent
  • Move cat beds from anywhere drafty. The window with sunbeams in Summer can be chilly this time of year
  • Take a look at where litter boxes are – is it drafty there? Try to block the breezes with heavy tarps, a drape, or a rolled up “draft dodger”
  • When you are away leave a light on. Even though cats can see very well in the dark a bit of bright LED light will chase away the blues
  • Watch how your older cats walk for signs of arthritis. Note if your cat isn’t jumping on top of the sofa or the bed – another sign of stiff joints.

Believe it or not, cats do not sleep more in the Winter! Healthy cats sleep the same amount of hours year-round which is 15 to 20 hours a day! Cats do not hibernate.

Cats need a few extra calories in Winter so provide an extra bit of food. A nice thing to do for your cat is warm up food in the oven for a few minutes. Even a vegetable steamer for a minute is nice. Food from the fridge is very unpleasant for anyone, including your cat. In Winter even room temperature food is nicer warmed up just a bit. It also mimics the warm body of recently caught prey!

Is the food bowl in a sunny or bright place? Open the curtain and let as much brightness come in as the weather provides.