Cat owners often observe peculiar behaviors from their pets, such as meowing loudly in the middle of the night or chasing after imaginary prey. However, there has been a recent surge of online discussions about cats exhibiting unusual behavior around bleach. This raises the question: what is it about bleach that cats find appealing?
Cats might be attracted to the scent of bleach because of its primary component – chlorine. Chlorine has a strong smell that could function as a pheromone and stimulate actions like purring and drooling. Although smelling bleach can irritate a cat, it is not harmful to them unless they consume it.
However, there is additional information about the strange connection between cats and bleach. For instance, not all cats react to the smell of bleach. If you’re trying to figure out why your pet acts oddly when you clean with bleach, you’ve come to the right spot.
Stay with us as we explain the truth and misconceptions about why cats are attracted to bleach.
Why Do Cats Like Bleach Smell
Both pet experts and cat owners believe that cats are attracted to bleach because they purr, drool, or playfully roll around in areas where they can smell the cleaning product. The way cats react to the scent of bleach is remarkably similar to their reaction to catnip, making it hard to draw any other conclusion.
However, the reason why cats enjoy the strong scent of chlorine is a different matter altogether. Since we can’t be certain why cats find the smell of bleach appealing, experts have proposed three plausible explanations. Here’s what they are.
Chlorine Acting As A Phermone
Did you know that cats have around 200 million odor sensors in their nose? We humans only have about 5 million odor sensors, so a cat’s nose is much more powerful than ours. This is why cats depend on their sense of smell to recognize their surroundings, family members, and mates.
Pheromones, which are substances that cause animals to react socially, play a crucial role in cat mating, bonding between mother and offspring, and marking their territory.
So, when your cat detects the smell of bleach, it tends to respond to it as if it were a pheromone. All the behaviors that cats display around bleach generally indicate this.
Chlorine Acting As A Drug
We’ve all witnessed cats going crazy for catnip. There are countless videos out there showing cats getting high on catnip and acting like they’re drunk. But what is it about catnip that makes cats react this way?
The reason why cats like bleach is because catnip activates the ‘happy’ receptors in their brain. Scientists think that when cats smell catnip, the oil called nepetalactone enters their nose and attaches to the receptors that make them feel good. This then makes different parts of their brain become active, which makes them behave in certain ways.
Experts think that when cats smell bleach, it can have a similar impact on them. Certain chemicals in the cleaning product can activate parts of their brain that make them drool, roll around, and purr.
Chlorine Acting As An Alien Scent
Not all cats react positively to bleach. Some cats may investigate the cleaner and behave as if there is an intruder present. This can be observed by their rubbing against surfaces or dragging their bottoms on the floor.
Cats often exhibit this behavior when they detect another animal in their territory. So when you observe your pet rubbing against the floor you just cleaned with bleach, it is attempting to replace the intruder’s scent with its own.
Why Don’t All Cats Like The Smell Of Bleach
It’s really difficult to understand why not all cats have a reaction to bleach because the explanations for why cats enjoy bleach are just theories.
However, there might be a reason for this. Similar to how a cat’s reaction to catnip is passed down through genes, a cat’s response to bleach could also be influenced by its genetic makeup.
Scientists investigating the cat-catnip phenomenon found that around one-third of cats do not possess the ‘catnip gene.’ In the absence of this gene, the oils in catnip do not elicit any response when they attach to a cat’s sensory neurons.
In simple terms, your cat might not react to the scent of bleach because it lacks the genetic makeup necessary for a physical response to happen.
Is Bleach Harmful To Cats
If a cat sniffs a floor or table that you’ve recently cleaned with bleach, it should be okay. However, there’s a catch. If your pet walks on or gets bleach on its paws after you’ve cleaned a surface with it, that can be risky.
If your cat accidentally consumes bleach, it’s not good because bleach is harmful to cats. Signs that your cat has ingested bleach may include throwing up, stomach discomfort, drooling a lot, and having a sore throat.
If you think your cat has swallowed bleach or you smell bleach on its breath, it’s a good idea to give your cat some milk and quickly take it to the vet.
Instead of trying to make your cat vomit, it’s best to seek help from your vet. With prompt action and proper treatment, your cat should recover quickly and return to its normal self.
Does The Smell Of Bleach Attract Cats To Pee
It’s pretty strange, but some cats actually pee in places that smell like bleach. And you’re probably wondering why they do that, right?
Cats can have different reactions to the strong smell of bleach. Some cats may react to it like they do with catnip and behave in a silly manner. On the other hand, sometimes cats may mistake the smell of bleach for the scent of their own urine.
Cats may mistake the smell of bleach for their own urine, which is why they might choose to use a freshly mopped floor as a litter spot. This behavior is not intentional or mean-spirited, but rather a misunderstanding on the part of the cat.
Things To Consider
Even if your cat is really into the smell of bleach, it’s important to be careful and make sure their health isn’t put at risk. Here’s what you can do to keep them safe.
Store The Bleach Where Your Cat Can’t Reach
Because cats are naturally curious, it’s not surprising if your pet tries to investigate a bleach bottle by knocking it over. To prevent any problems, it’s a good idea to store bleach (and other cleaning products) in a cupboard that your cat can’t access.
Consider Switching To Natural Cleaning Products
If your cat has a strong liking for sniffing bleach, you can help them quit this habit by purchasing a pet-friendly cleaner that can be used on various surfaces. These cleaners, which are made from plants, are becoming increasingly popular because they are safe for both children and animals and do not contribute to environmental pollution.