Cat lovers may be surprised to learn that these beloved pets may be spreading dangerous germs throughout their homes. Although most cats by nature, are clean creatures who become obsessed with grooming the coats, they have some nasty habits. These habits leave patches of bacteria-laden spots everywhere they sit. If you’re concerned about cleanliness you’ll want to continue reading to find out how cats leave germs in the most used areas of our homes, and what you can do about it.
How do cats spread germs in our homes?
According to Nerdist, most of us don’t think bout our cats buttholes until they turn around and put them in our faces or sit on our laps or arms with their butthole squarely making contact with the skin. This causes a fair amount of disgust and in some cases, alarm. The cat doesn’t even think about whether this is appropriate behavior or not. He’s just concerned with his comfort and getting close to his loved one. We, on the other hand, realize that a cat’s butt can spread nasty disease-causing germs.
How often do cats put their butts on surfaces in the home?
While the thought of a cat sitting on a table or kitchen counter may now raise more concern, there is some good news. A recent study shows that cat buttholes don’t usually come into contact with that many surfaces in the home. Although it’s a possibility, research confirms that the amount of butt contact made depends on the type of cat. A grade-schooler experimented with his science fair to find out how much contact cats make with their private parts. He put non-toxic lipstick on his cat’s anuses. He made notes about how many times the lipstick appeared on surfaces. Long and medium-haired cats did not leave any lipstick on hard surfaces, but there were traces of lipstick on softer surfaces including beds and furnishings, but only from shorthaired cats.
This novel experiment shows which cats place their buttholes on surfaces in the home. It further details where they prefer to sit when making full contact. This should bring germaphobes and people with a common-sense concern over sanitation in the home, a sigh of relief. Cats are still clean animals, for the most part, and they don’t present any worse health threat than a toddler with a runny nose and a habit of nose-picking.
Do cats spread germs in other ways?
According to Daily Mom, there are a few other ways that cats can spread germs in the home. If you want to have a truly clean home with a cat on board, it’s not an impossible task, it just means you’ll need to invest a little more time and effort into your regular cleaning regimen. Cats are notorious for shedding their fur, which can present a problem for people with allergies and other respiratory issues. Also, cats walk through their litter boxes and pick up germs on the lower parts of their belly and leg fur from the process of toileting, even if they meticulously cover it up. Small particles may remain on their feet and fur. They walk across surfaces in the home and they may be leaving microscopic bacteria that you can’t see.
Tips for keeping a cleaner house with a cat
- Bathe and groom your cat – You can decrease the amount of loose fur and dander in your home by bathing your cat once a month and giving him a regular brushing. If he tends to have dry skin, you may want to consider asking the vet for supplements or using moisturizing shampoo or conditioner on his fur to reduce the amount of dander and dry skin particles in the home. Even short-haired cats shed, so all cat breeds can benefit from regular grooming.
- Sweep and Vacuum regularly – Homes with cats benefit from daily sweeping, dusting, and /or vacuuming. This helps to get loose hair under control before it starts to build up. Cat hair should also be removed from furniture, especially if your cat likes to lie on the back or arm of a couch or chair. They leave behind dander, fur, and sometimes even fine dust. It’s a good idea to take a lint brush to remove any small particles at least once a week or more frequently for long-haired cats.
- Train your cats to stay off counters and tables – It’s never recommended to allow cats or any other animals to walk across surfaces that are used for preparing meals or for eating. Train your cats to avoid jumping on eating and meal prep surfaces. Be advised that these headstrong pets may still do so when your back is turned.
- Wipe hard surfaces with sanitizer – It’s good to get into the habit of wiping down kitchen countertops and tables with a sanitizing wipe. It just takes a few minutes and most sanitizing solutions dry in 10 seconds or less. It kills most harmful viruses and bacteria on contact.
- Protect soft surfaces from contact – You can also use covers to help protect soft surfaces in the home. Decorative throws provide a buffer between your cat and beds, couches chairs, and other areas of the home. It’s easier to clean a throw once a week than it is to wash the bedding.
The notion of a cat’s butt touching the surfaces that we use to make food or eat is a nauseating thought. Although it does happen, it’s been established that this kind of contact is fairly rare. You’re more likely to have problems with cat hair and dander, or a cat walking across these surfaces with dirty feet. All of these problems have easy solutions that don’t take a lot of extra effort. You can still maintain a clean, healthy, and sanitary environment if you live with a feline houseguest. Cats are remarkable creatures that make life so much more interesting that for most of us cat lovers, the extra work is worth it in the end.