Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction?

No doubt, you will often rely on cleaning products to wash and sanitize your home. Lysol is a popular disinfectant and cleaner used because of its ability to remove germs and give a sense of cleanliness. The scent of Lysol is often described as having a hospital smell and that can be because of phenols. 

Phenol is sometimes (but not always) found in Lysol. According to Science Direct, a peer-reviewed source of scholarly articles, Lysol is a derivative of the phenol group and is known for its disinfectant properties. 

Inhalation of, contact with, and the consumption of any cleaning products can cause an adverse reaction in felines. Although sometimes referred to as an allergy, symptoms seen when a cat comes in contact with a cleaning agent are typically a reaction to contact with the product.  If your cat has been exposed and is showing signs of a reaction to any sort of Lysol (liquid, spray, or wipes), your veterinarian should be contacted to evaluate the type and severity of the reaction.

Cats have a very keen sense of smell. They are often more sensitive to odors and fragrances than other animal species. Additionally, some scents can cause an adverse reaction when inhaled, consumed or exposed to via the skin. 

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Symptoms of Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

Symptoms of an adverse reaction and a mild contact response to Lysol are very similar, including:

  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Throat irritation

Any type of cleaning product that contains ingredients that cause skin irritation may result in the following symptoms after prolonged exposure:

  • Bumps on the skin
  • Hair loss if your cat constantly licks the area
  • Itchy skin
  • Overgrooming
  • Pulling out tufts of fur


Lysol products found in the United States do not typically contain phenols but to be on the safe side, always check the ingedients label. Along with Phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, pine oil, ethanol, and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) are ingredients that may cause irritation to your cat. 

Causes of Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

Adverse reactions (sometimes mistakenly described as allergies) caused by contact with chemicals like phenol are the result of sensitivity to the skin, nose, and eyes. Breathing in fumes, licking a cleaning product off of a surface, or experiencing a splash of product in the eyes can cause an injury or reaction.

In regards to allergies, cats can sometimes have an allergy-type reaction to things like food and fleas. As well an inhalant allergy can be seen with pollens and mold, and the symptoms can present similarly to a reaction to exposure to certain cleaners.

Contact allergies and adverse reactions can result after exposure to shampoos, cleaners, detergents, and more.

Diagnosis of Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

If you see that your cat has evidence of an allergy or adverse reaction, take them to the vet. Discussing your concerns will be a step toward determining the cause of the skin, eyes, and nose irritation.

The vet will want to rule out underlying issues (such as an illness that manifests with similar symptoms). Of course, if you know for certain that your cat has been exposed to a cleaning product containing phenol, quat ammonium compounds, pine oils, or similar ingredients, bring the cleaner with you to the veterinary clinic.

Treatment of Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

If you have not yet attempted to wash the residue from the cleaning product from your pet's fur, the vet will do so. The vet will look at your cat's eyes, nose and throat to ensure there is no irritation present. If the skin is irritated, a prescription may be given to soothe and protect. 

The vet will most likely recommend products that you can use as cleaning agents that will not harm your pet. Even so, it is always advised to keep your cat in another room when using any types of cleaners or oils.

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Recovery of Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction in Cats

If you are concerned about your cat’s recovery once home from the hospital, contact the clinic for a re-evaluation. The veterinarian may recommend avoiding from now on the use of products containing phenol, such as Lysol, due to the threat of adverse reaction in your cat from the inhalation, consumption or allergic reaction to it. Additionally, continue the use of medication or ointments prescribed by the veterinarian until complete.

Lysol Allergy and Adverse Reaction Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals


Domestic shorthair




4 Months


0 found this helpful


0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Red Eye
My kitten is being treated for ringworm, we've been using Lysol to treat the house, and lime dip + pills to treat the kittens. 1 of them showed up with a bloodshot eye , and seems to be getting worse. If it is Lysol, will discontinued use solve the problem?

Aug. 21, 2018

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

0 Recommendations

I'm not sure what is causing the bloodshot eye, so I can't say if discontinuing the Lysol will help. If the eye does not improve or Sammy is pawing at the eye or seems uncomfortable, it would be best to have a recheck with your veterinarian to have the eye looked at, in case it is unrelated.

Aug. 21, 2018

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2 Years


1 found this helpful


1 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Noisy Breathing
My cat may have ingested Lysol, but it is unsure. She doesn’t smell like lysol on the paws and she doesn’t usually lick things (even raw or cooked meat) I think she just breathe it. She breathe, not with difficulty but sometimes makes a weird snoring sound. She also produces a bit of saliva, she wont eat or drink water. She is 8lbs.

June 10, 2018

1 Recommendations

It certainly sounds like Hazy is having a reaction to Lysol, you should call the manufacturer (1-800-228-4722) and either visit your Veterinarian or contact the Pet Poison Helpline. In the meantime you should rinse out her mouth and ensure that there is none on her fur. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 11, 2018

My kitten hasn't ingested anything, and has only been introduced to the Lysol via air, clothe...

Aug. 21, 2018

Alyson H.

My kitten had ringworm and has given to me with one spot on my face. I went to the store to buy cleaning products and did buy Lysol Max. I checked the ingredients when I got home and it did not show phenol. So I then went to the MSDS to look at each ingredient and it was not listed as an ingredient. I went ahead and sprayed my furniture, cat bed, etc and my kitten had not shown any adverse reaction. Plus I would hope Lysol would advise to not use if a cat is in the household. Could it be that Lysol has removed the Phenol from their products? Thanks, Kai’s mom

Sept. 21, 2018

Bobbi H.

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