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As Summer time approaches, every yea cat owners are faced with the question of is chlorine dangerous to cats? The answer to this question is no. A properly maintained pool that is chlorinated is not dangerous to cats. Your cat is more at risk by entering a foreign lake or micro organism infested river than they are taking a quick dip or falling into a chlorinated pool.
Chlorine is actually needed to keep your pool clean and free from bacteria. Without the proper use of chlorine in a pool, pools will quickly turn green and discolored as algae builds up on the side walls of the pool. There are however a few safety precautions that you need to take when it comes to storing and handling chlorine in its tablet form.
Can Chlorine Hurt Cats?
The biggest problem chlorine has with cats is when it is in its concentrated or tablet form. This is the form it usually comes in from the pool store. Chlorine usually comes in big tablets that are then placed inside of a floating container that then slowly releases chlorine into the pool. The most important thing you should worry about is the proper storage and usage of your chlorine tablets.
The raw tablet form of chlorine can hurt your cat. Chlorine can be dangerous if inhaled. Also, direct contact with chlorine can cause damage to the skin and eyes. It is best to store chlorine tablets in air tight containers that your cat cannot access. This will ensure that your cat can neither inhale or come in physical contact with a concentrated tablet of chlorine.
Can Cats Get Sick from Drinking Pool Water?
There are some risks if your cat does ingest chlorinated water from your pool. The most common issue with ingesting chlorinated water is minor GI irritation. This is by far the most common problem among most household pets. Cats do not necessarily like to swim in water so this issue is most common with dog owners. If your cat happens to take a few licks of the pool water, do not be alarmed. It is very unlikely that your cat will have a lot of stomach issues after ingesting a small amount of pool water.
If your cat happens to take a swim in your pool, then you may see that your cat may develop redness in their eyes or itchy skin. Ear infection is also common in pets that swim in pools frequently.
Alternatives to Chlorine
The most common chlorine alternative for pool use is Bromine. It’s very close to chlorine except it has a less pungent odor and has less bleaching side effects that chlorine has. Many pool owners that find chlorine too irritating for their skin and eyes will use bromine since it is less likely to cause these side effects.
The main downfall to bromine is its cost. It is more expensive than chlorine and is also less stable when it is exposed to sunlight. This actually makes bromine a poor choice for outdoor pools that are constantly exposed to the sun’s rays. It is best to talk to a pool care professional about whether bromine can be a good alternative for your pool.
Chlorine is generally not dangerous to cats. Even drinking small amounts and swimming in a pool that is chlorinated will not cause much harm to your cat other than some eye redness and itchy skin. The most dangerous thing you must look out for is if you do not properly store your concentrated chlorine tablets. Chlorine tablets can be dangerous if they are inhaled or come in contact with skin.
Always keep chlorine tablets put away in air tight containers. This is good common practice whether you have pets or kids in your household.