Why do cats like bleach? I asked myself the same question after seeing my cat licking the floor where I had just cleaned using bleach.

Useless to say, I ran like hell and got him away. Did it work? No! He just came back, licking the floor as soon as I turned by back!

So, why do cats like Bleach? The short and direct answer is that they think it is catnip (cat weed?), or they think is cat urine marking the territory, they may think it is another “Cat” wanting to mate, and finally, they may be under the impression there is a home invasion by strangers. He has the duty to rub his own scent on it.

Why do cats like bleach - Pinterest Pin


There isn’t a straightforward, clear answer as to why cats like bleach or why they like the smell of bleach, but there are practical theories derived from observations and general knowingness about cats’ behavior.

However, substances like bleach and ammonia contain chemicals resembling other substance cats are very familiar with and fond of.

Chlorine may trigger a hormonal reaction due to the particular scent, which makes cats Pheromones active.

Pheromones:pheromone (from Ancient Greek φέρω phero “to bear” and hormone) is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the secreting individual, impacting the behavior of the receiving individuals.[1]

To make it clear and explain it to the general people, scent like chlorine, when smelled by cats, are acting like other cat’s secreted hormones, and of course cats receiving the smells are reacting.

In nature, this is what happens: male cat produce and expel certain hormones, he goes around rubbing the scent of the hormones he just produces around things and people to signal different things to other cats, mainly that it is its territory and other things like mating signals.

The Cat lady walk around and smell objects with the other cat smell and start rubbing herself against that object or droll or roll. ( Or the other way around, cat lady does it, and the male cat react ).

Chemicals in bleach do just that. It is like another cat has been around spreading it smells, and this trigger a reaction into cats, the reactions we see most often:

  • Licking Bleach
  • Rolling on it
  • Droll
  • Purr around it


Summarizing chlorine resemble a scent cats naturally produce, sending signals like this:

  • Another cat wanting to mate
  • Another cat marking territory (chlorine resembling urine smell)
  • Territory intrusion or stranger entering the house

Just know that those are not definite answers, but are the best answers you could possibly find around.


Here some related questions about this subject:

  • Is bleach harmful to cats?

Yes, bleach is poisonous. Suppose the cat drinks bleach or licks it may become sick. Household bleach is commonly irritating and not corrosive. This is great news in case any of your cats decide to feast on bleach.

If you have cats, maybe it is better not to use bleach for house cleaning in general, and for the parts of the house that need bleach, you could make sure cats are taken in another room behind a closed door.

Once I saw my cats’ reaction to bleach, I do close the bathroom door and do not let them come in at all until I am done. Cats are sneaky. They can start licking bleach the moment you are not looking.

  • Does bleach attract cats to pee?

I have never seen that bleach makes cats pee; bleach indeed creates a reaction on cats. It is like they are put on “drugs,” or to say it in another way, they are smelling catnip. Usually, they roll on it, lick it, smell it, but they will not pee on it.

  • What happens if my cat licks bleach?

Bleach irritates the mouth and digestive system; it may cause vomiting sometimes. The house bleach is normally creating irritation.

In humans chlorine poisoning gives the following symptoms:

  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing
  • fluid inside the lungs
  • burning in the mouth
  • throat pain
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • blood in the stools

In cats, redness and irritation on the skin and in and around the mouth, your pet may be pawing at her mouth or, in other ways, acting abnormally.

But if you suspect that your cat has had a lot of bleach and he is sick, check with the veterinarian immediately.

  • Will bleach kill cat pee smell?

The first instinct in cleaning pee from cats and dogs would be to use bleach and ammonia, but now you know how cats react to chlorine. It is also dangerous for them.

Chlorine will disinfect, yes, but it will not take away the smell. Simple remedies to take away the smell can be baking soda, vinegar, soap, and hydrogen peroxide.

  • Can bleach fumes harm cats?

Fumes alone are not harmful. If there isn’t actual bleach your cat is drinking or leaking, it should not be a real danger.

  • What I do if my cat got bleach on its fur?

If you smell bleach on your cat, take water and soap and clean him out. Make sure there is no bleach left that he may lick out later.

  • Is it dangerous to clean cat urine using bleach?

Let’s say that the ammonia in the cat’s urine mixed with bleach can create strong fumes. A person could pass out from inhaling such fumes, It is better to use another product to remove cats pee.

  • How to Treat a Cat Who Has Ingested Bleach?

Your cat smell like bleach from his mouth, or his fur smell like bleach. He is exhibiting poisoning symptoms. It is necessary to act fast in order to prevent further damages or burns to the stomach and other parts.

The first thing to do is to call the vet and get directions. While waiting for the vet visit, you can start implementing the following remedies:

  1. Let’s make sure the source of poisoning is taken care of, whether you were cleaning with bleach or the cats found it in the toilet, let’s make sure he can’t reach it anymore.
  2. Rinse the cat mouth with water to remove any bleach leftovers
  3. Offer water or milk to the cat.
  4. Make sure the veterinarian finally see the cats, check the stomach and the lungs and any other part that need checking
  • Can cats die from drinking bleach?

It is challenging for this to happen. How much bleach should he have ingested?

It should be a lot to cause the cat to die. Even if he is not dying, he can become sick, so again, let’s make sure to keep bleach away from cats.

  • How Can Bleach Poisoning Be Prevented?

It can be prevented by closing doors, making sure cats are in another room, or not using bleach that often. One can find a good alternative to bleach. If bleaching is necessary, cats have to be moved to another place to prevent them from going crazy.


Even though cats are drawn to bleach, we have to keep them away from it. Cats owners need to be aware of bleach effects on cats and do all possible to safeguard their cats. If you have a question put it in comments below.