Many of you know I write health and science articles for Catster Magazine. And in the past year, I've talked a lot about toxicity with household chemicals such as dryer sheets and some potpourri oils.
So before I agreed to participate in this campaign, I wanted to know a bit more about Febreze™. What I found in Procter & Gamble's MSDS* and from veterinary toxicology experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center was refreshing: Febreze is safe for use around pets.
When the product samples arrived, I was happy to learn that Febreze doesn't just mask odor, it actually works to eliminate odor as well.
Being an owner of three cats (and four litterboxes) I try not to become desensitized (or as they call it, noseblind!) to associated odors. And it's not just because it would be offensive to human guests we might have over.
I know that my cats' sense of smell is 16 times more sensitive than my own, meaning those litterboxes are far more offensive to them than they are to any visitor.
|Cats have 80 million smell receptors. Humans only have 5 million. Big difference!|
How does our home stack up
to the Febreze School of Petiquette?
The folks at Febreze created a Petiquette curriculum to help "noseblind" pet owners consider the myriad ways their own pets - and human guests - might find things a bit more pungent than their tastes would prefer.
Here are just two that Allie, Maxwell & Faraday would like you to know about. Oh, and yes, Febreze sent the curriculum in a school backpack....
Which Allie and Maxwell found fascinating.
Something tells me they're about to send me (back) packing. Back to Scent School, that is.
Allie: I think we need to stage an intervention, Maxie. You go first.
Maxwell: You mean a Scentervention, Allie? Thank you, thank you, no applause just kibble...
Allie: Just stick to the script, Maxie.
Maxwell: Uhhh, Momma. Not to hurt your feelings or anything, but ...
Allie: Oh Maxie, honestly. If you want a job done right, give it to the girlcat. Now listen, Mother...
We appreciate that you clean out our litterboxes daily, considering we don't have opposable thumbs nor the ability to flush on our own. But Maxwell is a rather pungent user --
Allie: The truth sometimes hurts, Maxie. In this case, it hurts my nose. As I was saying, a rather pungent user, and some of us kitties would appreciate a bit more odor control down there.
Febreze Petiquette Lesson #7:
The Boxing Match
"Scoop out your cat’s litter box regularly as needed, and empty, scrub and refill it with fresh kitty litter weekly. Keeping to this schedule will reduce the gross-out factor for your guests while also keeping Socrates in fine fettle. In between cleanings, ensure the area near the litter box smells is odor-free and fresh with Febreze Air Effects. Your philosophical feline will feel right at home."THIS IS VERY GOOD ADVICE!
And I'll go one step further: if our cats are 16 times more sensitive to smell than we are, and if their litterbox is offensive to them, do you think they're going to use it?
One of the top reasons cats are relinquished to shelters is because of "improper elimination."
How much of this is really their fault??
Would the number of shelter cats drop if we simply got this message through to pet owners?
I took the Febreze Air Effects aerosol can down with me to the litter area, and have been using it after I scoop to freshen the area. I like the results. I tend to do it when the cats aren't around to allow the fragrance to dissipate a bit before they are exposed to it.
NOT that it would harm them, but I'm quite sensitive to fragrance and I use almost exclusively fragrance-free products. (Good news, Febreze makes an unscented version for anyone who is also sensitive to fragrance - it's called Febreze Free Nature. And no, they didn't ask me to mention this, I just thought it was worth checking into and wanted to pass it long to you.)
I like it a lot more than what I had been using, which was a basic disinfectant spray.
Febreze Petiquette Lesson #9:
The Great Outdoors
"When Jake’s got to go, he’s got to go! Even if it’s pouring rain and you have guests arriving at any moment. After he comes in from the rain, give your kitchen and areas where guests will gather a few sprays of Febreze Air Effects to eliminate the soggy smell of wet dog and leave behind a light, fresh scent."
Faraday: Who knew our wool rug was named Jake, anyways?
|Faraday: Seriouslies, Mommy. Maybe the rug would like these doggy treats? |
Cuz it sure smells like one on a hot, humid summer day!
During the hottest, most humid days the Midwest can dish out, our 8x10 wool rugs (and we have three of them!) smell like wet dog.
No wonder Faraday brought it the doggie treats!
|I mean, could a little odor eliminator one in a while hurt, Mommy?|
|But wait til I'm out of the room. I like what it does to kill odors but I'm not really into fragrances. 'k?|
Finally, and not exactly on the Petiquette list:
|On any given day, Marty's cooking. And I'm cleaning. And the smells linger - often for hours.|
|Trash can spritzed!|
|*snif-f-f-f* Ahhh, now that's more like it!|
Want to learn more about the Febreze School of Petiquette? You can follow them socially!
*MSDS = material safety data sheet - a document companies are required to publish about their products' chemical makeup