My Cat Ate a Dryer Sheet – What Now? (Solved & Explained!)

If you’ve ever caught your cat licking or chewing on a dryer sheet, you may be wondering if it’s harmful. In short – yes, it can be.

Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of dryer sheets for cats, and what to do if your pet has eaten one.

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cat looking at dryer

What Should I Do If My Cat Ate a Dryer Sheet?

If your cat ate a dryer sheet, she may have an upset stomach or even intestinal blockages. If your cat vomits, has diarrhea, or seems to be in pain, take her to the vet immediately.

Dryer sheets are full of chemicals that aren’t good for cats and can make them sick or cause skin or mouth irritations.

Chemicals in dryer sheets can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. So if your cat ate a dryer sheet, it’s best to call your veterinarian just to be sure she’s okay.

grey cat in tumble top loading dryer

Is Licking a Dryer Sheet Bad for Cats?

Dryer sheets often contain several toxic chemicals, including fragrances, softeners, and enzymes. These chemicals can be harmful to both animals and humans if ingested in sufficient quantities.

However, dryer sheets only contain small amounts of chemicals, and licking them will likely not hurt your cat. You should still call your vet and consult with them to be safe.

What Chemicals in Dryer Sheets Could Be Harmful to Cats?

Cationic surfactants are chemicals in dryer sheets that can be harmful to cats. Their purpose is to soften fabrics and remove static. However, they can also cause skin and respiratory irritation in cats.

Another chemical found in dryer sheets is fragrance. This ingredient can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats if ingested.

Finally, dryer sheets often contain enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that can help to remove stains from clothes.

If your cat is exposed to any of these chemicals (via licking or chewing dryer sheets) then call your vet to discuss.

It’s important to keep dryer sheets away from your cat and to always follow the label instructions when using any cleaning product.

side loading dryer

Why Do Cats Like Dryer Sheets?

The jury is still out on why cats like dryer sheets. Some say it’s because of the smell, while others believe that it’s the texture and their ability to float when tossed around that appeals to them.

Whatever the reason, if your cat is attracted to dryer sheets, be sure to keep them out of reach.

washer and dryers in corner

Should I Use Dryer Sheets when Drying a Cat Bed?

No. You should never use dryer sheets when drying a cat bed (or any pet bedding for that matter). The chemicals in the dryer sheet can be transferred to your cat’s fur and skin, irritating. However, you can use pet-safe dryer sheets discussed next.

How to Safely Dry Cat Toys, Cat Beds, and Cat Blankets

You can try using a pet-safe fabric softener when washing your cat’s bedding. These products are designed to be safe for both animals and humans. You can also try using a pet-safe dryer sheet when drying your cat’s bedding.

Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard Mega Dryer Sheets for Laundry, Fabric Softener with 3X Pet Hair Fighters, Fresh Scent, 120 Count, White

Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard Mega Dryer Sheets for Laundry, Fabric Softener with 3X Pet Hair Fighters, Fresh Scent, 120 Count, White

Is It Ok for Cats to Play with Or Chew Wool Dryer Balls?

Yes, it is safe for cats to play with wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are made from 100% wool and don’t contain any toxic chemicals.

If you’re looking for a pet-safe way to reduce static and wrinkles in your laundry, consider using wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

Wool Dryer Balls - Natural Fabric Softener, Reusable, Reduces Clothing Wrinkles and Saves Drying Time. The Large Dryer Ball is a Better Alternative to Plastic Balls and Liquid Softener. (Pack of 6)

Fact or Myth – Dryer Sheets Can Be Wiped on A Cat (or Dog) to Remove Loose Fur

This is a myth! Dryer sheets are not meant to be wiped on animals. The chemicals in dryer sheets can cause skin irritation if they come into direct contact with your pet’s skin.

If you’re looking for a pet-safe way to remove loose fur, try using a lint brush or pet-safe grooming tool.

Fact or Myth – Dryer Sheets Can Be Wiped on Furniture to Remove Loose Fur

This is a fact! You can use a dryer sheet to remove loose fur from your furniture. Just make sure to vacuum up the fur afterward.

What Should I Do If My Cat Ate Fabric Softener?

If your cat ate fabric softener, call your vet immediately. Fabric softeners can be toxic to cats if ingested in large quantities.

Your vet will likely want to bring in your cat so they can induce vomiting and give your cat IV fluids to flush the toxins out of her system. Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home as this could cause further irritation and problems in your cat’s throat.

What Chemicals in Fabric Softeners Could Be Harmful to Cats?

The main chemicals in liquid fabric softeners that can be harmful to cats are the same that are harmful in dryer sheets, namely, cationic surfactants, fragrances, and enzymes.

Fabric softeners are formulated with various proprietary chemicals that fall into these categories.

Why Would a Cat Eat Liquid Fabric Softener?

There are several reasons why a cat might eat liquid fabric softener. Some cats are attracted to the scent of the product, while others may be interested in the taste. In some cases, a cat may mistake fabric softener for food or water.

Ingesting fabric softener can be dangerous for cats, as it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If your cat has ingested fabric softener, call your veterinarian immediately.

How to Safely Use Fabric Softener Around Cats

You should also avoid using fabric softener on any pet bedding, as the chemicals can be transferred to your cat’s fur and skin. If you must use fabric softener on pet bedding, be sure to use a pet-friendly product.

Botanical Origin Plant-based Fabric Softener, Hypoallergenic, Free from Parabens, Fresh Jasmine & Wild Lavender scent, 2 pack of 32.46 oz (96 Loads)

Should I Use Fabric Softener when Washing a Cat Bed?

Yes if you use a pet-friendly fabric softener. These products are designed to be safe for both animals and humans.

How to Keep Your Cats Safe in The Laundry Room

Follow these tips to keep your cats safe in the laundry room:

  • Store laundry products out of reach. Cats are curious creatures and may be tempted to explore bottles of laundry detergent or fabric softener.
  • Keep the door to the laundry room closed. This will prevent your cat from getting into the laundry room and coming into contact with any harmful chemicals.
  • Use pet-safe laundry products. If you must use laundry products around your cat, be sure to choose products that are safe for animals.
  • Keep the dryer door closed. Your cat should never be in the dryer, even if it’s not turned on. The dryer can be a dangerous place for cats, as they can get trapped inside and hurt.
  • Be careful when using dryer sheets. If you must use dryer sheets, be sure to keep them away from your cat. The chemicals in dryer sheets can be harmful if they come into contact with your cat’s skin.

Conclusion

Dryer sheets can be harmful to cats if they come into contact with the animal’s skin. If you must use dryer sheets, be sure to keep them away from your cat. You should also avoid using fabric softener on any pet bedding, as the chemicals can be transferred to your cat’s fur and skin.

If you must use fabric softener on pet bedding, be sure to use a pet-friendly product.

Finally, follow these tips to keep your cats safe in the laundry room: store laundry products out of reach, keep the door to the laundry room closed, and use pet-safe laundry products.