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Question from Krista Dziedzic Tyrrell


Tabby/shorthair, age 1

I have a male tabby named ’Bug’. He is about 1 year old-not fixed (yet)-very sweet, loving, smart, healthy...gets along with other animals & children-we LOVE him. Bug has a very strange, and I’m guessing potentially harmful fetish: He loves the smell of bleach! I started noticing that any time I cleaned the counters or the floor with bleach products, he comes running over and rubs & rolls-the same way cats generally react to catnip! Then he will lay on the counter. Now he is very clean, and he even likes to get in the bath tub occasionally (not immersed, but maybe just enough water to barely cover his paws. He loves that-while he cleans his feet, I wipe him down with a damp washcloth with just a teeny drop of gentle shampoo. So I wondered if maybe he was just really excited that things were so clean? I’m afraid that if he came across it outside or something, he may drink it! A few days ago I brought home fresh strawberries-and he reacted to them the same way! He rubbed on the box like it was catnip. He even took one in his mouth, carried it to the floor, but rather than eat it-he just rubbed his little face on it. I cut it up and offered it to him in his food dish, but he did not want to eat it. Last night he knocked the whole carton of strawberries off the counter and rolled in them! I my kitty just ’odd’? Should I be concerned about either of these? I am 38 yrs old, and I’ve had cats my whole life-but I have never seen or heard anything like this.
Our Vet Says:

Dear Krista, to me it seems like Bug just likes to take part in your actions. He gets all excited about things that you do and manifests interest in them. I do not think that you need to worry too much about this, you should enjoy his company while doing things around the house. If he is so playful you as an owner need to ensure he does not get in any trouble and you need to keep things that can be harmful to him in a cupboard, out of reach. Also a bit of training would be recommended as he needs to know his limits. Knocking things down is not really acceptable, is it? Apart from these I would love to have him as my cat.

About the bleach attraction there are two possibilities which could be blamed for his actions:
- he want to re-impregnate the kitchen with his pheromones. When you are cleaning with bleach or any other powerful cleaning product you wipe away his scent from the area. Cats being so territorial animals want to keep their scent in places where they live and visit. 
- second possibility is that he is attracted to the smell of it, some say that it smells like the ammonia from cats urine. 


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