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Can you pet your cats after applying hand sanitizer?

I'm borderline germa-a-phobic and I use hand sanitizer constantly, Could I be endangering my pets by petting them after using it? I always wait until it's dried on my hands before I touch them and I don't put it where they can get to the bottles. And no I can't not use it if I don't have it within reach I'm uncomfortable, my hands shake, and I feel queasy. I can't afford a psychiatrist or a psychologist so the hand sanitizer is how I deal with it. I not as bad as most but I NEED to use hand sanitizer. Please tell me my phobia isn't endangering my cats!

Category: Health

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If you let it dry and keep the actual liquid away from the cats they should be fine. Definitely don't let them drink or lick the sanitizer however. The rescue groups here as well as the shelter actually have hand sanitizer to rub on your hands before you pet the animals. 

Most hand sanitizers contain ethanol (a type of alcohol used for sanitization) in addition to artificial colors and fragrancesYour cat (or dog) can become sick if they ingest too much so it is best to let your hands completely dry prior to petting your cat and never let them chew or play with the plastic bottles.


OH THANK GOD!!! You are a life saver I was totally freaking out and I couldn't find the answer anywhere. And yes I always make sure it's dry before petting them . If I could I'd probably hug you right now I'm so relieved these cats are my babies and I worry. Thank you for putting my mind at ease.

- paws - 3 years ago


Hand sanitizer can be toxic at cats. Hand sanitizer has become a staple in homes, cars, handbags, offices, restroom and even when you enter supermarkets. These alcohol-based solutions are great for keeping germs at bay, but they can also pose a danger to animals that encounter them.The majority of hand sanitizers on the market contain ethanol (a type of alcohol used for sanitization) in addition to artificial colors and fragrances. Ingestion of these materials can cause what veterinarians call dose dependent symptoms; that is, the more sanitizer ingested, the worse the symptoms will be. Just a small amount of sanitizer can induce alcohol poisoning in some pets.

That is correct. Thanks BK for this additional information! - Molly - 3 years ago

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