I hear that some cats are allergic to the use of some kinds of household detergents. Symptoms include red paws and itching. My house cats don’t have this problem, thankfully. Some cats get stressed out when too much detergent is used in the house, resulting in them defecating around the house. In fact, they resort to this right after the house is cleaned, which can be frustrating for some owners. This is because cats get stressed when their scent-marking around the house – through rubbing and stropping – is overridden by the scent of the detergents.
As alternatives to usual household detergents, you can consider using white vinegar instead to clean your house with. It removes smells and is non-toxic to animals. For washing of pet bowls, you can use detergents used in pet stores, or food-grade detergents meant for washing baby utensils (look in the baby items section in your supermarket), or salt solution.
In my house, I clean using a mixture of commercial detergents with Dettol, the non-fragrance kind. Pine is generally non-toxic, but do try not to go overboard with the Dettol or detergents.
When I am actually cleaning, my three cats have varied responses – Scooter is scared of the Magiclean mop, Sayang tries to chase it, and Slinky just sits there as a roadblock, and I need to clean around her instead of trying to get her to move. I try to distract the younger two away from my daily cleaning by throwing a toy away from the area, like into the next room. If we vacuum (which is usually done by Andy) both Sayang and Scooter usually scurry to hide because they hate the noise. Aswat’s cats enjoy the vacuum in his house; one of his cats even lies there so he can vacuum her fur along the way! As for cleaning of other surfaces, my cats try to sneak on top of the living room table (Slinky) or kitchen stove (Scooter) after it is nice and clean even though they are not supposed to. Slinky especially loves clean; she uses her toilet right after I clean it. Cats really are clean; read more about how to have a clean and tidy house with your cats here.