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NancyH, Cat Health, Behavior, Care Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ years cat owner, rescue, breeding, study of behavior & health care
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Can Giardia live on hard surfaces like countertops for a long

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Can Giardia live on hard surfaces like countertops for a long length of time if the cats have walked on the counters? If so, would cleaning with a cleaner like Clorox kill them? Also, I have two cat trees with carpet and rope that the cats use a lot. Can giardia live in the carpet and rope if the cats have used them as scratching posts? I have three cats, and the two young ones have Giardia. I had to take them and leave them at the vets office for treatment as they still had the parasite after 2 rounds of treament and the diarareea seemed to get worse. I am trying to determine what I have to just throw out to prevent future outbreaks when they come home. Also, these are inside cats and I have no idea how they got the parasite to begin with. Thanks for any help.

Yes a solutoin of bleach does kill giardia particularly if it is left on the surface for at least a minute before being rinsed off. One part bleach to 30 or 32 parts water should work.

You would want to clean the cat boxes with bleach (and rinse well after) and totally change the litter.

You can clean the scratching posts and carpet and rope on the cat trees with the bleach solution in a spray bottle (just wear clothes that you won't be sad about if they get some bleach on them). Some people feel steam cleaning carpets is helpful.

You might ask the vet to bath the cats so they can't reinfect by washing themselves.

You can read about giardia and the oocyts and survival time etc here

If you have a well, and you don't drink the tap water, but the cats do, then you may want to get your well water tested.

Hope this helps you!


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So just walking on the counters could deposit the guirda on it? I'm trying to decide how anal I have to be about cleaning. They sat on the couch and chair also so does that need to be cleaned? And I can't clean that with clorox so would the regular uphosterery cleaner be sufficient?

You might do steam cleaning of the upholstered furniture or use one of the cleaners for them, but if the house is dry that can help kill the oocysts too.

Yes the cats can leave oocysts and other health hazards like e.coli on counters from walking on them, particularly if they have just been in the cat box. If the cats are up on food prep surfaces you really ought to clean those surfaces pretty regularly.

I'd wash and disinfect any food and water bowls too. You might as well minimize chances of reinfection while the cats are at the vets.

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