January 13, 2013


You may not know it, but we kitties do have the ability to taste sweet things.  Smart humans have found that some of the taste buds toward the back of our tongues actually do pick up sweet flavors. Whatever the case to many cats and dogs are drawn to the little colorful puddles in their humans driveways that are from the v-e-t transport units, called anti-freeze.  Well, we recently heard some good news...

Auto Coolant Manufacturers to Take Steps To Reduce Poisonings From Products 

Just don't lick it!

The Humane Society Legislative Fund and Consumer Specialty Products Association jointly announce an agreement to voluntarily add a bitter flavoring agent to antifreeze and engine coolant manufactured for sale for the consumer market in all 50 states and the District of Columbia  to prevent animals and children from being poisoned by the sweet-tasting liquid. Poisoning occurs because animals are attracted to the sweetness of antifreeze and engine coolant, which inadvertently spills in our driveways or is left in open containers in garages.


“This is a ground-breaking example of what’s right with Washington,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “After years of battling over legislation addressing this important issue, the manufacturers of antifreeze and engine coolant have been working with animal advocates to pass state laws with mutually-agreed on language. Now, the Humane Society Legislative Fund applauds them for taking this important step to help protect our pets, kids and wildlife in every state.”

HSLF estimates range from 10,000 to 90,000 animals poisoned each year after ingesting ethylene glycol, the highly toxic substance used in auto antifreeze and coolant. Ethylene glycol’s sweet smell and taste make it attractive to animals as well as children. The manufacturers are adding bitter-tasting denatonium benzoate to antifreeze and coolant sold directly to consumers across the country.

“Partnering with the Humane Society Legislative Fund in passing these laws in 17 states has shown by finding compromise and working together we can develop sound public policy. It is vital that consumers continue to read the labels and follow label instructions on the proper use, storage and disposal of antifreeze.  Today, all major marketers are placing the bitterant in antifreeze in all 50 states,” said Phil Klein, executive vice president, legislative and public affairs for CSPA.

  • Seventeen states currently require the addition of the bittering agent to antifreeze and engine coolant: Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Oregon passed the first state law and it has been in effect since 1991.
  • In one survey, two out of three veterinarians reported that they had treated at least one case of antifreeze/engine coolant poisoning each year.
  • One teaspoon of antifreeze or engine coolant can kill an average-sized cat.
  • Denatonium benzoate has been used in common household products and as an anti-nail biting formula for decades in the United States.
CSPA Website News Release 12/13/12

It's not perfect, but it's a startPlease, when your human buys anti-freeze to put into their v-e-t transport vehicle, have them make sure that they check that it was made in the USA and that it has denatonium benzoate added.  It may not be available everywhere until next year, and it likely won't be in products manufactured outside the US. And even if does have that nasty tasting stuff in it, IT'S STILL POISON so JUST DON'T LICK IT!  


  1. That is a step in the right direction!!

  2. This is really important info. Thank you! Our state isn't one of the lucky ones. Yet. But it will come!!

  3. That is great news. Maybe it will eventually spread across the USA.

  4. yep that is great advice and we are thrilled that they are now going to make antifreeze in a different way so it will no longer be attractive to cats.

  5. Finally!!! thanks for telling us

  6. Yippee for great information! Thanks for the good news!

  7. I'll have to tell Milou: he would lick anything he thinks tastes good!

  8. We didn't know about anti-freeze being a poison - thank goodness it is being made so that it isn't anymore.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

    1. Well, it still IS poisonous. They just add something to make it taste nasty so animals and children are not tempted to drink it. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

  9. Like you miaow it´s not purrfect , but it´s something to add bitter taste to the anti-freeze stuff !

  10. SO glad they are FINALLY doing something about antifreeze poisoning. Thank you for letting us know about it. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

  11. Great information and wonderful news...
    I'll make sure Glogirly knows about this!
    xo, Katie

  12. Mowzers! It's ABOUT TIME!! Yay for the Humane Legislation getting this pushed through! Every teensy step helps!

  13. That is progess and a good reminder about anti-freeze safety at this time of year.


Mrrrrrrrowwwww, kitty likes to know what you're thinking!

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