This image and others like it have been posted and shared widely on social media lately.

If feels like a rumor/tall tale spread by overly paranoid pet owners. Is there any truth to this?

🚫 ferret in box

Text of the image

Normally, left over boxes are a fantastic enrichment tool for small animals. However, right now they can be deadly. To prevent the spread of covid-19 companies are spraying disinfectant chemicals on boxes. These chemicals are dangerous to ferrets (and other small animals) and have caused many deaths. Please keep your babies safe and dispose of left over boxes appropriately!

  • Which claim are you talking about -- that the boxes are being sprayed with disinfectant or that such a disinfectant is toxic to ferrets? Both seem doubtful. Dec 25, 2020 at 4:08
  • 2
    As far as I can tell the CDC doesn't recommend such a practice, only that hard non-porous surfaces like pads etc. be disinfected. This doesn't excluded some possibility that a company may have decided otherwise and they're spraying carboard boxes, but I suspect it's not common practice. Dec 25, 2020 at 10:52
  • 1
    I can’t find any other sources that raise this concern. Sources that do talk about cleaning products say that you need to be careful your pets don’t get into your supplies or step in “pools” of disinfectant, both of which would be more of the substance than you would find on a box.
    – Laurel
    Dec 26, 2020 at 15:07
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    @DanielRHicks and then there's the 'has caused many deaths' claim as well, probably the most doubtful of everything in the text.
    – stijn
    Dec 26, 2020 at 19:38
  • It is frustrating that I saw a tweet last week claiming Amazon denied this claim, and I can not find it, and my searches keep returning products I can buy on Amazon for my pets.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 27, 2020 at 7:11


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