Now that Spring has officially arrived, it’s time to make sure Kitty stays safe from temptations that could cause her harm, whether inside or out. Just as you become more active, Kitty wants to explore her surrounding and practice her hunting skills. However, poisons and toxins can be especially dangerous to felines because of their small body sizes and digestive systems incapable of breaking down dangerous substances.
Further, Kitty doesn’t have to go outside to be harmed by common poisons. Regular household cleaners, rodent poisons, plants, potpourri, nicotine, and human medications can all be deadly to cats as well as to dogs. Let’s discuss which products are the worst culprits and how we can best limit our beloved cats’ exposure to them.
Here’s What You Should Know About Poisons: For a cat that ingests poison, the damage depends upon how much of the dangerous substance they took in and how long the substance was in their system before treatment was applied. Many poisons will not produce significant illness if they are quickly discovered and eliminated from the cat. There are other poisons that are deadly from the moment they are ingested. Further still, there are certain toxins that prove lethal over time; their effects are not immediately seen. Though some can be inhaled or absorbed, most poisons need to be ingested.
Here are the Signs of Poisoning to Look for:
- Lethargy, depression, weakness, or sluggishness
- Anorexia or lack of appetite
- Stumbling or staggering
- Breathing difficulties
- Tremors or seizures
If you think your cat may have been exposed to a poison, check the item’s label and read about its potential toxicity. Call your vet right away. If it is an off-hour, check in with the closest emergency vet. You need to take your cat there right away. Don’t forget to take the label if you know the cause was from this household product. Obviously, if the ingestion wasn’t witnessed, it can be much harder to diagnose. In all cases, there will likely be a physical exam with blood and urine tests. While some poisons have quick antidotes, others rely on the speedy elimination of the toxin from the cat’s body.
Poison by Plants: Though cats are carnivores, they are attracted to the texture of grass-like plants including ferns, certain palms, and dried flowers. Often, these plants will act as emetics, causing the cat to vomit. However, other plants can cause kidney or liver failure and seizures. As a general rule, it is best to keep Kitty away from the plants.
Poison by Human Food: Despite the availability of a wonderful variety of healthy and satisfying cat foods, some cats are just driven to explore their people’s food. If you start at an early age, it is really not a hard thing to keep them away from the table. You don’t want to chance poisoning. I know it may be surprising, but any of the following human foods can prove lethal to our favorite feline friends.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums
- Baking powder and baking soda
- Dairy products
- Grapes & Raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions & Garlic
- Yeast dough
Tips for Poison Prevention:
--Never bring plants known for being poisonous, such as Easter Lily, into the home. Consider planting catnip or that special cat grass for them to chew on.
--Immediately clean up any spilled household cleaners or chemicals as cats can get it on their paws and then try to lick it away.
--Never give human or dog medications to your cat. Store all meds securely, and never let the cat play with any dropped pills. Pick them up and remove immediately.
- Keep these phone numbers in case of emergency: (1) Cat’s veterinarian.
- (2) ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435.
- (3) Pet Poison Helplinehttps://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-health/a-guide-to-poison-prevention-for-cats/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petplace_cat_engaged