Household Items That Are Hazardous To Cats!

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As any cat-lover will know, our feline friends can get their nose into almost every corner of the house. From closets and cupboards, sheds to shoe-boxes, cats really do love a good nosy! ?

And, while it’s impossible to protect your kitty companion from every danger she might encounter, there are a few items that vets agree should be kept out of the reach of naughty paws. Take a look at our list of household items that are hazardous to cats

 

Human Medications

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and its American counterpart, the ASPCA, human medicines consistently top the list of items responsible for poisoning cats.

With curious cats at risk of popping pills that they find on bedside cabinets, bathroom counter, or just on the floor, owners should be careful to close their medicine bottles tightly and to store medication in hard-to-reach cupboards.

Some of the most hazardous medicines for cats include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Cancer medicines
  • Cold medicines
  • Diet pills
  • Pain relievers (acetaminophen, paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Vitamins and other supplements

Never be tempted to medicate your cat if he’s ill or in pain, for example, after surgery. According to DVM veterinary medicine magazine, cats have difficulty metabolising certain drugs, so what seems like a tiny dose to you can do irreparable damage to your feline friend. If your cat needs any kind of medication, always talk to your vet.

 

Indoor And Outdoor Plants   

Common plants – both inside and outside your house – can be hazardous to your kitty’s health. Some of the most common plants to watch out for when you have a puss on the prowl:

  • Aloe
  • Azaleas
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Lillies
  • Marijuana
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Tulips

The ASPCA has released a longer list of plants that are toxic to cats. And, while you can’t stop your kitty from exploring their surroundings, you can use this list to help you pick which plants you’d like in your own home and garden.

 

Maisy and Jess enjoying the sun in Simon’s new garden.

The RSPCA also offers advice to cat owners looking to prevent their kitties from coming into contact with poisonous plants:

  • Keep houseplants in containers out of your kitty’s reach. Pick up any fallen leaves or petals so your cat isn’t tempted to eat them.
  • Keep a close eye on your cat when he’s indoors.
  • Make sure your cat’s access to the house (say, through his cat-flap) is free from poisonous plants.
  • Make sure your cat’s water supply is also free from hazardous plants; if your cat drinks from a bowl, change the water regularly.





Pesticides, Insecticides And Other Chemicals

There’s no accounting for taste – weirdly enough, some chemicals taste particularly good to cats. To stop your furry friend getting the hunger pangs for something hazardous, keep pesticides, insecticides and household chemicals locked firmly away.

  • Antifreeze
  • Bleach
  • Detergents
  • De-icing salts (which pets may walk through, then lick from their pads)
  • Dog flea and tick medication (pills, collars, sprays, shampoos)
  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Insect and rodent bait

In addition, the RSPCA advises that you put your cat in another part of the house when using chemicals indoors, and that you shut him indoors if you have to use chemicals outside – say in the garden or garage. Better to be safe than sorry!


Human Food

We all know how tempting it can be to give in to those big, sad eyes when your cat is begging at the dinner table.

However, some delicious human foods can prove poisonous to our feline friends, so it’s best to avoid giving your cat snacks that are outside his normal diet. This list (from Pets at Web MD) can help you decide what’s good for puss, and what definitely isn’t!

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine (coffee, soda, tea)
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol (found in sugarless gums, candies, toothpastes)
  • Yeast dough

While you might be shocked to find one of the all-time favourite human foods on there – namely, chocolate! – this sweet treat can be particularly harmful to our furry friends.

According to Catster, chocolate contains large amounts of methylxanthines, which, if cats eat lots of them, can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, excessive thirst, urination, hyperactivity, and in severe cases, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors and seizures.

Remember: if you’re in any doubt, or you think your cat might have been poisoned, talk to a vet immediately. Don’t try and make your cat vomit, as this might do more harm than good – instead, search online for your nearest emergency cat centre or cat veterinarian.

 

 


General Cat Safety!

It’s impossible to keep your kitty out of trouble 100% of the time. All you can do is try to cat-proof your home as much as possible, so that your purry pal has the best chance of leading a safe and healthy life.

A little common sense goes a long way with cats. As well as keeping poisonous and harmful substances away from your kitty, keep an eye out for the following dangers:

  • Items that can choke your cat: small bones, dental floss, wire, toys with small parts.
  • Items that can burn your cat: hair curlers/straighteners, open fires, irons
  • Items that can fall on your cat: heavy items on high shelves / on the edge of counters

With a watchful eye and a little fore-thought, you can help your cat have a long and happy life. And while they’ll undoubtedly get into plenty of trouble, hopefully it won’t be anything too serious! ? ?

Text written by Lorrie Harthorn.

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Sources and further reading:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/top-10-cat-poisons

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/cats/health/poisoning

http://www.catster.com/cat-food/household-hazards-for-cats

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