6 Common Household Items That Are Poisonous to Cats

National Poison Prevention Week, established in 1961, falls on the third week of March. It’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about cat toxins to prevent pet poisoning and ensure your home is safe for your feline friend. 

6 Common Household Items That Are Toxic to Cats

Here are six common household items you need to keep out of reach to prevent unintentional poisonings and promote cat safety:

#1 Toxic Plants: Greenery adds warmth and beauty to our homes. But did you know that some plants, such as lilies, tulips, daffodils, philodendron, foxglove, and Japanese yew, are toxic and very dangerous for cats? Lilies are particularly harmful, with one bite of a petal or leaf enough to cause serious damage to a cat! Even lapping up a small amount of water from the vase or a lick of pollen can result in serious, potentially acute kidney failure. 

#2 Household Cleaners: Whatever you do, make sure to keep laundry detergents, toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, and any household cleaning products away from your cat. When ingested, these toxic items can cause chemical burns, profuse drooling, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or even death. 

#3 People Foods: Foods humans love to indulge in, such as onions, garlic, chives, can cause serious cat problems, including red blood cell damage. Grapes and raisins are also toxic, with even a tiny amount able to cause kidney failure. Chocolate is another yummy snack that’s best kept for human consumption. 

#4 Medications: Never give your cat any medication or painkillers unless directed to do so by your veterinarian. Many drugs that are safe for humans, such as acetaminophen, can be deadly to cats, even in tiny amounts. Also, avoid contact with your furry friend if you’ve applied medicated creams or ointments to your skin. The same goes for makeup and cosmetics, which can also be poisonous to cats. 

#5 Antifreeze or Ethyl Glycol:  Ethylene glycol is an odorless liquid that’s found in most automotive antifreeze products. Cats are attracted to its sweet taste, so be mindful of spills or leaks onto garage floors or driveways. If ingested, just a tiny amount of antifreeze can cause kidney failure, or worse yet, it can result in fatality. 

#6 Pest Control Products: Nobody wants to have unwelcome guests in their homes. However, mouse baits, ant or roach traps, or any types of pesticides need to be kept away from your cat. If absolutely necessary, there are pet-friendly options available to rid you of any pests while keeping your furry friend safe. 

What Are Signs of Poisoning in Cats?

Household items that are toxic to cats aren’t limited to the ones mentioned above, so it’s important to be aware of poisoning symptoms to seek life-saving help right away. The following are signs to look out for:

  • Changes in your kitty’s behavior, including energy levels, appetite, and drinking
  • Changes in litter box behavior
  • Sudden, intense vomiting or diarrhea
  • Lethargy or sudden collapse
  • Excessive drooling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pale gums or inner cheeks
  • Ulcers on the paw pads, tongue, or skin

Even if you don’t witness your cat ingesting a poisonous substance, seeing any of the above symptoms warrants an immediate visit to your veterinarian’s office. Do not force your cat to throw up unless told to do so by your vet. 

Quality Veterinary Care in Kirkland, WA

If you suspect your cat has ingested a toxic substance, your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital is here to help. Make sure to contact us immediately for an evaluation and for emergency care. You can also contact the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center for additional information.

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