The third week in March is National Poison Prevention Week and today we want to discuss what that means to your cat and you.
There are many things in and around your home that can be poisonous to your cat. For the most part cats stay away from foul smelling things, but on occasion a mischievous cat can get into something that is bad for it. Or, an accidental exposure can occur.
What kinds of things are poisonous?
Some of the items on this list are common sense, but some may surprise you. The things that can be harmful, even deadly to your cat include but are not limited to:
- Cleaning products, such as bleach, Borax, detergents, disinfectants, drain cleaners, furniture polish, Goo-Gone, wood preservatives, air fresheners and deodorizers.
- Citrus oils – the essential oils used in aromatherapy products can cause drooling, weakness, trembling, hyperthermia, and death.
- Insecticides, such as flea and tick products.
- Rat and mouse poisons.
- Certain types of fertilizer and garden products ingested directly or through contaminated food or water.
- Chemical hazards, found in ethylene glycol antifreeze, paint thinner, drain cleaners and pool/spa chemicals.
- People food like grapes, raisins, avocado and gum.
- Common houseplants such as such as azalea, bird of paradise, corn stalk plants, cyclamen, dieffenbachia, lilies, philodendron, rhododendron and sago palms. For a complete list of poisonous plants, consult the Water Bowl list of Toxic Plants.
- Human medication, such as painkillers, cold medications, antidepressants and dietary supplements.
- Improperly dispensed veterinary medicine.
- Lead, zinc and mercury, often found in consumer products, paint chips, linoleum, and lead dust.
Symptoms of poisoning can show up any where from minutes to hours depending on what your cat has ingested.
Poisoning symptoms include difficulty breathing, excessive salivation, drooling, vomiting, runny eyes, diarrhea, seizures and coma.
If you think your cat has ingested a poisonous substance, contact your vet or local vet emergency hospital immediately.
You can also call the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
The Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is staffed by 16 veterinarians including 4 board-certified animal toxicologists and 6 certified veterinary technicians.
Please note that a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
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