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What you need to know about lawn fertilizers and your cat

Even if your cat is strictly indoors, the chemicals you use on your lawn and garden can make him sick.
Even if your cat is strictly indoors, the chemicals you use on your lawn and garden can make him sick.
Eve-Angeline Mitchell

Even if your cat is a strictly indoor cat, it's possible for him to suffer the effects of toxic lawn chemicals. It's possible to track the chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides that you use on your lawn indoors on your shoes, thus exposing your cat to their harmful effects.

According to Dr. Karen Becker, before you start worrying about your kitty's health, you should know what signs and symptoms to look for. Obvious signs of poisoning from these chemicals are drooling, eye discharge, nausea and vomiting, muscle twitches, abdominal pain, an unsteady gait, and even collapse.

However, he might not develop those symptoms. In fact, Dr. Becker says that insecticides might cause the opposite of these signs. However, as with any changes in your pet's behavior, you should get him to the vet if something seems wrong. Make sure you let your vet know what chemicals you've been using in your yard so that he has a better idea of what to look for. Even if your cat is showing symptoms, those symptoms can be signs of an awful lot of other problems, too.

To reduce his exposure, you can use organic, or other human and pet-safe products on your lawn, so that you don't have to worry about what you're tracking in. You can also get into the habit of taking your shoes off before you step inside so you don't track anything in. Also, if you have indoor-outdoor pets, make sure you wipe their feet off with a clean, damp cloth before bringing them inside again.

Compost and grass clippings help to fertilize your lawn, too, without danger to your cat. In fact, you can collect your grass clippings and put them into your compost bin, or mix them in with compost you get from a garden store. Or you can take the bag off your mower and rake them in, also.

Protecting your pets doesn’t mean neglecting your yard. You can have a beautiful yard that's still safe for your pets, whether they're indoors or outdoors.