Wednesday, March 25, 2015

10 Household Items That Are Poisonous to Cats

Infographic Courtesy of Pets Best Pet Insurance for Dogs and Cats
Pets, like babies, require having the house patrolled for anything that might be poisonous to them before they are allowed free rein in that environment. To that end, Dr. Eva Evans, who is a veterinarian as well as a writer for Pets Best (, a pet insurance company for both dogs and cats, has compiled a list of 10 household items that are poisonous to cats.

Many common items found in or around the house can make cats very ill, and some are even toxic for felines. Pet owners can help keep their cats safe by keeping them away from the potential poisons listed below:

1. Rat poison
Also known as rodenticide, this toxic substance inhibits Vitamin K and causes severe and potentially fatal internal bleeding if not treated.

2. Lilies
This is possibly the most common deadly house plant for cats. Cats that eat any part of the plant or even drink the water from the lily vase can develop fatal kidney failure if not caught early and treated aggressively.

3. Marijuana
This recreational drug can cause profound effects in cats including hallucination, muscle tremors, depression and difficulty breathing.

4. Chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine, which is toxic to cats. Cats are more sensitive to caffeine, which is also found in coffee, tea, caffeine pills and energy drinks, than dogs. Cats can experience tremors, seizures, coma and death as a result of consuming chocolate and other caffeinated products.

5. Ibuprofen
This human anti-inflammatory (i.e. Advil) can cause severe damage to the kidneys, liver and GI tract of cats. Ibuprofen can cause severe bleeding ulcers which can make cats anemic and these cats may require a blood transfusion. Cats are especially sensitive to Ibuprofen and should never be given this drug.

6. Aspirin
This anti-inflammatory can cause the same kidney and stomach problems as Ibuprofen. However, aspirin is an anti-coagulant, which means that it prevents platelets from clotting. This can cause internal bleeding in cats. There are rare circumstances in which Aspirin may be useful in ultra-low doses, but do not give Aspirin to your cat unless specifically prescribed by your veterinarian.

7. Acetaminophen
Cats lack the ability to properly metabolize acetaminophen, i.e. Tylenol, which leads to severe and potentially fatal anemia. When this happens, cats experience respiratory distress, swelling in the face and paws, vomiting and hypothermia, followed by death.

8. Sago Palm
This southwest desert ornamental palm is extremely toxic to cats and dogs. Ingesting even a small amount can cause liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and death.

9. Amaryllis
The outer layer of the bulb is the most toxic part of this beautiful holiday plant. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and liver damage.

10. English Ivy
While the toxicity of this plant is mild, it can cause discomfort in the mouth and throat if the berries and leaves are eaten by cats.

If you suspect your cat has ingested or been exposed to any of the above items, call your veterinarian immediately. If your veterinarian’s office is closed, call the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. They can help you determine the next best steps, which could include bringing your cat in for emergency treatment.

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Thanks to Dr. Eva Evans and Pets Best Pet Insurance for Dogs and Cats for sharing this important information.

NOTE: I did not receive any payment in any form for blogging this information. It was my choice to post this for cat owners' information, to help keep their pets safe, healthy and happy.

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