The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) received nearly 166,000 calls in 2011 about pets exposed to poisonous substances. Protect your cat by educating yourself on poisonous plants, foods, and household products and removing them in advance from your home.
When you've made the loving decision to buy or adopt a cat, keeping it safe is one of the most important aspects of that commitment. That's why you need to learn about plants, foods, and household products that are poisonous to cats. Begin with a thorough inventory of your home, garage, and yard. Then promptly toss, replace, or securely store any dangerous products.
Here are some household items likely found in your home or garage that could be a danger to your cat:
In general, sharing table scraps with cats isn't recommended given the very specific dietary requirements they have. Beyond that, it's important to know which foods are toxic and should be kept behind closed doors. Here are some important examples:
Many indoor and outdoor plants are poisonous to cats. A few of the more common ones are listed below. If you have questions about your plantings, it's always a good idea to check with your veterinarian.
Your cat's reaction to specific toxins can vary, but there are some signs and symptoms to let you know something is wrong. A few to report immediately to your vet include abdominal pain (your cat's stomach will be sensitive to the touch), a chemical odor on the body, coma, convulsions, diarrhea, excessive drooling, nervous twitching, and vomiting.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten something toxic, call your vet or the ASPCA 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center's (APCC) hotline at 888/426-4435. Stay calm and be prepared to offer as much information as you can, including details on your cat's breed, age, sex, weight, what you think your pet has ingested and when, and the symptoms. There is a fee for using the ASPCA hotline, but it will most likely be a small price to pay in exchange for possibly saving your pet's life.