Hi guys. Today I wanna take some time out for a Public Service Announcement. Did you know that this week, March 19-25, is National Poison Prevention Week? And while there’s a lot done to educate parents about poison prevention for children, we shouldn’t forget that pets are just as vunerable.
Us cats, being the curious animals that we are, get into stuff that we shouldn’t. Every year, many cats are poisoned because they eat or drink something that is harmful to them…usually every day things around your house or yard. So I wanna remind all you cat parents out there of some of these things that could pose a danger to your cat.
Lilies. Yep, these flowers may be pretty but they’re very deadly to cats. Eating just one or two leaves, flower pieces, pollen or even drinking water from the vase may cause kidney failure in cats. And at Easter time, these plants are more available and likely to be brought into the home. You definitely want to keep all lily plants as far away from cats as possible. The best thing? If you have cats…keep lilies out of your house.
Flea and tick medications. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t use flea and tick medications on your cat if he or she needs it, but many times humans use ones that aren’t purchased through a veterinarian. These products are generally safe when used as directed. Problem is…humans, being humans, don’t read the directions and may use a product not designed for a cat or the cat’s actual body weight. When used incorrectly, cats can suffer tremors, seizures and sometimes even death. If you’re gonna use one of these over-the-counter flea products, please make sure to use the correct product for your cat.
Household cleaners. Most cleaners are fairly safe if diluted properly and used as directed. But some of the more concentrated cleaners like toilet bowl, oven and drain cleaners are not safe for cats and can cause chemical burns in the mouth and throat if a cat should drink it. No matter what, you should keep all household cleaners in places cats can’t reach or get into.
Medications. All human medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, should be kept far away from cats. Cats are particularly sensitive to medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. If eaten, even in small doses, these can cause gastrointestinal upset, ulcers and possibly kidney failure. Acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, is deadly to cats and should never ever be given to a cat.
Let me share a story with you. When I was younger cat, about a year old, I accidently ate a little bit of Motrin. The dad-guy had mistakenly left a plastic bag containing some Motrin pills on the kitchen counter and…being the plastic chewer that I am…I couldn’t resist. When the mom discovered the plastic bag on the floor with a few chewed-on pills, she immediately took me to the emergency vet clinic because, of course, it was after my own vet had closed for the day. When they pieced together the broken pills, it appeared that I really didn’t eat much…I mostly chewed on the plastic bag. But the vet didn’t want to take any chances, and gave me something to counteract the medication and did blood work to make sure I was okay. I was lucky…I was okay and didn’t have any issues. From then on, the mom became fanatical about keeping medications away from us. And you should keep them away from your cats, too.
Onions, chives, leeks and shallots. While these may be tasty in human foods, if a cat eats these it can cause damage to the red blood cells. They can also cause gastrointestinal problems as well. It’s best to keep these and foods containing them away from cats.
Chocolate. As tasty as this might be for humans…I know the mom loves her chocolate…cats should never eat any kind of chocolate. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate are the most dangerous and even small amounts are toxic.
You know the saying…curiosity killed the cat? Let’s not have that become a reality. Please make sure you keep those things that may be a danger to your cats in places safely away from them.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten something that it shouldn’t have, please call your vet immediately, or you can contact the ASPCA national poison control hotline at 888-426-4435. In fact, you should keep your vet’s number and this hotline number next to your phone or in your contacts in your cell phone. I hope you’ll never need to use it.
Okay, that’s my PSA for today…it’s time for a nap.