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These Six Substances Can Poison Your Cat

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You’ve heard the catchphrase, “curiosity killed the cat.” In that sense, as much as cats are delightful pets to have around, they also have bad habits of licking, ingesting, and sticking their noses into random things. Yet, we can’t blame them, because curiosity is second nature to cats.

Now, with countless things lurking around your household, you can never be sure of what your cat will come across in their house expedition. Unless you do some research on substances that are toxic to cats and keep them away, you may find yourself in an unpleasant situation that may be fatal to your beloved cat. To get you proactive, we’ve compiled a list of some toxic things that can be dangerous to your feline:

1. Human Medicine

Over the counter drugs, NSAID painkillers, and prescription meds are a popular group of cat toxicants as listed by APCC. As such, always communicate your vet before administering new medication to your cat and keep med-bottles tightly closed and safely stored.

2. Human Food

If you constantly give your feline human food, you should reconsider it. Common vegetables and cooking ingredients like onions, garlic,grapes, raisins and currants are hugely poisonous to cats. Not only do they cause sickness but also death in more serious cases. Other substances include; caffeine, marijuana, alcohol, and Xylitol known to drop cat blood sugar and cause liver failure.

3. Chocolate

The next time you’re eating chocolate, and your cat begs for some, don’t even think about it! While slight chocolate amounts may only cause mild sickness, ingestion of significant amounts is deadly, depending on your cat’s size and the darkness of the chocolate. Why? Because cats can't digest theobromine found in chocolate. Similarly, keep your cat away from foods that contain chocolate in the ingredients.

4. Plants and Household Items

Both attractive and some particularly sweet-smelling, many common flowers and plants are poisonous to cats. For example, the lily flower family and sago palm plants are known to be entirely lethal and can cause kidney failure if ingested. If you have a cat, toxic plants cannot be in your house or garden. Furthermore, home materials like glue, paint and detergents should be kept away.

5. Pesticides

Most pesticides are poisonous and account for a substantial number of cat casualties. Rodenticides particularly are designed to look pleasant and may lure your cat to eating them. Moreover, fertilizers and other garden products can cause severe damage should cats eat them. Ensure these items are out of reach from your cat.

6. Veterinary Products

Prescribed drugs are safe to use, but ensure that you carefully monitor the dosage and keep them isolated from cats. Most cat drugs are flavored and chewable for easy administration, meaning that should your cat reach them, they could easily consume the whole pack.

What to Do if Your Cat is Poisoned

If your cat is exposed to something toxic, every minute matters. Quickly follow these steps;

1. Watch for symptoms - some poisoned cats may appear normal and will not show signs right away. Nevertheless, some symptoms will show up more gradually and include: dyspnea, diarrhea, vomiting, dilated pupils, shivering, coughing, seizures, irritation, and many more.

2. Call your vet - don't panic but swiftly call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center for assistance.

3. Collect samples - carefully collect any samples of vomit, stool, and any material your cat may have ingested. This will assist your vet in determining the toxins involved and quickly administer the correct remedy. Don’t force your cat to vomit unless instructed so by your vet.

It's a given that cats will eat just about anything. The best approach to decrease the chances of your cat poisoning itself is by preventing contact with hazardous substances. This, in turn, will avert life-threatening experiences and save you from unplanned vet-costs.

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