Tips on Avoiding Home Improvement Toxicity in Cats

The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced that they managed more than 116,000 calls to its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline in 2006, several of which pertained to common household items.

In 2006, approximately 2,100 cases involving paint, solvents, expanding glues and other products commonly used in construction were managed by the APCC-up 17 percent from 2005. While the majority of water-based paints are low in toxic potential, they can still cause stomach upset, and artist paints sometimes contain heavy metals that could be poisonous if consumed in large quantities. In addition, solvents can be very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, eyes and skin, and could also produce central nervous system depression if ingested, or pneumonia if inhaled.

"Prevention is really key to avoiding problems from accidental exposures to these substances," says Dr. Hansen. "Pet parents should keep pets out of areas where home improvement projects are taking place, and of course label directions should always be followed when using any product."

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