A Guide to Poison Prevention for Cats

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Americans spend billions on pet food annually. Despite their owners often buying the best food available, some cats would rather eat what we eat. However, certain human foods can prove dangerous to your feline, causing varying degrees of illness.

Human foods with strong poisoning potential for cats include:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, and Plums
  • Avocados
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Fatty Foods
  • Dairy Products
  • Grapes and Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Moldy or Spoiled Food
  • Nutmeg
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Yeast Dough


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Poisonous Plants and Your Cat

Plants are attractive to cats. Though they’re strict carnivores, cats like the texture of certain plants, especially those that have grass-like leaves or fine texture, such as baby’s breath, ferns, and dried flowers. Most plants will at least act as an emetic, meaning your cat will vomit soon after eating. Consumption of other plants can lead to kidney or liver failure, seizures, or even death.

To effectively treat a plant-poisoning problem, it’s important for you and your vet to know specifically what plant your cat consumed. Since both common names and scientific names are used, make sure the identity is correct. If you’re unsure, bring the plant to your vet for identification.

In order to protect your cat from plant poisoning, it’s important to:

  • Keep known poisonous plants out of your cat’s reach.
  • Watch for plants that have been chewed on.
  • Monitor your cat for symptoms of poisoning.
  • Take your cat to the vet if you suspect he’s consumed a poisonous plant.

Nicotine Toxicity in Cats

Nicotine is toxic for cats. The most common source of nicotine is tobacco products like cigarettes, cigarette butts, and even nicotine gum and patches. Some cats are attracted to the products like chewing tobacco that are supplemented with flavors such as honey and sugar.

If you suspect your feline has ingested nicotine, consult your vet right away. Immediate treatment involves reducing the amount of nicotine in the stomach while keeping your cat alive until the nicotine is broken down by the body. This can be accomplished through inducing vomiting, introducing intravenous fluids, or pumping a cat’s stomach.

Despite treatment, some cats that have ingested large amounts of nicotine may not survive. If an animal survives the first four to five hours, the prognosis is considered good. Most nicotine is eliminated from the body within 16 to 20 hours.

Resources for Cat Poison Prevention

Want more useful advice regarding keeping your feline safe from poisons? Check out our featured articles:


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