You name it and cats can get into it. Some cats will actually seek out things to chew, eat, or destroy. If this sounds familiar, you should be aware that there are many items in your house that can be toxic to cats.
While it’s alright for your cat to eat things that aren’t toxic like catnip or mint, it’s good to be aware of what your cat is getting into to make sure she’s not putting herself at risk. Part of being a good cat parent is knowing what things can cause her harm, and making sure they’re out of reach. There are a lot of household items that cats commonly ingest that are incredibly toxic and can even potentially be lethal.
It’s good to keep in mind that your cat just doesn’t know any better. If something looks particularly intriguing, like a ball of yarn, she’ll most likely dive in without a second thought, and it’s up to you to make sure she’s not putting herself in harms way.
Whether you’ve just brought home a kitten or you’ve had a cat for years, knowing what toxins are present in your home will help you feel more comfortable letting your cat roam free. Your cat deserves to be safe in her own home, and hiding any potential toxins or just getting rid of them altogether is a good way to start.
Why Our Cats Need Our Help
The biggest reason why cats need you to keep them safe is because they’re unable to spit anything out. Cats have barbs on their tongue that face backwards. If you’ve ever noticed the rough feeling of your cat’s tongue when she licks you, you’ve felt the barbs on her tongue. Because of the way they face, the barbs make it almost physically impossible for your cat to spit anything out. The way her body is designed, if your cat eats something she shouldn’t, there’s no way for her to save herself.
Your cat is curious, so make sure she can explore your home safely without getting into trouble. There are many things that cats commonly ingest, so we’ve compiled them here to help you avoid the biggest risks.
Keep These Products That Are Toxic to Cats Out of Reach
Yarn, string, ribbon, tinsel, cassette tapes (yes, people still have them!), and other items that are easy to get tangled in are serious dangers to your cat’s health. While it might seem fun to give your cat a ball of yarn to play with, eating it can cause a blockage in her body from her throat to her intestines depending on where it gets stuck.
Potpourri is a common thing in many homes as a solution to avoiding a fire hazard with candles, and while it can add a nice smell to your home, it’s actually toxic to cats. The oils in potpourri are attractive to cats because of their aromas. If your cat eats it, the oils can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Ingesting potpourri also has the potential to cause liver damage, which is an even bigger problem.
If you have medications around the house, whether they’re for you and your family or for other pets, make sure they’re not where your cat can find them. Medications that contain acetaminophen are 70 percent more toxic to cats than they are to dogs. The medicine can reach the blood stream within 30 minutes and cause all kinds of damage to red blood cells and the liver very quickly.
Easter lilies are another common poison that homeowners might not be aware of. The flowers are one of the more toxic things your cat can run into within the comforts of her own home. Everything from the stems, leaves, petals, and even pollen is enough to put your cat at risk. Ingesting easter lilies can quickly affect the kidneys, leading to kidney failure and even death if left untreated for too long.
Rat poison and cigarettes are things you might be aware of as toxic to cats. But it’s important to know the outcomes if ingested so you know what to watch for. Rat poison is often attractive to cats, and if eaten it can cause bleeding both internally and externally.
Leaving your pack of cigarettes out on the counter where your cat can reach them is a big risk. The nicotine in cigarettes is toxic to cats and can lead to a multitude of health issues like seizures, weakness, and possible collapse.
No matter what your cat eats, if you think that it could be toxic, don’t waste any time contacting your veterinarian or local emergency clinic. In situations like these, the longer you wait the more danger your cat will be in. Most toxins are treatable, but the sooner you get help, the better.