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Glow Jewelry: Is It Toxic to Cats?

Many people are familiar with glow jewelry sold at carnivals, fairs and novelty stores. But when we take the jewelry home, we may have a problem: our inquisitive pets may chew on the jewelry.

The active ingredient in most glow jewelry and other glow in the dark products is dibutyl phthalate. This substance has low toxicity and there has not been a report of an animal poisoned by it’s ingestion. In fact, massive amounts of dibutyl phthalate would need to be ingested before any toxic signs develop.

Despite the fact that it is non-toxic, cats that chew on glow jewelry can suddenly exhibit very strange and startling behavior. Most cats begin profuse drooling. Some start to run around frantically and some may even growl or become aggressive. This is thought to be related to the unpleasant taste of dibutyl phthalate. Without any treatment, most cats return to normal in a few minutes.

If your pet has ingested dibutyl phthalate, encourage her to drink a small amount of tuna juice or milk or eat some canned cat food. This will help dilute the taste of the dibutyl phthalate. Even rinsing the mouth out with water can help reduce the signs associated with glow jewelry exposure.

Even after rinsing the mouth, you may want to bathe your pet. This will remove any dibutyl that may have leaked out of the tooth marks and onto the pet’s hair coat.