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Liquid Potpourri

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Poisonous to: Cats

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe

Common signs to watch for:

  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Retching
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Organ damage

Filling your house with the smell of nutmeg or pine for the holidays may seem inviting—but if you’re partial to heating your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat; even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry—so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach. When cats take even a few licks of liquid potpourri, it can result in corrosive burns to the mouth, along with signs of pawing at the mouth, difficulty breathing, inappetance, vomiting, retching, weakness, fever, difficulty breathing, tremors, and occasionally, more severe organ damage.

If your cat took even a few licks of liquid potpourri, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment recommendations.

Poison type: Household Items

Alternate names: Essential oils, corrosive