Cats explore their world through their mouth and nose. They are curious and want to investigate everything. Unfortunately, their curiosity can get them into trouble. Cats can consume hazardous items that are detrimental to their health and even cause fatality. From cleaning products to plants, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with toxic items and to keep them away from cats.
List of Items Toxic to Cats
- Household Cleaners: Common household cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, and drain cleaners can be very toxic to cats. If ingested, cats may experience profuse drooling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and chemical burns to the mouth and esophagus. To keep your cat safe, make sure these products are stored in a secure location and all excess liquid or residue is wiped up and dried before allowing your cat back into the area.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, and Cymbalta can be highly poisonous to cats. Of these, Effexor is particularly attractive to cats due to its smell and flavor. If ingested, cats may experience anorexia, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, seizures, hyperthermia, and diarrhea. While antidepressants may be used occasionally in veterinary medicine to treat behavioral problems, caution must be taken as moderate to severe clinical signs can occur, even with therapeutic doses.
- Topical Spot-On Insecticides: Concentrated topical flea and tick medications made for dogs contain pyrethrins or pyrethroids, which are highly toxic to cats. Cats can be poisoned if pet owners apply dog insecticides on them, or if they lick the medications off dogs. Symptoms of poisoning include severe drooling, tremors, and potentially life-threatening seizures. It is important to read labels carefully before using any kind of insecticide on pets. It is recommended to consult a veterinarian before administering any kind of medicine to your pet.
- Toxic Plants: Lilies are the most toxic plants for cats. Common species, Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show, are particularly dangerous; even small ingestions of two or three petals or leaves can cause severe, potentially irreversible kidney failure. Unfortunately, lilies are often used in floral arrangements due to their fragrant smell and long-lasting nature. Other plants that are toxic to cats include cyclamen, Kalanchoe species, Dieffenbachia species, daffodils, and Lily of the Valley. Be sure to keep these plants away from cats to ensure their safety.
- NSAIDs: NSAIDS can be fatal to cats due to their difficulty metabolizing the drugs. This includes popular over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Ingestion of NSAIDS can result in severe kidney failure and stomach ulcers. Acetaminophen is also dangerous and just one tablet can be fatal to a cat. If left untreated, ingestion can lead to severe anemia, difficulty breathing, a swollen face, liver failure, and possible death.
It’s important to keep cats away from these toxins in order to keep them safe. If your cat may have ingested something hazardous, take action immediately by contacting your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661.