Top Household Hazards for Cats
Your cat is curious, sticking his nose into random spaces and places. Exploring may expose him to some not so obvious dangers in your home. It just takes a bit of time and know-how to “cat-proof” your house so your kitty stays healthy and safe.
Many human over-the-counter and prescription medicines pose a serious threat to your cat, so keep them in a place he can’t get into.
Pain relievers (acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen)
Vitamins and other supplements
You may have heard that some common medicines work for people and cats. Never medicate your cat without first talking to your vet, though -- it's easy to give your cat a fatal overdose.
Many cats crave people food, but this human fare can be poisonous to your feline:
Caffeine (coffee, soda, tea)
Xylitol (found in sugarless gums, candies, toothpastes)
Indoor and Outdoor Plants
Common houseplants -- as well as ones that you may bring into your home -- can be hazardous to your cat's health:
Insecticides and Other Chemicals
Some chemicals taste especially good to cats. To prevent accidental pet poisoning, keep these and all chemicals locked away:
De-icing salts (which pets may walk through, then lick from their pads)
Dog flea and tick medication (pills, collars, sprays, shampoos)
Insect and rodent bait
More Household Hazards
These common household items can choke or strangle your cat. Some may even lead to intestinal blockages.
Dental floss, yarn, string
Holiday decorations, including lights and tinsel
Toys with small or movable parts
If Your Cat’s Been Poisoned
Every moment matters if you think your cat has been exposed to something toxic.
Call your vet. Post your veterinarian's phone number in an obvious place, along with the number for the Animal Poison Control Center: (800) 213-6680 (fee applies). They can help you know what to do next. If your vet is not available, contact one of the local emergency animal hospitals such as Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital (www.tveh.ca) immediately.
Collect samples. Take samples of vomit, stool, and the poison your cat consumed to the vet with your cat.
Watch for symptoms. Symptoms of poisoning in cats include: