There are many substances in the home that can harm cats, so cat owners must know what can cause their kittens to be harmed. Keeping hazardous materials out of the cat’s reach or locked up, and checking labels before feeding your cat can help reduce the likelihood of your cat ingesting these items.
Why are some substances harmful to cats?
Cats metabolize many things differently than humans and dogs, so this means their bodies may be absorbing things in a way that could harm them. Sometimes serious complications such as heart, kidney or liver failure can occur when cats ingest or come into contact with unsafe substances, but sometimes it just causes gastrointestinal discomfort such as vomiting and diarrhea. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, though, it’s best to avoid items that can be uncomfortable and toxic to cats.
Other substances may not be suitable for cats to eat and may cause problems such as obstructions and foreign bodies in cats. Small toys, holiday decorations and household items that are small enough for cats to swallow can cause serious problems even if they are not toxic.
Which substances are unsafe for cats?
- Alpha Lipoic Acid: This ingredient is used as an antioxidant in some dog and human products, but is toxic to cats.It can cause hypoglycemia, seizures, and liver toxicity in cats.
- caffeine: Large amounts of caffeine can cause serious problems in cats.It’s not usually a problem for a cat to just lick your coffee, but if it eats ground coffee or caffeine pills designed for humans, it can cause problems with its internal organs and nervous system.
- alcohol: Cats should not drink alcohol.
- chocolate: Since chocolate contains not only sugar and caffeine, but also theobromine, heart and brain complications can occur. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to cats, and if enough is eaten, death can occur.
- Dairy: Despite popular belief, cats who are no longer nursing do not have the digestive capacity to break down the proteins and sugars in dairy products. Diarrhea can occur if an adult cat eats or drinks dairy.
- Curcumin: Some extracts from this plant, commonly known as turmeric, often cause cats to vomit, so they are best avoided. They are commonly found in dog and human supplements.
- drug: There are many drugs or medications that can be toxic to cats.Taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) in cats can cause methemoglobinemia in the blood to reduce the ability of oxygen to deliver to cells, which can lead to seizures and, in severe cases, death. In addition to acetaminophen, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, heart medications, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and ADD/ADHD medications can also be fatal to cats if ingested. Never give human medicines to cats without veterinary advice, as many medicines are toxic to them. In addition to unique toxicities, acceptable drug doses for cats are often quite different from those for dogs and humans.
- Essential oils: Essential oils, especially in high concentrations, can be toxic to cats, whether inhaled or applied topically.The general rule is to never apply essential oils to pets, because in addition to skin-to-skin contact, they also ingest essential oils while “grooming” themselves. Different oils have different levels of toxicity based on their concentration, formulation, etc. Essential oil poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, falls, etc. Does that mean you can’t have an oil diffuser? The ASPCA says not necessarily. It is recommended that if you do have an oil diffuser, keep it away from pets and always make sure they have a way to escape the area where the diffuser is.
- Grapes and Raisins: It’s unclear whether grapes and raisins affect cats as much as dogs, but there have been reports of kidney failure in cats who consume them. Therefore, it is best to avoid letting cats eat these things.
- plant: When you own a cat, be very careful about the plants you bring into your home. Seemingly harmless flowers such as lilies (Easter lily, tiger lily, and other members of the Liliaceae family) can cause acute kidney failure and death with seemingly minimal exposure.Our advice is to always check on the ASPCA website to make sure they are safe for cats before bringing flowers or plants into your home (including those in a bouquet you receive). Autumn crocus, amaryllis, rhododendron, chrysanthemum, daisy, chrysanthemum, cyclamen, oleander, narcissus, evergreen (dumb vine), hyacinth, kalanchoe (mother-in-law plant), lily, lily of the valley, Peace lily, dill, devil’s weed ivy, Spanish thyme, marijuana, narcissus, English ivy, mistletoe, poinsettia, yew, castor, rhododendron, sago palm, tulip plants and other plants and herbs that may be harmful to cats Unsafe or toxic. Ingesting some of these plants or herbs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart problems, and even death.
- Onions, chives and garlic: These edible plants can cause serious blood problems, such as ruptured red blood cells in cats, and should not be fed.
- String item: Wire, dental floss, yarn, Easter grass, and other linear items are known to be eaten by cats and cause foreign bodies. They can cut through the tongue and intestines and be life-threatening.
- Yeast Dough: If a cat eats a dough that contains yeast, it can cause problems for the cat due to the leavening of the yeast and the swelling of the dough in the stomach.
- Chemicals: Exposure to antifreeze, bleach, detergents, deicing salts that cats step on and lick their paws on, dog flea and tick medications, fertilizers, herbicides, insect and rodent baits, and other household chemicals can be toxic to cats and Causes various problems such as seizures and death.
- Other small items: Anything small enough to swallow, including toys intended for cats or children, can cause problems in cats. Blockages and foreign bodies can occur, and sometimes even toxicity, depending on the composition of the item.
What should you do if your cat has eaten an unsafe substance?
If your cat has eaten something unsafe, you should contact a pet poison center. Pet Poison Helpline (855) 764-7661or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435Charge a fee for their services but be able to give you details and advice based on the specific food your cat eats. Depending on the recommendation, a veterinary examination may be required.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your veterinarian right away. For health-related questions, be sure to consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know your pet’s health history, and can provide the best advice for your pet.