Poison Prevention Month: Keeping your Cat Safe from Poisons

The month of March is Poison Prevention Month for pets. Of course, as pet parents, we are always concerned about their protection, but this month in particular, we are paying close attention to this issue and sharing many tips on ways to keep your pets safe. While dogs and cats have many similarities when it comes to poisons, there are also some differences so we’d like to focus on things that are especially toxic for cats and offer some tips on keeping your cat safe from poisons.

DANGERS

One of the more challenging aspects when it comes to keeping cats safe is the fact that they, by nature, are more agile creatures than dogs. We don’t typically see our dogs jumping up on the kitchen counter or walking along the narrow ledge of a fence the way cats do. This fact alone makes them more vulnerable because it’s difficult to keep things away from them, which requires a little extra diligence for cat parents.  Since cats do like to climb on the kitchen counter, let’s start there:

Kitchen Dangers: Coffee, Tea, Soda, Grapes, Raisins, Chocolate, Onions, and anything containing Xylitol, such as hard candy and gum.  If you own a cat, make sure these items are not left out on the counter where your cat can easily get into them should he or she leap onto the counter.

Plant Dangers: As Spring approaches and we prepare for gardening season, know that there are some plants that are especially dangerous to cats, such as Lillies, Tulips, Rhododendron, Azaleas and Chrysanthemums. Even is these are some of your personal favorites, if you own a cat, it’s best to find some other “cat-safe” plants to grace your home and yard.

Household Dangers: Other things that can be a temptation for cats include detergents, Anti-freeze, bleach, insect and rodent bait and fertilizers.

SIGNS OF POISON

Symptoms of exposure to poisons can range from minor, such as skin irritations, to much more urgent, like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, shivering and seizures. Sometimes these can be immediate and sometimes more gradual. If you suspect that your cat has gotten into something toxic, call your vet right away and begin treatment as soon as possible.  It can be helpful to take a stool sample in order to help the vet determine the cause of the poison if you’re unsure.

KEEPING CATS SAFE

It can be a challenge to keep cats safe among so many household dangers, especially when cats can more easily gain access to these dangers. However, the first step is to ensure that all potential dangers, both inside and outside, are properly sealed in containers that your cat can’t access. Also, be mindful of the types of plants that are around your home; avoiding those that you know are toxic and choosing ones that are not only beautiful but safe for your cat as well.

We hope you have found this information helpful and we hope you’ll do a thorough check around your home to ensure your cat stays safe and healthy.

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