Signs of Poisoning in Cats and Common Household Toxins

In the light of Poison Prevention Awareness Month, let’s explore signs of poisoning in cats and how to keep them safe.

We love our little furballs, but we all know how fussy they can be. You change their cat food, and they might turn their nose up and simply refuse to eat until you’ve reverted back to the norm. Some won’t eat food that’s too close to their water, and they want their litter boxes flawlessly clean at all times. We think of them as so particular and careful, but accidents still happen or curiosity gets the better of them, and they encounter poisons. 

Sometimes they ingest them, sometimes their skin comes into contact with certain toxins, but whatever the case, the end results can be scary and daunting for us as owners.

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and as such, Catipilla has teamed up with Pete the Vet to bring you information on signs of poisoning in cats, as well as common household toxins and poisonous plants to keep away from your cat.

The more you know, the better you’ll be able to protect your fur babies from potential harm.

Related: Cat Health Check: 10 Simple At-Home Tests

Why Even a Small Amount of Poison is Dangerous For Cats

Even a small amount of a poisonous substance can cause a lot of harm to a cat. Though they have big personalities, they’re only little creatures, so when they come into contact with a toxin, they can become very ill, very quickly. 

We all know that cats can be excessive groomers. Due to this, the most common cause of poisoning in cats is ingestion by licking poisonous substances off their fur. What’s more, cats lack certain liver enzymes, affecting their metabolism and making them more sensitive to certain chemicals and drugs. 

Related: Can Cats Get Anxiety? Signs to Look Out For

Common Poisonous Household Items for Cats

It’s horrible to think that everyday items around our home might make our pet sick, but the reality is that many common household items can poison our cats. Here are just a few examples:

  • Paracetamol — This is quite a common poisoning for cats. Cat livers find it hard to break down the active drug into harmless forms, meaning it can be lethal if ingested. 
  • Ibuprofen (painkiller)
  • Acetaminophen  (painkiller)
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus oil extracts
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Slug bait
  • Antifreeze
  • Pest control chemicals
  • Weed killers
  • Detergent 
  • Disinfectants
  • Bleach
  • Dog flea and tick medications
  • Salt Lamps
  • Xylitol
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Garlic

What Common Household Plants Are Poisonous to Cats?

Many of us love to bring the outside inside, but before you do, make sure that your favourite plant will not harm your cat. Here are common household plants that are toxic to cats:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Jade & Snake plants
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Hyacinths
  • Lilies
  • Rhododendron 
  • Sago Palm
  • Tulip

protect your pets

How to Recognize Signs of Poisoning in Cats

What if you have a suspicion that your cat has been poisoned, but you’re not sure? What signs and symptoms should you be looking out for? 

  • Drooling and vomiting
  • Intestinal issues and diarrhoea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Abnormal urination
  • Nervousness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Muscle tremors or seizures

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If You Suspect Accidental Poisoning in Your Cat

If you suspect your cat has been poisoned, as hard as it might be, you need to keep a cool head. Your pet needs you to stay calm and take charge now. The faster you act, the more likely it is that your cat will make a complete recovery.

Be sure to take the following steps — 

  1. First, you should remove your cat from the source of poison. Isolate your cat from other pets, if you have any. 
  2. If your cat has the poison on its paws or on its coat, do what you can to prevent the cat from grooming.
  3. Contact your vets immediately and tell them it’s an emergency. Give them all the pertinent details, including the poison (if known), as well as where and when the poisoning happened.

Do not try to make your cat vomit unless your vet specifically instructs you to do so and, if possible, take the source of the poison with you when you go to the vets.

We hope this has been useful — if you have any questions about cat care you’d like to ask Catipilla or Pete the Vet, get in touch with us on social media, and stay tuned for more tips and insights!

We love our cats and we want them to have the best life possible. To help them feel cared for, and provide them with all the comfort and exercise they need, check out our luxury cat furniture.

Our Core Values

Why Catipilla? Every product and idea we have is built around these core values.

Cat health and well-being.
Cats deserve the best. They deserve to be active, to be entertained, to stretch, to climb and to rest. To play out all of their natural instincts where they feel safest – at home. Our range has been designed to cater for these instincts and provide the most enjoyment possible.

High-quality, space-saving additions to your home.
Every unit we design is built to last. We want you to have the confidence that our products will stand the test of time. We also want to ensure that cats feel secure on our units and have the freedom to roam wherever they please.

Sustainable products that last a lifetime.
All of our Catipilla products are made from 85% recycled material and we actively work to reduce our energy footprint by sourcing materials close to home.

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