Ten most dangerous poisons for a cat

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 15.02.2024

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Last year in the United States there were more than 100 000 cases of animal poisoning. Many of them were caused by substances that are most likely in your home, substances that may seem absolutely harmless to you. But the fact that it is safe for people does not mean that it can not harm your beloved animals. One of the most dangerous poisons for a cat is the products and medicines that we use every day.

Depending on how a certain substance affects the cat's body, and how much the animal has inhaled or swallowed, the symptoms of poisoning in animals can include gastrointestinal and neurological disorders, cardiac and respiratory insufficiency, to whom and even death.

Ten most dangerous poisons for a cat

Poison № 1. Medicines for people. Animals are much more sensitive to many common medicines that are sold on prescription and without it, and can be in your home.

The drugs often poisoned by cats include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. This is the most common cause of animal poisoning. These drugs from pain can cause the formation of ulcers in the stomach and intestines, as well as damage to the kidneys.
  • Acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats, damages erythrocytes. Only two potent tablets can be deadly for a cat.
  • Antidepressants that can cause vomiting, and, in more severe cases, serotonin syndrome - a dangerous condition in which the temperature, heart rate and blood pressure rises, and seizures may occur.
  • Methylphenidate. This drug from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a stimulant for animals, increasing the heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

Poison № 2. Preparations against fleas and ticks. Poisoning can occur if the product is swallowed for topical application or too zealous application. In addition, some flea preparations developed for dogs can be fatal if used for cats.

Poison № 3. Human food. It is important to take care that the cat does not eat foods that can cause poisoning or upset stomach. Products that should not be given to a cat include:

  • Chocolate. Experts do not recommend giving the cat chocolate, caffeine and coffee.
  • Onions, garlic, onion. These herbal products can irritate the stomach and damage the red blood cells.

Poison № 4. Poison for rats and mice. Rodenticides, if swallowed, can cause severe symptoms and lead to death.

Poison № 5. Medicines for animals. We can get sick or die from drugs designed to help us. Cases of animal poisoning with veterinary drugs also occur quite often. The most problematic drugs include drugs from pain and helminths.

Poison № 6. Houseplants. It is known that cats eat houseplants, and this habit is harmful not only for your treasure in pots. Many common beautiful houseplants contain venom for cats, which can cause them serious harm and even death. Here are some plants that are toxic to cats:

  • Lilies. The ingestion of even a small number of oriental lilies and similar plants can cause kidney failure in cats.
  • Azaleas and rhododendrons. These beautiful flowering plants contain toxins that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coma and sometimes even death.
  • Tulips and daffodils. Bulbs of these plants when ingested by a cat can cause severe gastric disorders, convulsions and heart damage.
  • Sagal palms. Eating only a few seeds can be sufficient to cause vomiting, seizures and liver failure.

Poison № 7. Chemical sources of danger. Not surprisingly, a cat can be poisoned by chemicals contained in antifreeze and paint thinner, as well as pool chemicals. Symptoms that may occur include upset stomach, depression and chemical burns.

Poison № 8. Household cleaning products. People can poison themselves with such cleansing agents as bleach, and they are the main cause of animal poisoning, which leads to stomach and respiratory tract disorders.

Poison № 9. Heavy metals. Lead, contained in paint, linoleum and batteries, can be toxic when eating such items with a cat. When swallowed, lead can cause gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.

Poison № 10. Fertilizer. Products for lawns and gardens can be toxic to animals that swallow them when they wash themselves after walking or lying on a newly treated area.

What if you suspect poisoning in a cat?

If you think that the cat has poisoned, try not to worry. It is important to act quickly, but reasonably.

First collect the remains of a possible poison - this can help the veterinarian and other experts to help the animal. If the cat is vomiting, collect a sample of vomiting in case the veterinarian needs to look at it.

Then try not to worry the animal and call the vet.

Prevention of poisoning

The best way to reduce the likelihood that your beloved cat will become a victim of poisoning is to prevent the exposure of hazardous substances to the animal.

  • Keep all medications, even those contained in bottles that are protected from children, in cabinets that are inaccessible to the cat. If you accidentally drop the tablet on the floor, be sure to find it immediately. Look for everyone who might need help with taking medication, for example, for the elderly.
  • Always follow the recommendations on preparations against fleas and ticks, and never use products for dogs on cats.
  • Despite the fact that some "human products" can be safely given to animals as a treat, other products can be toxic. If you have questions regarding food safety, contact your veterinarian. Also, not to be mistaken, you can give treats made specifically for animals.
  • Make sure that the rodenticides you use are stored in metal lockers or on high shelves where animals can not find them. Remember that cats can be fatally poisoned by eating poisoned rodents, so always be very careful when using these products. Tell your neighbors if you are using bait for rats so that they can protect their animals from the effects of poison and ask them to do the same for you.
  • Buying plants for the house, choose those that will not cause problems if the cat will eat them. The website of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants by species. If you decide to buy toxic plants, be sure to keep them in a place where the animal can not get them.
  • Keep all chemicals and cleaning products away from animals.
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