Knowing the things that can harm your cat can help empower you to save their lives! Just as some toxic foods and substances prove fatal to humans, some have the same effect on cats.
Since cats are unique to their own species, the things that affect them aren’t going to be the same as those that affect us. That’s why it’s important to, as a cat owner, at least familiarize yourself with some of these threats and try to remove them from your environment.
If you suspect your cat has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian or drive them to an emergency vet hospital as soon as possible. It is of the utmost importance you get them to a vet as quickly as you can as it can be the difference between life or death.
Knowing what toxic items they may have potentially ingested can also make a critical difference. If possible, take a picture of the substance you think they may have ingested before going to the vet, and if you aren’t sure, take note of the items nearby that could have potentially caused the issue. With the knowledge of what your cat ingested, a vet can skip the process of trying to deduce the problem and start life-saving treatment immediately.
Top 10 Most Toxic
Here is a list of the top ten items toxic to cats, according to the Pet Poison Helpline (a 24-hour poison control service available in the United States and Canada. Note: using their service does cost money).
- Lilies, including day, tiger and Easter lilies (the entire lily plant is toxic: stem, leaves, flowers, pollen and even water from the vase)
- Spot on flea/tick medication for dogs
- Household cleaners
- Antidepressant medications
- Essential oils
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Stimulant medications, such as medications for ADD or ADHD
- Onions and garlic
- Vitamin D preparations (found in tablets or creams)
While lilies made the top 10 list, the reality is there are over 400 different plants considered poisonous to cats. Not all of these plants are going to exist within your specific neighbourhood or home, but it is good to know where to look so you can reference the list before bringing a plant home. For the full list of plants toxic to cats, click here.
Cat owners know how curious our feline friends can be, so the responsibility lies with us to provide them with a home they can happily live within while still satisfying their curiosity. That means we need to ensure dangerous items are securely stored away from places they can get into, we aren’t bringing home poisonous plants they may chew on or rub their face on, and we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe environment for them.