This list will go over household items that should be kept away from cats, some of them are pretty surprising!
1. Rodent Bait
If your house has a ᴘᴇsᴛ problem you may be tempted to put out mouse/rat ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴ, but think twice if you have a cat. Ʀᴏᴅᴇɴᴛɪᴄɪᴅᴇs can be very ʜ.ᴀ.ʀ.ᴍful to cats.
- Signs your cat may have eaten rat ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴ are:
- Staggering or walking with a gait
- ʙʟ.ᴇ.ᴇᴅing or ᴘᴀʟᴇ gums
- ʙ.ʀ.ᴜ.ɪ.sing easily
- ʙ.ʟ.ᴏ ᴏ.ᴅ in ᴜʀɪɴᴇ, ꜰ.ᴇ.ᴄ.ᴇs, or ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛ
- Weakness or ʟᴇᴛʜᴀʀɢʏ
- An enlarged abdomen, which could be an accumulation of ʙ.ʟ.ᴏ ᴏ.ᴅ
- Labored breathing, which can signal ʙ.ʟ.ᴏ ᴏ.ᴅ accumulation in the ᴄʜᴇsᴛ
If your cat is showing any of these symptoms it is very important that you take them to the vet immediately. If you know that your cat has gotten into rodent ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴ you should take them to the vet regardless of whether they are showing any symptoms.
Remember that cats will hunt and eat rats and mice. If the rats and mice have eaten ʀᴏᴅᴇɴᴛɪᴄɪᴅᴇs it can ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴ your cat. If you have a ᴘᴇsᴛ problem at your house please consider using a different method for taking care of it.
There are quite a few houseplants that are ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to cats. This is especially important to be careful of because if your cat is anything like mine, they will eat anything green that you bring into the house. Some common houseplants that can ʜ.ᴀ.ʀ.ᴍ cats are:
- Jade plants
- Peace lilies
Lilies, whether they are fresh flowers or houseplants, are super ᴅ.ᴀɴɢ.ᴇʀous to your cat. Any plant in the lily family is ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to cats, although some are worse than others. Every part of the plant including the stem, pollen, and leaves is ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to cats. Eating one or two leaves from a lily can cause ʟɪᴠᴇʀ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜʀᴇ, and this could be ꜰ.ᴀᴛ.ᴀʟ.
The most immediate symptom of lily ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴing is ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛing, but some symptoms take 12 or more hours to develop.
Some other symptoms include:
- Decreased appetite
- Increased or decreased thirst
- Increased or decreased ᴜʀɪɴation
- ᴇɪ.ᴢ.ᴜ.ʀᴇs (occasionally)
If you suspect your cat has eaten a ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴous houseplant, it is important to call your vet right away!
3. Household Chemicals
This one probably goes without saying but there are a lot of household chemicals that are ʜ.ᴀ.ʀ.ᴍful to your cat. Some common ones to keep away from your cat are:
- De-icing salts (watch out for this when you come back inside, you may have some on your shoes)
- Dog flea and tick ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄation
A good practice is to keep all of these things in a place where your cat can not get to them. When you are cleaning with harsh chemicals such as bleach make sure to keep your cats away. Cats are often very curious about what their owners are doing and you don’t want them to get into anything that could ʜ.ᴜ.ʀ.ᴛ them!
This one is surprising because cats are known for loving to play with a ball of yarn. The first reason yarn could be ᴅ.ᴀɴɢ.ᴇʀous is that they could get tangled up in it, so it definitely isn’t a good toy for them to play with unsupervised.
The second reason is that string can get caught in a cat’s digestive tract. Their tongues are covered in barbs, and this makes it so they can’t spit something like a string back up. This can result in a ʟɪɴᴇᴀʀ ꜰᴏʀᴇɪɢɴ ʙᴏᴅʏ, which is where one end of the string gets caught in the digestive tract, making it impossible to pass. This can really ʜ.ᴜ.ʀ.ᴛ your cat, and it takes sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ to get rid of it.
5. Certain Foods
Just like dogs, cats have certain foods that they can not eat. There are a number of foods that cats shouldn’t eat, but here is a list of foods that are truly ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to cats:
Grapes and raisins: Grapes and raisins cause ᴋɪᴅɴᴇʏ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜʀᴇ in cats. Symptoms can include ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛing, ᴅɪᴀʀʀʜᴇᴀ, ʟᴇᴛʜᴀʀɢʏ, abdominal ᴘᴀɪɴ, and decreased ᴜʀɪɴation.
Xylitol: This is found in things like sugar-free gum, toothpaste, candy, and mints. It is very ᴛᴏxɪᴄ, even a small amount can lead to ʜʏᴘᴏɢʟʏᴄᴇᴍɪᴀ and ʟɪᴠᴇʀ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜʀᴇ. Signs of xylitol ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴing are ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛing, weakness, trouble walking, ʟᴇᴛʜᴀʀɢʏ, and s.ᴇɪ.ᴢ.ᴜ.ʀᴇs.
Chocolate: Chocolate is just as ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴous to cats as it is to dogs. Chocolate contains methylxanthines. Dogs and cats metabolize methylxanthines slower than humans, which is why chocolate is ᴛᴏxɪᴄ to them and not to us. Symptoms of chocolate ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴing in cats are ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛing, ᴅɪᴀʀʀʜᴇᴀ, increased thirst, high body temperatures, increased heart rate, and s.ᴇɪ.ᴢ.ᴜ.ʀᴇs.
Caffeine: Cats can’t have anything with caffeine for the same reason they can have chocolate. Caffeine contains methylxanthines.
ᴀʟᴄᴏʜᴏʟ and raw dough: Raw dough is included because it causes expansion and creates ᴀʟᴄᴏʜᴏʟ in the stomach. ᴀʟᴄᴏʜᴏʟ ᴘ.ᴏɪ.s.ᴏɴing in cats can cause ᴅɪᴀʀʀʜᴇᴀ, ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛing, lack of coordination, s.ᴇɪ.ᴢ.ᴜ.ʀᴇs, problems breathing, and even ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
Onions and garlic: Onions and garlic can cause ᴀɴᴇᴍɪᴀ in cats. This also includes concentrated forms like onion and garlic powder.
It is important to keep these foods away from your cat! Since so many recipes contain onions and garlic, it is also recommended to avoid feeding your cat table scraps.
It is important to keep your ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄations out of your cats reach. Most human ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄations can ʜ.ᴜ.ʀ.ᴛ cats if they are eaten. Even vitamins can be ʜ.ᴀ.ʀ.ᴍful if a cat gets into them. Prenatal vitamins are especially ᴅ.ᴀɴɢ.ᴇʀous because of their high iron content. If you ever suspect your cat has eaten human ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄation or vitamins it is important to call your vet immediately.
The best thing you can do to avoid this is to keep any ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄations out of your cat’s reach. Even if you think your cat has been trained not to jump on the counter they still might do it every once in a while. You can avoid anything bad happening by keeping your ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄations in a cabinet and making sure that all of the lids on ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄation bottles are secure.