No cat parent wants to think about the possibility or their cat accidentally getting sick from common foods, plants, or products found around their house. We know how much you love your cat, so we want to help keep your kitty safe by teaching you about some of the most common poisons found around your house and in your fridge.
What is Poisoning?
To better understand how your feline friend can be at risk for poisoning, it’s important to know what poisoning is and how poisoning works.
Poisons are substances that harm your cat at the molecular level. They attach to red blood cells and spread throughout the body via the bloodstream. This can damage a cat’s blood cells, central nervous system, or cause internal bleeding. This leaves a cat at risk for brain, heart, and other organ damage that can make your cat extremely sick and result in death.
Because poisoning is serious, you should always get help as quickly as possible. You should go to your vet and call the poison hotline.
While most people probably think of poisoning as a result of a cat eating a dangerous substance, cats can also become poisoned by inhaling or absorbing toxic materials.
What are the Symptoms in Poisoning in Cats?
Most poisonings happen when the cat’s owner is out of the house. Some common signs of poisoning include drooling, intense anxiety or excitement, and vomiting. Progressed poisoning can result in seizures, loss of consciousness, and shock.
Other common signs a cat has been poisoned include diarrhea, coughing, difficulty breathing, increased breathing rate, sneezing, swollen skin, tremors, inability to balance, coma, anemia, fever, excessive drinking, yellowed skin, elevated heart rate, stomach pain.
Foods and Other Poisons that are Toxic or Dangerous for Cats
- Raw Eggs, Raw Bones, and Raw Meat
You would never eat a raw steak or raw eggs. This may be because this idea seems gross to you, but it might also be the result of a fear of E. coli or salmonella. Cats are also at risk of these if they eat raw eggs, bones, or meat. When you cook meat, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and don’t let your cat eat raw bones. Raw eggs, like those found in dough, can lead to skin issues for your cat.
- Caffeinated Drinks and Chocolate
Chocolate is dangerous for dog and cats. Methylxanthine, contained in chocolate, can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, elevated temperature, muscle tremors, heart issues, increased thirst, stomach pain, and seizures. Methylxanthine is also found in caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea.
- Garlic and Onions
While you probably wouldn’t hand your kitty a clove of garlic or a slice of onion, you should also void giving your cat people food that contains these. These can harm your cat’s red blood cells and cause anemia. You’ll also want to avoid giving your cat garlic powder and onion flakes.
Alcohol won’t just get your cat drunk, it can send your cat into a coma. Drinking alcohol is extremely dangerous for kitties and lead to vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, strained breathing, and disorientation.
- Milk and Dairy
While most owners let their cat drink milk at some point, you will want to avoid it. Many cats are lactose intolerant and can have digestive issues as a result of it.
- Raisins and Grapes
Never let your cat eat raisins or grapes, even the tiniest amount. Raisins and grapes can rapidly lead to kidney failure within 12 hours to 24 hours. Because some cats show no symptoms, it’s always best to never let your cat eat either of these.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Eating Dangerous Foods
When it comes to your cat’s health, she is what she eats. Always keep poisonous foods somewhere where your cat cannot access them and always provide your cat with a nutritious, high-quality diet.
Some easy ways to prevent kitty poisoning include
- Cat proof your kitchen by installing cat-proof locks and store dangerous foods out of reach of your cat.
- Keep your cat away from where you’re preparing food.
- Don’t feed your cat people food or leftovers.
- Inform guests of your cat’s food policy.
Keep Your Kitty Safe
If you notice your cat exhibiting any signs of poisoning, or you think she may have snuck some dangerous food, take your cat the veterinarian as quickly as possible.
How to Entertain Your Cat
— Meow for now —