Now that we are probably spending a lot more time at home than normal, it is important that we make sure we don’t leave out anything that may be potentially hazardous for your cat. You would be surprised where these hazards may be lurking, in your kitchen, garden, medicine cabinet or just on the dining table! Keep reading for a detailed list of some of the most common household hazards.
Human Medication: A very common cause of toxicity in cats. As they have a unique metabolism, some medication that humans can tolerate fine can be harmful or even fatal to cats. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are particularly dangerous as they can result in fatal stomach ulcers and severe kidney failure. It is also important to note that your regular cold and flu medication can be lethal to cats as it contains a toxic chemical called Acetaminophen.
Insecticides and Rodenticides: Keeping those nasty cockroaches at bay can do more harm than good, especially when your cat is involved. Along with mouse and rat bait, insecticides contain a chemical that is designed to attract these pests however they are also attractive to cats as well. Most often, ingestion can be life-threatening, resulting in bleeding, kidney failure or seizures.
Flea Control Products: Any flea control products containing the chemical Permethrin (normally found in flea treatment for dogs) can be dangerous, and even deadly If administered to cats. Cats can be poisoned simply by sleeping near or grooming a dog recently treated with topical permethrin product.
Indoor and Outdoor Plants: Poinsettias, holly, tulips, philodendrons, amaryllis, baby’s breath and hydrangeas all pose a risk to your cat. Most of these, if ingested will cause nausea, vomiting and other forms of gastrointestinal upset. The worst, however, are lilies, and they are among the deadliest plants for cats. All parts of the plant (including pollen) are toxic, just ingesting the smallest petal can result in kidney failure.
Household Cleaners: Detergents, bleach products and disinfectants can irritate the respiratory tract if inhaled. Make sure after you wash the floor with any chemical products that you confine your cat until the floor is dry, in case your cat licks its paw pads.
Ironing Board and Iron: Cats love elevated surfaces, and an ironing board will be a particularly enticing spot to hang out. However, they can be rickety and a hot iron resting on it makes for double trouble. Confine your cat until you have completed your ironing and make sure to fold away the ironing board promptly.
Overall, the environment we provide for our cats is usually safe and secure. But there may always be hidden hazards lurking, so increased awareness of these is particularly important in keeping our cats happy, healthy and out of harm’s way.