Cat Poisoning, How It Happens, The Symptoms, What To Do.
Cats are intelligent creatures. They generally only eat what is good for them.
Sadly though, veterinarians have to deal with thousands of cases each year of domestic cats that have sampled something toxic.
Many instances occur of cats ingesting poisonous substances while free roaming outside the home.
There are also many cases where cats consume something inside the home that makes them severely ill, or even proves fatal.
Cleaning products, including – branded cleaning fluids and creams, floor and furniture polish or wax, metal polish, soap, detergents, drain cleaner, bleach, disinfectants, mothballs, toilet cleaners.
Cosmetic and beauty products, including – nail polish, nail polish remover, perfume, aftershave, hair dye, hair sprays, suntan lotion.
Human medication, including - aspirin, Excedrin, paracetamol and any headache or pain relief tablets, antidepressants, laxatives, sleeping pills, dietary products, tranquilizers.
Decorating and DIY, including – paint, paint removers and strippers, wood dye, spirits, preservatives, adhesives, varnishes.
Garage and motoring materials, including – gasoline, anti-freeze, kerosene, oils, lubricants, windshield wiper fluid, battery acid, brake fluid.
Gardening, including – insect killers, slug killers, weed killer, pesticides, fungicides, rodent poisons, aphid sprays.
Store anything that could possibly harm your cat, safely. Remember that cats are inquisitive, dexterous and are expert climbers.
An open shelf is not enough, cabinets and closets are best, but cats can get into cabinets that you would think would be impossible for them to do so. Always securely replace lids and caps.
Wipe up and wash away spills and drips immediately. Remember to wipe away drips down the sides of containers.
Treat having a cat around your home the same way you would treat having an inquisitive child, safety first always.
Be aware that poisoning can result from the cat absorbing toxic substances through the skin and paws.
Remember that any tainted substance that gets onto your cat's fur is likely to be ingested when she grooms herself.
Cats are fastidious, they can't stand anything to be on their coats. A contaminated liquid, for example, that she would not sample normally, might get swallowed when she grooms her coat.
Cats, if free roaming, will come across rotting meats and other contaminated food. Although cats are generally choosy about what they eat, even a well fed domestic cat will sometimes sample noxious garbage.
Cats eat grass and plants to provide themselves with fiber and to rid themselves of fur balls. However you should be aware that there are some plants that are toxic to cats.
Unfortunately not everyone likes cats. Some people dislike cats and some others positively hate them.
Many products used in the home and garden can be dangerous for cats.
Some of the people who dislike cats may be allergic to them, so naturally they avoid felines. Others may have a fear of cats.
Some people who hate cats, do so for no particular reason. This may be because of the negative image felines have had in times past, associated with evil, witchcraft etc.
It may also be because cats are sometimes falsely portrayed as being cold, aloof creatures.
Other people hate cats because the animals, both domestic and feral, come into their backyards and gardens and defecate and urinate.
Cats pay little regard to a human's property boundaries. They wander in and do their business, perhaps laying claim to territory. Quite often this means they will dig in newly laid flower beds.
It is understandable that some property owners get annoyed by this. They may place cat repellent in their yard to try and solve the problem, or ask the cat's owner to keep their pet indoors.
Others get more than upset, and want to harm the cats.
The most frequent way these people harm cats is by poisoning them, (intentional cat poisoning is a crime.)
They may set out dishes of poisoned cat food or dishes of anti freeze.
They do not stop to think that they are killing an animal for doing what nature dictates, or harming someone's much loved pet.
Other people poison cats simply because they are sick, mindless human beings.
There are many symptoms of cat poisoning and, as many of them could also be indicators of other feline problems, diagnosis may not be easy.
Symptoms vary with the type of poison ingested and not all symptoms become apparent at the same time.
Some of the symptoms of feline poisoning are:
Vomiting (could be bloody,) diarrhea (could be bloody,) lethargy, salivation, drooling, agitation, panting, staggering or unsteadiness, swollen tongue, burns in mouth, trembling, seizures, coughing, convulsions, dehydration.
The above list is not exhaustive.
Don't take chances. If you can get immediate access to a veterinarian, let her or him know all the symptoms.
If you suspect that your cat has swallowed a noxious substance, have the container to hand so you can read from the label.
Answer all the veterinarian's questions as best you can and have pen and paper handy to write down instructions. If the vet tells you to bring your cat in immediately, do so as quickly, and safely, as you can.
If you can't get immediate access to a vet as an alternative: Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435 (Write the number down and keep handy for emergencies. If you live somewhere other than the USA, note down a local emergency number.)
The Animal Poison Control Center phone line is available 24 hours a day, every day. A consultation fee of $65 may be charged to your credit card, (includes follow-up consultation should it be needed.)
Don't run the risk of delay when it comes to cat poisoning. If you suspect it, get help immediately.
Overweight Cats are not Healthy Cats
Is your cat a fat feline, a pudgy puss or a tubby tabby? Fat cats may look cute to some of us but carrying superfluous weight is not healthy for cats, just the same as it isn't for humans!