As pet owners, we always want what’s best for our four-legged friends, but often we can unknowingly put them in danger from exposure to poisons and other toxins. One good example, there’s many feline owners who often give their cats milk or cream, it’s almost stereotypical or expected in some cases. But the heavy fats, complex proteins and lactose found in these creamy white liquids can cause serious stomach distress or even gastritis for many felines.
Sometimes it’s not what we give them, but what they find on their own, especially when they’re venturing outdoors. Many animal owners are already aware of the deadly danger that antifreeze can present if ingested by pets. A common ingredient found in most brands, ethylene glycol, is powerful enough to kill a small animal even in small doses or diluted in a puddle or gutter.
Even though you keep medicines safely tucked out of reach, you should still be cautious when taking prescriptions and over-the-counter medications around your cat. For example, if you were to accidently drop one on the floor, a curious kitty could quickly gobble it down before you were able to corral them and take it away.
For example, just one ibuprofen pill can cause serious damage or death for a small cat. The ingredient commonly found in many pain relievers like Advil and Motrin, inhibits the blood flow to an animal’s kidneys and stomach. Cats are even more susceptible to death as compared to dogs after ingesting this type of medication and others like it.
Bathroom & Kitchen Calamity
Along with chocolate, which practically everyone knows is problematic, there’s a newer sweetener that’s causing calamities for our kitties. Xylitol, an ingredient often added to sugar-free gum, is also used in certain baked goods and can also be found in some toothpaste brands. It can cause dangerous blood sugar spikes, internal bleeding or liver failure.
Before you consider tossing out that used piece of chewing gum, it’s wrapper or a mostly empty tube of toothpaste, think twice. Your curious cat could easily snag one of these items out of the trash and consume enough of this ingredient to cause permanent damage, illness or death.
Whether they’re indoor potted plants, like lilies or others found outdoors in our garden, especially azaleas, both of these popular flowers can be fatal for felines. You need to make sure your four-legged friends stay clear of these flowers or better yet, get rid of them completely.
For an extensive list of poisonous plants to avoid being around your pet, visit the Humane Society’s website. There you can access a .pdf document that lists dozens of common indoor and outdoor plants that could be poisonous for your pet.
Smoke and Fire
The Fourth of July can be really problematic for some dogs and some cats too, who are fearful of the bright lights and booming sounds coming from these celebratory objects. But sometimes we forget about the aftereffects. For example, spent fireworks soaking in water before disposal can be dangerous or deadly if ingested.
The same is true for secondhand smoke, but also tobacco found in cigar and cigarette butts. Ingesting tobacco can be very harmful to our four-legged friends. If you believe your animal has consumed any of these products, please take them to see a veterinarian immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to a possible poisoning situation - literally a matter of life or death.
About the Author
Sloan McKinney is a journalist based in Southern California. After writing about pop culture for a number of years, she has recently begun writing for a new audience. Inspired by DeAnthony, her cat, as well as her dog Max, Sloan now hopes to help other pet owners guarantee their animal companions happy and healthy lives.