Dangerous Food For Your Cats
12 March, 2012

As you’ve probably discovered by now, your cat is an amazingly curious and resourceful hunter of new things to encounter and eat. Unfortunately, some of these new discoveries can be harmful or even fatal.  And if your cat is anything like my Sammy, he does not shy away from anything that looks possibly edible or fun.

Below is a list of four common household items you need to keep out of your cat or kitten’s reach and definitely out of his or her mouth!

Medication for the owners

Surprisingly enough, common pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are very toxic to our feline friends. Cats don’t have the enzymes needed to detoxify and eliminate these substances, so they can cause liver or kidney failure. Other human drugs that are commonly involved in accidental poisoning include antidepressants, antihistamines, sleeping pills, diet pills, blood pressure medications and vitamins. It should go without saying that alcohol and any other recreational drugs are extremely hazardous to cats and well, to humans too!

Strings and rubber bands

Cats’ tongues have barbs on them, and if your pet starts swallowing a string she won’t be able to spit it out. Although some of the above objects can sometimes pass through a cat’s digestive tract without any problems, they can get tangled and literally cause knots in your cat’s intestines which is fatal unless promptly treated. Thread can also be attached to a needle, which can puncture your cat’s esophagus or internal organs. To avoid this problem, keep all your thread, yarn, and rubber bands safely in a drawer or covered storage tote.

Poisonous plants

A number of common household plants can cause toxic reactions from vomiting all the way to hallucinations, convulsions, and death. Some plants to remove from your house: Dieffenbachia (dumb cane); lilies, daffodils, crocuses or other bulb flowers; ivy; and spider plants.   There are many online sources for you to review if you think your cat might have ingested a poisonous plant or flower.

Human Food

Chocolate is highly toxic to cats (and dogs) and a few ounces of high-quality chocolate could kill your pet. Raw egg whites contain an enzyme that destroys certain B vitamins. Raw egg yolks are OK as an occasional treat, but they must be separated from the whites. Onions, garlic, and other related vegetables contain a substance that destroys red blood cells and can cause anemia. Green tomatoes and raw potatoes can cause violent lower digestive symptoms.

I hope that your cat never discovers these items, but if he or she happens to eat them, contact your veterinarian immediately for further tests.  

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