toxic plants

9 Common Household Hazards for Cats

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I’m a pretty paranoid cat mom and really try to view everything in my home from a cat’s perspective, especially in terms of whether anything could possibly harm Allegra and Ruby. Even though cats tend to not get into as much trouble as dogs when it comes to household hazards, there are still plenty of items that can harm your cats.Continue Reading

Plants That Are Poisonous to Cats

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Many cats like to chew on plants, and if you’re going to have live plants in your home, you must be aware of which plants are poisonous to cats. The effect of poisonous plants can range from mild gastrointestinal upset to severe neurological damage and death. Some plants may cause irritation and inflammation on contact with the skin or mouth, other plants may affect specific organs like the heart or kidneys. Continue Reading

Keep These Poisonous Plants Away from Your Cats

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Cats like to chew on plants. If you’re going to have live plants in your home, you must be aware of which plants are poisonous to cats. When in doubt, it’s always best to get rid of a plant. Just keeping plants of kitty’s reach may not be enough. Cats like to climb, which is why it is safer to remove toxic plants from your home altogether.

In some cases, only parts of a plant may be poisonous, but it’s safer to assume that if a plant is toxic, the entire plant should be removed.Continue Reading

Plants and foods that are toxic to cats

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Guest post by Amanda McIntosh

If your cat is anything like mine, he is curious and adventurous, and more often than not he will try to get into things he shouldn’t.

Plants

The first time I took my cat outdoors, he was fascinated by the grass in the yard. He wouldn’t stop eating it. Thinking it could potentially harm him, I discouraged him from doing it. I later found out from my vet that cats will often enjoy eating grass and it’s perfectly safe for them. You can even buy kits to plant grass for indoor cats.

However, there are other indoor and outdoor plants that aren’t as safe. My cat had a random obsession with a Dieffenbachia plant, a medium-sized houseplant with large, thick leaves. I removed it out of his reach when he started gnawing on it. I found out after the fact that Dieffenbachias are toxic to cats. Thankfully, they are not life-threatening, and he suffered no ill effects.

The good news is there are plenty of indoor plants that won’t be harmful for  cats. The ASPCA website offers a complete listContinue Reading

Easter Lilies Are Deadly to Cats

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As we approach the Easter holiday, it becomes vitally important once again to ensure that all cat owners know that Easter Lilies are deadly to cats. The information below comes to us courtesy of Dr. Lorie Huston of the Pet Health Care Gazette, and the veterinarians at the Pet Poison Helpline.

The Pet Poison Helpline, a national 24/7 animal poison control center, receives hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

Easter lilies are deadly to cats“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Photo of cat with Tiger lilies: istockphoto, photo of Easter lily: morguefile.com