Protecting Cats From Poisons & Toxins Both Indoors & Out
Source: Guest Writer
The obvious idiom, "curiosity killed the cat," should first come to mind, and in this case it could potentially be true. As cat lovers, we all know that felines are born playful hunters, stealthy stalkers and are naturally curious, which is part of their allure when it comes to one of our most popular pets. But this inquisitive nature can also put them at risk for potential illnesses or death at the hands of dangerous poisons or toxins.
Although the safest place for cats is indoors, some of us don't have that luxury when we have felines that are meant to be outdoors, for whatever the reason. Some of them are used to control the rodent population, but this can be a dangerous endeavor for them. For example, if a mouse or rat has ingested poison meant to kill them, it could end up being fatal for a cat that consumed this type of prey they have captured.
Birds can also be dangerous for for felines because they may not only contain poisonous substances, they also carry a number of different diseases. If you come across your cat who has caught a bird, rodent or other animal, it's best to take it away from them and dispose of it safely. Your kitty might be upset with you for stealing their prized prey, but you may have just saved their life.
Other Outside Dangers
Another big risk that outside cats face is being hit by a car, but vehicles also pose another huge threat to our pets - the possibility of poisoning from antifreeze. The main ingredient (ethylene glycol) not only has a sweet, pleasant taste, it can also be deadly or very destructive even if ingested in very small doses.
While some varieties of this liquid appear colorless, most appear green and leave behind a telltale sign of a rainbow-esque type of a spill, similar to oil or gasoline. If you see evidence of this in puddles or gutters, wash them or use a hose immediately to protect your pet and be on the lookout for them in your neighborhood and on your property.
The Cupboards Are Bare
The most common place for many people to store their soap, detergents and other potentially hazardous substances found in the kitchen is underneath the sink in a cabinet. These curious critters can easily open these small doorways found on their level and enter into a poisonous predicament. If you must store these substances here, put a childproof lock on them or better yet, put them in a place where your feline can't find them.
The same goes for medications that are stored in other cabinets and even if not located on their floor level, our stealthy felines will jump onto a countertop and find these possible perils. Even seemingly harmless medications like aspirin, Tylenol ® or other over-the-counter medicines can severely harm a cat's digestive system and other internal organs.
Potential Plant Problems
Many indoor plants, outside vegetation and other growths can be perilous to our pets and the list of potential threats is long. Check out this list of from the Humane Society that describes the plants in question and their various toxic parts. The best course of action is to keep our kitties away from these dangerous growths and give them a safer alternative.
Recognizing The SignsIf you believe your cat has been poisoned or ingested some kind of toxic substance, speed is of the essence and so is recognizing signs they could be in trouble. Listlessness, lethargy, excessive panting or thirst can quickly lead to vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, seizures and possible coma or death.
Act quickly and contact your veterinarian immediately. If they're unavailable, call a poison control pet line like the ASPCA's 24-hour number for assistance. If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we can always do our best to keep our loved ones away from danger.