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Top 10 Toxins for Cats

Small gray kitten with a paw over a potted plantAs a pet owner, it’s important to know what is and isn’t safe for your cat to consume. Of course, you never want your cat getting into strange foods, but what is just going to cause a few stinky farts and what is potentially life threatening? The Pet Poison Helpline has released its list of the top 10 toxins for cats that they were contacted about in 2013.

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If your cat has ingested a toxin or if you have questions about potential poisons in your home, call Germantown Vet at (240) 252-7467.

The Top 10 Toxins for Cats

The top 10 toxins for cats according to Pet Poison Helpline are:

  1. Lilies – and plants in the Lilium species (including Easter, tiger, and more) cause liver failure in cats, and it is incredibly important that your feline friend stays far, far away from any lilies.
  2. Household cleaners – thankfully, most general-purpose household cleaners such as Windex and 409 are fairly safe for your cat, but concentrated cleaners such as toilet or drain products can cause chemical burns.
  3. Flea & tick medication meant for dogs – there is a reason why there are separate flea and tick medications for dogs and cats! Pyrethroid-based medications (meant for dogs) will cause tremors and seizures, and they can ultimately be deadly for cats.
  4. Antidepressants – cats seem strangely drawn to antidepressants, according to Pet Poison Helpline, meaning you need to be extra careful. Cymbalta and Effexor topped their list of toxins for cats in 2013, but they can cause severe feline neurological and cardiac effects upon ingestion.
  5. NSAIDs – cats are very sensitive to NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen. If your cat ingests any NSAIDs that haven’t been prescribed by the veterinarian or if he or she ate more than the prescribed dose, contact Germantown Vet right away.
  6. Prescription ADD/ADHD medication – these medications, including amphetamines such as Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse, can cause tremors, seizures, cardiac problems, and death. Make sure to keep these medications safely locked away where your pet can’t get to them.
  7. Over-the-counter cough, cold & allergy medications – medications that contain acetaminophen are very toxic to cats and can cause red blood cell damage and liver failure.
  8. Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals – there are many common houseplants that are considered toxins for cats, including peace lilies, philodendron, and pothos. They can cause oral and upper GI irritation, foaming at the mouth, and inflammation when ingested, but they don’t usually cause severe symptoms.
  9. Household insecticides – most household insecticides are fairly safe; however, it’s best to keep your cat away from any plants or areas affected until the products have dried or settled.
  10. Glow sticks & glow jewelry – these toys can be irresistible to your cat, but unfortunately the liquid inside of them is dangerous—they contain the chemical dibutyl phthalate, which causes excessive pain and foaming at the mouth. Thankfully, these signs should resolve themselves quickly once food or water has been consumed.

Get Emergency Veterinary Service Today

If you think your cat has ingested any of these toxins or if you need emergency vet service, contact Germantown Vet immediately by dialing (240) 252-7467! One of our staff members can help you figure out what’s going on and what you need to do next.

If you want to set up a non-emergency appointment, feel free to contact us online!

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