Sunday, November 9, 2014

Feline Toxins and Poisons

Felines have very delicate skin and can be very curious.  As cat owners, we also need to remember that cats lick their fur and skin for hours a day. This results in substances in the environment being easily digested or absorbed through the skin.  Additionally, the pet industry is not regulated.  Just because a product is marked “safe for kittens and cats” does not make it true.  Cat owners need to be up to date on what substances are toxic for cats.  Some are obvious, and some will surprise you!  Like with anything in life, people differ in their beliefs.  Some believe a little won’t hurt, while others will not knowingly take a small chance at inducing problems in their furry family member.  Below is an incomplete list of many household toxins and hazards.  Please use common sense while reviewing this list and implementing any household changes.

I am not trained in Veterinary Medicine.  You should always default to your Vet on the best diet to feed your feline, and any questions you have about items in your Kitty’s environment.

In case of an after-hours emergency, please contact Pet Poison Help Line at 800-213-6680.  There will be a small fee for the call.  You can also visit their website for additional information:

The following list is quite extensive and has been gathered from many sources noted at the conclusion of the list.  I will start with the items that are most surprising, making them the most dangerous for Kitty.
     Tree Tea Oil *
     Aloe Vera ****
     Cedar Oil
          Use for fleas may cause vomiting *
     Essential oils including Oregano,Thyme, Eucalyptus, Clove, Cinnamon, Bay Leaf, Parsley and Savory
          can cause liver damage *
     Essential oils which contain Cedar Leaf, Sage, Hyssop, Cyprus, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Mint,
     Caraway, Citronella ,Clove, Ginger, Chamomile, Thyme and Rosemary
          can cause neurological problems *
     Simmering Potpourri **
     Reed Diffusers **
     Citrus Oil Extracts
         Can cause vomiting
     Dog flea and tick medication (pills, collars, sprays, shampoos)
          The topical application to cats of flea control products marketed for dogs containing permethrins
          constitutes a major portion of feline toxicities reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control
          Center. Some owners also use Permethrin for insect control.

Human Medication, remember, sometimes Veterinarian’s will prescribe an over the counter medication for Kitty.  Always verify the dosage and brand before administrating human medication to Kitty!

     Cancer medicines
     Cold medicines
     Diet pills
     Pain relievers
          acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen
     Vitamins and other supplements
     Human Vitamin Supplements Containing Iron
          damage the lining of the digestive system, toxic to the other organs including the liver and

Human Foods***:
     Alcoholic Beverages
          intoxication, coma, and death
     Bones from Fish, Poultry, or Other Meat Sources
          can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system
     Canned Tuna fed regularly (For Human Consumption)
         malnutrition, it can contain mercury
     Caffeine from Chocolate, Coffee or Tea
         affect the heart and nervous system and can be toxic
         contains theobromine and caffeine
     Dog Food fed regularly
          malnutrition and heart disease
     Fat Trimmings
         pancreatitis and contribute to obesity
     Grapes and Raisins
         unknown toxin which damages the kidneys
     Large Amounts Of Liver
         Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones
     Macadamia Nuts
         unknown toxin which can affect the digestive and nervous systems
         Can depress the nervous system and cause vomiting and heart rate changes
     Milk And Other Dairy Products
         Some adult cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the
         lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea and gastrointestinal upset
          Some contain toxins that affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death
     Onions and Garlic (Raw, Cooked, Or Powder)
          contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia
           seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis
     Potato, Rhubarb and Tomato Leaves And Stems, Green Tomatoes or Potatoes
          These foods are members of the family of plants which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and
          contain the poisonous alkaloid Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower
          gastrointestinal problems
     Raw Eggs
          Contain the enzyme avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), also lead to
          skin and hair coat problems, may contain Salmonella
     Raw Fish
          thiamine deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and death
          large quantities may lead to electrolyte imbalances
     Sugar-Laden Foods
          Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and diabetes mellitus
          Ingesting nicotine can result in rapid heartbeat, collapse, coma, and death
          found in sugarless gums, candies, toothpastes
     Yeast Dough
          Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and rupture of the stomach or

House Hold Items:
     Holiday Lights
     Dental floss
     Rubber bands
     Hair Ties
     Insect and rodent bait
     Household Cleaners
     Toilet bowl cleaners
     Laundry detergents
     Drain cleaners
     Carpet cleaners
     Glow sticks
     Electrical cords

     Almond Pits
          Vomiting and diarrhea
     Apple Seeds
     Apricot Pits
          Incoordination, trembling, collapse
     Bird of Paradise
     Black Eye Susan
     Black Locus
     Bleeding Heart
     Burning Bush
          Punctures skin which can become infected
          Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking head, difficulty breathing
     Cherry Pits
     Cherry (Wild, Ground, laurel)
     Christmas Rose
     Creeping Charlies
          Vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, cramps
     Crocus, Autumn
     Crown of Thorns
     Daffodil Daphne
     Deadly Nightshade
     Death Camas
          Central nervous system problems
     Dumb Cane
     Easter Lilly
     Elephant Ear
     English Ivy
     Four o’clock
     Golden Chain
     Golden Glow
     Gopher Purge
     Hemlock (poison and water)
     Horse Chestnuts
     Indian Tobacco
     Iris Ivy
         Vomiting, diarrhea, excitable behavior
     Jack in the Pulpit
     Java Beans
     Jerusalem Cherry
     Jimson Weed
     Jungle trumpets
     Lily (Spider, of the Valley)
     Kidney failure
         Can depress the nervous system and cause vomiting and heart rate changes
     Mescal Bean
          Vomiting, diarrhea, blistering in the mouth, difficulty breathing
     Mock Orange
     Morning Glory
     Mountain Laurel
     Peach Pits
         Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shaking head, difficulty breathing
         Vomiting, diarrhea, blistering in the mouth, difficulty breathing
     Poison Ivy
     Poison Oak
     Precatory Bean
     Rosary Pea
     Rubber Plant
     Scotch Broom
     Skunk Cabbage
     Snow on the Mountain
     Star of Bethlehem
     Tansy Mustard
     Tung Tree
     Virginia Creeper
     Water Hemlock
     Weeping Fig
     Wild Call
     Yews (American, English, Japanese)

** Jill A. Richardson, Veterinary Poison Information Specialist, ASPCA/ National Animal Poison Control Center
Jeffrey D. Rakes, Published in NCGIA Anatomy and Health Study Packet
(plants poisonous to cats, without details

July 2014 Kitty's Purrfect Spa Newsletter

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