There are many dangers in all of our homes.Everyone knows that insecticides, rodenticides, yard products including fertilizers and other chemicals, and many household cleaners can all be toxic to our feline friends. But let's take a look at some things you may not know are dangerous.
Medications and SupplementsCats are sensitive to many medications, more so than dogs, which is why veterinarians continually stress that cats should never be given any medication prescribed for your dog or that is available over the counter. That applies to supplements also. Unfortunately, most medications and many supplements are packaged in plastic containers that rattle. Your cat may hear you shake out a vitamin, watch you put the plastic container back on the counter, and then when you walk away, the cat decides to play with it. If the lid isn't on tight, tablets may fall out and your cat may chew on one. It's so easy for a disaster to happen. Put all medication away in a latched cupboard.
Chocolate and XylitolAlthough cats don't taste sweets as we do (and as dogs do), and therefore aren't drawn to it as we are, their curiosity can get them into trouble. If chocolate is left out, especially around one of the holidays when candy is often a part of the celebrations, your cat may decide to play with it or taste it. You might not think that playing with chocolate candy is bad, but when the cat gets chocolate on his paws and then cleans himself, he's then ingesting it. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which in cats and dogs can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, seizures, and death. The darker the chocolate, and the higher the cocoa content, the more dangerous it is. If you suspect your cat has ingested any chocolate at all, call your veterinarian. Don't wait for any symptoms to appear. Xylitol is advertised as a natural sweetener that is better for us (humans) than other sugars. It may well be as it is advertised as better for diabetics and it has dental benefits. There are no benefits to our pets, though; it can be deadly to dogs and cats. Even a small amount can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, liver failure, and death. Unfortunately, this reaction occurs within a very short period of time; within 30 minutes in many cases. This sweetener is so deadly I refuse to buy any product that contains it. Xylitol has been added to dental products, including toothpaste and mouthwashes, as well as foods. It's in many gums. Many nut butters contain it now. It's important to read labels, even of products you may normally buy, because recipes change.
Treated Toilet WaterThose cakes that add chemicals to the water every time someone flushes may help keep the toilet bowl clean, but they can also be toxic to your cat should he drink or play in the water. Each brand has its own formulation (or recipe) so read the label careful to see what the ingredients are and what warnings there are. You may also have to do an internet search as to exactly what the chemical is and whether it's dangerous to pets. If you wish to continue using it, make sure everyone puts the toilet lid down after use every single time. Stress how important this is.