Download our Common Cat Hazards fact sheet.
Whether lazing on a cozy couch, stretching out in a spot in the sun, or exploring the dark corners of your closet, you cat feels safe in your home. But every household has substances that can pose a hazard to your cat if he's exposed to them. Learn about some of the common hazards around your home and ways you can protect your feline friends from harm. Download a printable form of this Common Cat Hazards fact sheet.
What should I do if I think my cat has ingested something toxic?
Call your veterinarian immediately. If your vet is not available, try a local emergency veterinary clinic or animal poison control help hotline (see right).
If you are aware of the toxin that your cat was exposed to, obtain a sample or a label to bring to the veterinarian or to provide information to a help hotline.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT induce vomiting unless you are specifically directed to do so. Certain poisons can cause more damage during vomiting than if left in the stomach.
Signs of Poisoning
How quickly will my cat become ill?
This depends upon the toxin involved. By the time an owner recognizes a problem, a cat may be at significant risk for serious health problems. For this reason, a prompt veterinary consultation is essential.
Common Household Hazards
Indoor and outdoor plants can pose a risk to your cat. Ingesting just a small piece of some common ornamental plants such as poinsettias could be enough to make a cat ill, and swallowing a sizable amount could prove fatal. Lilies are especially toxic to cats; they can cause life-threatening kidney failure if ingested even in tiny amounts. Plants that are toxic for cats include (but are not limited to):
Human medications and flea treatments for dogs can be acutely toxic for cats. Remember: never give your cat medications without first consulting your veterinarian. Cats will often gobble up pills they find lying on tables or dropped on the floor, so be vigilant with your medications. Some common causes of poisoning include:
Many of the chemicals around your house can present a hazard for your feline friends. Keep these materials in a place your cats can’t reach, and ensure any spills are cleaned up promptly. If you have an outdoor cat, take precautions when using these products in your yard.
It’s tempting to give your beloved cat a treat of human food, but many of the things we enjoy are off-limits for our feline friends. These foods include (but are not limited to):