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Pet Bucket Blog

Household Items That Are Harmful to Cats

 by jaime on 23 Jun 2014 |
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Cats have a reputation for being very low-maintenance pets-and in some ways, that reputation is well deserved. Still, just because you may not need to monitor your furry friend every second of the day doesn't mean that your cat isn't going to find ways to get into trouble in your house. In fact, a number of common household items have the potential to be very harmful to cats. Here is a look at some of the most dangerous offenders.
Household cleaners
Chemicals like ammonia, bleach, chloride, and formaldehyde-many of which are staples in household cleaners-can be extremely toxic if they are ingested by your cat. Many modern cleaning products are scented so they don't have as much of a chemical smell, but this fragrance might actually fool your kitty into lapping up a cleaner unintentionally. Cats can even be exposed to chemicals by drinking water out of a recently cleaned toilet bowl or chewing on cloth that has remnants of laundry detergent left on it.
If a medicine bottle accidentally spills, you need to be careful to collect every single pill so that your curious feline won't get ahold of human medication. Both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can be poisonous if ingested by your cat. Another common mistake many cat owners make is to expose your kitty to topical flea medication meant for treating dogs or humans. The active ingredient permethrin is found in many medications that fight fleas, but it should never be used on cats in particular.
You've probably heard in the past that dogs should never eat chocolate, but you may not know that the same is true of cats. Chocolate contains a number of chemicals that are harmful to your kitty. Theobromine is a chemical found in chocolate that animals are unable to digest, and it can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. Chocolate is also high in caffeine, which can negatively impact your cat's nervous system and may cause coma or death.
When summer approaches, your home and garden come to life with greenery. Unfortunately, many houseplants are poisonous to cats when eaten. Keep rhododendrons, lilies, azaleas, and jimson weed out of the house in order to keep your kitty healthy. You should also check the comprehensive list of poisonous plants on the ASPCA website before adding any new greenery to your home.
Rodenticides and insecticides
It shouldn't be too surprising that products meant to be poisonous to bugs, rats, and mice can also be harmful to cats. Still, thousands of kitties get sick each year from ingesting rodenticides and insecticides. These chemicals can also be harmful if your cat eats a rodent that has been poisoned, so you need to work closely with an exterminator to figure out safer pest control options.
Unfortunately, the common idiom, "curiosity killed the cat" can actually turn out to be quite true unless you are careful with the harmful products that are often found around your home. Make sure to eliminate or hide any items that might pose a threat to your kitty in order to ensure a long and happy life together.


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