Warning! These 5 Items in Your Home Can Kill Your Cat

You’re always surprised at what your cat can get into, but do you know which items in your home can kill your cat?

Common household items can be dangerous to your cat. By: FurLined
Common household items can be dangerous to your cat. By: FurLined

Do you have a cat? Do you know which items in your home are dangerous for them?

Here’s a short list of some of the more common items in your home that can harm your cat or kill them if they are exposed to even small quantities.

1. Lilies

Easter is right around the corner, and chances are that lilies will be popping up in the garden and on people’s table as a gorgeous centerpiece. The problem with these beautiful spring flowers is that they are extremely toxic to cats. Any part of this plant is toxic to our feline friends and can cause kidney failure and death very quickly if ingested.

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I’ve seen it happen. A few years ago we had a young couple come in with their cat who wasn’t feeling well. It was vomiting and lethargic. The cat had been munching on some lilies that were in a vase on the kitchen table for a couple of weeks, and the caretakers had no idea that they were toxic to cats. Unfortunately, despite extensive treatment, the cat died a month later from kidney failure.

2. String and Yarn

Cats seem to love to play with string and yarn, and most caretakers think that this is a fun and innocent toy for cats to play with. Unfortunately, string and yarn can be quite dangerous for cats because it is easy to swallow and can cause strangulation or intestinal blockage.

I once saw a cat that was vomiting and not eating. The pet parent insisted that the cat had not gotten into anything unusual. Upon oral examination by the vet, a piece of string was wrapped around the back of the cat’s tongue and went down the throat into the stomach.

3. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine–which is toxic to cats and dogs. Hopefully most people know this by now, but still some pet parents think they are giving their cat a great treat by letting them have a bite of their Hershey bar.

Small quantities can cause seizures and death in cats. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate, but both are still very dangerous for cats if ingested.

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4. Aspirin

Aspirin should not be given to cats unless directed by a veterinarian for health reasons. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage in cats and enough small amounts can be dangerous. It seems that caretakers sometimes think it is okay to give their cats half an aspirin if they are limping or in pain, but giving this medication can actually do more harm than good. The same holds true for Ibuprofen and NSAIDs.

5. Insecticides

These can range from yard products for the lawn and garden or flea and tick medication. It’s important to keep cats away from any area of the yard that has recently been treated with chemicals. Cats have a tendency to walk outside and then stop to lick their paws to get them clean, and this is an easy way for them to ingest pesticides.

It is always important to read the labels on flea and tick medication to make sure that is safe for cats. Also, some dog flea and tick medications have been proven to not be safe around cats. So, if dogs and cats share the same home, make sure all products are cat friendly.

Jennifer Costello

View posts by Jennifer Costello
Jennifer Costello is a pet blogger and veterinary technician. She shares all about her life with her family and dogs on her blog, My Brown Newfies. When not on adventures with the dogs, Jen is spending time with her husband, 2 children and guinea pig. Jen’s passions include photography, pet health and all things dog.

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