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Household Poisons To Your Cat

Updated on November 22, 2016
Virginia Allain profile image

Birds and wildlife fascinate me. I enjoy observing them and photographing them wherever I go. I share what I learn here.

Things to Avoid

Don't let your cat suffer from accidental poisoning. Protect your cat from this.
Don't let your cat suffer from accidental poisoning. Protect your cat from this. | Source

Keep Your Cat Safe from Poisons

You love your cat and want to protect it from harmful poisons. To provide the best living environment possible for your furry feline friend, you need to know about the different household items that could poison your cat. Some are common household cleaning products that most people have around the home.

Remember, your cat cannot resist tasty-smelling or unusual substances, nor can he or she tell you what was ingested to make him or her feel badly.

Be aware of products, plants or items you own that could hurt your pet and keep these securely in cabinets and other places your cat cannot access. If possible, keep these items out of your home altogether.


Don't Let Your Cat Have These

(free to use clipart)
(free to use clipart) | Source

Bleach Products and Clorox


You'll find bleach and Clorox mainly in the laundry room or in other cleaning supplies; however, you can also find bleach products in swimming pool supplies. In generally, household bleaches are fairly mild. Although they will make your cat feel ill, most animals are smart enough to not drink enough to kill.

Signs that your cat may have drunk a bleach product include excess drooling, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If your cat seems to be in pain, smell his or her fur if possible to detect the scent of the bleach. In general, call your vet and have your cat drink large quantities of milk or water if you possibly can. Monitor your cat for bloody vomit and difficulty breathing, and wash the paws and mouth area thoroughly.

Check your Cleaning Supplies

I keep my cleaning supplies in a closet and keep the door closed at all times. With a cat, it probably is safest to just not stock in items with the detrimental ingredients. Use safer products to protect your kitty.
I keep my cleaning supplies in a closet and keep the door closed at all times. With a cat, it probably is safest to just not stock in items with the detrimental ingredients. Use safer products to protect your kitty. | Source

Examples of Products with Bleach in Them - that might poison your cat

Keep these away from the cat.

Borateem 00145 5 gallon Chlorine-Free Color Safe Laundry Bleach Pail
Borateem 00145 5 gallon Chlorine-Free Color Safe Laundry Bleach Pail

It says "chlorine-free" but then uses the word "bleach" so I'm leary of this product. If you use something like this in your laundry, be sure every time that the lid is securely fastened on.

If you have toddlers in the house, you want to be doubly sure that this is stored safely in a cabinet or closet or up high where they can't reach it.

 

Many Homes Have Bleach Products.

Don't treat a cat with dog products, the result could kill your pet.

Mothballs Can Poison a Cat


Mothballs and other products containing naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene can also make your cat sick. Ingesting this substance can cause liver damage and seizures.

Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, blue or brown colored gums, increased heart rate, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. If you cat has eaten mothballs or items like toilet bowl cleaner or bathroom deodorizer, call your vet immediately.

Examples of Moth Balls - that might poison your cat

Enoz Para Moth Balls for Moths and Carpet Beetles, 10 oz
Enoz Para Moth Balls for Moths and Carpet Beetles, 10 oz

This is the typical form that mothballs come in. People put them with their stored woolen items like blankets and sweaters to keep away moths.

These have been proven to be cancer causing for people too, so not a good item to have around your house for yourself or your cat.

 
IMS Trading Cedar Scented Hanging Moth Block, 6-Ounce, Box of 6
IMS Trading Cedar Scented Hanging Moth Block, 6-Ounce, Box of 6

This one is intended to hang on the rod of the closet for moth prevention. Although it is unlikely your cat would get into the closet, climb up on the clothes and ingest this, I wouldn't take the risk.

If you use mothballs in a trunk where you store sweaters, woolen blankets and other things that moths might attack, use care that the cat doesn't get in there. It might think the mothball can be played with and carry it around in its mouth. It might lick it, exploring the taste of this new item. Don't take that risk.

 

Cats are attracted to auto antifreeze, but it will kill them

Citrus Oils - are bad for cats

Watch Out for Citrus Oils


Citrus oils, which are found in shampoo, insect repellent, fragrances, and insecticide are very harmful to cats as well. Although these items can harm all pets, cats are more sensitive than dogs and if you treat a cat with dog products, the result could kill your pet.

Signs that your cat has ingested citrus oils include that common citrus smell, drooling, falling, trembling, and weakness. Eventually, liver damage occurs, and many cats experience liver failure, resulting in death. If your cat is treated, the prognosis is good, but left untreated, this poison could be deadly. Get the cat to the vet as quickly as you can.

Citrus Oil Products Can Poison Your Cat - Keep these away from the cat

De-Solv-it! 22608 Orange Sol Citrus Solution Spray, 12 oz
De-Solv-it! 22608 Orange Sol Citrus Solution Spray, 12 oz

Citrus is popular in cleaning products. Spraying this around where your cat would walk and then wash it's paws, might pose problems.

 

Be Cautious with Products with Citrus, Orange or Lemon on the Labels

Old English Furniture Polish: Lemon Oil 8 OZ.
Old English Furniture Polish: Lemon Oil 8 OZ.

This is a marvelous polish that I use often but I no longer have pets in my home. We just travel too often. For anyone with cats, I'd be wary of using this.

 

Let's See if You Were Paying Attention

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Cats Sometimes Lick Bars of Soap

Because of the high oil content in some soaps, it might attract a cat. A bar of soap inside a closed shower area is probably safe from a cat.

If you use liquid soap in a dispenser, it removes this temptation.

Most of Us Have a Bar of Soap on the Bathroom Counter

The high-fat content soaps such as facial soaps might appeal to a cat's taste buds. Either keep the soap in a drawer or use a pump type liquid soap dispenser.
The high-fat content soaps such as facial soaps might appeal to a cat's taste buds. Either keep the soap in a drawer or use a pump type liquid soap dispenser. | Source

If You Suspect Your Cat Of Swallowing Any Poisons Call Your Vet Right Away!


Therefore, it is simply important to call your vet if you see anything wrong with your cat at all. Cats are creatures of habit, so if your feline seems to be acting strangely, it is best to schedule an appointment.

Do what's best for your pet and try to keep harmful products in places where they can't be reached.

Take the Cat to the Veterinarian

Here I am with a vet in northern Maine, along the border to Canada.
Here I am with a vet in northern Maine, along the border to Canada. | Source

© 2008 Virginia Allain

Has Your Cat Ever Eaten Anything That Made It Sick?

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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      3 years ago from West By God

      They now put something in the antifreeze that cats don't like the smell of. I also have used products to claen my floors with the orange smell and it doesn't bother them. They stay away from the room that I used it in though. They hate the pine smell and give me weird looks when I clean with that.

      Plants! I can't have plants in my house that my cats can reach. I have one Red Rubber tree that one of my cats just loves to bat at the leaves and watch them fall off, but he doesn't eat it.

    • Virginia Allain profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Allain 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Thanks, Peggy. I'll look into the citrus products to see more specifically what ingredient is a danger. Maybe some have orange smell but don't contain actual citrus.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I have used orange smelling cleaning products for washing the floors for years and our cats seem just fine. Perhaps it does not contain enough citrus oil to matter but thanks for the heads up.

      We found out that snail bait can kill a cat. Something else to be aware of if one's cat roams outside.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      You have to be so careful always. If you have cats it is best to clean with steam rather than detergents.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      4 years ago

      Thus far, Boots the Cat has been fine. I don't usually have any poisonous items accessible in the house. And, I keep her out of the garage.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      You could be saving many from tragic heartbreak here with this information about common household cleaners that can put cats at risk. Important information presented with sweet as a kitten style. I just had to shout this on FB.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      So much helpful info. I have one suggestion...the part about "if you treat a cat with dog products, the result could kill your pet." I think it would be a great idea if you used a blackbox module right next to this and write this statement again. It may make all the difference to a pet owner. (We currently only have a dog, but I love cats also and I was not aware you couldn't do this.) Thank you for this page!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      7 years ago

      I'll have to investigate lemon floor polish as a citrus oil. Our floors are mostly covered with rugs, but the wood portions are cleaned with lemon and orange products. Thanks for this valuable information.

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