Why are cat poisoning symptoms on the rise?

Posted by Nurse Whiskers. November 29th 2015.

Calls to the RSPCA about cat poisoning symptoms rose from 862 in 2013 to 919 last year and there have already been more than 700 in 2015.


Cats like to lick things and it is important to check on their welfare during Autumn and Winter

How can you prevent cat poisoning?

While there are some high-profile cases of cats being deliberately poisoned by criminals, it is thought the majority of cat poisonings are as a result of an accident, by licking or eating items which are harmful.

There are several common plants, for instance, that are dangerous to cats. Poinsettia, the house plant usually sold near Christmas, is poisonous to cats. Contact can cause irritation to the skin, while ingestion could induce vomiting and diarrhea.

Chrysanthemums and clematis are also among the many plants poisonous to cats. Discourage your cat from spending time in the same area as plants and, if possible, keep houseplants out of your cat’s reach, particularly during the day.

Many home medicines pose a threat to cats. Aspirin is potentially dangerous to cats as they cannot clear it from their bodies. Do not give your cat any medication without veterinary advice.

Antifreeze is the poison that has been making the headlines in recent months, with cat owners claiming their pet has been deliberately given it to drink.


Always make sure your cat is safe during colder months as they like to take refuse under cars at this time of the year

While this may be the case, it is also true that antifreeze is attractive to cats because it is sweet, so they may even seek it out.

Even small amounts of antifreeze, deicer and screenwash can potentially be fatal. So, although your cat may want to seek refuse under cars at this cold time of year, it is important to know where they are and that they are safe.

If using antifreeze in water features in your garden, make sure your cat does not drink from them. Clear up any spillages of such liquids straight away and keep bottles and containers tightly close and in a safe place.

Cat poisoning symptoms to look out for

Signs your cat has been poisoned might be obvious, such as vomiting or diarrhea but they might also be subtle. Look out for lethargy, a loss of appetite or depression.

What to do if you think your cat has been poisoned

Take your pet to a vet immediately. If you think it is because your cat has eaten something it shouldn’t, then take the offending item with you if possible – this will give the vet a better chance of identifying the problem and coming up with a treatment.

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