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Join date : 2010-09-25

PostSubject: Poisoning   Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:50 pm


In addition to obvious dangers such as rodenticides, insecticides and weed killers, cats may be poisoned by many chemicals that are usually considered safe.[95] This is because their livers are less effective at some forms of detoxification than those of other animals, including humans and dogs.[26][96] Some of the most common causes of poisoning in cats are antifreeze and rodent baits.[97] It has also been suggested that cats may be particularly sensitive to environmental pollutants.[95][98] When a cat has a sudden or prolonged serious illness without any obvious cause, it is therefore possible that it has been exposed to a toxin.

Human medicines should never be given to cats. For example, the painkiller paracetamol (also called acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol and Panadol), is extremely toxic to cats: even very small doses can be fatal and need immediate treatment.[99][100] Even aspirin, which is sometimes used to treat arthritis in cats, is much more toxic to them than to humans and must be administered cautiously.[95] Similarly, application of minoxidil (Rogaine) to the skin of cats, either accidentally or by well-meaning owners attempting to counter loss of fur, has sometimes been fatal.[101] Essential oils can be toxic to cats and there have been reported cases of serious illnesses caused by tea tree oil, and tea tree oil-based flea treatments and shampoos.[102]

Other common household substances that should be used with caution around cats include mothballs and other naphthalene products.[95] Phenol-based products (Pine-Sol, Dettol (Lysol) or hexachlorophene[95]) are often used for cleaning and disinfecting near cats' feeding areas or litter boxes but these can sometimes be fatal.[103] Ethylene glycol, often used as an automotive antifreeze, is particularly appealing to cats, and as little as a teaspoonful can be fatal.[104] Some human foods are toxic to cats; for example theobromine in chocolate can cause theobromine poisoning, although few cats will eat chocolate.[105] Large amounts of onions or garlic are also poisonous to cats.[95] Many houseplants are also dangerous,[106] such as Philodendron species and the leaves of the Easter Lily, which can cause permanent and life-threatening kidney damage.[107]

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