We’ve all heard the saying curiosity killed the cat, and if you own a cat you’ll know it runs true. Whether they are indoors or outdoors, cats love to explore and play with everything. Luckily, they are quite picky about what they eat. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t chew or eat something dangerous that’s found on the ground.

Some cats are partial to a hairband or two, and others love to eat household plants. It’s important to ensure potentially dangerous items are kept out of your cats reach. It’s also essential to know what you can and can’t feed them.

So what are the 5 common cat dangers you need to be aware of?

1. Toxic foods

Fortunately most cats won’t eat dangerous foods such as chocolate, grapes, sultanas, onions, garlic, nuts, sage and avocados but they will play with a dropped grape or raisin so it’s best to pick them up straight away.  More appetising foods such as cooked bones, dairy items and fatty foods such as sausages and ham can also be dangerous to eat and are best avoided and kept out of reach.

Cats also love to play with non-food items such as hair bands and elastic bands which are often the cause of blockages in cats requiring surgical intervention.

2. Flowers and plants

Some household flowers and plants are extremely dangerous to cats. Lilies, in particular are deadly. When ingested, lilies can cause acute kidney failure and if left untreated can be fatal.  All parts of the lily are toxic and are best avoided in cat households.

3. Worms, ticks and infectious diseases

Worms, ticks and infectious diseases are very dangerous to cats and are easily prevented. Cats should be vaccinated yearly to maintain immunity and if they are outdoor cats their vaccines should include protection against Feline Leukaemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline Aids).

Paralysis ticks are the most common cause of death in cats so if you only do one form of preventative health care, make sure its regular tick control. When choosing tick control it’s best to speak to us before you buy to ensure you’re purchasing a product that is not toxic to cats.

Permethrin is a common chemical used in many flea and tick prevention product as it is very effective at killing insects and parasites. This chemical is extremely toxic and is responsible for 50% of reported poisoning in cats worldwide. Read more about permethrin toxicity in cats here. Obesity is also a common danger and cats who are obese are at a greater risk of developing a whole range of conditions such as arthritis, heart and respiratory disease, heat stress, diabetes etc so it’s important your cat maintains a healthy weight.

4. Outdoor explorers

Cats that spend time outdoors are at greater risk of accidents and injury. Cars, in particular, are a great danger to cats and falls are common. Outdoor cats are more likely to be injured by dogs and are often involved in cat fights which puts them at risk of exposure to Feline Leukaemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Keeping a cat indoors is commonly thought of as cruel but it’s much safer for your cat.

5. Medications

Common household medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are highly toxic to cats and even in very small doses can cause serious harm. Keep all human medications away from your pets and consult us before giving your cat any medication. Even some herbal products such as tea tree oil for example are highly toxic.

If you suspect that your cat has eaten something they shouldn’t or been exposed to something dangerous contact us immediately.

Cairns Veterinary Clinic is proud to have been caring for Cairns furry family members since 1966. With 2 convenient locations, Pease Street and Norman Street, Gordonvale, our clinics are staffed by a great team of hard working and dedicated veterinary professionals who treat your pets as if they are their own.

With a vet available 24/7 and 365 days per year, we are always here when you need us. Contact our friendly staff for all your pet’s healthcare needs.