In Barbados, there is a culture of feeding our pets a variation (or leftovers) of what we eat. However, some everyday foods and items are not safe for cats to eat or come into contact with. Below are some items which are particularly dangerous to your cat.
Just like humans, cats can get intoxicated when they drink alcohol, but it is believed that as little as a tablespoon of alcohol can be seriously problematic for your cat and cause liver and/or brain damage.
The onion family, whether eaten raw or cooked in sufficient quantity, may give your feline an unpleasant digestive upset and are best avoided. Keep these foods out of reach of your cat.
Most cats are lactose intolerant, and giving them a saucer of milk may give cause stomach upset. Instead, it is better to leave down a bowl of fresh water, as branded cat milk has no nutritional value.
As with dogs, chocolate is poisonous for cats thanks to its key substance, theobromine. Even a small amount can cause heart problems, kidney failure and/or seizures, so it is always best to keep those chocolate snacks hidden away.
Cats like to eat grass when they are outside, but sometimes they bring this habit indoors and chew on houseplants, and many of these can be toxic. Lilies, in particular, have a sweet scent which attracts curious cats. However, its orange pollen is highly toxic and causes fatal kidney failure in cats. Brushing against the flower can cause pollen particles to cling to their fur, which is ingested during grooming. Avoid having these types of houseplants in your house.
Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol)
Cats find antifreeze appealing because of its sweet taste. Ethylene Glycol is the chemical compound found in most types of antifreeze which is very toxic to cats. Even just a few drops of this in a puddle or spill under your car is enough to cause serious, if not fatal, kidney damage if your cat were to eat it or walk through it and then lick their paws. Symptoms include vomiting, drooling, loss of appetite, excessive urination or none at all.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets are highly poisonous to cats and should never be given to them as pain relief. Paracetamol, in particular, is very toxic to cats and can cause irreversible damage to their red blood vessels and liver. Signs to look out for include panting, difficulty breathing and a brown tongue and gums.
What Should I Do If My Cat Has Come Into Contact With Something Poisonous?
Even small amounts of these items can be fatal if consumed, so always act immediately and take your cat to the vet.