Do you have a rambunctious cat? Does curiosity get the better of them? Do they get into things and places they shouldn’t? What you and your furry friend may not know is that there are plenty of dangers lurking in plain sight. Taking the time to learn more about what is toxic to them can very well save your cat’s life. If you are curious to see exactly what your cat can get into that can pose a risk to their health, continue reading the article below to learn about some common ways cats accidentally get poisoned.

Cats are known to climb high places, be careful when setting poisons product in an open, high cupboard.

Cat-Proof Your House: Common Items and Chemicals You Need to Hide

When you have a child, it’s common knowledge best to put household chemicals somewhere out of reach, right? The best possible advice for cat owners is this:

If it applies to your child, do the same for your feline friend. Cat-proof your home!

Items such as bleach, deodorant, deodorizers, disinfectants, laundry capsules, detergent, and furniture and metal polish can all be poisonous to your cat. Their toe beans might get burned as well from concentrated liquid and powder cleaners if they come into contact with these chemicals.

Unsurprisingly, human medicine can poison them if not properly stored or closed as well. Common medications such as antidepressants, laxatives, aspirin, cancer pills, diet pills, cold medicines, and paracetamol are dangerous. Even vitamins and supplements can be poisonous to your four-legged friend.

However, the list doesn’t stop here. You need to keep your kitties away from beauty supplies too. Products like nail polish, nail polish remover, shoe polish, and hair dyes are harmful. Your home’s beauty supplies are also included in this lineup of self-care products. Put up paint, varnish, paint remover, mothballs, and wood preservatives. These can cause blisters on their coat and burning on their pads. Photographic developer is also dangerous!

If you have a garage that your cat has access to, put products in here up as well. Antifreeze, brake fluid, petrol, and windscreen washer fluid are toxic to felines. Antifreeze is an especially important product to keep away from your pet as cats find it to be sweet-tasting and delicious. What they are unaware of, however, is that any amount ingested can cause kidney failure and death. This is because it contains ethylene glycol and methane, both of which are highly toxic to cats.

Be careful what you give your begging cats. Not all human food is safe for them!

Hide the Alcohol

Some human foods can be poisonous to cats (despite the fact that they do not produce ill effects for us), such as alcohol, caffeine (soda, coffee, teas), chives, garlic, chocolate, grapes, onions, raisins, sugarless gum, and yeast dough, just to name a few. We all know that, sometimes, our cats like to try and steal a bite from us or trick us into feeding them. No matter how cute or convincing they may be in the moment, always be wary of what you’re giving your animals. If you’re unsure about the safety of a certain food or drink, do your research prior to giving it to your cat.

The Dangers of Chemicals

Chemicals that are used to maintain plants and lawns including insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, molluscicides are all dangers to your outdoor cats. Organophosphate, pyrethroids, metaldehyde, methiocarb thiophanage-methyl, benomyl, brodifacoum, difenacoum, chlorophacinone, and coumatetralyl are all common toxins found in gardening products. Fortunately (all but rodenticides) are all safe if the cat is not in the spray area until it dries and they are used at the proper strength. Rodenticides are the common culprit for feline pesticide death, and this will typically occur when a cat consumes a poisoned rat or mouse. Also avoid de-icing salts that may burn their paws or be ingested during grooming.

These should all be properly and safely stored away, and all spills should be cleaned up immediately. Avoid high shelves that cats can get into as they might knock the products off. Use only a closed secure cupboard for the storage of these products.

Cat and dog products should be used for their applicable species due to differences in toxic triggers.

Can You Use a Dog Product on a Cat?

Permethrin is a substance found in a number of spot-on preparations in dog products for controlling fleas and lice. These products are harmful to cats and should only be used on dogs. You should also be careful administering these to your pooches if you have cats as they may accidentally ingest it while grooming their canine friends. Signs of this type of poisoning include symptoms such as excess salivation, elevated thirst, high temperature, tremors, and convulsions. If you see your cat displaying these symptoms, immediately contact your vet or take them to an emergency vet for treatment.

Keep an eye on what plants your cat ingests.

Omnivorous, Not Carnivorous

Household and outdoor plants can be toxic to your kitty. A majority of cats won’t eat foliage that is toxic to them, but they do nibble on herbs and grass for digestive purposes, and an indoor cat will be looking to do so as well. If an indoor cat can’t find these harmless plants in their environment, they might go for something else to chew on, which can spell disaster.

Common plants like the Aloe, Azalea Chrysanthemums, Hyacinths, Marijuana, Mistletoe, Tulips, Lilies, Rhododendrons, and Poinsettias are dangerous indoor and outdoor plants that can cause harm to your cat.

Lilies are incredibly toxic and should be avoided at all costs. These cut flowers can poison a cat with not just a leaf but with their flower and pollen as well. If ingested, a single leaf can cause kidney failure and veterinary treatment will be needed immediately to avoid death.

To avoid any of the complications listed above, buy them pet-friendly cat grass that they can nibble on when they need to. You should also be wary of fertilizers used in your you as well because they are known to be toxic to animals.

When to Head to the Vet

Poisoning symptoms for cats include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Depression
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive drinking or urinating
  • Shivering, seizures
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Skin irritation
  • Tremors
  • Excess saliva

Collect any vomit, feces, and poison your cat might have eaten for the vet. Call Animal Poison Control for further information and to help stop the spread of toxins if your cat is injured outside.

While there are a lot of things that can poison your cat, the right information can go a long way in keeping your cat safe and sound. If you are bringing a cat into your home, use the guide above as a resource to cat-proof your home before you introduce them to the family!


Grace Hazzard (4)

A Professional Whippet Aficionado living in Portlandia and the mullet with the most.

My natural-born son: Edmund, first of his name, Ed, Big Ed, Noodle of Heads, Sea Dragon of Oregon, the Soft Lamb of the Couch, Snuggler of Blankets, Cry-Baby of the Pacific North, and the Whippet in my bed.

My natural-born daughter: Fern, first of her name, Fern Gully, Ferninator, Fernicus, Mad Queen, Boss of Kibble, Protector of the Abode, Loafer of Loafs, Licker of Faces, Butt with the Fluff, Stray Dog of Roads, and my firstborn.

  1. Congrats Grace! Amazing work!!

  2. Awesome work! “Hide the Alcohol” haha. Love that so much.

  3. Nice job! My stepmom had a cat that drank antifreeze and she had to give it basically home dialysis by injection because it killed the poor things kidneys. Crazy what they can get into!

  4. This was really good and an interesting read! Nice job!


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