Signs of poisoning.
Cats are small animals so even a tiny dose of any poison or toxic substance can be dramatic for cats life. Cats’ organs aren't very capable of eliminating the toxins so they will suffer severely from poison. Dogs are more resistant. Poisons and toxins aren't just specific chemical substances, your cat could be poisoned from improperly stored cat food. Cats can be poisoned when grooming as they lick a toxic substance from their paws.
The signs of poisoning in cats
The first and the most common sign your cat may be poisoned is excessive saliva or drooling. Your cat may vomit foam or a colorless liquid. Their mouth may be foamy. Vomiting may indicate a poison irritating your cat’s digestive system. Your cat may vomit until their stomach is emptied, but that doesn’t eliminate the poison from their body. Diarrhea may also be a sign of poisoning and may occur with or without vomiting. A poisoned cat may pant, twitch, or have a seizure. Other possible signs of poisoning are lethargy, depression, disorientation, loss of appetite, weakness, and/or changes in their urine color. Signs of severe poisonings include swelling, blue gums, shock or fainting. If your cat displays any of these signs, take action immediately.
Here is a list of the most common signs of poisoning in cats:
- Excessive salivation or drooling
- Dark urine
- Twitching and/or seizures
- Excessive thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden depression followed by fainting or falling
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale or blue gums
- Other symptoms are possible
What can poison your cat
Unfortunately poisons can be found right in your home. Many common household cleaners are hazardous to your cat. Essential oils, detergents, medications, certain flowers and houseplants can be poisonous to your cat. Even some common foods can be harmful to your pet. For example, chocolate, grapes, all citrus fruits, raisins, alcohol, coffee, tea, onions, garlic, coconut water, raw eggs, raw fish, raw or undercooked meat, xylitol (gum), nuts, dairy products, liver (in large quantities), canned tuna, and yeast dough are proven to be toxic to cats. Insecticides, weed killers, pesticides, and rodent poison is poisonous to your cat.
Keep your house organized and clean.
Microorganisms can poison your cat’s drinking water. Your cat needs fresh and clean water. You should change their water frequently to prevent microorganisms like Giardia that live in dirty and stale water. Watery diarrhea is a sign of Giardia in your cat. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the area where the cats live are necessary for poisoning prevention.
Keeping common household items, chemicals, and foods behind cabinet and closet doors away from your cat.
What to do if you believe your cat has been poisoned?
Try to get the advice from the vet over the phone for immediate actions you should take. If you suspect a certain substance, share that with your vet. Take a sample of the suspected poison to your vet if you can. Don't panic; veterinarians are trained and experienced in these cases, but remember, poisoning can be life-threatening, so act immediately. It is not advisable for you to diagnose or treat your cat without seeking advice and treatment from a professional veterinarian.
Most poisonings happen in the summer
When the temperatures rise, improperly stored cat food becomes a breeding ground for food-poisoning bacterias to flourish. Temperatures between 41℉ (5 °C) and 140℉ (60 °C) promote the growth of food-bacterias.
Once opened, package food is at risk. Food poisoning is very dangerous, botulism can cause paralysis in your cat. Botulism is caused by the bacteria clostridium botulinum. This bacteria lives in contaminated food. It is found in canned foods. As the bacteria release toxins in the anaerobic (without air) environment, the can may appear puffy, dented, or bulging from the bacteria growth. Canned Food stored in at temperatures higher than 95 ℉ (35℃) is dangerous because clostridium botulinum thrives at those temperatures. It can be fatal to cats and even humans. Canned food must be thrown out if it is stored in temperatures of 100℉ (37℃) and above. At those temperatures, canned food becomes contaminated, poisonous, loses its nutrients, has a foul odour and it’s texture may change at 100℉ (37℃).
If you feed your cat frozen meat, make sure you defrost the meat and cook it through before giving it to your cat. It's advisable to defrost the food in the fridge and never refreeze meat once it has been thawed. Freezing meat to 0 °F will make all microbes, yeasts, bacterias and molds inactive but it won’t kill them. That is why it’s vital to cook food to its proper temperature to kill parasites, molds, and bacteria. Some microwaves will also kill microbes and parasites. Owners who feed their cats a raw meat diet should freeze meat for a minimum of 3 days prior to feeding.