Thursday, March 6, 2014

Please don't eat the flowers!

With Spring right around the corner, you might be tempted to bring home some colorful, fresh flowers or compelled to do some deep cleaning. Keep kitty's safety in mind however, as you endeavor to celebrate the season; certain flowers and cleaning agents rake among the top poisons that can harm cats. Indeed, we recently visited our veterinarian and our doctor's day had started out very sad when a feline patient was brought in with acute renal failure from ingesting lilies. The cat's family didn't know what caused his sudden illness and it wasn't until after his death that they discovered he had nibbled on a bouquet they had brought into the home only a few days earlier. If your kitty loves to chew on plants simply swing by any produce department and pick up a tub of "cat grass." It only lasts about a week so you may need to buy fresh each time you go to the grocer but it's completely safe and often organically grown so you don't need to worry about pesticides either.

Cleaning products that are toxic for your kitty are probably also toxic for you as well. Switching to products from Dr. Bronner's, 7th Generation, and BioKleen, or making your own with white vinegar and baking soda have the added advantage of being cruelty-free (not tested on animals like Clorox, Proctor & Gamble, and SC Johnson products all are). Instead of chemical "air fresheners," try using zeolite crystals near the litter box. These can be "recharged" by setting them outside in the sun on bright days and rinsed off if they get dusty. I also like cotton balls soaked in essential oils such as peppermint or lavender tucked into a tall jar or placed out of an area kitty can reach. This is a great "emergency" fix when I've had to transport Tom cats in my car to be neutered!

Check out the link below with lists of common household hazards to both cats and dogs, plus phone numbers for posion control centers you can call anytime: