What’s Toxic To Cats

A few things you may not have known are toxic to cats. If you suspect your cat has ingested any of these, take her to the emergency pet hospital immediately. (This list may be incomplete, do not assume things are safe if they are not on this list. ASK YOUR VET.) Please email me if you know of something I should add to this list, thank you. 🙂

HUMAN FOOD

  1. Garlic, Onions, Chives. Garlic is in a LOT of sauces and premade foods. Read ingredients before letting them eat or even lick a plate.
  2. Raw eggs, raw meat, or any bones. If some “guru” on the internet has recommended a raw chicken diet, you must research that A LOT and speak to your vet first. There are many details and precautions to know before trying this at home.
  3. Chocolate. Chocolate has theobromine, that stimulates humans like caffeine, but can give cats a heart attack.
  4. Caffeine. Cats cannot process caffeine.
  5. Alcohol of any kind. Can harm the liver, kidneys and be fatal, depending on amount given.
  6. Raw dough. It creates alcohols in the stomach, and can be fatal.
  7. Milk or dairy. Cats digest only their cat mommy’s milk for a few weeks. After that, it will give them the runs, and can severely dehydrate them.
  8. Grapes or raisins. Even small amounts can lead to liver failure and death.
  9. Xylitol. It’s in toothpaste, candies, gum, some keto foods, etc., can cause severe stomach issues, seizures and possible death.
  10. Dough of any kind. Can expand in stomach and become painful and toxic.
  11. Dairy. After kittenhood, cats become lactose intolerant. Diarrhea and dehydration are the most common issues.

MEDICATIONS

  1. Tylenol / Acetaminophen (fatal), Ibuprofen, Aspirin
  2. Anti-depressants, unless prescribed by the vet, and be very careful with dosage.
  3. Cancer meds, Cold meds. Never try even a little.
  4. Diet Pills, caffeine pills. Cats cannot process caffeine, can lead to seizures or heart attack.
  5. Many Vitamins & Supplements, even “herbal” formulas. Ask your vet.

OILS & HERBS

  1. MANY essential oils, including: Oil of wintergreen, oil of sweet birch, citrus oil (d-limonene), pine oils, Ylang Ylang oil, peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil
  2. Castor oil
  3. Marijuana. The fresh or dried leaves, oils, extracts, edibles, smoke and even the vape, is toxic to cats.
  4. Chamomile. Some types are toxic, so it’s best to avoid all kinds.
  5. St. John’s Wort.
  6. Lemon grass, Mint, Tarragon, Oregano

PLANTS

If you suspect you have any of these in your home, do a google image search and find out. Consider removing the plant or put it in a hanger that the cat cannot reach. Please check ALL of your houseplants before bringing a pet home, as this list may not be complete. Both android and apple have poison plant identifier apps. 

  1. Aloe
  2. Azalea
  3. Chrysanthemum
  4. Hyacinths
  5. Lily
  6. Marijuana
  7. Mistletoe
  8. Poinsettia
  9. Rhododendron
  10. Tulip
  11. Oleander

CHEMICALS

It’s wise to keep all chemicals in a cabinet that is locked or shuts very tight. I keep locks on mine because I had friends visiting with toddlers, so it was pretty much required. Cats are curious though, if you don’t shut a cabinet all the way, they will investigate. I recommend a latch like this.

  1. Antifreeze – almost always a death sentence, and a slow, painful way to go. See my article: reasons to keep cats indoors.
  2. Bleach & Detergents
  3. Lysol and other things with phenol
  4. Dog flea and tick medication (pills, collars, spot-on flea treatments, sprays, shampoos)
  5. De-icing salts (which pets may walk through, then lick from their pads)
  6. Fertilizers
  7. Herbicides
  8. Insect and rodent bait

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

It’s wise to keep all chemicals in a cabinet that is locked or shuts very tight. I keep locks on mine because I had friends visiting with toddlers, so it was pretty much required. Cats are curious though, if you don’t shut a cabinet all the way, they will investigate. I recommend a latch like this.

  1. Dental floss, yarn, hair ties, or string. Cats will chew on and swallow it. This can lead to emergency surgery to repair blockages and/or strangulated intestines. If you ever see a string hanging out the back end, do NOT pull it out! Take him to the vet immediately.
  2. Wand toys with string. Put those away when not playing with your cat.
  3. Holiday decorations, including lights and tinsel
  4. Toys, gadgets or electronics with small or movable parts
  5. Glass knick-knacks on shelves. Cats love to knock stuff off, and then it can break, leave small shards, which cat could walk through and cut their pads or even then lick off.