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Tips for a Poison Safe Household...

July 26th, 2003, 01:32 PM

--1. Be aware of the PLANTS you have in your house and
in your yard, if your cat is permitted outside.
or YEW plant material by a cat could be fatal.

--2. When cleaning your house, never allow your cat access
to the area where CLEANING AGENTS are used or stored.
Cleaning agents have a variety of properties; from
those that could just irritate the gastrointestinal
tract to those that have a corrosive action and can
chemically burn the sensitive mucous membranes of the
mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

--3. When using rat or mouse BAITS, ant or roach TRAPS,
or snail and slug baits, place the products in areas
that are inaccessible to your cats. Most baits contain
sweet smelling inert ingredients, which can be very
attractive to your cat.

--4. Never give your cat any MEDICATIONS unless under the
SUPERVISION of YOUR vet. Many medications used safely
by humans can be deadly when used inappropriately. One
extra strength ACETAMINOPHEN (Tylenol) tablet (500mg)
can kill a 7 pound cat.

--5. Keep all prescription and over the counter DRUGS out
of reach of your cats. Pain killers, cold medicines,
anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, and diet pills
are common examples of human medication that could be
potentially lethal even in small doses. Only one half
of a 200mg NAPROXEN tablet could cause stomach ulcers
in cats.

--6. Never leave CHOCOLATES unattended. Approximately
one half ounce of baking chocolate per pound body
weight or less can cause clinical signs of toxicity.

--7. Many common household items have been shown to be
lethal to cats. Miscellaneous items highly toxic
even in low quantities include:

PENNIES - high concentration of zinc
MOTHBALLS - contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene
- one or two balls can be life threatening.
AUTOMATIC DISH DETERGENTS - contain detergents which
could cause lesions
BATTERIES - contain acids or alkali which can also
cause lesions
HOMEMADE PLAY DOUGH - contains a high quantity of salt
WINTER HEAT SOURCE AGENTS - like hand or foot warmers -
contain high levels of iron

--8. All AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS such as oil, gasoline, and
anti-freeze should be stored in areas away from cat
access. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze
(ethylene glycol) can be deadly in a 7 pound cat.

--9. Before buying or using FLEA PRODUCTS on your cat or
in your household, contact your veterinarian to discuss
what types of flea products are best for your cat.
Read ALL information before using a product on your
cat or in your home. Always follow label instructions.
When a product is labeled "for use in dogs only" this
means that the product should NEVER be applied to cats.
When using a FOGGER or a HOUSE SPRAY, make sure to
remove all cats from the area for the time period
specified on the container.

-10. When treating your lawn or garden with FERTILIZERS,
HERBICIDES, or INSECTICIDES, always keep your cats
away from the area until it has dried completely.
Always store such products in an area that will
ensure no cat exposure.

From an article by:
Jill A. Richardson, DVM
ASPCA/National Animal Poison Control Center