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Top 10 Cat Toxins of 2016 - Slideshow


ASPCA takes poison calls from pet-owners.

Top 10 Cat Toxins of 2016: A Slideshow

In 2016, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) took more than 167,000 calls from people whose pets had ingested something poisonous or potentially poisonous. They have released a list of the 10 most common items that caused toxicities in pets last year.

Chemicals used on the lawn can be toxic to cats.

Number 10: Lawn and Garden Products

Fertilizers, pesticides, and other lawn and garden chemicals can be toxic to cats. Be sure to read the labels on your products. Cats are safest indoors, but if yours does go outside, don't allow her on the lawn for the recommended period of time after using these products. Keep them locked up out of reach of your cat when they are in storage. Better yet, choose pet-safe products.

There are many plants that are toxic to cats.

Number 9: Plants

Cats are notorious for loving to chew on plants. However, there are plants that are toxic to cats, and many of them are houseplants. Be sure that you check every plant in your home for toxicity and remove any plants that could harm your cat if ingested. You can find a partial list of toxic plants with pictures here: "Common Plants Poisonous to Cats."

Rodenticides are deadly to cats that ingest them.

Number 8: Rodenticides

Rodenticides are meant to kill rodents. They do not discern between mice and cats, and they will kill cats just as easily. There are three types of rodenticide with different modes of action and unique treatments, so it's important to know which one your cat may have eaten when you call poison control or go to the veterinarian. Don't use rodenticides in your home if you have pets.

Take care using insecticides around cats.

Number 7: Insecticides

Insecticides can be exceptionally dangerous for cats that get into them. Make sure you read and follow the labels exactly, keep your cat away from dangerous chemicals, and, better yet, use pet-friendly products. Take care with spot-on flea and tick products from the store, as well. Many dog products are extremely toxic if they are used on cats.

Chocolate is toxic to cats.

Number 6: Chocolate

Chocolate is toxic to cats because it contains theobromine and caffeine. Both of these substances are toxic to the neurologic and cardiac systems of cats. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to cats. While cats don't tend to have as much of a sweet tooth as many dogs, some of them will try to get into chocolate, especially kittens. Learn more in our article, "Cats and Chocolate: Why Is Chocolate Bad for Cats?"

Cats may walk through construction areas and ingest toxins while grooming.

Number 5: Household Items

Paint, cleaners, and other household items were high on the list of pet poison calls that the ASPCA took in 2016. Cats love to help with household projects. Make sure that you protect your cat from these items.

Even medications that are safe for cats can be toxic if they eat too much.

Number 4: Veterinary Medications

Some medications made for cats are chewable and flavored in such a way as to be appealing to our feline friends. This is meant to make it easier for us to get them to take necessary medications, but it may also entice them to eat an entire bottle and overdose if they find it.

There are human foods that are poisonous to cats.

Number 3: Human Foods

There are a variety of human foods that are toxic to cats, including raw eggs, chocolate, and onions. Some cats love to eat human food, so it's important to know which ones to keep well out of their reach. Learn more here: "Foods Toxic to Cats: A Slideshow."

Many human medications are toxic to cats.

Number 2: Human Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications for humans, including natural supplements, were extremely high on the list of pet poison calls to the ASPCA in 2016. Cats are exquisitely sensitive to many medications. It is important that you keep all medication out of the reach of your cats and NEVER give your cat any of your medication without checking with your veterinarian first.

Never give your cat human medications.

Number 1: Human Prescription Medications

The most common pet poison exposure call that the ASPCA took in 2016 concerned human prescription medications. It is imperative that you keep all medications locked up out of reach of your cat. When you are taking medications, try to do so over a sink, counter, or table, so they don't fall on the floor and bounce away, to be found later by your cat. Under no circumstances should you ever give your cat any medications without checking with your veterinarian first.