Paws for thought | Felines need protection from fatal toxins

POISON RISKS: Cats are susceptible to a unique number of toxins including lilies and owners need to be very aware of what products they use on and around felines.
POISON RISKS: Cats are susceptible to a unique number of toxins including lilies and owners need to be very aware of what products they use on and around felines.

Cats, unlike humans and dogs, are particularly unique in things they are sensitive to.

Lilies: all parts of the lily - stem, flower, leaf and even the water in the vase are toxic to cats. Not much has to be ingested for intoxication to occur. The plant causes acute renal (kidney) failure and can affect cats very quickly.

The first signs are often vomiting and diarrhoea, then the cat seems to get a bit better, but one to two days the kidneys begin to fail.

Symptoms at this time are increased thirst, painful abdomen and extreme dehydration. Sometimes the damage can be irreversible.

It is very important to take your cat straight to the vet clinic if you suspect they have ingested any part of a lily plant.

Permethrin: a substance common in flea and tick prevention for dogs. Intoxication can occur if the product is placed on a dog and the cat snuggles up to or grooms the dog. Sometimes people accidentally put the wrong prevention on their cat.

Permethrins cause cats to have muscle tremors, shaking and jitters which can lead to seizures.

It’s always a good idea to check with your vet before putting any treatment on your cat.

Paracetamol: an over-the-counter pain relief that is quite popular for people but is very toxic to your cat. Cats metabolise these tablets in a different way and as little as one tablet can affect them.

Paracetamol changes the haemoglobin in a cat’s blood; this means that they are unable to get oxygen to their tissues and organs. It is very difficult to treat once symptoms have started.

It is important to check with your vet before giving any new product to your cat. Also be sure to contact them straight away if you suspect any toxicity or poisoning.