Friday, March 23, 2012

The Poisoning of Cats in the Spring and Summer

As spring and summer approach, most families with pets will be spending more and more time outside. Many cats are permitted outdoors in warmer weather and so will also spend much of the spring and summer outdoors enjoying the sunshine. But even indoor cats or those who never step off the front porch can be poisoned with common household items that make an appearance in the spring. Be aware of which items pose a risk and limit your feline's access when at all possible.

Lawn care products are one of the greatest culprits of cat poisoning in the warmer months. Fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides are incredibly toxic to cats. When applied according to the manufacturer's directions, most of the chemicals are safe. However, cats are curious creatures and poisoning generally occurs when they come into contact with the concentrated product. To avoid this, store products securely and never use more of the product that recommended. Cats have died from walking across a lawn where too much fertilizer has been applied.

Animals of all kinds like to chew on plants, including cats. Fortunately, most outdoor grasses are non-toxic. However, as gardens are planted in the spring, many potentially toxic plants sneak in. Educate yourself before planting either indoor or outdoor plants. Pointsettias, Easter lily, tulips, lily of the valley, azaleas are among the most deadly, but research each plant before adding to your garden to avoid inadvertently poisoning your cat.

As you plan your garden and fill your planters this spring, take the time to consider the health and well being of your cat. Reserach each product and plant you use carefully and choose less toxic options whenever possible. This will help ensure a safe and happy season for everyone, including your feline companions.

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