Snow globes can kill cats because they often contain ethylene glycol which is the same chemical used in antifreeze for vehicles and we know that antifreeze is highly toxic to cats because it damages the kidneys and kills the cat.
You wouldn’t necessarily know that snow globes contain something as toxic to cats as ethylene glycol but they often do. And guess what? Globes shipped over from China are more likely to contain this antifreeze chemical than ones made in America or in Europe.
Sometimes they contain a safer type of antifreeze, propylene glycol. The danger to cats arises because, as we know, domestic cats have a habit of knocking things off shelves. The snow globe breaks and the contents spill out over the floor. For some rather peculiar reason (the sweetness?) antifreeze is attractive to cats and having ingested it they become very seriously ill, very quickly. There is no possibility of treatment because the kidneys are effectively destroyed.
The only possible cure is a kidney transplant which is pretty well out of the question.
Clearly, cat owners need to be aware of this household hazard. Snow globes are very popular and commonplace in homes. The potential danger became a reality for Aimee Ellis of Mooresville in America. Her cat, Jinx, was being his usual curious self when he explored the laundry room on June 21 this year. He jumped up near some Christmas decorations and knocked over the snow globe onto the floor where it broke.
At the time Aimee was away. When she came back she cleared up the spillage and thought nothing more of it until in the middle of the night her cat began throwing up and then the seizures started. He died in her arms which was traumatic.
“I literally had to hold him as he seized and died in my arms”. (he was euthanized at the vets which is the usual outcome)
Aimee had no idea that the snow globe stored in her laundry was that dangerous to her cat. It appears that even veterinarians are not always aware of this. No labelling is required to indicate that the contents of a snow globe are toxic to domestic cats and one has to say children as well. They are liable to break a snow globe and lick their fingers.
Something should be done about it. Something should be done about the importation of these dangerous items from China. It is another example of unnecessarily shoddy product manufacturer from China creating hazardous objects in respect of companion animals.