Onions are toxic to cats - photo by Jim (Flickr)
August 2010: A lot of things are toxic to cats or it seems that way. I wonder if more things are toxic to cats than humans. I don't think so. We just have to think more about what is toxic to cats as we are their caretakers. That said, personally, I have never been confronted with a case of a substance being toxic to a cat other than flea treatments.
On one occasion many years ago, I used a spray on my Missie. She licked it and foamed at the mouth - straight to the vet. She was unharmed but never again. "Spot on" flea control products (putting a drop on the skin) can be very poisonous if we don't read the instructions and for example put a flea treatment made for dogs on cats. That can lead to permethrin poisoning. This can kill the cat and causes severe tremors, salivation and seizures in cats.
I have already mentioned poisons.
We should take great care when applying chemicals to our cat by reading the instructions. It is interesting to note that the instructions include a reference to how the flea treatment can cause irritation (and worse?) on our skin! What about the cat? See also Flea Treatments Can Kill.
Here is a list of foods that are toxic to cats: Alcoholic beverages, Avocado, Chocolate (all forms), Coffee (all forms), Fatty foods, Macadamia nuts, Moldy or spoiled foods, Onions, onion powder, Raisins and grapes, Salt, Yeast dough, Garlic, Products sweetened with xylitol.
Pop-top cans may be lined with a chemical that is poisonous to cats and humans (potentially). This is a problem that exists in Europe, the USA and quite likely elsewhere. The Independent newspaper reported on this, recently (April 2010). The authorities in Britain have said it is OK. The USA is more concerned about it.
The chemical is bisphenol-A. This chemical may cause hyperthyroidism in cats. A 2004 study reported in the AVMA Journal (Edinboro, et al.) showed a correlation between the use of pop-top cat food cans and the subsequent development of hyperthyroidism.
Lawn care chemical, 2-4-D, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a common systemic herbicide used in the control of broadleaf weeds. It is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the third most commonly used in North America1.
This chemical is used to improve lawns. Cats go on the lawn and then lick themselves. The chemical may cause health problems in cats and humans such as cancer (lymphoma in dogs and humans). Personally, I would not mix lawn treatments with outdoor cats.
Insecticides can harm cats. Cats are sensitive to chemicals used in insecticides such as organophosphates and permethrin - moreso than dogs. These chemicals can be found in garden products. Great care, it seems, needs to be applied when dispersing these products if there is a cat in the family who is allowed out.
Please read Joyce's article on mothballs poisoning cats. Mothballs are very toxic to cats. We lost 4 cats in one week by mothball poisoning.
Phenols, chemicals in some floor cleaning products can be toxic to cats. In the USA these products include: Lysol and Pine-sol. Cats walk on freshly cleaned kitchen floor that has not been rinsed and dried. They lick themselves clean and ingest the chemical. Bleaches causes salivation and vomiting due to ulceration.
Rat and Mouse Poison
Rat or mouse is killed by a poison laid down by cat caretaker. Cat eats rat or mouse. Cat is poisoned. Read more: Will rat poison kill a cat?
Don't administer pain relief to cats without strict veterinary supervision. See Feline Pain Relief. For example, aspirin in toxic to cats.
This is called "Ammonium disinfectant" Causes vomiting, diarrhea, neurological depression, seizures.2
These cause vomiting, lack of balance, tremors, seizures and irregular heartbeat.
In improperly glazed bowls and poorly manufactured toys for example. Poisons the cat cans caused vomiting, muscle spasms, hysteria and blindness.
Gasoline, solvents, paints
Poisons the cat.
Cat Antibiotics can cause an allergic reaction
2. The Veterinarians' Guide to Your CAt's Symptoms
Major source and guide: