Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day: A Warning for Cat Owners

Valentine’s Day can be a deadly affair for cats
RSPCA NSW is reminding romantics that popular Valentine’s Day flowers can have deadly consequences for cats.

“Lilies are exceedingly toxic and should be avoided at all cost,” said Dr Magdoline Awad, RSPCA NSW Chief Veterinarian.

“All parts of the lily are toxic, even a cat licking a small amount of pollen off their coat or chewing on a leaf can turn fatal,” Dr Awad said.

A few hours after ingesting the poisonous plant, cats may become sick and lethargic. After 24 hours, symptoms usually ease, but acute kidney failure develops within 2-3 days. If untreated, cats can die within 3-7 days.

Indoor cats and kittens are especially drawn to flowers and plants, as they are a form of environmental enrichment. As they investigate the plant, it’s common for them to play with and sometimes chew parts of it — ingesting possible toxins. Pet owners should instead provide safe and appropriate enrichment such as catnip and cat grass as well as interactive toys for their cats.

If a pet owner suspects that their cat has ingested any part of the lily plant, they should take their cat to a vet immediately. “Prevention is by far better than the cure,” Dr Awad advised.

Other flowers that may cause vomiting, loss of appetite and depression include:
  • Tulips
  • Carnations
  • Daffodils
  • Holly    
  • Mistletoe
  • Ivy
  • Bergonias          
  • Azalea
  • Iris
  • Bird of paradise
  • Baby’s Breath

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