Our glorious task of thoroughly researching and presenting our beloved friends and readers with the most useful and interesting kitty info in one place is an educational one, even for us! Many of us who have cat owners like to believe that we know all there is to know about this special species, simply because we love them so much… and, because we’ve happened, by dumb luck, to stumble on all the best advice when looking for upset tummy solutions or “best organic flea treatment” searches.
Believe us, our feelings were a little bruised, too, but we urge you to listen! In some recent research, one of our dear friends learned that her two cats have been sleeping on top of something that, with prolonged exposure, can kill cats before we even know what made them sick. Moth balls!
Of course, many of us know that, if ingested, things like moth balls is detrimental to a feline’s health. However, so can lying in a box with a few thin blouses covering a dense layer of moth balls. Residue from the moth repellant settles on everything it touches, until it is washed clean. Eventually, the feline feels the desire to bathe, but none to leave the comfy warm spot on which it worked so hard, and they ingest the moth ball particles that made their way onto kitty’s coat.
It doesn’t sound fatal on impact, and it’s typically not (unless the cat eats an entire handful of moth balls). Our friend’s cats enjoy the smell of those “putrid balls.” They would never get so close to something that could make them so sick, would they? Isn’t that against their nature? Yes… when they’re wild in NATURE! However, the chemicals of moth balls, even once they’ve “expired” are toxic to cats, especially when inhaled in confined spaces, like her closet!
Feline pets usually don’t have to worry much about safety or survival, because we worry enough about that for an entire litter of us. Therefore, that inborn alert instinct of self-preservation goes to sleep, once they come to love and trust us. And trust me, they don’t interrupt that critical nap before bedtime to Google “Are Moth Balls Deadly to Me?”
A Few Other Harmful Items
If we sound like so many broken or condescending records, we don’t apologize! Some of the things we learned, we DID know. However, the amount of stuff we did not know was enough to light fires under our tails, because we love our felines to the moon and back! So, be patient! Even if you know EVERYTHING we list here, someone else reading this didn’t!
- Compost. What’s a little garbage though, right? Digging out the tuna can your fur babies thought you forgot about or wallowing in an overturned waste basket until they find the other half of your chicken sandwich is one thing. Compost is decaying materials that ferment for days, or weeks. Anything that sits in its own funk for that long will smell deadly, but this is comparable to spoiled food (to an infinite degree). No expired or rotten food is OK for cats, and the fumes from the compost can make a cat terribly ill in a matter of days.
- Liquid potpourri. Even organically-made fragrance oils and mixtures can contain pet-not-so-friendly ingredients that irritate your cat’s skin, respiration (like an asthmatic attack), and death, in severe cases.
- Tobacco. Those who smoke usually stop reading right about here, but please don’t! We adore smokers, but the fact is that your sweet kitten can’t successfully, and should never, consume or inhale tobacco products. We’re making this point because, for DECADES, humans used tobacco as one of “grandma’s remedies” for worms. Maybe some fresh tobacco leaves straight out of a garden are a little better, but no nicotine hits shelves without being tarred and (addictively) feathered. Even the rolling tobacco is not necessarily “100% all-natural.” Plus, I don’t know about you cat-lovers, but a nic-fittin’ kitten would make me coocoo for tree climbing… at 90 MH.
- Roses. Yes, they are red, and they can make your kitty very blue, if he or she sneaks rose petal salads or your aromatherapy tea blend. While not instantly fatal, roses can make your cat’s stomach feel like their catnip developed a taste for tequila, and the tequila made a taste on the floor.
- Eucalyptus. You know the burning sensation you feel whenever you rub in pungent creams on sore muscles, or use chest rubs to alleviate congestion from colds? That is the eucalyptus burn. It’s therapeutic for us, but imagine that happening to your cat, from the tip of its tongue, to its tiny caboose. That’s how it feels to them if they swallow a tiny minty taste. If they sit, step, or lie in it and spend hours licking off their coats, the plant oil can begin to do damage to the feline internally.
- Onions. Since so many humans are repulsed by all things onion, many of us naturally assume that animals, especially fussy cats, would detest the vegetable. However, cats, in defiant moods, will do, and eat, anything possible to rebel, and onions are an immediate threat. If a cat eats onions, the toxin they produce during digestion can damage the feline’s red blood cells, which causes a type of anemia. In many tragic cases, the cells begin to rupture as the poison continues through their bodies, and… you get the idea.
Twist ties. I rescued one of my little ones when he was just 4 weeks old from a twist tie. I never keep them, unless I have an immediate need for one, but somehow a tie made its way into the floor where human eyes couldn’t see it, and tiny kitten paws discovered it. It was almost too late by the time I reached him, and I was only in the next room, sponge bathing the babies. He not only tried to swallow the folded tie, but it was woven around his little teeth, which were brand new, but very sharp. Just as I thought I was losing him, his back tooth released its hold, and I eased it free of his mouth. I still have nightmares about what would have happened if I had been a couple of moments later.
Our cats are precious to us, are they not? We feel that information critical to their lives and well-being bears repeating, until it goes viral! Of course, there is always someone in the world somewhere with the only cat(s) who survived onion-induced blood cell trouble, or swallowed a twist tie whole and pooped it out in a ball a few days later. There are always those “lucky” critters. However, the odds aren’t always in your angel’s favor, so please don’t leave things to chance, or kitty nature!