It’s Spring! Here are 9 Things to Watch for and Keep Kitty Safe

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Now that Spring is in the air, it is a good time to be reminded of some of the hazards of which cat owners should be aware. Vets Now has put together the following list based on the issues they see this time of year.

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Plants and flowers

– Avoid using pesticides, slug and snail pellets (see below), or any other chemicals

– Check labels for the inclusion of cocoa shell mulch which contains the same toxic ingredient as chocolate

– Look at your garden and the surrounding areas for toxic species like lilies, daffodils, and azaleas

– Watch for signs of poisoning such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing, contact your vet immediately


Slug and snail pellets (metaldehyde)

– Metaldehyde is the toxic compound sometimes used in those products, and even small amounts is highly dangerous

– Signs will be seen within an hour of ingestion and include lack of coordination, muscle spasms, twitching, tremors, seizures and even death if left untreated.  Your cat will need urgent veterinary treatment if affected


Easter eggs

– Chocolate poisoning is a big source of pet emergencies

– Be aware which other human foods are dangerous to cats, and make sure any house guests know the rules too

– If you are having a BBQ, keep kebab skewers, alcohol and bones away from pets

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– Pets can have allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime, so watch for out itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin

– Also be on the lookout for changes in behavior due to irritation

– Some pets may also show signs of respiratory issues or runny eyes


Grass blades

– If cats like to eat long or decorative grasses there is a risk of it becoming stuck in the nose and throat

– Watch for signs of breathing problems, coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite and nasal discharge


Insect stings

– Wasps and bees can be fun to chase, but they can also sting. Often this will not be a emergency, but you should check carefully to find and remove the sting if it’s still in place. Bathe the area in bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to 1 and 1/4 cup warm water). With wasp stings bathe the area with malt vinegar or lemon juice

– Stings occurring in or near the mouth or neck may require veterinary assistance

– Cats can be or become allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.

– Keep your cat is up-to-date with his vaccinations, flea and tick medications as this is the time of year fleas and ticks start to increase in number



– Springtime is when female cats will start coming into season, so it’s essential to get them spayed to control the pet population



– When snakes are coming out of hibernation, they are not completely alert and able to move quickly, making them even more prone to biting

– Snake venom is highly dangerous to cats. If you suspect your cat has been bitten by an snake seek urgent veterinary treatment immediately


Permethrin (insecticide)

– Flea treatments for cats and dogs are not interchangeable

– The insecticide Permethrin is often found in over-the-counter ‘spot-on’ flea treatments for dogs, but is highly toxic for cats

– Cats can have mild signs of poisoning following close contact with a recently treated dog

– Signs of insecticide poisoning include drooling, tremors, twitching and seizures the onset of those symptoms is usually rapid. Contact your vet immediately if you think your cat has been poisoned by insecticides. Cats that receive immediate treatment and survive usually suffer no long-term effects

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