Be Aware of Spring Time Hazards

March 30, 2015

Crocuses are in bloom and cherry blossoms decorate the sky, which means spring is here. With these beautiful signs of the season, it is a good time to remind ourselves to be aware of common hazards for our kitties associated with this time of year.

Many species of lilies are toxic to cats. The Easter lily is highly toxic and potentially fatal, even if a small amount of a petal or leaves is ingested. Ingestion of any part of an Easter lily can result in severe kidney failure in cats. Signs to watch for are vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. If ingestion is suspected, seek veterinary help immediately.

For many, spring means Easter chocolate bunnies and eggs will be found tempting all of us around the house. Chocolate can be very toxic to cats, depending on the type and amount ingested. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which can be dangerous to cats. Depending on the amount and type of chocolate ingested, your cat may exhibit the following signs:

  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors and/or seizures
  • Racing heart rhythm progressing to abnormal rhythms
  • Death in severe cases

Dark and baking chocolates are the most dangerous to your cat. Be sure to keep chocolate treats away from your cat. Call your veterinarian if chocolate toxicity is suspected, even if only a small amount was consumed.

Easter Baskets
Cats love to play with string toys, which is why cats can be attracted to the plastic green grass and ribbons used to decorate Easter baskets. These materials can become trapped in the intestine and may cause an intestinal blockage if ingested. If you notice a length of plastic grass or ribbon protruding from your pet’s mouth or anus, do not pull on it as it could be trapped far inside the body. Contact your veterinarian immediately for appropriate treatment.

Springtime is when we begin prepping our lawns and gardens for the season, adding fertilizing and soil amendments for lush beautiful growth throughout the year. When using fertilizers, watch out for the following ingredients that are particularly dangerous to cats:

  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Organophosphates

If you suspect your cat has ingested anything potentially toxic, call your veterinarian immediately. You may also consult the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.