Chocolate is just as dangerous for kitties as it is for dogs. In some cases, it can be even more dangerous for a cat, since they’re usually smaller than most dogs. The best way to prevent chocolate poisoning is to keep chocolate out of your cat’s reach. This can be easier said than done, given how curious cats can be. Store your chocolate on a high-up shelf and in a container that feline paws can’t easily open.
Chocolate poisoning can cause many of the symptoms listed above, including vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, and panting. If you notice these signs and suspect your cat ate chocolate, contact your emergency vet, as well as the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661. If you can, have the following information ready, as it may help your vet determine the next course of action:1
- The specific type of chocolate
- The amount ingested
- When you think ingestion may have happened
- Symptoms you’ve noticed
Once at the vet or emergency hospital, they’ll likely try to induce vomiting to purge the toxins. Fluids and medication may also be given to treat the symptoms and help your kitty recover.
Many cats love playing with string, which can all too easily lead to them swallowing said string. Although it may seem harmless, swallowing any foreign object can cause complications. The most common result is creating an obstruction in your cat’s digestive tract. Obstructions can lead to everything from a choking hazard to swelling of the stomach and intestines. In some cases, the string could even puncture your cat’s stomach or intestinal lining.2
The best way to prevent this is to keep strings away from your cat, but accidents can happen. If you suspect your cat ate yarn or a string, watch out for lack of appetite and increased vomiting, as well as a swollen stomach and restless behavior.4 Your vet can determine conclusively if a swallowed string is to blame, usually with an X-ray and ultrasound. Treatment may involve an endoscopy to remove the string or surgery if it’s a severe case.
Plastic is everywhere, and it also happens to be something many cats enjoy chewing on. If you’ve noticed your kitty gnawing on plastic items, know that they’re at risk of swallowing some of the material. Although cats will sometimes vomit or pass the plastic pieces on their own, bigger pieces can be a choking hazard or become stuck in their digestive tract. If your cat ate plastic, it’s best to bring them to the vet immediately. They can determine how large the swallowed plastic piece is and whether surgery is required to remove it.
Immediate action may be required if you find your cat choking on a piece of plastic. The best way to prepare for such an event is by taking a pet first aid class. You’ll learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your pet and safely remove items from your pet’s throat, among other potentially life-saving techniques.
Have you ever noticed your cat hunting a bug that’s made its way into your home? This can be a good way for them to exercise their hunting skills. If your cat ate a fly or a bee, they likely won’t have trouble digesting it. But it could expose your kitty to certain parasites, including hookworm, heartworm, and tapeworms.3
Hunting bees also comes with the risk of being stung. A bee sting can cause painful swelling or worse if your cat has an allergic reaction. The best way to protect your cat is to remove bees and other dangerous insects before your cat can come into contact with them. If your cat gets stung, bring them to the vet for assessment and treatment.