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Spring is a time filled with renewed energy, Easter celebrations, more time spent outdoors, spring cleaning, and home improvement projects. However, before you spring into action, consider taking note of the potential dangers these seasonal activities can pose to your feline family members.

Windows and Screens

Open windows, while a sensational way to enjoy the spring air, can potentially put your cat at risk. Cats can quickly jump or fall through unscreened windows if they are not in place correctly. Make sure all windows are equipped with secure, sturdy screens before opening them up to enjoy the spring air.  

Easter Baskets and Candy Treats

Easter baskets are fun to look at and more fun to make and receive. However, this holiday candy can often contain chocolate and other ingredients that can affect your kitty’s nervous system. It is best to keep these goodies far out of paw’s reach.

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free gum and candy, can be toxic to pets. Xylitol increases the release of insulin in dogs and cats, causing a decrease in blood sugar levels. Consider checking all product labels to see if they contain Xylitol before bringing them home or around your pet.

Some common household products that contain Xylitol include:

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash and Oral Rinses
  • Chewing Gum
  • Sugar-Free Candy
  • Sugar-Free Peanut Butter
  • Sugar-Free Breath Mints
  • Baked Goods
  • Sugar-Free Puddings and Jell-O
  • Multivitamins
  • Sweeteners for Baking

Decorations in Easter Baskets

Plastic eggs and colorful, shredded Easter grass are all part of the fun of the season. However, cats love anything they can explore, try out, and possibly play with or eat.

If any of these decorations are ingested, your kitty could wind up with a blockage in the digestive tract. It’s best to leave all baskets and Easter goodies in a hidden, hard-to-reach location during this holiday.

Cleaning products

Spring is the perfect time for a new, clean start!  However, the same chemicals that make your cleaning products effective can be toxic to pets. To keep your curious cat safe, read the labels of all cleaning products – even those that are labeled “natural.” 

Additionally, beware of alcohol, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide around your cat. According to The Humane Society, cleaning products that have powerful odors should alert cat owners to danger.  

Here are some spring cleaning safety tips to consider to help keep your furry friends safe:

  • Keep Kitty out of the room while you are cleaning
  • Read and follow the directions on all product labels
  • Avoid distractions when cleaning – focusing solely on cleaning will reduce the chances of accidentally leaving cleaning supplies out where curious paws (or tongues) can get into them
  • Rinse cleaned floors with water after cleaning with a chemical cleaner
  • Let newly-cleaned surfaces dry before allowing your cat back into the room
  • When you are done cleaning, carefully close all cleaning containers and store them safely out of paw’s reach

Seasonal Products that are Toxic to Cats

Chances are spring cleaning will include garage cleaning or garage reorganizing. Since a change of seasons involves yard work, many people will be packing up the winter items and taking out the outdoor lawn and garden gear. Many of the substances most toxic to cats are seasonal, outdoor products9.

Some examples of toxic products include items such as:

  • Antifreeze
  • Detergents
  • Ice-melt
  • De-icing salt
  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Rodent killer 

If you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances, contact your veterinarian or call ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline (888) 426-4435. 

Pesky Parasites

If your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, chances are she is eager to get outdoors and soak up some sun. It won’t be long before fleas and ticks are out in force as well. So, if Kitty is not on year-round preventative medication, now is an excellent time to check in with your vet and start a parasite preventative.

Vaccinations that Need Updating

You may be diligent about keeping your cat close to home. However, suppose she is catching some rays on the catio, and an uninvited animal wanders onto your property. In that case, your pet is at risk for certain diseases.

Ask your veterinarian if your cat is up-to-date on all vaccinations. If not, it’s a good time to update any of your feline friend’s expired vaccinations. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.