If you can't tell already, I'm a major pet person. I have 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 newts, 4 freshwater aquariums and 1 saltwater nano-tank.
If I were to go into all the fish...well it'd be a long boring blog for most folks.:D
I'm one of those folks who at wal-mart tell people at the fish tanks," You can't put that fish in that tank with that other fish,...that one needs this temperature and the other one.." You get the picture.
In any case I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog about once a week on pets.
This one is going to center around things that are bad for your pet.
Lets start with cats.
Cats like to chew on plants. Any outdoor cats regularly chew on grass. I was told ( I don't even remember by who it was so long ago) that cats eat grass to make them throw up and relieve them of hairballs. I have no idea if that's true. I think cats just throw up on your favorite things to remind you of your place ;)
You should take care if your cat is eating grass from lawns, fields, under hedgerows etc. The grass could contain weedkiller or other chemicals that could be poisonous.
If your cat is an indoor cat I'm sure you have found nibble points on house plants. You should be careful of this as well since some houseplants can be VERY poisonous to your kitty. There is a wonderful list HERE to let you see if you have any plants that are dangerous to your kitty.
Once you are sure you only have safe plants in the house with your cat, you can get kitty grass kits at the pet store and at some stores like Wal-mart, Target, etc.
(clicky on pic for a cat grass store :D )
This will give your cat a safe plant of their own to munch on and will save our precious houseplants. Dried potpourri is also dangerous to your cats don't leave this out where they can access it.
Now if your cat is like my cat, it begs/demands your food.
I really hate to tell my cat no to anything but there are things you should know about some human foods and how they affect your cat.
Onions, garlic, and other root vegetables: can cause anemia in your cat
Apricot, cherry, peach pits, almond nuts, apple seeds: can cause cyanide poisoning
Alcohol: duh BAD, can cause coma and/or death
Green tomatoes, raw potatoes:violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms
Avocado: can cause vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death (wikipedia)
Chocolate: chocolate toxicity
Grapes and raisins: kidney damage
mushrooms: many kinds are poisonous to lots of pets. Since there are SO many kinds or mushrooms and all haven't been established as safe or poisonous, its best to take the safe route and avoid them with pets altogether.
Also bad for kitty: soy or rice brans, hops rhubarb and any food that's gone bad. Seriously if you open the fridge and go "eww lets just give that to the cat"...DON'T!
Foods that can be dangerous if given too often:
Tuna, Yes TUNA! Too much tuna can cause steatitis (yellow fat disease) Liver too. Too much liver or cod liver oil can cause vitamin A toxicosis. Too much aw fish can cause
thiamine deficiency. The key here is moderation. As an occasional treat these are fine just don't overindulge your cat.
Milk. In complete opposition to every Saturday morning cartoon you ever grew up with, most cats are lactose intolerant. This means most likely giving your cat milk will cause stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. My cat is gassy enough thanks. There are several product on the market for cats that can satisfy your cats desire for milk (mostly just your desire to spoil that baby but hey, both works right?)
Cats HAVE TO EAT MEAT! Now if you have pledged to the vegetarian lifestyle good for you, humans can do just fine like that. But don't push that off on your cat. You will have a very unhealthy cat. Cats MUST have taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 that they can only get in sufficient amounts by eating meat. If a cat goes without taurine, the cat's retina slowly degenerates and the cat suffers eye problems and can become irreversibly blind.
A great source of info on cats and the reasons they need meat to live well can be found HERE. That's a vegetarian website telling you the cats need meat. Can't get much more serious than that!
Hope this helps you be sure your kitty lives long and healthy.
Next time we will look at what your dog should avoid :D
I'll leave you with a quote I love. I wish I knew who originally said/wrote it.
"Cats were put into this world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man"
In loving memory of my best friend, he had a long happy life and I miss him dearly.