Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas Dangers for Pets, What not to eat...

Keeping our beloved fluffy family members safe during this holiday season is possible.  Being aware of what is dangerous to them is the first step.
Cats naturally have an alert system built into them to help them know whether or not to eat a poisonous plant or something that is bad for them.  Cats though love to nibble on greens, and can be very curious indeed, so it is good for us to know what is and what is not toxic and potentially poisonous. 

Some symptoms of toxic poisoning can resolve themselves on their own if not too much is consumed...but, a visit to a professional or at least a call to who you entrust to care for your fluffy friend can never hurt.  If for any reason, you are worried, call your vet.
Poinsettia's are beautiful and part of most every body's holiday decor, but their stems, leaves and flowers are poisonous to your kitties.  This plant can cause stomach upset resulting in diarrhea and vomiting.  Many florists might say now that due to hybridization that these plants are no longer poisonous, I think it is better to be safe than sorry.
Holly berries are poisonous and can cause stomach upset resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.
Jerusalem Cherry Plant is a beautiful plant, but the fruit on the plant can cause not only severe stomach upset, but can also lead to death for your furry friend.

Mistletoe berries can cause your pet to have trouble breathing and they can experience cardiovascular problems, stomach upset, diarrhea and vomiting if they have eaten enough.  Mistletoe berries cause hallucinations in human beings and can also cause your pet to behave erratically.  This is a plant that can cause death.
Christmas Cacti can cause stomach upset resulting in vomiting and diarrhea if they eat these pretty flowers or the cactus itself.

Pine Trees are not only toxic and can cause liver damage but the needles being so sharp can also cause damage if swallowed.
Amaryllis flowers are one of my very favorite of Christmas flowers, but the flowers themselves are very toxic.  Vet care is needed if your pet consumes this flower as it can result in neurological problems including tremors, excessive salivating, and anorexia.  These flowers also cause stomach upset inducing vomiting and/or diarrhea.

The Evergreen tree called the Yew tree is very poisonous to your cat.  The needles, stems, bark and seeds are highly toxic causing tremors, cardiovascular problems, trouble breathing and heart failure.  This evergreen is sometimes used in greenery around the home.
Fir Tree oils can cause stomach upset resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.  The needles on any Christmas tree can cause puncturing of internal organs such as the stomach and intestinal tract.
Artificial trees are not able to be digested causing stomach upset.
Juniper berries have a lot of different uses and can be wonderfully fragrant, but are guilty of causing kidney problems in cats and should not be consumed by them.  Some of the organ damage caused by ingesting this berry can affect the kidney, stomach, heart, and liver.

Other toxic foods to kitties can include and are not limited to


There are over 700 different herbs that are poisonous to cats, and cause kidney, heart, liver and nervous system failure,  If you have any question about a certain plant, herb or food item, simply call your vet, a poison control center or check the web for up to date information

Also a lurking danger is the Christmas tree water dish and whatever you may put into it to help preserve the life of the tree.  Chemicals, fertilizers and aspirins are all dangerous if digested.

Tinsel, ribbon and many tree decorations are shiny and attractive to your kitty and can be life threatening to them if eaten.  Never try to remove ribbon or tinsel from the mouth or anus of your pet if swallowed.  Always seek professional medical attention.

Visit your vet for follow up care, in some soon as you know they have ingested these poisonous items.

A list of some additional toxic flowers can include and are not limited to

Lilies can cause death in your kitty
Daisies (excluding Gerber Daisies)
Birds of Paradise
English Ivy
Bonsai Plants
Jade (certain types)
Baby's Breath

For an extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, you can visit among many other sites available on line this link here

I wish you a very happy and safe holiday season for your family and your pets : )  and so does our fluffy family member, Buddy : )

Orchids are not poisonous, he thinks they're pretty : )

Napping : )

This post is not to concern you to the point where you do not enjoy all of the beautiful greenery there is to enjoy throughout the season, but to serve as a precautionary education in what is poisonous and what isn't.  Many family felines have been and can if not already, be trained to not eat these specimens or any household plants for that matter.  You can also with this knowledge place these Christmas items out of kitties reach : )

I think, although it's not Tuesday today, that this post will be this week's Tuesday Tip of the Day : )

On line References:

Links to the photos used in this post I found on line are posted beneath the photo itself.
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