Common Things That Are Toxic For Your Cat

Cats are curious creatures, they love exploring and discovering all sorts of strange things, especially within your home.

It might be something messy, tasty, or just something they know is off-limits to them, but whatever it is your cat will most certainly use any moment they can to be on the hunt for something that can get them into trouble.

The real issue with this is not that they sometimes destroy things or make a mess, it's really that our loveable friends have no sense of danger when it comes to what they put in their mouths, and therefore no sense of what's toxic to them either.

As their owner it's your job to know what's toxic to them and keep it out of reach, not just on top of the fridge, but locked away and hidden from their tricky little paws. "So what is toxic, and where do I begin?" I'm glad you asked...



Human and Animal Medications:

You may have heard that some medications work for both animals and humans, and while that may or may not be true you should never let your animals near medication that was not intended for them.

Cats seem to think that certain medication, such as antidepressants, taste great and would love to have their way with them, however only one wrong of any kind of medication is enough to overdose a cat, and this can easily prove fatal.

Always talk to a vet about administering medication for your cat, and make sure they thoroughly explain the dosage and frequency of everything to make sure that you are treating your cat properly and safely.

And don't think that putting your pills on top of the fridge will keep your curious cat away! If a cat loves the smell of your medicine their natural instincts will encourage them to find a way to it, wherever it is!

Tuck it away safely in draws or locked cupboard where your cat can't break in and steal your stash.

Examples of Medications that are toxic to cats are as follows:

  • Antidepressants
  • Cancer Medicines
  • Cold medicines
  • Diet Pills
  • Pain relievers (acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Vitamins and other supplements



Human Food:

Yes, yes, we all know how hard it is to resist those cute little faces when they're begging to have a bite of your dinner, but in truth, human food is horrible for cats, they just don't know that.

Foods that we love they probably love too but just a few bites off of a plate can give your cat some serious issues that their internal organs will not thank you for.

Let's start with one that's not well known to a lot of people, dairy. In case you didn't know most cats are lactose intolerant to at least some degree, so giving them milk, butter, yogurt, or any sort of dairy can lead to vomiting and diarrhea which, just like in humans, can lead to life-threatening dehydration if severe enough.

If you really want to give your kitty some milk to lap up make sure you buy specially formulated milk for cats because it contains no dairy and won't hurt their little tummy!

Examples of Human Food that are toxic to cats are as follows:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine (coffee, soda, tea)
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Xylitol (found in sugarless gums, candies, and kinds of toothpaste)
  • Yeast dough
  • Fat Trimmings
  • Raw Eggs or Raw Fish



Indoor and Outdoor Plants:

Cats enjoying grazing on greens as a part of their daily life, so it's important to make sure that not only your indoor plants but the ones in your yard are all safe for cats to be around.

The fact that cats eat grass is strange in itself, their stomachs do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest grass so large amounts of it cause them to regurgitate it (in other words, they throw it up.)

However, it can be a , or bones that may be upsetting their stomach. It also seems to have a laxative effect on cats and can help keep them regular while clear any clogged up fur that might be stuck... down there.

Also, grass juice contains folic acid and is beneficial for your cat's diet. However, if they start eating grass in large amounts or want to eat grass daily you should take them to see a vet and make sure there's nothing wrong that grass can't fix.

Example of Plants that are toxic to cats are as follows below:


  • Aloe
  • Azalea
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Lily
  • Marijuana
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Tulip

Always check online or with a vet to make sure that any new plant to wish to introduce into your home is safe to be around your cat.



Insecticides, Pesticides, and Chemicals:

These should be a no-brainer when it comes to choosing what to keep away from your cat, simply because most of these things are toxic if ingested by humans let alone your little house cat, however, unfortunately, there are a few out there that cats think taste delicious.

Common in the warmer months of the year you will need to stay active in making sure your cat isn't accidentally exposed to anything that may harm them.

This means keeping them away from freshly treated lawns, sprays or powders, or any rodent and insect bait.

Also just as important to keep away from your cat is dog-bases topical flea treatments, these are not made for cats and are far too potent to be used on them, and can cause drooling, tremors, confusion, lethargy, and life-threatening seizures.

Always consult your vet before treating your cat with any topical flea treatments for advice on proper dosage and use.

Examples of Insecticides, Pesticides, and Chemicals that are toxic to your cat are as follows:

  • Antifreeze
  • Bleach
  • Detergents
  • De-icing salts (which pets may walk through and then lick from their pads.)
  • Dog, flea, and tick medication (pills, collars, sprays, shampoos, or liquids.)
  • Fertilizers
  • Herbicides
  • Insect and rodent bait



Essential Oils:

Beware of your beloved essential oils because they might just be killing your cat! Cats are very sensitive to smells and can be easily overwhelmed by the smell of essential oils.

Not only this but if they were to get any on them they may react with chemical burns to the skin or become poisoned if they ingest them, this is because a cats liver cannot digest the compounds found in some essential oils.

It is important to know that if you want to use essential oils around a cat they should be watered down or diluted in a carrier oil.

Animals react to a lot of things differently than we do but signs of a reaction to an oil include lethargy, drooling, increased breathing rate, scratching, and squinting. 

Keep all essential oils locked safely away from your cat and like with any poison, if they ingest any immediately call a poison centre or an emergency vetranarian.

Examples of Essentail Oils that are toxic to cats are as follows:

  • Cassia
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Spruce
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme



And though I know that's a lot there's really a lot more things that cats love to get into. Keep an eye out for glowsticks, chicken bones, small toys, holiday decorations, dental floss, yarn, string, jewelry, potpourri, or any other small objects they may be like to eat or swallow accidentally.

If your cat comes in contact with anything mentioned above and begins acting strangely take them to the vet or ring a poison hotline immediately.

Poisons can take effect immediately in cats or it might take days for them to react so keep an eye on your feline friend and ring to get advice even if you don't end up needing it. It's better to be a crazy cat parent and be safe, rather than sorry.


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