As I walk my dog along the pavements I am constantly surprised about the number of rubber bands I spot.
Could it be that the postmen are unaware how dangerous these are to cats, dogs and wildlife? Or are they just too busy to care?
Young animals will pick things up and play with them just for fun, exactly as children do. But animals use their mouths to play, and an elastic band can so easily get caught in a tooth and then partially swallowed, or end up blocking the windpipe. Pets are usually lucky enough to have Vets like myself who can save their lives, but for wildlife this could mean a slow agonising death by starvation.
Cats are very sensitive to poisons, so we need to be extra careful. This is the time of year when we start getting our gardens in order, and this can present another hazard to them. If you are thinking about using a weed killer to get your lawn or patio summer-perfect, please read the label carefully first. There are many different types you could choose, but if you have cats or wildlife crossing your garden, you might prefer to choose the pet-safe types, or stick with good old fashioned hoeing.
And if your Mother’s Day lilies are coming out, remember to pinch out their yellow stamens, as the pollen not only stains but can be quite poisonous to nosy cats. In fact, if they should try eating any part of this plant it can be toxic, so better still: choose a different gift!
Another common indoor danger to cats is detergents. They generally become affected when they walk through a spill of household cleaner, washing up liquid or shampoo, then settle to groom their paws. These chemicals can be very irritating inside the mouth and intestines, resulting in drooling, vomiting and reluctance to eat.
But far worse is a playful puss who tries biting into a dishwasher tablet. This can explode inside the mouth and up into the nose, resulting in much more severe symptoms and potential lung damage. So my best advice to you is to keep these, and all potentially dangerous chemicals and plants well out of the reach of felines, just as you would from the children.
If you notice your cat is acting strange, or you are aware that they have had contact with any of your domestic chemicals, be sure to give The Mewes Vets a call on 014444 456886 so we can check your cat has not come to harm.