As pet owners, we always like to pamper our furry babies. We like to give them treats or toys to play with and we make sure that their food bowl is always full. Most of all, we tend to become over-protective and rarely want them to go out of the house. But what if we endanger our pet’s life because of products that we use like acrylic paint?
Acrylic paint and its main uses
Acrylic paint is known as a water-based paint with acrylic being the binder and water as the carrier. It’s water-soluble and when it’s dry it becomes water-resistant. It’s an environment-friendly paint that is quick-drying and doesn’t have a strong smell. Acrylic comes in latex, enamel, and latex-enamel varieties.
It’s commonly used to paint houses and buildings but it’s also a popular choice for decorative and creative painting. If you’re a painter and hobbyist, you are probably using this paint regularly to create your masterpieces.
Is acrylic paint toxic to cats?
Acrylic paint is generally safe for cats and it’s not toxic if your pet happens to lick and ingest it in small amounts. It may irritate the cat’s skin and mucous membranes but it should not lead to poisoning in small amounts. However, if your pet has ingested a large amount of paint, you should be alarmed especially if your cat starts to show symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
Are paint water and paint fumes dangerous to cats?
Similarly, paint water and paint fumes are tolerable for cats if ingested and inhaled minimally. However, it’s a different story if your pet ingested a great amount of paint water or inhaled a lot of paint fumes. Your pet may become dizzy, nauseous, or develop an allergic skin reaction. These fumes can also irritate the nose, eyes, and respiratory system of your cat.
Signs and symptoms of paint toxicity in cats
Watch out for these signs and symptoms if your cat has been exposed to large amounts of acrylic paint, paint water, or paint fumes:
- incoordination and has trouble standing or walking straight
- difficulty in breathing
- excessive salivation
- gastrointestinal distress
How to get acrylic paint off your cat
If you saw your cat licking acrylic paint from the wall, floor, or from its paws make sure to rinse her mouth. Wash the paint off with soap and water and gently scrub it off if it’s on her paws or fur. You may also use a soapy washcloth. Try to give your pet a light meal such as boiled chicken or fish and let her drink water or cat milk to dilute the paint she has ingested.
What to do if you suspect that your cat is poisoned by acrylic paint
If you suspect that your pet has ingested a lot of acrylic paint and beyond a tolerable level, do not induce vomiting. Doing so will only push the substance into your pet’s lungs and cause greater damage. Instead, coax and encourage your cat to drink at least a few ounces of water.
Call or better yet, bring your cat to the veterinarian right away.
Call your local Pet Poison Helpline immediately for instructions if for any reason you can’t go to the veterinarian the soonest.
Household items and products that are toxic to cats
There are certain items and products that should be kept away from your pet cat because they often contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. Here are just some of them:
Household cleaners and detergents
Each time you use a household cleaner or detergent make sure that your cat is out of the room or within the vicinity. These products contain ingredients such as chlorine, ammonia, bleach, or formaldehyde which puts your pet at risk for illnesses like anemia, kidney or liver damage, and cancer. If ingested, these items can cause vomiting, drooling, difficulty in breathing, and chemical burns.
Insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, and rodenticides
Keep these items away from your cat as these are harmful to her. Insecticides contain organophosphates and can be absorbed through the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs. Common symptoms due to exposure may include vomiting, drooling, shaking, muscle weakness, constricted pupils, and difficulty in breathing.
Over-the-counter human medicine and anti-depressants.
If your cat is showing signs of joint pain don’t administer medications like naproxen, aspirin, or ibuprofen which are normally meant for humans. Instead, consult your vet right away. These human medications are toxic for cats and may result in ulcer or kidney failure.
Similarly, human anti-depressants like Prozac and Effexor should be kept away from your pet. Cats tend to be attracted to the smell of antidepressants. However, it’s dangerous for them as it can cause tremors, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperthermia, and seizures.
Household and garden plants add a touch of charm to our homes but beware as some of these are harmful to our pets. These include tiger lilies, wood lilies, tulips, daffodils, philodendron, foxglove, and Japanese yew.
Some types of food and vegetables like onion and garlic
Don’t presume that what we normally eat are considered okay for our pets because sometimes it just isn’t so. Dark chocolate and caffeinated drinks are a no-no for our cats because it contains methylxanthines which can cause seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythm, and abdominal discomfort. Onion and garlic are also toxic for cats because they may cause gastrointestinal irritation and red blood cell damage.
Essential oils and liquid potpourri
These are now popularly used in most homes for their therapeutic benefits for humans. However, keep them away from your pets because it results in respiratory irritation. Essential oils like peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, tea tree oil, and ylang-ylang oil may cause ataxia or wobbliness, tremors, low heart rate, vomiting, and liver failure.
We can’t always keep an eye on our furry pets but it pays to be vigilant and mindful at all times. Certain items like paint, household cleaners, and certain kinds of food that are harmful to your cat should be kept away from them and stored in a secure place. Doing so means keeping up with our commitment to ensure the safety, protection, and care of our pet cats.