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Cat Health News
Holidays increase food risks for cats
The holiday season is a fun time for family and friends to celebrate, but it is also a time when cat owners should be aware of holiday dangers for their beloved cat.
Foods create some of the biggest threats to cat health, and one of the most hazardous foods is a staple during the holidays: chocolate. Chocolate can cause seizures and possibly death in cats. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.
Chocolate contains the compound theobromine which is a diuretic as well as a cardiac stimulant. This can cause the cat's heart rate to increase or it may cause the heart to beat irregularly, both of which can be dangerous to the animal.
Keep holiday chocolates out of reach of curious cats. Be aware that many cats can get into boxes of chocolate under the tree or on the coffee table, even if the candies are wrapped.
Rich, fatty foods such as pork, turkey skin or gravy can overwhelm a cat?s digestive system and cause pancreatitis. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea and severe abdominal pain, resulting in an emergency trip to the veterinarian.
Bones may be the most tantalizing treat for cats, but they also are dangerous. Small bones or bone chips, particularly those from birds, can become lodged in an animal?s throat, stomach and intestinal tract. These bones also can splinter and form needle-like shards that can damage a cat?s stomach or intestines. In some cases, surgery is required to remove the bones.
Feeding undercooked food can result in bacterial disease in cats as well as humans. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning and other bacterial food-related conditions are similar to those for pancreatitis and sometimes include a high fever.
Onions, commonly found in dressing or stuffing, can be toxic to your cat. When ingested, they can destroy red blood cells and result in anemia.
To avoid many of these food hazards, consider feeding cats before the festivities begin to discourage cat interest during the party. Keep goodies out of cats? reach. Keep all leftover foods in tightly closed containers, and keep garbage cans secured.
Remember, accidents happen.