No – baby powder is not safe for kitty cats. The primary ingredient in baby powder is talcum powder, which is made from a mineral called talc. Talc is also included in some pet grooming products and many adult topical powders. If swallowed or inhaled, talcum powders can and will poison a cat. On the same note, several studies have linked the powder to cancer. At the time of publication, however, the tests and analyses were inconclusive.
The powder (talcum) is made of talc, which is mostly oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. In its pure form, talc may have traces of asbestos. Since the 1970s, however, many home-use talcum powders have been free of asbestos. As already mentioned, talcum powder is used as a base ingredient in adult body products and baby powder. Also, it is included in the grooming powders and shampoos of pets. While it effectively reduces rashes caused by friction and absorbing moisture, talcum has some very adverse health risks if swallowed or inhaled. This is noted by the Medline Plus website (of the National Institute of Health). The website lists several symptoms that come up when talcum powder poisoning happens, the most common being health problems. Here is a tabulation of the specific issues that may arise:
|Problems That Come Out Of Talcum Powder Poisoning|
|Difficulty in breathing||Shallow or rapid breathing||Coughing|
|Lung failure||Kidney and bladder malfunction||Eye and throat irritation|
|Skin blisters||Diarrhea and vomiting||Convulsions and coma|
Is Baby Powder Safe For Cats?
The ACS (or the American Cancer Society) says that the concern about talcum powder causing cancer stems from the asbestos involved, which is a known carcinogen. The ACS engaged in studies to show that some lab animals which were exposed to asbestos-free talc powder developed tumors while others did not. Other studies note a 30% increase in ovarian cancer among women who use the powder as their hygiene product.
Some pet groomers will not mind sprinkling talcum powder on cats that are long-haired so that their matted fur gets entangled. However, there are several alternatives to the product to avoid health issues.
Cats, whether pet or feral, usually clean themselves. So, it worth considering whatever comes into contact with their skin, paws, and fur. This is including the talcum powders. To avoid the pet products that use talcum powder, cat groomers can separate mats by hand or clipping.
Feline Safety 101: Top Household Hot Potatoes For Cats
Since we’ve already identified baby powder products as cat hazards, how about we look around the house and see others? Your cat, like others, is curious and likes to stick its nose into very random places. This exploration, however, may expose them to the not-very-obvious hazards at your house. In this section, we are going to look at the things around the house that may threaten your cat’s health and safety:
1. Human Medicines
Some of the prescription and over-the-counter medicines for people pose severe threats to the felines. So, it would be okay if you kept them in hard-to-reach places. The medications include antidepressants, cold medicines, diet pills, cancer medicines, pain relievers (ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen), and vitamins together with other supplements.
You may have picked out that some human medicines work perfectly for cats. Be advised not to give any pets your pills without talking to your vet first. If you make a misguided move, you may give them too much or the wrong medicine, which may kill the cat.
2. Insecticides And Chemicals
Some compounds and mixtures have a delightful taste to cats, but they may have lethal effects. Keep the following chemicals locked safely away from cats: de-icing salts, bleach, antifreeze, detergents, dog tick and flea medication (collars, sprays, shampoo, flea treatments, pills), fertilizers, herbicides, and rodent and insect bait.
3. Some More Hazards In Your House
Watch out for some everyday household items which can strangle or choke your cat. Some of them may even cause intestinal blockage in the feline that swallowed them. Here are the things: dental floss, string, yarn, chicken bones, holiday decorations (such as tinsel and lights), and toys with movable and small parts.
If you think your feline friend has been poisoned or exposed to a toxic thing, contact your vet immediately. Also, get the APCC, or the Animal Poison Control Center. Those groups of people will guide you into the next steps. On top of that, you can do some sample collection. Take samples of the poison, stool, and vomit. Take them along with you as you go to the vet.
Apart from calling and sampling, you will need to pay attention to the cat and see if any of the following symptoms are manifesting: confusion, breathing problems, depression, diarrhea, dilated pupils, stomach upsets, frequent urine, shivering, seizures, tremors, skin irritation, weakness, and vomiting.
Once the cat recovers from the toxicity, ensure that you call a humane society or your poison control center to tell them what happened. The information will help them to track problem poisons to prevent further harm to any other animals.
Cat Safety 101: Blameless Houseplants
Why do pets such as dogs and cats engage in eating houseplants? Several people think and believe that it is meant to process hairballs or calm stomach upsets. Others believe that the pets are trying to remedy the issue of nutritional deficiency. During play sessions, you are likely to find dogs and cats chewing on some houseplants. So, it can be very challenging to keep houseplants away from a pet that is very determined to chew. You should ensure that whatever plants you cultivate in your home are safe for all pets. Except for edibles such as cat grass, it is better to keep all the houseplants away from pets as much as you can.
Let’s tune in to another frequency. The ASPCA has recognized some plants as being non-toxic to both dogs and cats, and they are as follows:
This is a popular gift plant, and people usually exchange it during Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. If you receive this gorgeous bloomer, you will not need to worry about harming your cat. This Brazilian native will require you to provide it with constant moisture and indirect sunlight.
2. The African Violet
This one is among the most popular flowering houseplant. This is because it can bloom well in low light. It has an affinity for environmental conditions similar to what people like: average humidity and moderate temperatures. Choose a soil-free potting mix and use a balanced fertilizer if you want the African violet to have the best health.
3. Baby Tears
This creeper is made of tiny green leaves and adds character to small hanging baskets and terrariums. Also, it is a companion plant around the indoor trees’ bases. You can use baby tear plants to get the soil covered and discourage the pets that like digging in your houseplants.
If you have some large houseplants like the weeping fig that make bold statements, you should be careful that cats do not ingest them as they are toxic. However, the banana is a dramatic accent that is safe for every pet. It would greatly help if you watered it regularly, give it bright light, and use rich soil on it. This will emulate and imitate the banana’s natural habitat.
5. The Spider Plant
Also known as the airplane plant or the ribbon plant, the spider plant looks just as cool today as it did in 1978. The spider plant is not poisonous to dogs or cats, and it tolerates a wide range of moisture, soil, and light conditions.
6. The Venus Fly Trap
If you have any carnivorous plants, you know that they make a funky and fun addition to your houseplant collection. So, what really happens when your cat pounces on the traps when they shut. The flytraps are not toxic to pets, but they will nibble on your cat a little bit, but you won’t be required to go to the vet. To keep the flytraps active and in a fly-catching condition, expose them to bright light and use distilled water for their irrigation.
7. Areca Palm
This houseplant is also known as the butterfly palm. If you use this plant in any interior, it will feel like you are in the tropics. The palm fronds may trigger the cat’s biting and swatting instincts, so remain calm since the plant is not toxic to cats.
8. The Boston Fern
These are a resilient houseplant favorite, but their shaggy and ruffled fronds might tempt your kitty cat into chewing them. The foliage of the fern is not toxic to cats. So, get your bathroom or guest room brightened up with these plants. Boston ferns like lots of indirect, bright light and humidity.
9. The Zebra Or Peacock Plants
These usually bear huge tropical leaves that have fascinating stippling. Also known as the calathea, the plants are excellent choices for creating shady spots in your house. Avoid exposing them to too much light since their leaves will bleach out.
Feline Safety 101: Human Foods That Cats Shouldn’t Eat
We’ve looked at household products, insecticides, and other chemicals, and just recently, we listed and explained some household plants. The first group of items should not be given to cats, and the household plants will have no problem being around the feline. In this final portion of the article, we will look at some NO-NO foods for cats. Every food item listed should not be within reach of any cat because it may make the cat feel off. Check them out and keep your feline safe:
A. Garlic And Onions
Cats should be eating raw garlic and onions, but those are not the only ones to avoid. You better hold your cat off from any form of garlic and onions, even the powdered and the dehydrated ones. The reason for these anti-onion and anti-garlic views is that they contain disulfides and sulfoxides that may poison a cat by breaking down its red blood cells. In turn, this causes the cat to develop weight loss, lethargy, gastrointestinal problems, and anemia.
B. Raw Eggs
It is a bad idea to feed your cat with raw eggs. They shouldn’t eat the raw eggs for the same reasons we don’t – raw eggs contain salmonella bacteria. If the cat ingests salmonella into its system, it will develop the following symptoms: vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea.
Salmonella is not the only reason you should not feed cats with raw eggs. Uncooked eggs typically contain avidin, which is an enzyme that decreases the absorption of the B vitamin known as biotin. This can cause some skin problems and hair coat issues to your cat.
It can be extremely dangerous when you give your cat any alcoholic beverages. Actually, the alcohol can lead the cat into a coma, intoxication, and in extreme cases, death. Even a tot can damage your brain and liver. If you have a five-pound cat that ingested two teaspoons of whisky, it will go into a coma. The reason why alcohol is very toxic is that its absorption into the body acts very quickly. If you think that your cat has been poisoned by alcohol, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
D. Yeast Dough
Cats cannot eat yeast because the yeast will have the same reaction in the cat’s stomach as it does in the dough. It will start rising in the cat’s belly, and when it does, there could result in a rupture of the intestines and the stomach. Apart from rising, the yeast will start fermenting and release alcohol in the stomach. The effects of alcohol, as you already know, are adverse. Once you see your cat having ingested yeast dough, call a vet as soon as you can.
E. Raw Fish
While cats do love fish, it is very unsafe to feed them the raw kind. Raw fish carries bacteria that may get the cat poisoned or lead to gastrointestinal upsets. The raw fish can also destroy or eliminate thiamine, which is essential to cats as it promotes proper neurological health. On top of the poisoning and thiamine elimination, raw fish can also cause seizures, loss of appetite, and death.
F. Green Potatoes Or Tomatoes
Green potatoes and tomatoes have in them glycoalkaloid solanine, which is a poisonous alkaloid. As it is very toxic, it can lead to a lot of gastrointestinal problems. However, some pet foods have tomatoes but are ripe and in minimal quantities – they do not present a big problem.
If there is one human snack that you shouldn’t feed cats, then it is chocolate. The reason behind banning chocolate from being eaten is a toxic substance known as theobromine. Chocolate toxicity can cause your cat to experience the following: irregular heart rhythm tremors and seizures. If it is in excess, it can even cause death. So, you should keep all types of chocolate away from your cat.
H. Milk And Dairy Products In General
It is a surprise that cats cannot drink milk. It is okay to feed kittens with milk but is not for adult cats since they (the adults) are lactose intolerant. Grown-up cats will have a challenging time breaking any dairy products that you give them. This is because they do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the milk’s lactose. So, feeding a lot of milk to a cat will make it experience diarrhea and lots of stomach upsets. If you really feel like feeding your cat with milk, go to a pet store and get lactose-free milk. That way, your cat will have its milk without experiencing the caveats.
Caffeine is found in tea, chocolate, coffee, cold medicines, and even cola. The element can be hazardous, especially if your cat consumes lots of it. The symptoms that are likely to be manifested when a cat ingests a lot of caffeine include tremors, heart palpitation, rapid breathing, and restlessness. As implied, a large caffeine amount can be fatal and lead to an unfortunate feline death.
Xylitol is contained in many products like candy, gums, baked foods, toothpaste, and diet foods. Ingestion of xylitol by the cat could lead to liver failure. Xylitol will raise the cat’s insulin levels, and thus, the sugar levels of the feline will go down. When the cat becomes intoxicated with xylitol, it will develop lethargy, loss of coordination, and vomiting. The symptoms can build up into a seizure and then result in liver failure.
Those are some of the human foods that you should always watch out for. Before you give or use anything on your cat (even baby powder), you should ensure that you make an informed decision. If it’s about food, ensure that your cat gets all the nutrients that he needs. If you choose to bring in a new houseplant or give your cat a treat out of its diet, pay attention, and see how the cat reacts.