Avoid the Emergency Vet

So you’re home and working, or just home. Your cats are picking up on all your emotions, hearing you snap or yell or just silently crawl inside yourself. This makes them agitated and stressed, and stressed kitties get into trouble. Heck, UN-stressed kitties do a fine job of getting into trouble! I was at BluePearl Emergency Vet this weekend and it was a terrible experience, not to mention an unexpected expense. They were wonderful with my cat Niko, and wonderful with me, but it’s traumatizing to have to pass your cat through your car window to a stranger and then sit in your cat and wait for someone to call you and tell you how they are. That’s how things are in the time of a pandemic. You don’t get to comfort your furbaby in their time of need, and that’s a big deal.

toxic lilyFloral Hazard

Easter is coming, and it’s coming quick. You’ve got kids, your house smells like feet and looks like a dollar store blew up inside the front door. You get all the Easter fixin’s delivered and, on a whim, pick up flowers to spruce the place up. Disaster strikes, and you can’t avoid the emergency vet. Your cat is suddenly sick, the vet is asking what they ate and you have no idea. Your cat has suffered from toxicity from a lily in your flower arrangement, but you didn’t even know that was a lily, or that your cat would eat it, or that it could kill your cat.

That’s right, every part of every lily is toxic to cats. Most will kill your cat, some will make “only” your cat incredibly sick. Unfortunately, lilies are very prevalent in flower arrangements, especially Easter arrangements. Those stamens are fun to bat around when they fall off, even if you have the plant high up where the cat can’t reach it. So are the petals and leaves. I’m serious when I say NO LILIES. Don’t just assume that because you’ve avoided that problem in the past that your cat will never get to one. You don’t want to find out the hard way. Please tell all your cat friends about lilies; I’m always stunned by the amount of people who assume the floral industry has our collective cat-owning backs. Here’s a list of common toxic plants and flowers to keep away from your cats.

Easter Grass Casualty

Cats love to play with anything that is unpredictable or makes unpredictable, jerky movement, which does not help when trying to avoid the emergency vet. Easter basket grass is SO MUCH FUN. It’s also so much deadly if ingested, and cats love to eat it. They like to run off with a piece and chew on it in solitude too, so you likely won’t see it happening. The results can be death, surgery or “you got lucky”. If you do get lucky, and notice that grass coming out the far end of the cat, do not pull it. This can result in tears in the stomach or intestine, which can be fatal, but at the very least, require expensive emergency surgery. Line your Easter baskets with cat grass, real grass, paper shreds or a piece of fabric and buy a fun toy to entertain your cat instead.

Spring Fever Failure

So many of us are mentally re-designing our homes and wardrobes out of sheer boredom. If you decide to go crazy with your laundry or re-arrange the furniture in your whole house, make sure that your cat family is safely removed from the activity. Remember these little guys and gals are already on high alert because WHY WON’T YOU LEAVE, so your sudden decision to add a sofa to your dining room could result in an injury to a hiding cat, or a cat who is under your feet wherever you move. Additionally, this is the time of year we start to hear about kitties having fatal dryer incidents. A great way to avoid the emergency vet is to make sure your kitties have a safe and cozy “spa” for the duration. Make it fun – complete with food, water, a catnip toy or two, and litter box. (Don’t forget the litter box, an upset kitty will likely pee somewhere you don’t prefer!)

Easter Dinner Calamity

Easter dinners often feature elaborate menus including roasts wrapped in string. I still remember watching cats trying steal that meat-covered string out of the trash when I was a child. I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t allowed to give them a small happiness. Now I’m an adult, and I know they can have other small happinesses that don’t result in a visit to the ER vet. That string will do the same or worse as the Easter basket grass.

Then there’s the actual food. Cooked human meats are high in fat and can cause many illnesses. There are seasonings and spices used all throughout the dinner and dessert including chocolate, onion, garlic etc which can cause toxic reactions – especially sugar free beverage alternatives containing Xylitol.

I hope you’re all being safe, staying healthy, and doing your best to avoid the emergency vet with special attention to your stressed furry angels!