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Urgent Warnings

This page will contain any warnings that you feel other Cat/Animal Lovers should know about - it need not be just about Cats. If you have any warnings please e-mail them to Padraig.

Does your pet seem to "always" have health problems? DO NOT buy a pet from a pet store and warn others also. Most animals sold in pet stores have been provided through animal abuse (i.e. puppy mills).

Give a stray a home...

Poisoner Kills Dogs (UK)
Anti-freeze Warning (UK)   Baytril   Hartz Control Line   Cat Toys   Halloween
Clorox Bleach   Hartz Control One Spot   Frontline Spot Treatment & White Cats
Aspirin & Aspirin Derivatives   Easter Lilies   Help Garden Hedgehogs
Firework Displays and Bonfires   Flea Control Products   Cats and the Sun
Plastic Feeding Bowls   Kittens and Flea Treatments   Chocolate and Pets
Cats Licking Photographs

Poisoner Kills Dogs (UK)

April 2002: Four dogs died and another four were lucky to survive after being given cyanide by a pet poisoner.

Families in Millthrop, Cumbria, United Kingdom, have now put up warning signs.

Mrs Claire Winn said she was too scared to let son Connor, three, out to play after finding both their dogs dead. Next door two of Mrs Violet Foster's dogs have been killed while one survived.

Vet Jim Bramley said: "I do not believe these incidents to be accidental."

Anti-freeze Warning (UK)

Yobs poison tv pet with anti-freeze. Animal owners are warning people to be on their guard after sick yobs fed their pet cat anti-freeze.

The three-year-old tabby named Mika - who appeared in the BBCís "Playing the Field" as a kitten - is believed to be the third cat in a year to be deliberately poisoned with anti-freeze at Belfmoor Close in Whitwell (United Kingdom).

Sylvia Mansell was looking after her sonís pet while he was on holiday when Mika fell ill. Sylvia said: "We checked on her in the evening and she seemed a bit poorly but we didnít really think anything of it. By the time we came back in the morning she was half dead - she was being sick and fitting."

Mika was rushed to the Carrick Veterinary Group on Newbold Road, Chesterfield, where vets found a lethal dose of the substance in her blood. Attempts were made to flush the poison out of her system but Mikaís kidneys failed and a decision was taken by the owners to put her to sleep.

Sylvia is now appealing for people to be vigilant, adding: "I just canít understand the logic of somebody who would do such a cruel thing - they must be sick.

"Mika was a beautiful cat and we all loved her very much."

The RSPCA have been notified of the incident.

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Bayer released a statement to the veterinary community (USA) in July 2000

Bayer has received sporadic but increasing numbers of reports about altered vision in feline patients treated with Baytril tablets and/or Baytril injectable. Baytril injectable is only approved for use in dogs [in the USA]. Reports include retinal detachment, blindness, temporary blindness, partial blindness.

The increase of incidents started in July 1997 with a label change re: dosage; from a dosage of 2.5mg/kg/day to a flexible dose of 5-20mgs/kg (as a single dose or two equally divided doses) per day.

The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology has been asked by Bayer to investigate this matter. As a result, a specific feline safety study to assess Baytril and ocular parameters is underway, specifically retinal involvement. Bayer states they will contact the veterinary community with the results.

At this time, Bayer is strongly recommending that doses be given at the lower end of the scale not to exceed 5mg/kg/day.

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Hartz Control Line - Part of the ABC'S of Hartz.

December 2000 - "My 8 month old Siberian husky died last week after months of seizures due to the Hartz products. We called the 1-800 # to go over the directions and did everything we were told. After 24 hours our dog wouldn't eat and started having seizures. He was a healthy dog with all his shots up to date until we used this product. He was placed on Phenobarbital and lived for less than 2 months, even on all the meds he still suffered a terrible seizure that took his life. Now we have a devastated 4 year old thanks to Hartz. The product line is called the Hartz control line. It's referred to as the ABC'S of Hartz. Poison Control also advised me that the chemicals in the flea and flea egg killer spray can cause seizures in young children as well. It was a nightmare. My children are fine due to the fact that I don't let them near any chemicals and kept them away from the puppy until the next morning. Thanks so much for your time. I was hoping you could post this in your warning section to try to save people from the same nightmare we had." - Annette Kinslow

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Cat Toys

Following reports of cats possibly injured or killed playing with toy mice distributed in packages of Fresh Step cat litter, Clorox Co., Oakland, California, USA., warned pet owners the toys could strangle or cut kittens and cats left alone with them. Within days of the initial report, Clorox stopped shipping packages of the litter containing the mouse and requested retailers to pull remaining packages off the shelves. The company advised pet owners to immediately discard the toy or mail it back to the company in exchange for a coupon for a 14-pound bag of Fresh Step regular cat litter. Also, future packages of Fresh Step will include an insert reminding owners to discard or return the toys. About 450,000 of roughly one million 14-pound and 21-pound bags of Fresh Step containing the blue felt toy mice attached to wires entered the distribution channel. Company representatives estimated about 100,000 of the toys reached consumers. Clorox is not sure what will be done with the returned mice, but is talking with the toys' manufacturer. The toys were not defective, a Clorox spokesperson said, but were "meant to be used when cats are not alone."

Of the 10 known reports, three involved cats strangling themselves on the wire when playing with the toy alone; two of which died. The others involved minor cuts, the company reported. Calls came in from across the country, including Florida, Ohio and Washington. The address for cat owners to return the toys: Customer Services, Fresh Step, Clorox Pet Products Co., 1221 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA.

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Please, don't give Black cats away for free, especially at Halloween (end of October). There should be a Black cat blackout in effect from mid October until mid November. Giving away kittens is dangerous at any time, due to animal testing labs paying people to bring animals in. But at Halloween, giving away a black cat is especially dangerous, since a lot of kids or even adults will sacrifice them or use them as props for Halloween parties, then dump them. Please, spare any black cat that fate!

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Clorox Bleach

Take note: The following is a HOAX.

Here is an interesting warning from the Siamese Cat Rescue Organization:

Clorox Bleach, long a favorite with pet owners/animal workers-businesses for its simple chlorite (5.25% sodium hypochlorite with "inert ingredients" water) changed its formulation. New CLOROX ULTRA is sodium hypochlorite & sodium hydroxide.

Sodium hydroxide is LYE. Lye was added to make bleach work faster. While lye is used in making basic soaps, it is also very difficult to rinse off surfaces.

DO NOT USE ULTRA CLOROX around pets (or children)! Do not use Ultra Clorox to disinfect floors, kennel runs, carriers/crates, litter boxes or feeding/water dishes! Because felines groom their paws, it is dangerous to cats. This is a warning to ALWAYS check labels on any "new & improved" product labels.

Safeway brand Ultra Bleach DOES NOT contain any lye & is simply a stronger version of sodium hypochloride (simple bleach), with additional chemical.

See: for more information.

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Hartz Control One Spot

Start quote: "I used Hartz One Spot on our 11 month old mini Schnauzer at 11pm one night. By the next morning, she was trembling uncontrollably and could not walk. Her hind quarters had no strength at all. We brought her to the vet who bathed her in something to remove the product as well as stop further assimilation, and thank God, within a few hours she was back to normal. PLEASE DO NOT USE HARTZ PRODUCTS! To add insult to injury, when we called the 800 number they said that the only adverse reaction they were aware of was skin irritation! Disgusting! This poison is toxic to not only cats, but dogs as well." - Paula Mitchell. End quote.

Hartz Control One-Spot for Cats Problem: The following is another e-mail from someone who used Hartz Control One-Spot for Cats with tragic results.

Start quote: "With in a couple of hours of applying this product, both cats were convulsing and foaming at the mouth. Sadly, one of the cats died, the other spent five days in the vet. The Vet, as well as others have informed me this is not the first case in which Hartz Control One Spot has made cats ill or killed them." End quote.

Susie of Pawprints & Purrs says, "For nearly as long as I've been in animal rescue, I've urged people to not use Hartz or Sargent's prevention products on their animals."

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Frontline Spot Treatment & White Cats

Avoid using the Frontline Spot Treatment on white cats as it is known to burn them.

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Aspirin & Aspirin Derivatives

Aspirin and aspirin derivatives, (white willow bark and white oak bark, salicylic acid), acetaminophen products (Tylenol), ibuprofen products (Motrin), can be fatal to cats. Do not use them. Do not give pets caffeine-containing herbs either, which definitely includes chocolate.

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Easter Lilies

Please keep your cats away from Easter Lilies, these plants are poisonous to them. Even if your pet cat only chews the plant, the likelyhood is chronic illness followed by death.

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Help Garden Hedgehogs


Every spring, hibernating hedgehogs are accidentally speared by gardening forks and rushed to the vet for treatment. You can save yourself, and hedgehogs some anguish by checking the heap before you pitch in. Put on a pair of gloves and carefully sift through the compost before you stick a fork into it.

To us, a compost heap is where we throw garden waste and vegetable peelings and hope they turn into something useful. To a hedgehog, it can be somewhere warm and sheltered - the perfect place to hibernate. So do check those compost heaps before getting that fork out.

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Firework Displays and Bonfires

Remember, remember the 5th of November... Bonfire night (UK). Before, during and after any celebration such as Bonfire Night there will be bonfires, bangers and fireworks. Will you know where your pets are? Dogs and Cats are particularly vulnerable at times like this. If you have pets keep them indoors, check on them regularly and give them plenty of reassurance.

Please remember to check your bonfire for Hedgehogs before lighting, they may be hibernating inside.

Bonfire Night is not the only occasion when Fireworks will be used, there are many more such as: July 4th American Independence Day. If you know there is going to be any type of firework display please keep your pets indoors for the duration of the display.

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Flea Control Products

From: August 6, 1999 Paws'n Tail Newsletter - Vol. 2 - Issue 11

Source: shafert

(Start Quote) I receive the Paws'n Tail newsletter you publish. I also work for a veterinarian. I thought you could get this out. We have seen cats lately that the owners have bought over the counter flea control products (not prescription like Advantage) on their cats with disastrous results. One cat we saw went into seizures and could not be helped. We ended up euthanizing the poor kitty. When his owners brought in the flea medication they put on him, we noticed it said "not for use on cats" in fine print. True, there was a picture of a dog on the package, but the owners felt since they bought it in a pet store it was safe.

We have had others since with the same symptoms. At first, the cat stumbles around and appears "drunk". Then the cat goes into seizures. If it is caught early, I am told bathing the cat with Dawn dish detergent can help get rid of the flea product. These products contain Permethrin which is toxic to cats. PLEASE tell your readers about this. Owners are inadvertently killing their cats. Thanks so much. (End Quote)

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Cats and the Sun

Cats are at risk from sunburn during the summer months, and have particular vulnerable areas such as the eyes, ears and nose. E45 Sun, a mineral based sunscreen that reflects rather than absorbs the sun's rays, could protect your cat from the sun. E45 is waterproof, perfume free and allergy tested - guaranteeing a no-nonsense and practical way to protect a cat's delicate, sensitive skin. See your local Veterinary Surgeon for more details.

Please note: All white, white-faced, or white-eared cats are vulnerable to the sun's rays, which can cause skin cancer. To be on the safe side, keep your cat indoors on very sunny days.

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Plastic Feeding Bowls

The Natural Cat Journal has reported that using plastic bowls to feed your pet cat may cause acne. If you use a plastic bowl to feed your pet cat changing over to Corel breakfast bowls or Stainless Steel bowls will prevent any possible problems with acne.

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Kittens and Flea Treatments

Fleas are a common problem with cats, in the case of young kittens fleas can suck out a dangerous amount of blood, leaving the kittens exhausted from scratching and weak from blood loss.

Because kittens are so tiny, you will need Veterinary help to treat them for flea infestations. The kittens need to be groomed with a special flea comb and then treated with a special flea spray that is suitable for baby kittens. Great care is needed when spraying kittens, do not get any spray in their eyes, ears, nose and throat.

Do not use normal flea treatment for kittens, it is not suitable for them and could do more harm than good.

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Chocolate and Pets

Drug class: Methylxanthines

It often surprises pet owners to discover that for animals, chocolate is poisonous in sufficient dosages. Specifically it is the drugs in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine (of the drug class methylxanthines), that are toxic to pets. Only a moderate amount needs to be eaten by an animal, typically a dog, in order to be poisonous (approx. 1/2 oz. of baking chocolate per pound of body weight and less in some animals). With the poison in this case being so appealing, overdose is not a rare occurrence. Poisonings of this type typically occur during the holiday seasons of Easter, Christmas and Halloween. Depending on their appetite and the specific ingredients contained in the recipe, some dogs have ingested a toxic dose of chocolate by eating an entire pan of brownies or another chocolate dessert, particularly one containing baking chocolate. Fortunately, the animal frequently vomits soon after, which reduces the amount of poison in the stomach available to act on the body and decreases the toxicity somewhat. If clinical signs are seen, these can include vomiting, excessive urination, hyperactivity, fast breathing, weakness and seizures. While rare, death can occur, usually due to the adverse action of methylxanthines on the heart.

Many people unknowingly feed their dogs chocolate treats (candy bars, cookies, etc.) without obvious illness resulting; the lack of clinical signs is due only to the relatively low dose of methylxanthines in small amounts of milk chocolate. It is certainly better for your pet to stick to treats he or she will like just as much and avoid chocolate-containing treats where the dog is concerned. Also be aware that an accidental overdose of cake, bars, etc. containing chocolate can pose a significant risk to a dog. If this should happen to your pet, make note of the amount of chocolate used in the recipe, the approximate amount eaten by your pet and give your veterinarian a call to determine if the dose was sufficient to cause any problems.

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Cats Licking Photographs

Your cat can suffer severe kidney and liver failure after licking photographs. According to my local Veterinary Surgeon, the chemicals on the paper act much the same way as anti-freeze does to the feline body. So, please keep ALL photographs out of your cat's reach.

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