Four Everyday Household Items that are Harmful to Your Cat

Prevent Accidental Cat Poisonings

Accidental poisonings happen all too often, and we wanted to give Chapel Hill and Durham cat owners a heads up about four everyday, household items that are toxic to your cat. Taking a few preventative measures will help you avoid unplanned veterinary clinic trips and keep your visits routine. Here are some tips from Durham's New Hope Animal Hospital team.

Fruits and Veggies

Believe it or not, everyday vegetables, like garlic, onions, mushrooms, and many root vegetables as well as common fruits like grapes and tomatoes are just a short list of common human edibles that are toxic to your kitty. Also, note items that contain onion and garlic powders (like baby foods with meat) may seem yummy to cats. Ask our veterinarian about a full list. Doctors Soren Windram and Kay Bishop are here to help.


Yes, chocolate is on the list. Chocolate contains theobromine and is dangerous to cats. Darker chocolate contains more theobromine. Dark and milk chocolate can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizure, coma, and even death. So keep this human treat out of kitty's (and doggie's) reach!

Plants and Flowers

Cats love to nibble at grasses and leaves. But many plants are dangerous to cats. That spring lily, the carnations for Mother's Day and that handy aloe plant are just a few of plants harmful to your cat. Our Durham veterinary clinic team is well-versed on an extensive list of plants that have earned kitties a visit to our veterinarians.


Many over the counter flea and lice products intended for humans and dogs utilize Permethrin as the active ingredient. Permethrin can be highly toxic to cats, so do not use these products on your cat. To be safe, keep family members and pets recently treated with Permethrin away from your kitty.

If you suspect a poisoning, call our animal hospital immediately for instructions. Follow our instructions and bring any toxins or packages to the animal hospital with you.

How do you protect your pet from accidental ingestions?

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  • "Dr. Windram is such a great veterinarian! He always takes the time to follow up visits with a call, and is so patient with my high-stress, vet-anxious dog. I only wish I could get this kind of medical care for myself!"
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  • "Dr. Bush is the most amazing and thorough veterinarian I have ever encountered. She is a true professional and cares equally for both her patients as well as their owners."
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  • "My pets have been cared for by the folks at New Hope for years now. Best vet practice in Durham hands down!"
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