Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

The 12 Dangers of Christmas

Thursday, November 29, 2018

                                    Less than a month to Christmas! Watch out for these 12 Dangers of Christmas. 

  1. Pine Christmas tree fronds, tinsel, ribbon and ornaments - cause upset stomachs or blocked intestines
  2. Christmas lights are not toys!
  3. Onions and garlic - cause anaemia, but you don't see signs for a few days
  4. Chocolate - makes little hearts race, sometimes too fast for their own good
  5. Alcohol - not even in moderation, makes cats vomit, become incoordinated, have seizures, go into a coma or even die
  6. Dried fruit, especially sultanas, currants and raisins, Christmas cake and pudding, and grapes cause kidney damage
  7. Cooked turkey or chicken bones can block the intestines or pierce the stomach
  8. Liquid potpourri ulcerates and irritates the tongue and throat and if swallowed can cause muscle twitches, weakness, and collapse
  9. Flower arrangements containing lilies are deadly to cats. Lilies like Easter lilies, Tiger lilies and Day lilies damage kidneys
  10. Your medicines including Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, any heart medicine, any anti-depression pills, the morning after coffee!
  11. Xylitol - the artificial sweetener you put in that morning after coffee! Also in chewing gum, breath mints and other fun things to bat around the kitchen
  12. Lithium ion disc batteries in Christmas toys - the electric current flow in the stomach leads to perforation of the stomach wall

No lilies please!

Thursday, January 04, 2018


We have had a sad start to the New Year with the death of a kitten who ate Christmas lilies. Despite intensive treatment for kidney failure and neurological signs she didn't respond.

All species of lilies are toxic to cats. Kittens and indoor cats with little choice in plant munching material are most at risk as they will try any cut flower that comes into the house.  Any part of the plant – flowers, leaves or stems - is dangerous. Even lily pollen licked off the coat destroys cats’ kidney tubules.

Lilies proven to poison cats include: Easter Lily, Tiger Lily, Day Lily, Glory Lily, Stargazer Lily, Rubrum Lily, Asian Lily and the Japanese Show Lily.

If you see your cat with lily on her coat, in her mouth or in her vomit don’t wait for signs of poisoning. The sooner we get it out of her system and start treatment to protect the kidneys the greater her chance of survival.

Affected cats vomit and are depressed within hours of ingesting lily. Some then seem to recover before starting to show signs of severe kidney failure a day or so later. Others continue vomiting, go off their food and get more and more depressed.

If emptying the stomach and medications to prevent absorption of the toxin are effective, the chance of recovery is excellent. If your cat absorbs enough toxin to cause damage to her kidneys then her outlook is poor. It is essential to seek emergency care immediately after ingestion of the lily plant. 

Grass eaters

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Even though cats are obligate carnivores and don't usually volunteer to eat fruit or vegetables, they do like to eat grass. 

Eating grass is a normal behaviour in cats yet not fully understood – the general understanding is that it helps to move food or hairballs through the digestive tract (either up or down as grass eating often results in vomiting).

It may also provide them with essential trace elements in their diet, so it is recommended that cats without access to grass outside are provided with a source indoors. This can be a commercial pack of 'cat grass' or a pot in which grass seeds or grass from the garden can be grown. 

Indoor cats without access to grass may chew other potted plants they would usually ignore or avoid and which may be poisonous. Make sure you don't have any lilies in pots or vases in your home.

More information on Poisonous plants available here.

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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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