We all want to avoid DIY disasters when decorating and maintaining our homes. However, even if all the work goes to plan, the presence of DIY and decorating products can be a disaster waiting to happen for your cat.
Cats can become exposed to the chemicals and products involved in DIY and home decorating by licking treated surfaces, brushing against them or walking through spills and then grooming the product off, therefore ingesting it.
Examples of products that may pose a risk to cats are fillers, expanding foam and adhesives, wallpaper paste, household paint, and white spirit. Ingestion of these products can lead to a wide range of signs of illness in the cat, including respiratory problems, vomiting, lack of appetite, diarrhoea, stomach pain, depression, skin and eye irritation, burns, mouth ulceration and fever. Inhalation of fumes from a large volume of white spirit is particularly dangerous and can lead to choking, loss of control of the limbs and in severe cases, coma.
International Cat Care’s advice is that owners should ensure that they keep their cats away from any area where DIY or decorating is taking place. If exposure does occur, further contact should be prevented and owners should stop the cat from grooming any area that has come into contact with the product. The product should be washed off the fur using a detergent, and the mouth rinsed out with water or the eye(s) with saline, if contact occurred here. The cat should then be monitored closely for any signs of illness. If the owner is at all worried, veterinary care should be sought.
Full details about the Keeping Cats Safe campaign can be found here.