Some of our supporters have raised concerns over the dangers of fake snow after seeing social media posts where owners reported that their cat exhibited symptoms such as dribbling, weakness and stomach upset after coming into contact with fake snow.
One of the social media posts on Facebook:
We wanted to reassure cat owners and so we contacted the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) and they had this to say:
‘We would not expect fake snow to be a concern. It is usually polyacrylate, which is of low toxicity. In our past cases, involving cats and dogs, we have had reports of some mild gastrointestinal signs such as hypersalivation, vomiting and diarrhoea. Serious effects would not be expected. A very large volume would be a potential obstruction risk but this is unlikely by the flaky and particulate nature of the product itself.’
Based on what the VPIS has said we would advise that, whilst the symptoms are usually mild, if your cat is prone to climbing on Christmas trees and chewing novel objects then fake snow is best avoided. If you have fake snow in your home over Christmas keep an eye on your cat and look out for symptoms such as, hypersalivation, vomiting and diarrhoea. If you think your cat may have eaten fake snow and is exhibiting these symptoms then take it to the vet. Also ask your vet to report the case to the VPIS so that if there are instances of fake snow harming cats then we can get a better idea of the numbers of cats affected, the symptoms and the products involved.
Thank you to everyone who has brought this to our attention – more information on how you can keep your cat safe, calm and happy this Christmas can be found here.