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Cats and Antifreeze - How to Keep Your Cats Safe

The U.S. Humane Society reports that nearly 10,000 cats and dogs die due to ethylene glycol ingestion every year. Ethylene glycol, also known as antifreeze, leads to kidney failure and death in pets, leaving a little chance of treatment through petmeds. Unfortunately, even a lick of antifreeze can be fatal for cats. It is extremely important that you learn how to keep your cats safe from these adverse consequences.

Know How Cats Ingest Antifreeze

Antifreeze is commonly used in cars, garden water systems, plumbing, screen washes and more. Cats may lick it from the accidental spillage or from its own skin or coat after accidentally walking through a puddle of antifreeze.

Know the Symptoms

You cat may start showing weakness, sickness, difficulty in breathing, seizures and an unstable (drunk-like) walk if it ingests antifreeze. In this situation, immediately take your cat to the veterinarian who would use cat medications to induce vomiting. Another option is that the vet may use pet medications and other substances that act as antidotes. Ethanol, for example, is one such substance.

Prevention Is the Best Cure

Unfortunately, no pet medication can save cats if many hours pass after antifreeze ingestion. Also, it might be too late when you recognize the symptoms. So, prevention of antifreeze poisoning is the best way to keep your pet safe. Here are some tips:

  • Keep antifreeze bottles inaccessible to cats
  • Check regularly to ensure that there is no leakage from your car's radiator
  • In case you accidentally spill the antifreeze, take no time to wipe it off
  • It would be great if you keep the cats indoors while using the antifreeze
  • Take extreme care while disposing off the antifreeze as well as the empty bottles
  • Try to find alternatives to ethylene glycol or use antifreeze that contains bitter agents like denatonium

Also, make sure that your cat doesn't access any antifreeze spillage in your neighborhood. It is better to keep your neighbors informed so that they too are alert in this direction.