Are Silica Gel Packs Poisonous to Cats?

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Silica gel may lead to a slight tummyache in your kitty.

    Silica gel may lead to a slight tummyache in your kitty.

    Cats, as much as we love them, have a knack for putting the most bizarre things in their mouths, whether a cozy wool blanket or a silica gel pack that came with a new pair of sneakers. Because of this, knowledge of item toxicity can be absolutely priceless.

    Silica Gel

    Silica gel packs can be found within many everyday products, from pain reliever medicine bottles to containers of certain types of foods. Silica gel offers both dehumidifying and moisturizing properties for small and tight spaces—think product boxes. The little white packs typically read "Do not eat." Since felines can't read, as brilliant as we know they are, those words definitely won't stop them—ugh.

    Choking

    According to the Carolinas Poison Center, the packs are neither poisonous nor toxic to either pets or humans. The real danger, however, is that they could lead to choking. Because of that frightening possibility, it is crucial to keep the things away from your cutie. Whenever you make a new purchase, as soon as you get home, diligently scour the packaging for any signs of silica gel packs—and then carefully discard any and all of them.

    Toxicity

    Silica gel packs, although inedible, are not poisonous to felines, according to the ASPCA. If a cat for some reason accidentally eats one of these packs, she may experience some very slight tummy troubles. If you are concerned about stomach distress or if it seems especially lingering, notify your veterinarian of the situation immediately.
    The ASPCA also warns that vast amounts of silica gel may be harmful to felines, especially if they are on the tiny side. If your pet consumes many of these, get emergency medical attention as it could lead to dangerous intestinal blockage—yikes.

    Cat Litter

    Silica isn't only available in packs of food and shoes, but also often in your cat's very own litter box. In litter, silica also soaks up moisture—very helpful for keeping the litter tray fresh and clean. If your cutie eats any of the litter, never fear. Just like the packs, the litter is in no way toxic. However, the poor thing may experience a slight stomachache and maybe even a minor bout of watery stools. As always, seek veterinary attention if the symptoms seem especially severe or persistent.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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