Holiday hazard 1: Liquid potpourri
Liquid Potpourri: While the scents of simmering potpourri can be delightful, ingestion can prove deadly, especially for cats. While any pet might be burned by heated oils, cats are particularly sensitive to the components called cationic detergents that are found in such products. If eaten, severe burns to the mouth, esophagus, and stomach may occur. Liquid potpourri may also cause severe irritation to the skin. If pets come into contact with it, their fur needs to be washed with liquid hand-washing soap until all traces of the oily residue are removed.
Because it’s difficult to determine exactly how much cationic detergent is in liquid potpourris, suggest that clients avoid using them. For those clients who insist on scenting their homes, safer options include reed diffusers, plug-in air fresheners or scented candles.
Finally, be sure to alert bird owners to the potential dangers of any scented aerosolized product. Birds’ air sacs and anatomy mean their respiratory tracts are highly sensitive, particularly to any airborne fragrance or product. Pet Poison Helpline advises bird owners to avoid using all liquid potpourris, air fresheners, and other aerosolized products.