Vets have issued warnings that decorative lamps which are popular for home and patios could present a risk to cats.
The lamps in question are Himalayan salt lamps, trendy decorative pieces used to illuminate indoor and outside spaces . The lamps are pretty in pink but it turns out that they aren’t very cat friendly. The pink rocks are temptations for cats who will lick them and that can lead to sodium poisoning.
Sodium poisoning in cats
Sodium poisoning causes pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures and even death. Cats can begin to behave very strangely after an overdose of the salt and then deteriorate quickly. They may lose their sight and the ability to drink if an overdose of salt results in swelling to the brain. Intravenous treatment can save affected animals, if the cause of their issues is discovered in time.
Dogs like salt too
Dogs can also be impacted by salt poisoning and could be attracted to the lamps but are less likely to lick them. Unfortunately, the lamps are the tastiest of treats for cats. The lights certainly look attractive but must be kept out of the reach of pets. Once cats have discovered the lamps, they will keep returning to these salt buffets and it is always hard to keep an eye on cats throughout the day.
Decorative but dangerous features
Seemingly innocent household items can be serious threats to pets and as new decorative trends and fads emerge, unexpected dangers are revealed. Any sources of salt must be kept out of any pet’s reach and that includes Play-Doh. Yes, there is a fair amount of salt in Play-Doh, making it appealing to dogs.
Hazardous or beneficial to health?
Ironically, Himalayan salt lamps initially became popular due to their alleged health benefits! Carved from rock salt, they are supposed to soothe allergies, purify the air in your home, aid restful sleep and improve your mood. The rock salt for the lamps is mined in Pakistan. It is believed to be millions of years old and boasts trace minerals which give it a distinctive pink colour. Salt is believed to be a natural ionizer which alters the electrical charge of the circulating air.
The ionizing properties of the salt lamps have never been proven. Neither has any evidence ever been produced to demonstrate that the lamps impact respiratory function or reduce the severity of allergies. Ancient therapies for treating respiratory conditions did include spending time in salt caves but the benefits would be limited at best. There have been no studies exploring the sleep benefits of Himalayan salt lamps.
The health benefits of the lamps may be questionable but it is clear that these decorative features are hazardous for pets. Placing a large lump of salt in your home or garden equates to placing a pot of poison on your patio – and you wouldn’t do that if you have pets.
Your pets might not be at the forefront of your mind when you are choosing a new lamp but perhaps they should be.