I grew up with dogs. We had one dog during most times of my life. Skipper was a Golden Retriever, Irish Setter mix that we got as a puppy when I was about 2 years old. When I was about 8 or 10, we got Pepe, a purebred French Poodle that lasted about a month in our household; he bit, chewed, barked, and just plain reaked havoc in our household, so we'd given him to a family who would keep him as their only dog and actually train him (training a dog, imagine that!). When I was in high school and Skipper was about 15 years old my brother brought home a mixed breed dog whose owner was going to shoot because he didn't want her. Not too long after, Skipper died and Mandy was the only dog (possibly a pointer/lab mix or a greyhound/lab mix).
I now have a Cockeranian (Cocker Spaniel/Pomeranian mix, rescued almost three years ago). I never knew how many dangers there were in the world for dogs while growing up; my parents always took care of any problems that arose, which were few. Now, however, after adopting Izzie (a particularly ardent scavenger and chewer), I realize that there are many seemingly harmless things that dogs can get into that can actually make them sick, or worse, kill them. Like chocolate and grapes and onions and....well, you get the idea. I imagine there are many things that can harm a cat, too.
Tonight, from the Hermitage Cat Shelter home page, I found a link to "Cat Resources". From that page I followed a link entitled "Poison Control Center for Animals", and was from there led to the article "What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned". This is a very helpful website that is maintained by the ASPCA, who also runs the Poison Control Center for Animals. There's a phone number to call if you suspect your pet has been poisoned. There is a $60 fee for the consultation, but if it saves a pet's life, it's worth it. This site also tells you what information to have on hand when you call and, for free, lists items every household with pets should have for a first aid kit.
I urge you to visit this ASPCA site on poison control for pets. Being prepared is the best insurance against actually needing to be.
I hope you found this to be helpful, and I urge you to head over to the Network For Good badge to the right and donate to our Food For People's Pets program. You might just save a beloved pets life with your donation.