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Cats are curious creatures, often enthusiastically exploring their environment. Unfortunately, this curiosity can sometimes lead them into trouble, such as ingesting toxic substances. Knowing the symptoms of cat poisoning and what steps to take can make a critical difference in your pet's health and recovery.

Cat Poisoning

Cats are known for their small size, which makes them vulnerable to serious illness from even trace amounts of toxic substances. Grooming is a favorite pastime for cats, but it can also cause poisoning if they consume harmful substances found on their fur.

Cats, unlike dogs, are picky eaters and are unlikely to eat poisonous food unless it is disguised in their meals. As a precaution, be careful when putting out traps or poison to control rodents, as a cat's ingestion of a poisoned mouse could be fatal.

Household Substances Poisonous to Cats

Having a cat as a pet comes with its own set of responsibilities. One important aspect of this is to ensure your feline friend's safety from toxic substances commonly found in households.

A wide array of everyday items can prove hazardous to cats, and keeping them out of reach is crucial. To prevent accidental ingestion, store these items securely, and always consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to your cat.

  • Antifreeze 
  • Bleach
  • Weed killers
  • Pest control chemicals
  • Disinfectants
  • Detergent 
  • Salt Lamps
  • Lilies
  • Ibuprofen (painkiller)
  • Acetaminophen  (painkiller)
  • Dog flea and tick medications
  • Spring flowering bulbs
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Xylitol
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Signs & Symptoms of Cat Poisoning

Cats are extremely sensitive to the toxic effects of various substances, and poisoning symptoms can vary depending on the substance and method of exposure (ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact). To assist you in determining whether your feline friend has been poisoned, here are some of the most commonly observed signs:

  • Salivation / Drooling
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Twitching or seizure
  • Breathing difficulties (rapid or labored)
  • Coma
  • Skin inflammation or swelling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shock or collapse
  • Unsteady gait
  • Depression / Lethargy
  • Excessive drinking, urinating
  • Jaundice
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Overall weakness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

What to Do If Your Cat Shows Signs of Poisoning

Call the vet immediately if you notice any of the symptoms of cat poisoning mentioned above. It's important to stay calm, think clearly, and act quickly. If you can identify the source of the poison, remove it from your cat's environment to prevent further ingestion.

Only induce vomiting if advised by your veterinarian, as some substances can cause more harm if vomited. Bring a sample of the suspected toxin and any vomit or stool samples if available. 

Diagnosis & Treatment of Poisoning in Cats

The diagnosis and treatment for your feline friend's poisoning will vary depending on the type of poison consumed. By providing your veterinarian with as much information as possible, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your pet. In cases where the cause of poisoning is unknown, your veterinarian may administer many tests to determine the cause.

Can cats recover from poisoning?

The prognosis for a cat that has been poisoned depends on several factors, including the type of toxin, the amount ingested, and how quickly treatment is administered. Many cats can recover fully from poisoning with prompt and appropriate cat poisoning treatment. However, some toxins can cause irreversible damage, so early intervention is critical.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat displaying poisoning symptoms, or have you seen your pet consuming a toxic substance? Contact our Bonita Springs veterinary hospital immediately for emergency care.

Our 24/7 Emergency Care in Bonita Springs 

Contact (239) 992-8387