Dangerous poisons in our home for cats


Cats are suspicious and cautious animals, but also very curious. Therefore, Although it is not usual, sometimes there may be cases of poisoning in cats. If you have a pussycat, you need to be prepared for what can happen! We teach you to detect an intoxication in your cat and what to do if it happens.

Most common causes of cat poisoning

If you have a cat, don't stop reading this list! They are the toxic ones that cause poisoning in cats most often:

  • Medicines for human use, such as acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol. They should not be used on cats!
  • Some foods for humanslike chocolate and other sweets
  • Insecticides
  • Household cleaning products
  • Spray antiparasitic, which can get into your mucous membranes accidentally.
  • Bites of poisonous insects, like the cantáridas.
  • Poisonous plants

Symptoms of poisoning in cats

The symptoms They may vary a bit depending on the toxicity that has affected them, but usually a poisoned cat will look like this:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • Excessive salivation
  • Cough, sneeze
  • Stomach irritation
  • If you have had external contact with the toxic, skin irritation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures, muscle spasms
  • Apathy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lack of coordination (ataxia)
  • Frequent and abundant urine
  • Loss of consciousness

If you notice any or more of these symptoms, go to the vet right away! Or course, If you have seen him touching or ingesting any toxic element, do not wait for symptoms to appear! The sooner you receive medical attention, the easier it will be for you to recover.

First aid for cat poisoning

If your cat has been poisoned, The visit to the veterinarian is essential. However, it may be beneficial to perform some first aid tasks immediately:

  • If your cat has passed out, Take it to a well ventilated and bright area.
  • Call the emergency veterinarian and tell him what happened. It will give you guidelines to treat your pet. The more information you can give, the better, it will help a lot if you know what substance has caused the poisoning.
  • Do not give water, milk, oil or any home remedy without the veterinarian's consent. Depending on the circumstances, you could even make the situation worse.
  • Only if the vet tells you, Induce your vomit by following the advice given. If you're too rough, you could hurt him. After vomiting it may be necessary to give it some water, part of that poison will already be inside your body, since the organs absorb it. With water we will dilute it, minimizing the impact.
  • If the poisoning, on the other hand, is external, you will have to clean, wash or disinfect all the remains of that dangerous substance. It may be necessary to trim the hair in the area.
  • When your cat has regained consciousness, be calm and out of danger of getting worse, go to the vet! You will surely need a treatment to recover completely. If you can, take a sample of the substance that caused the poisoning for analysis.

Remember, in case of poisoning in cats, time is essential for you to recover. React fast!

29 May Dangerous poisons in our home for cats

We usually think that the cat, because it is demanding and has such exquisite senses, it is impossible for them to ingest substances that can be toxic in our home. On the contrary, due to the curious feline nature of cats and the fact that they continuously wash the mantle it is easy for them to ingest any toxic that is impregnated in the hair. At our veterinary clinic in Catarroja We attend many cases of domestic intoxication in cats, so we believe that this article will be very useful.

How do they get poisoned?

There are different mechanisms of poisoning:

-They can ingest the toxic directly by licking the mantle or ingesting it.

-You can ingest a poisoned prey.

-Absorption of toxins through the skin (pads).

How can I know if my cat is intoxicated?

The fact that the cat is strict carnivore and does not have some liver enzymes to metabolize certain substances makes poisoning more difficult to recover than that of a dog.

The symptoms are very variable and will depend on the type of poison.

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Neurological symptoms: tremor, nervousness, depression, incoordination ...
  • Respiratory symptoms: cough, sneezing, dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • Skin symptoms: redness of the skin, itching ...
  • Symptoms of renal failure: increased water consumption, anorexia, lack of appetite ...
  • Symptoms of liver failure: Jaundice (yellowish mucous membranes and skin), vomiting ...


  • Human medications: aspirin, ibuprofen, paracetamol ...
  • Products for the car: antifreeze, gasoline, brake fluid ...
  • Hygiene and cleaning products: bleach, brighteners, disinfectants ...
  • Cosmetics: dyes, acetone, sun cream ...
  • Chemicals: paint, solvents, turpentine, naphthalene ...

A thin cat that weighs between two or three kilos can be put at risk by ingesting a very small amount of any of these foods.

  • Fish viscera: can cause paralysis or muscle stiffness (called Chastek disease).
  • Salt: Saline remains in the kidney cause urinary problems. If we give you some culinary extra, it is recommended ham or turkey low in salt.
  • Milk: the cat that has lactose intolerance and ingests milk may suffer from diarrhea. It is not advisable to offer this food to cats.
  • Onion: Onions, chives and leeks contain thiosulfate, a component that causes the destruction of red blood cells in the cat, causing hemolytic anemia.
  • Chocolate: Theobromine of chocolate cannot metabolize it, being toxic to the cat.
  • Coffee and tea.
  • Alcohol: can cause death.

  • Insecticides (organophosphorus or pyrethroids).
  • Molluscicides, in front of conch shells or slugs.
  • Fungicides
  • Rodenticides


The plants that are in our houses are mostly toxic to the cat. Special care must be taken with lilies, rhododendrons, oleanders, poinsettia, dieffenbachia, ivyor holly, etc ...

We are surrounded by plants, wild, cultivated or not that have a high toxic potential.

All plants, including grass, can have an irritating effect on the gastrointestinal mucosa of the cat causing vomiting. They like to nibble on grass and if there isn't one, they will be noticed by the ornamental plants of the house, being harmful to them.

How can I prevent it?

-Knowing which plants are especially dangerous for them and avoid their exposure. Either eliminating them as a first option or raising them so that they do not have access to them. Here you can see the list of toxic plants for your cat.

-Never leave cuttings or torn plants near the cat, curiosity will lead them to nibble on them. The sap of the stems can cause dermatological allergic reactions and even be poisonous.

-Cats usually need to ingest dactyl weed ("ball grass"), it is believed that as a natural remedy for digestive disorders.

Solution: Get the cat a source of this herb (Dactylis glomerata) It is sold as “cat grass” that we will grow in a pot or tray.

Remember that the ability of the cat to hide when it is not well is the first symptom that should worry us. This makes the characteristic symptoms of intoxication go unnoticed.

Before the first symptom go to our veterinary clinic in Catarroja. Ask us!

How can a cat get poisoned?

Cats can be poisoned in several ways:

  • Directly ingesting a toxic substance by eating it or eating poisoned prey.
  • Ingestion of poisons while brushing contaminated skin.
  • Absorb some toxins through the skin (particularly the legs)
  • Breathing the poison.

What signs could warn me that my cat could have been poisoned?

The clinical signs are very variable and will depend on the poison in question. Many toxins produce gastrointestinal signs (vomiting and diarrhea), others produce neurological signs (tremor, incoordination, convulsions, excitability, depression or coma), respiratory signs (cough, sneeze, trouble breathing), skin signs (inflammation, swelling), liver failure (jaundice, vomiting) or kidney failure (loss of appetite and weight loss). Some toxins act in more than one body system, so they can produce any combination of the above signs.

It is important to remember that although most cases of poisoning can cause acute problems, chronic poisoning can also arise, and it is often even more difficult to recognize and treat.

What should I do if I think my cat has been poisoned?

  1. Remove your cat from the source of the poison and isolate your cat from other animals.
  2. If the poison is in the fur or on the paws, try to prevent the cat from grooming itself more.
  3. Contact your veterinarian for advice immediately, make sure you know when, where and how the poisoning occurred. If applicable, take the packaging, plant or substance to the veterinarian.
  4. Do not attempt to make the cat vomit, unless your veterinarian tells you to.
  5. If the skin or coat is contaminated, wash thoroughly with mild shampoo and water.

My cat has something ‘chemical’ in his fur, what should I do?

Only when the contamination is slight and confined to the fur, can the cat be treated at home. The goal of treatment is to prevent further contamination.

The cat's collar should be removed, as it may also be contaminated. In addition, some flea collars contain chemicals that can be harmful to sick cats. To remove the chemicals from the coat it is better to cut the contaminated hair and then wash the cat in warm soapy water.

It is important to remove as much contamination as possible before washing because the washing process can increase the absorption of some chemicals. Next, the cat should dry completely to prevent it from cooling. The oily material can be removed by rubbing it with hot and clean cooking oil, and then drying it thoroughly (i.e., removing the oil with oil).

If you feel that the cat may have ingested any toxin it should be taken to the veterinarian.

Even if the contamination is confined to the fur, it is important that the cat is encouraged to drink, as this will help eliminate any absorbed toxins.

After any exposure to possible poisons it is advisable to keep the cat under observation in a warm and quiet room for 24 hours.

How to detect that your cat has been poisoned

A cat that has ingested something toxic will soon see that its behavior changes radically. It will cost you to breathe, you may even have difficulty walking, and you can also start drool a lot, a symptom that may be trying to expel the fluid through the mouth.

Other signs that will indicate that he has been poisoned are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • It makes noise when breathing
  • Your heart starts beating faster than normal
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Immediately you detect any of these symptoms, you should go immediately to your nearest veterinary clinic, since it may depend on your cat to recover.

My experience

I would not like to finish the article without first telling my experience. In this way, you might get - or I hope so - that you keep calm as much as possible, while seeing how really important the Act Fast.

All right. Two years ago, the cats of the colony I am taking care of, I put a pipette for fleas and ticks. After a few hours, I found it very changed: I could barely walk, and I had a lot of trouble breathing. I immediately took her to the vet, who told me that "maybe" had had an allergic reaction to the insecticide.

The point is that after doing several tests, and injecting a series of medications - I must confess that I do not know what type, because they left me in the living room. When I could see her I was better. However they told me it was a complicated situation, that they didn't know if it would be saved or not.

It was a very weak week, in which he barely ate. In fact, he lost a lot of weight. Little by little, with patience, a lot of love and a few more visits to the clinic, managed to recover from pulmonary edema caused by the pipette.

So, I insist, at the slightest suspicion that your cat has ingested something toxic, go to the vet. Only then can it be saved.

Cleaning and hygiene products

As bleach, cleaning fluids and creams, deodorants, deodorants, deodorizers, disinfectants (particularly phenolic compounds such as "Dettol" that make the water milky), laundry capsules and concentrated liquids, furniture and metal polishers. Concentrated cleaning fluids or dusts can burn the feet and skin if cats walk through them.

Human medications

As laxatives, aspirin, paracetamol and antidepressants. Paracetamol is often given to cats in a careful but wrong attempt to relieve pain. It is very dangerous for cats and only one tablet is enough to cause serious illness or death. Signs of intoxication include depression, vomiting, swelling of the face and legs and a bluish discoloration of the skin. An effective antidote is available, but should be used very soon after the data has taken the tablet.

Main causes of poisoning in cats

As we indicated before, cats can be very careful but they are very curious. This leads them to explore and try new things, which unfortunately do not always work out well. Because of this, they often end up intoxicated, poisoned or injured in some way. But, thanks to the knowledge of the potential danger of some substances and some products we can prevent this from happening by keeping them out of reach of our pets.

In case of poisoning or poisoning we cannot do much more often, but we can identify the symptoms on time and Go to our trusted veterinarian as soon as possible. Even so, there are some things that we can try at home while the veterinarian is on the way and whenever we ask him and he does not expressly tell us not to do any of these things that we will explain later.

Some of the most common poisons and poisons with those who usually cross domestic cats are:

  • Medicines for humans (Acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol)
  • Food for humans (chocolate)
  • Insecticides (arsenic)
  • Cleaning products (bleach and chlorine)
  • Insecticides (some external antiparasitic products that we spray on our pets and their surroundings)
  • Poisonous insects (cantharids)
  • Poisonous plants (cyanide)

These products, animals and plants, contain chemicals and enzymes toxic to cats that your body cannot metabolize. Later, in the section on treatment, we will talk more about these products, their effects and how to treat them.

General symptoms of poisoning in domestic cats

The symptoms unfortunately they are very varied since they depend on the origin of the poisoning and the degree of intoxication. But here are the most common symptoms and signs that cats can present in case of poisoning:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea sometimes with blood
  • Excessive salivation
  • Cough and sneeze
  • Gastric irritation
  • Irritation of an area of ​​skin that has come into contact with the toxic
  • Respiratory distress
  • Seizures, tremors and involuntary muscle spasms
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weak>

First aid and how to proceed with a cat poisoning

In case we detect any symptoms described above we must act according to the situation. The most important thing will be to call the veterinarian, stabilize the animal and collect as much information and a sample of the poison so that the veterinarian can help us as well as possible. It will always be better if at least two people help and not just one. Thus, for example, while one calls the veterinarian the other can try to stabilize the cat, since we must think that in a matter of poisonings time is money.

The following steps are the most common:

    If our pet is very weak, almost fainted or unconscious we should take it out at a open, ventilated and illuminated area. This will allow us to better observe any other symptoms in addition to offering fresh air to our friend. To lift them we must have cu>

Treatments to follow before different causes of poisoning in cats

Next we will comment on a series of treatments for the most common causes of poisoning in domestic cats, which we will only do if our veterinarian has indicated it to us or if we really have no other option. It is better that these measures are performed by a professional to do it ourselves.

  • Arsenic: Arsenic is present in insecticides, pesticides and poisons for rodent pests. The most common symptoms in this case are acute diarrhea and sometimes with some blood, depression, weak pulse, general weakness and cardiovascular collapse. These symptoms occur due to the acute inflammation caused by arsenic in various internal organs such as the liver and kidneys. In this case, if the poison has been ingested less than two hours ago by our cat, the emergency treatment is the provocation of vomiting, followed by oral administration of activated carbon and after one or two hours administer gastric protectors such as pectin or kaolin.
  • Shampoo, soap or detergent: In these cases the symptoms are milder and easier to treat. Many of these products may contain caustic soda and other corrosive substances, so we will never induce vomiting. The symptoms that are usually shown are dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea. In case it is a small amount ingested and the veterinarian does not indicate otherwise, a good way to help our cat's organism to treat this poisoning is by giving it milk or water.
  • Medicines for humans: This is a great danger that is always close without us noticing, since we usually think that we have them well guarded or that a dog or cat will not swallow or will not lick a pill. In addition, the problem is not only this confidence that we have but sometimes due to ignorance we administer any of these medications to lower their fever or calm them other symptoms. It is a big mistake, since most of these medicines are not made to be tolerated by dogs or cats and although we administer the minimum dose or the one indicated for children, we will be intoxicating our partners. Therefore, never medicate your pet without consulting with a veterinarian. In addition, we should know that most of these medications are eliminated by the liver after being metabolized, but cats cannot properly metabolize many medications or vitamins. Here are the most common medications for us but that seriously harm the health of our cats and can even cause them to die:
  1. Acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin): As we know it is an analgesic and antipyretic of the most common for us. But in cats, it produces a very negative effect through vomiting (sometimes with blood), hyperthermia, rapid breathing, depression and even death.
  2. Paracetamol (Gelocatil): It is an anti-inflammatory and antipyretic widely used by humans as it is very effective for us. But, again, it is a deadly weapon for our cats. It damages their liver, darkens their gums, produces salivation, rapid breathing, depression, dark urine and can cause their death.
  3. Vitamin A: We usually have at home vitamin complexes for times when we want to avoid colds and other common diseases, among other things. These vitamin complexes include Vitamin A. In addition, this vitamin is found in some food supplements and in some foods itself such as raw liver, which we sometimes like to give our pets. The excess of this vitamin causes drowsiness, anorexia stiff neck and joints, constipation, weight loss in domestic cats, as well as somewhat strange positions such as sitting on the hind legs but raising the front legs or lying down but leaving all the weight on the limbs without relaxing.
  4. Vitamin D: This vitamin is found in vitamin complexes, but also in raticides and some foods. Hypervitaminosis D produces anorexia, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, polydipsia (extreme thirst) and polyuria (very frequent and abundant urination). This is due to kidney lesions and hemorrhages that occur in the digestive and respiratory system.

    Brea of ​​coal: The coal pitch includes various products such as cresols, creosote, phenols and pitch. They are found in homemade disinfectants and other products. Poisoning in the case of cats by these products is usually more commonly due to absorption through their skin, although their intake is also given. This intoxication causes the stimulation of the nervous system, the weakening of the heart and liver damage, the most visual symptoms being the weak>

Dosage advice and oral administrations

  • Vomiting Induction: We must get a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and a children's syringe to administer the solution orally. We should never use solutions that have higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide such as some hair products, as we will harm our pet more instead of helping it. To prepare this solution and administer it properly you should know that the dose of 3% hydrogen peroxide is 5 ml (1 teaspoon) for every 2.25 kg of body weight and is administered orally. For an average cat of 4.5 kg about 10 ml (2 teaspoons) is needed. Repeat every 10 minutes for a maximum of 3 doses. If we can administer this oral solution immediately after poisoning, we will use 2 to 4 ml per kg of body weight of this 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Effective way for the cat to swallow the oral solution: This involves introducing the syringe between the teeth and the cat's carriage to make it more difficult to expel the liquid>

    This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

    If you want to read more articles similar to Poisoning in cats - Symptoms and first aid, we recommend that you enter our First Aid section.

    Automotive products

    As antifreeze, brake fluid, gasoline and windshield washer fluid. Antifreeze often contains ethylene glycol or methanol, which are toxic to cats (they are also found in window washers and car defrosters). Many animals find that the antifreeze has a sweet taste, and ingestion of the smallest amount can lead to kidney failure and death, especially in cats.

    Various household items

    Like mothballs, photographic developer, chocolate and shoe polish.

    Always ensure that any of these products are stored safely and that spills are cleaned immediately and carefully. If the products are stored in high places where cats can push them from a shelf and then walk through liquids that escape through broken or divided containers or lids, then make sure they are secured in closed cabinets.

    Never give cats products intended for people (unless your veterinarian tells you otherwise)

    To avoid accidental poisoning:

    Always keep the antifreeze in well labeled, robust and sealed containers, away from pets and their surroundings.
    Clean up any spills immediately, no matter how small, and make sure pets cannot access the area until it is clean and safe.

    Always dispose of antifreeze safely and responsibly. Contact your local authority for advice.

    If your pet shows any of the following signs, take them to the veterinarian immediately:

    • Increased urination
    • Increase in alcohol consumption
    • Vomiting
    • Depression
    • Lethargy (abnormal sleep)
    • Appear drunk and uncoordinated
    • Seizures (adjustment)
    • Abnormally fast heartbeat
    • Very fast and shallow breathing

    The sooner veterinary treatment is received, the better your chances of survival. If left untreated, pets can suffer and will die.


    Rat and mouse killers such as brodifacum, difenacum, chlorphacione and coumatetralyl. Rodenticides are the most common pesticides involved in cat poisoning, usually because the cat has eaten poisoned prey. Other pesticides are normally safe for cats when used with the correct work force, provided that cats are excluded from the treated area until the spray has dried.

    Always ensure that any of these products are stored safely and that spills are cleaned immediately and carefully. If the products are stored in high places where cats can push them from a shelf and then walk through liquids that escape through broken or divided containers or lids, then make sure they are secured in closed cabinets. When using pesticide or herbicide sprays in the garden keep the cat inside until it dries.

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