Poisoning in cats
Unfortunately, poisonings in cats occur regularly. Many substances we use in and around the house are toxic to cats. These include various household products but also some medicines, food, flowers and plants can be dangerous for cats.
How will a cat contract poisoning?
Cats are naturally curious, so they like to lick or bite at things. Cats also wash themselves a lot, and in this way they can ingest dangerous substances through their fur or paws, for example. In addition, it sometimes happens that a cat eats a poisoned prey animal, such as a rat or mouse.
Do you suspect that your cat may have eaten, inhaled or had something toxic on its skin? If so, always contact your vet immediately!
What are the symptoms of poisoning?
The symptoms in poisoning can be different. This depends on the type of poisoning. Sometimes, symptoms appear fairly soon after admission, but sometimes they may not appear for several days.
Common symptoms are:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Behavioural changes
- Low in energy
- Muscle tremors
- Cardiac symptoms
- Drinking and urinating a lot or not urinating at all
- Breathing difficulties
What to do if your cat is poisoned?
Do you suspect poisoning? If so, always call a vet for consultation. When doing so, try to have the information below to hand. If you are registered with the vet in question, the age and weight can be looked up in your cat’s file if necessary.
- Age of your cat
- Weight of the cat
- Name of the poison
- How much poison was eaten
- How long the contact lasted (in case of skin/eye contact or inhalation)
- What time it happened
- Does your cat show symptoms consistent with poisoning
- Have you already set up your own treatment
If you have the packaging of the relevant substance, keep it with you as well and take it with you to the vet.
Is it wise to make your cat vomit in case of poisoning?
With most poisonings, it is important to make your cat vomit as soon as possible after ingestion. This way, we try to get as much of the toxic substance out of the body as possible. This should be done as soon as possible after ingestion. If the cat has ingested a drug that may be irritating to the oesophagus or where there is a risk of foaming, we will not make your cat vomit.
Treating the cat in case of poisoning
Besides making the cat vomit, other measures are sometimes needed in case of poisoning. Other actions that can be taken in case of poisoning are:
- Flushing the stomach
- Administer Norit powder (activated charcoal)
- Giving specific antidote
- Treating the symptoms
If there is contact with a toxic substance on the skin or eyes, try to rinse it with lukewarm water as much as possible. Make sure your cat cannot lick itself (wrap in a towel if necessary) and also take care of your own health.
Additional examination after poisoning
Some poisonings can cause damage to the organs. In this case, there will also be blood tests done by the vet, which sometimes need to be repeated after some time as changes may also be seen only later.
Dangers of salt poisoning in cats
Never try to make your cat vomit itself by giving salt. This can give your cat salt poisoning which can be fatal in some cases.
What are toxic substances for cats?
- Household products
- Antifreeze and coolant
- Algae remover
- Cleaning products
- Mouse and rat poison
- Snail poison
- Overdose of medication
- Flea drug (wrong animal group administered to cat)
- Plants and bulbs
- Bulbs of Narcissus, Crocus, Tulip and Amaryllis
- Christmas rose & poinsettia
- Blue-green algae
Poisonous plants for cats
The list of plants that are toxic to your cat is very long. Most cat owners are quite shocked by this. It is reassuring to know that most plants are very bitter and foul-tasting. This ensures that a cat is quickly put off and will therefore rarely ingest a harmful amount of the toxic substance. We have listed the plants a cat is most at risk of poisoning above under the heading ‘Plants and bulbs’.
Hooray! A new kitten!
Traveling with your cat
When is it too hot for my cat?
When is it too cold for my cat?
How do I give my cat tablets?
How do I administer ointment or drops to my cat?
Taking my cat to the vet
Stress in cats
Fear of fireworks
Caring for an older cat
Putting your cat to sleep