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Symptoms of Poisoning in Cats

Cats are not frequently affected by poisoning, but it can occur. Our Thousand Oaks team is dedicated to assisting you in recognizing harmful substances in and around your home, as well as how to tell if a cat has been poisoned.

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 vast array of everyday items can prove to be hazardous to cats, and it's crucial to keep them out of reach. To prevent any accidental ingestion, it's advisable to 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

If you see your feline ingesting a potentially harmful substance or exhibiting symptoms of poisoning, seek veterinary attention immediately. To aid in a prompt diagnosis, bring as much relevant information about the substance as possible, such as the product label, a piece of the plant, or a sample of the food.

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 a multitude of tests to determine the cause.

Can cats recover from poisoning?

Time is of the essence when it comes to treating a cat for poisoning. The quicker you act and seek veterinary care, the better the chances for a full recovery. The severity of the poisoning will also depend on the amount of the toxic substance consumed. Early treatment can make all the difference in ensuring a positive outcome for your furry friend.

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 symptoms of poisoning, or have you seen your pet consuming a toxic substance? Contact our Thousand Oaks veterinary hospital right away for emergency care.

New Patients Welcome

VSEC Thousand Oaks is accepting new patients! Our board-certified specialists and experienced emergency veterinarians are passionate about restoring good health to animal companions.

Contact (805) 492-2436