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Has my cat been poisoned?

Has my cat been poisoned?

While it is unlikely that cats will end up poisoned or eat toxic plants, there is always a chance and it's better to be prepared. Here, our Lacey veterinarians share some of the items that can be poisonous to cats and what symptoms to look out for. 

How Might My Cat End Up Poisoned?

Cats are fairly small animals. This means that it doesn't take much to affect them when they ingest toxins. One of the most common methods of poisoning in cats is the ingestion of toxins while the cat is cleaning itself.

Cats, unlike dogs, are more aware of what they are eating and will turn down food if it doesn't smell right. This means that they are less likely to be poisoned through eating.

What are some substances responsible for cat poisoning?

Unfortunately, there are a large number of substances that can be toxic to your cat when ingested. Be sure to keep any of the items on the list below well out of your cat's reach and never provide them with human medications.

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

What are the signs of cat poisoning?

There's a vast range of substances that are toxic to cats, and symptoms of poisoning will depend on the nature of the substance and whether it has been ingested, inhaled, or come in contact with your cat's skin. Here are some of the most commonly;y noted signs of poisoning in cats:

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

What steps should you take if your cat becomes poisoned?

The first step that you should take if you notice that your cat is eating a toxic substance is to contact your vet. Your vet will suggest bringing your cat to their clinic or to the nearest emergency animal hospital. To help your vet make the quickest diagnosis possible, bring along as much information about the product as possible, (ie: product label, leaf off of the plant, the sample of the food).

What are the treatment options for cats that have ingested toxins?

Depending on how your cat has been poisoned, diagnosis and treatment will vary. The more information you can provide your veterinarian, the better. If you are unsure of which toxic substance was ingested your vet will perform a series of diagnostics to gain better insight into the situation to be able to treat your cat accordingly.

Recovery from poisoning will greatly depend on how much of the poisonous substance your cat has been exposed to and how quickly you have gotten them to the vet for treatment. Outcomes for cats who receive early treatment for poisoning are much better than for cats who experience a long delay before receiving treatment.

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 showing the concerning symptoms associated with poisoning? Contact our Lacey emergency vets.

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At Olympia Pet Emergency, you can always access our full complement of emergency services without an appointment. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

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