Symptoms of Cat Poisoning

Symptoms of Cat Poisoning

Cat poisonings are relatively rare, but they do happen. From coughing to shock or collapse, our Raritan, Somerset County vets discuss symptoms of cat poisoning, substances poisonous to cats and what to do if you think your cat has been poisoned. 

What should I do if my cat has been poisoned?

Stay calm and ensure the source of the poison is out of your cat's reach. Then bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

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Cat Poisoning

Because cats are compact in size, even small amounts of poisonous substances can quickly make them severely ill.

Their meticulous attention to cleanliness means that cast most commonly become poisoned by licking toxic substances off their fur as they groom themselves. Unlike dogs, cats are usually discriminating eaters and it’s uncommon for them to willingly consume a poisonous food product, unless it’s mixed with their food.

Household Substances that are Poisonous to Cats

Several everyday items are extremely toxic to cats. If any of these items are in your home, make sure to store them out of reach of your cat’s curious paws, and never administer medications to your cat without first checking with your veterinarian.

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

Signs & Symptoms of Cat Poisoning

The prospect of poisoning strikes fear in the hearts of most cat owners. You’ve likely asked yourself, “How can I tell my cat has been poisoned?”.

As you can see above, many substances are toxic to cats, and signs of poisoning will vary depending on the nature of the substance and whether your cat inhaled or ingested it. Poisons can also enter the bloodstream through your cat’s skin. Here are some of the most common symptoms of cat poisoning:

  • Coughing
  • Drooling/Salivation
  • Seizure or twitching
  • Difficulty breathing (labored or rapid)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling or skin inflammation
  • Collapse or shock
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Coma
  • Unsteady gait
  • Jaundice
  • Fever
  • Excessive urinating or drinking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overall weakness
  • Irregular heartbeat

What to Do if Your Cat Shows Symptoms of Poisoning

If you’ve seen your cat consume a toxic substance, or he or she is showing signs of poisoning, contact your Somerset County emergency vet immediately. At AnimERge, we are here to help, on weekends, late nights and holidays, or any time that you are unable to reach your primary care veterinarian.

Bring along as much information about the product as possible (e.g.: product label, leaf from plant, food sample) to help your vet quickly diagnose the issue, and source of poisoning.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Poisoning in Cats

Diagnosis and treatment of a poisoned cat will depend on the circumstances of the situation. The more information you can relay to your vet, the better. If you’re not sure what has caused your cat to fall ill, your vet will run a series of tests to reveal information that could assist in diagnosis.

Recovery from poisoning will greatly depend on the amount of the poisonous substance your cat has been exposed to and how quickly you can get them to the vet for treatment. Prognosis for cats that are treated early for poisoning is much better than for cats whose treatment has been delayed.

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 Somerset County emergency veterinary hospital right away. Our compassionate emergency vets are available to help your pet 24/7, 365 days a year.

Caring for Pets in Somerset County

At AnimERge, our 24/7 emergency service and specialty services accepts all clients. 

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