Common Poisonings in Cats

Top 10 Poisonings in Cats

A poison is any substance that is harmful to the body. This includes manufactured products such as prescription drugs and cleaning solutions, and also natural herbs and other plants. Their innate curiosity may lead cats to lick or taste things that are poisonous. Fastidious grooming may cause a cat to lick poisonous products from his coat.

Animal baits are palatable poisons that encourage ingestion. This makes them an obvious choice for intentional poisoning. Cats may also be unintentionally poisoned by these products if they eat a rodent who has ingested poisoned bait. (Remember that even indoor cats may hunt and kill small prey animals-rodents, insects, or small reptiles.)

Many cases of poisoning occur in the home or in the garage. Potentially poisonous substances should be kept in secure containers and, ideally, in cupboards that close securely (remember that prying paws can open some cupboard doors). Poisonous houseplants can be removed and outdoor plants removed or fenced off from pets. Keep medications in childproof containers and inside secure cupboards.

The Top Ten Poisonings in Cats

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, these are most common poisonings that occur among cats.

  1. Permethrin insecticides designed for dogs; never use dog flea and tick products on cats!
  2. Other topical insecticides; follow directions carefully.
  3. Venlafaxine, a human antidepressant that goes by the brand name Effexor; apparently, cats are attracted to the capsules.
  4. Glow jewelry and sticks; the liquid inside is mildly toxic.
  5. Lilies; virtually all varieties of lilies can lead to kidney failure.
  6. Liquid potpourri; cats may lick this or clean it off their paws after stepping in it.
  7. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen and aspirin.
  8. Acetaminophen (Tylenol); even one tablet can be fatal.
  9. Anticoagulant rodenticides; cats may eat these or may eat rodents who have the poison in their system.
  10. Amphetamines; even very small amounts are serious.