Top 10 Cat Poisons (cont.)

What to do for suspected cat poisoning

If you think your cat has been poisoned, try to stay calm. It is important to act quickly, but rationally.

First, gather up any of the potential poison that remains - this may be helpful to your veterinarian and any outside experts who assist with the case. If your cat has vomited, collect the sample in case your veterinarian needs to see it.

Then, try to keep your pet calm and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) at (888) 426-4435. Experts at the APCC are available to answer questions and provide guidance 24 hours a day for a $60 consultation fee.

Poison Protection: Pet-Proofing Your House

The best way to reduce the chances that your beloved cat will be the victim of pet poisoning is by preventing exposure to dangerous substances.

  • Keep all medications, even those in child-proof bottles, in cabinets that are inaccessible to your cat. If you inadvertently drop a pill on the floor, be sure to look for it immediately. Supervise anyone, such as the elderly, who may need help taking medications.
  • Always follow guidelines on flea or tick products, and never use products formulated for dogs on cats.
  • Although you can give some “people foods” safely to your pets as a treat, others are toxic. If you have any questions about what is safe, ask your veterinarian. Or, err on the safe side and give treats made specifically for animals.
  • Be sure any rodenticides you use are kept in metal cabinets or high on shelves where your pets can't find them. Remember that cats can be fatally poisoned by eating an exposed rodent, so always be very cautious about using these products. Tell your neighbors if you put out rat bait, so they can protect their pets from exposure, and ask them to do the same for you.
  • When buying plants for your home, opt for those that won't cause problems if your cat happens to nibble on them. The ASPCA has an online list of toxic and nontoxic plants by species. If you choose to have toxic plants, be sure they are kept in a place where your pets can't reach them.
  • Store all chemicals and cleaners in pet-inaccessible areas of your home.


American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Web site: “Top 10 Pet Poisons of 2008.”

ASPCA Web site: “Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets.”

ASPCA Web site: “People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets.”

American Animal Hospital Association Web site, “Chocolate is dangerous for pets.”

American Veterinary Medical Association: “A Pet Owners Guide to Poisons.”

ASPCA web site: “17 Common Poisonous Plants.”

American Animal Hospital Association Web site, “Flea control products.”

Veterinary Information Network Web site, “Easter Lilies Can be Deadly for your Cat.”

ASPCA Web site: “What To Do If Your Pet Is Poisoned.”