Cat poisoning: how to prevent it and what to do?

Cat poisonings are unfortunately more common than we think. Many products that we use in and around the house are toxic to cats. Think of plants, medicine, household products and certain foods.
Poisonings do not only happen if your cat eats a certain product or substance but it can also come from inhaling the substance or if the product comes into contact with the cat’s skin. Since cats are picky eaters, cats are more likely to lick a poisonous substance from their fur than eat a poisonous product directly.

What to do if your cat is poisoned?

If you suspect that your cat may have eaten something poisonous, contact the vet immediately. He or she can then inform you about the steps you need to take. The vet will want as much information as possible about the substance in question. Therefore, if present, keep the packaging of the substance to which your animal was exposed on hand.
Depending on the type of poisoning, in most cases, it is important to make your cat vomit as soon as possible after ingestion. This way, you can try to remove as much of the toxic substance from the feline’s body as possible. Keep in mind that inducing vomiting is only useful if the cat ingested the substance no longer than 4 to 6 hours ago. With some toxic substances, you should not make the cat vomit. This is the case with substances that can irritate the esophagus or cause foaming when vomiting. Never try to make your pet vomit by giving it salt! A large amount of salt can cause salt poisoning which is very dangerous for your cat.

Has your cat gotten a toxic substance on its skin or in the eyes? Then try to rinse it out with lukewarm water. In addition, try to prevent your cat from licking its fur or skin and, of course, protect your own skin with gloves, clothing, etc. One tip might be to wrap your cat in a towel before handling it

Symptoms of poisoning in cats

Every poisoning produces different symptoms and the duration of symptoms also differs per poisoning. You only see some complaints/symptoms of cat poisoning after a few days or even weeks. The most common symptoms are:
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Bleeding
  • Drinking and urinating a lot or not urinating
  • Behavioral changes
  • Palpitations

Substances that are poisonous to cats

As mentioned above, there are many products and substances that are toxic to cats. Below are some of the substances that are most commonly found in households:


  • Raisins/grapes
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Onion, garlic & chives
  • Caffeine
Plants and bulbs
  • Lilies
  • Azaleas
  • Sago palm
Household products
  • Antifreeze and coolant
  • Cleaning products
  • Fertilizers
  • Pesticides
  • Snail poison
  • Mouse and rat poison
Human medicine
  • Ibruprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Blue-green algae
  • Medicines for another animal species