Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Pets
  3. Cats

What to do if your cat has been poisoned

See also

Poisoning can be the consequence of ingestion, inhalation, or contact with a toxic substance. Examples include household cleansers or chemicals, plants, antifreeze, prescription medications, toxic plants, or even toxic foods.
A cat that has been poisoned may show signs of one or more of the following symptoms: lethargy or an overall sluggishness, lack of appetite, vomiting, difficulty walking or a staggering walk, seizure or difficulty breathing. If a feline has any of these symptoms, she should be seen by a veterinarian right away. Every single second counts. Cat owners can sometimes overlook these symptoms and link them with pet stress. Don’t take that chance.
Plants inside your home can also a threat to your cat. Sometimes a cat does not even have to consume the plant, but can have exposure on their skin, causing irritations. Fig plants, poinsettias chrysanthemums, can all cause reactions in cats. As a rule these three types of plants will simply cause skin irritation. More serious reactions such as swelling of the mouth, staggering, and general weakness are caused by household plants like Boston ivy, caladiums, arrowhead vine, elephant’s ear, heart leaf, peace lily and dumb cane plants.

If your cat has ingested a large amount of amaryllis, azalea, ivy, spider mum or creeping Charlie plants or flowers, you can expect a more serious reaction. These plants, among others can lead to abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors and heart and respiratory ailments.

Some toxins may take 3 to 4 days to show any effects Hold on to any product labels and containers he/she may have come into contact with. This will help more than you can imagine.

Do your best to quantify how much of the toxin your pet inhaled/ingested/contacted and at what time.

Do not try to influence your cat to vomit unless instructed by your vet. Traditional home remedies can be very perilous to cats.

You can also contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. This is a tried and true source in any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It has a workforce of dedicated team members who are veterinary specialists. A small consultation fee will be charged to your credit card for using this excellent service.



  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    9 Photos