Poisons In The Home That Can Harm Cats

cats and poisons

cats and poisons

There are likely to be a number of dangers lurking in the average home that can represent a serious health threat to cats. These include poisons of various types, which can be particularly hazardous to kittens, because they are often keen to sample things which would be ignored by an adult cat. There is also the risk that a misguided owner may poison their pet accidentally, by using what they believe to be a safe remedy to treat a minor ailment.

Cats are most likely to be poisoned in the home by what they eat. Just as with children, you should keep harmful chemicals out of their way, and discourage `foraging’ for food, as this can lead to danger.

Our cat drinks from the toilet bowl. Is this likely to be harmful? Cats that do this are in danger not just on the grounds of hygiene, but also of being poisoned. Bleach and toilet cleaners could be very harmful if your cat drinks them. Prevent the risk by ensuring that the lid of the pan is kept closed at all times, and that the toilet door is shut as well.

Are cats affected by glue fumes as we are?

Cats can sometimes be affected by fumes, particularly in a poorly ventilated room. Keep your cat out of the room if using such chemicals.

Should a cat be encouraged to vomit after swallowing poison?

No, not in every case, which is why you need to seek veterinary advice. Encouraging a cat to vomit up a corrosive substance is likely to cause more problems.hen acquiring a kitten or cat, spend some time carrying out a safety audit around your home.


Pay particular attention to household plants because many of these such as dumb cane (Dieffenbachia), poinsettia, decorative ivies and many bulbs contain substances which could be potentially toxic to cats if eaten. The risk is greater if your pet is destined to live permanently inside, without access to fresh grass which cats often nibble. If deprived of this opportunity, your cat is likely to investigate house plants instead, so provide a tray of grass for this purpose. Azaleas can be toxic if your cat nibbles them too much.


Any forms of carpet cleaner should be viewed with caution, because not only are cats likely to walk on the carpet after it has been cleaned, but they may also roll on it as well. The risk will then be that the cat will ingest any chemical deposits on its coat when it starts to groom itself.

  • Flea treatments can have harmful side-effects if they are not used as directed. Take particular care when using a powder that the cat cannot run off and lick its coat. It is often recommended to brush the coat after 30 minutes in order to remove any of the powder remaining once the treatment has been effective.
  • Only use a safe emulsion paint if you are making a wooden bed for your cat. Otherwise, licking the paintwork can be dangerous.
  • The needles of Christmas trees are hazardous not only because they can stick in a cat’s paws but they can also be poisonous if swallowed.
  • Finally, many human painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs available without prescription can prove to be deadly to cats. Never try to dose your pet without first seeking veterinary advice. The drugs which are likely to be dangerous include paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen.