Cat Poisoning Symptoms

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Lethargic cat lying on couch
Lethargic cat lying on couch (Image: Attila Komlos/iStock/Getty Images)

From leftover flu medicine behind the bathroom mirror to potted flowers hanging by the window, potential cat poisons are everywhere. Many sources of household toxins are appealing to cats, which makes them even more dangerous. Fast treatment is essential to your pet's recovery from toxins, so take your kitty to the vet immediately if she shows signs of poisoning.

Digestive Problems

Your kitty's stomach is the first stop for toxic substances after they are eaten, so digestive issues are often the first sign of poisoning. Chemicals that are absorbed directly through the stomach lining can produce symptoms within hours of ingestion. Vomiting is a natural reflex that expels harmful substances from your cat's body, and it's one of the most prevalent side effects of poisoning. Ibuprofen, chrysanthemum plants and insecticides are among the many substances that cause persistent diarrhea and other digestive ailments in felines. Some toxins also rupture the sensitive lining of your cat's stomach, causing blood to pass through with excrement or urine.

Neurological Disorders

Some poisons disrupt the connection between your kitty's brain and the rest of her nervous system, which creates a variety of alarming symptoms. Felines who consume antifreeze behave as if they are intoxicated with alcohol, while those exposed to certain rodenticides may travel aimlessly and become completely disoriented, according to Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Depression and personality shifts are common indicators of toxicity, so pay close attention to changes in your kitty's behavior. Philodendrons and some other toxic substances may also inhibit your cat's ability to swallow, causing him to drool or froth around the mouth.

Pulmonary Distress

Many people consume caffeine and nicotine regularly, but that doesn't mean they are safe for cats. Stimulating chemicals like those in coffee and chocolate can be deadly for your pet. Even small amounts may elevate heart rate and blood pressure to hazardous levels. Some of these poisons prevent your cat from breathing properly, while others may cause dangerous fluctuations in heart rate. Tremors, muscle spasms and convulsions are all serious signs of poisoning. Seizures from ingesting toxins can put your cat in a coma or even cause fatal brain damage, so don't hesitate to seek out emergency poison control.

Skin Irritation

Some poisons cause symptoms similar to an allergic reaction, so fleas might not be to blame for your kitty's inflamed and itchy skin. Asparagus fern and chrysanthemum can both cause dermatitis in felines, according to the UC–Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Surface cleaners and drain clearing chemicals can also burn the inside of your pet's mouth, scorching his sensitive tongue and throat after ingestion.

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