• Oxford Cat Clinic

Common Poisonings in Cats


Now that we can put thoughts of snow and ice behind us, it is time to look ahead to the warmer months. For many of us this means a spring clean and gardening. Our feline friends appreciate the rays of sunshine and will be exploring again and trying to “help” with our activities, however with this do come a few hazards and we must make sure we keep our cats safe in the home and garden.

With Easter fast approaching, the Easter Lily springs to mind. All lilies are poisonous to cats, and all parts of the plant are toxic. Even a small exposure to pollen can potentially lead to severe kidney damage.

Certain garden products, cleaning and DIY-products can be hazardous to our felines.

  • Anti-coagulant rodenticides- a type of rat bait- can cause bruising and bleeding after ingestion.

  • Methaldehyde slug and snail killers are highly toxic and cause seizuring if eaten.

  • Detergents containing benzalkonium chloride can cause drooling, fever and tongue and mouth ulceration if your cat licks a treated surface.

  • Tiny amounts of anti-freeze, either spilled or used in garden water features, can cause acute kidney injury.

  • Decorating materials such as white spirit, creosote and varnish can be poisonous if groomed from the coat or can cause local irritation to the skin.

As the weather gets warmer, some unwanted guests can also visit your pets. Permethrin is a chemical which can be found in flea spot-on products for dogs, in flea powders and collars for cats and lice powder to treat horse rugs with. However Permethrin is toxic to cats and, despite high profile campaigns, permethrin poisonings do still occur. Contact with the product (accidentally applied or close contact) can lead to tremors or convulsions.

Sometimes, accidents will happen but we can do our best to try and prevent them by:

  • Storing garden, cleaning and DIY products out of reach of furry paws.

  • Mopping up any spills quickly and never decanting liquids into different containers.

  • Not leaving diluted gardening products in unattended watering cans or buckets.

  • Always dispose safely of any left- over preparations.

  • Always check flea products are safe for cats.

If you do fear your feline friend came in contact with a poison, please contact our team at the Oxford Cat Clinic with the ingredient and strength of the product, time of exposure and symptoms the cat is showing.

For more info, visit:

- https://icatcare.org/advice/cats-and-poisons


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