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Cat prowling in grass

Harmful Substances and Poisonous Foods for Cats

7 min read

Your cat’s sense of exploration is one of the things that makes them so precious to you, but it sometimes means you have to keep an eye out for things that can harm them, too.

There are many harmful substances and poisonous foods for cats that your feline friend might come across in their lifetime, so it’s important that you know which to keep out of their reach in the home.

Your cat’s natural curiosity leads them to explore non-stop; whether they’re roaming the great outdoors or climbing into all the nooks and crannies of your house, there’s no knowing what they’ll find on their next adventure. Around the home and in the garden there are poisonous foods for cats and non-food substances, including plants, which could be potentially dangerous to your feline friend. Some of these are obvious, but others look completely innocent.

For example, your cat might like the look of the snack you just ate or the medicine you take, but these things – while causing no harm to us – might be poisonous foods for cats, and in some case they could be life-threatening. Many chemicals that are routinely used around the house, such as bathroom cleaners, can also be harmful if your curious cat gets their paws on a bottle.

Cat in long grass

Poisoning substances for cats in the house

If you suspect that your cat has come into contact with any of these substances, keep an eye out for signs of ill health.


Poisonous substances for cats in the garden and garage

What are the symptoms for cat poisoning?

Cat poison symptoms and signs of ingestion include vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, loss of appetite or muscle co-ordination, blindness, and seizures. If you are unsure, it’s always best to contact your vet for advice.


Preventing cat poisoning

Keeping your home and garden safe is mostly about common sense – not leaving things open and easily accessible, for example, if they’re likely to be mistaken for a tasty treat.

Prevention is always better than cure, of course – and with a little attention to the things in your home, your cat can live a happy and healthy life away from harmful substances and poisonous cat foods.


Further information

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is an internationally renowned poisons information service based in London. Although the VPIS only handles direct enquiries from vets (not pet owners), its website does provide some useful information if you want to check it out.

If you have any concerns about any potential toxins or poisonous foods for cats your pet may have eaten, you should always speak to your vet as soon as possible to obtain advice and guidance.

Next, discover the foods that can cause allergies in cats and find out what to do if you recognise these unusual cat illness symptoms.

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