Cats are usually more careful than dogs. However, either through curiosity or feeling snacky, you might find that your cat has eaten something they shouldn't have.

The risk is that they have poisoned themselves. Risks for this are everywhere, be it indoors or outside.

Dangers and risks are everywhere

My cat cat has eaten something they shouldn't have indoors

Even indoors, there is a lot of temptation for a cat with a sweet tooth:

  • Poisonous human food such as onion, shallots and garlic  
  • Leek, avocado, grapes, chocolate
  • Medicine such as paracetamol
  • Cleaning products such as detergent or washing up liquid
  • Essential oils, in a diffuser or in pot-pourri
  • Tabacco
  • E-cigarette refills

Cosmetic products can also poison your cat

My cat has eaten something they shouldn't have outside

Outside, the dangers are numerous and the temptations are varied. Some objects may appear to be appetizing or sweet. This is the case for anti-snail product, rat poison, lighter fluid and antifreeze.

Some plants can also represent a danger: bulbs, lilies, oleander... Sometimes, another animal may be at the source of a poisoning, such as toads or caterpillars

Here is a more detailed list of plants that are dangerous for your cat.

What to do if your cat has eaten something they shouldn't have

Firstly, you should not use the same medicine you would use on yourself. You should also not wait to call the veterinary so that they can advise you.

Do not try to make your cat vomit or make them drink water or milk. This could aggravate the situation and compromise your cat's health.

However, in the case of your cat coming into contact with a toad or caterpillar, you can try to wash your cat's mouth out with water. However, pay attention to your cat's reaction!

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Call the veterinary without any further delay

Your first response should be to call the veterinary in order to explain that your cat has eaten something they shouldn't have. This way, your cat's case will be treated as soon as possible.

In order to help the veterinary with their diagnoses, you can bring them the container of the product ingested or a piece of the plant that your cat came into contact with. Supply your veterinary with details that you have noticed as well as when the poisoning took place.

In the absence of your usual veterinary, do not hesitate to use an animal A&E. Make sure to always have details of a back up so that you don't need to panic.

Whether you are staying in the area or considering moving your pet, don't hesitate to note down the telephone number of the veterinary clinic just in case.

Poisoning: varied and developing symptoms

At first, the symptoms of poisoning are not obvious and will take time to appear. Then, you may start to notice:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • coughing
  • respiratory problems
  • oedema
  • convulsions
  • problems with the nervous system
  • a coma

These symptoms will not all appear at the same time and some may not manifest at all.

If you notice a change in behaviour of your cat, (difficulty getting to their litter box, a smaller appetite, etc.), don't hesitate to consult your veterinary. Your cat may have eaten something they shouldn't have while you were not there to see it.

Finally, if you take out insurance for your pet, the costs will be covered. This will cover a veterinary consultation, diagnosis and analysis, treatment, as well as hospitalisation and follow up.

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