Showing posts with label cat poison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat poison. Show all posts

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Terrifying picture of a cat sitting under a bunch of lilies

The cat's caregiver urgently but innocently asks: "HELP! I've heard lilies are toxic to cats. I was given this bouquet today as a bday gift and she keeps following it wherever I put it (outside, inside, living room, bedroom, bathroom). I cut the pistils and vacuumed the pollen and spores, not sure if that's enough. Are cats also attracted to lilies?"

Picture by u/Idrialis on Reddit.com

I find the picture terrifying to be honest. Anybody who has done some research on the effect of lilies on domestic cats should be terrified of this plant. There is no place for this plant in a home where there is a domestic cat or cats. They should be completely banned from the home. Even if they are a present on a birthday as is the case in this instance. Lilies and cats should be separated permanently and completely.

Why are lilies toxic to cats?

Even a small amount of pollen from one of the toxic lily species can kill through kidney failure. The lady says that she has removed some of the toxic elements of the lily and hoovered the area around the lilies but this is not enough. Not in my view. Perhaps I'm being a little bit over reactive but the problem is this: the risk is very high and because they can be fatal there is no place for them.

The top 10 cat poisons in the USA and lilies are in the number 1 spot.

There are some species of lily which are non-toxic. The problem is it's very difficult to know which ones are and which ones are not. Unless you are an expert and you can recognise lily species. There's quite a large number.

There are other plants you can put in the home although most popular plants, my research, can be toxic. Domestic cats like to eat plants sometimes because they like to eat grass and grass is a plant. They eat vegetation to improve their health which is ironic.

Dr. Desmond Morris says that domestic cats eat plants to ingest folic acid which is contained within grass. This helps with the transportation of haemoglobin in the blood around the body. That's his theory. Another theory is that they eat grass as roughage to help pass hairballs through their digestive tract. And another theory is that it makes him sick to throw up hairballs. Take your pick.

All these reasons are another reason why lilies should be removed from the home and never accepted even if it is your birthday and they are a nice present.

The lady in question posted her picture about 24-hour's ago. I hope and pray that her cat has not ingested a small amount of lily material during that time. If they have, they may be on the way to death. That sounds exaggerated. I don't think it is.

Friday 13 May 2022

Man punishes his cat for stealing fish by lacing cat food with alcohol

This is obviously completely wrong. The man is ignorant, foolish and his behaviour is immoral. I'm surprised the young cat ate fish laced with alcohol but no doubt the cat was hungry and apparently didn't mind the fact that it was dripping with alcohol. The man didn't know how the alcohol would affect the cat other than that it would put them to sleep.  He is effectively poisoning his cat and he thinks that he is being clever and making a hit video! The man is mad. According to his video the cat slept for two days. We do not know what has happened after that. 

Man soaks his cat's food with alcohol to punish them
Man soaks his cat's food with alcohol to punish them. Screenshot

A cat's metabolism is different to that of humans. Sometimes small quantities of a drug of any kind can have severe effects on a domestic cat. Apparently one teaspoonful of alcohol can seriously harm a domestic cat. So, this man was also reckless as to the outcome. And you should never punish your cat. His cat stole his fish and he thinks they deserve to be punished. This was not bad cat behaviour but bad human behaviour in so many ways. He knows that his cat likes fish and he allowed access to the fish. This was his problem not a cat problem. But he doesn't recognise it. Because, as mentioned, he's ignorant.

RELATED: PUNISHING CATS IS WRONG.


Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which stops it working here. I have no control over this. I expect the video to disappear as he is rightly receiving lots of criticism.


Of course, the video, on Instagram, has received comments of objection to his behaviour. It just shows how ignorant a lot of people are when it comes to cat caregiving. There are millions of examples similar to this one which happen across the planet on a daily basis. Sometimes I think that humankind should not have domestic cat companions at all. There's just too much failure. Although we have to recognise that there are hundreds of millions of people who provide great cat caregiving. I just see too much failure however.

To compound the error of his ways he decides to video his cat abuse, cat cruelty, and upload the video to Instagram, which is the source of the video you see on this page. He is one of those people who thinks it clever to make videos of cat cruelty. I don't know where it has occurred. I think it is Ghana. He even adds nice music to the video as if he is entertaining viewers. We bloody hate the video and your crass behavior.

If it had happened in America, he might have been prosecuted for animal cruelty under the relevant state laws. But it's probably happened in a country where they either don't have effective animal welfare laws or they are unenforced. Another reason to be exasperated by humankind's failure in the domestic cat-to-human relationship.

Quick research indicates that alcohol is positively not a drug that a cat should be allowed to drink. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is adamant that this should not be allowed. It can cause ethanol poisoning. Symptoms can be vomiting, lethargy, ataxia, depression, diarrhoea, trouble breathing, seizures and in the worst cases, and death. In this cat is a small, young cat. As I stated and I will state it again, this man is an idiot.

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Feral cat eats a small Australian native mammal and is poisoned by a PPI

The Aussies have created another novel way of killing feral cats. They spend many thousands of hours dreaming up new ways and this is the latest. They inject into a native small mammal such as a bilby, a rice-sized implant. They call them population protecting implants or PPIs. They are placed under the skin of the animal. These small mammals are dinner-sized creatures for the feral cats of the Australian continent.

Note: this is me reporting and commenting on the news. Journos call them op-eds.

Bilby - Credit UniSA
Bilby - Credit: UniSA.

When inside the prey animal nothing happens. The pellet is covered by a protective coating. It contains a toxin derived from a natural poison in native plants. PPIs are harmless to tolerant native mammals they say.

However, once the mammal is eaten by a feral cat they become a deadly toxin as the implant is activated in the predator's stomach. They don't tell me how that transformation from a passive object under the skin becomes a deadly poison in a cat's stomach. I guess it must be the stomach acid of the feral cat which breaks down the coating.

Neither am I told whether the poisoned cat dies an agonising death or quietly. I'll presume it is the former but who cares 😕.

Thought: when my cat eats a mouse he leaves the gall bladder as it contains bile. Will feral cats learn to leave behind the PPI when they eat the bilby? They might. If so the project would be an expensive washout.

The technology has been developed by the University of South Australia. The objective: to curb feral cat predatory behaviour. It is the small ground dwelling mammals who are most at threat and it seems to me which most concern Australia's conservationists. It seems that the ulterior or higher objective is to teach feral cats that these small mammals are poisonous and therefore to be avoided.

Feral cat Australia
Feral cat Australia. Photo: Pixabay.

Two other native species in this bracket are the bettong and quoll. They've been forced to think about alternative methods of controlling feral cats because current schemes to remove them from the landscape have had limited success. This is despite throwing frozen sausages containing 1080 poison from helicopters. This particular poison causes a painful death. That doesn't concern the scientists of Australia.

The University has collaborated with researchers from local ecology groups, Ecological Horizons and Peacock Biosciences and the University of Adelaide.

At present 30 bilbies have been implanted with PPIs at the Arid Recovery. This is a 123 km² wildlife reserve in the north of South Australia. This is a trial. The results will hopefully prove the effectiveness of this technology.

Comment: it seems to me that they have to trap these small mammals to implant the PPI. That is going to take a lot of effort and money. Will the reward i.e. the killing of a single feral cat each time be commensurate with the financial and manpower cost? My prediction is that this is cost ineffective and it is a project that will fizzle out. Unless feral cats, as mentioned, learn that these mammals are poisonous and avoid them. That would be a major success but it will take a long time.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

Are you and your cat companion damaging your health by breathing 7,000 tiny particles of plastic daily?

We don't know, is the answer to the question in terms of health. However, it seems pretty clear from recent research that both humans, cats and dogs are inhaling 7,000 tiny particles of plastic daily. It also seems clear a lot of this plastic comes from fleece clothing. Another source would be the plastic in an almost countless number of household products and fabrics containing plastic nowadays such as carpets.

Are you and your cat companion breathing 7,000 tiny particles of plastic a day damaging health?
Cat and plush toy. Photo in public domain.

Plush toys are nearly always made of fleece and plastics. And of course what's wrong about that is parents put fleece cuddly toys next to their kids in bed. Kids cuddle the toys. So they could be a problem because thousands of micro plastic particles are being inhaled by toddlers.

Carpets are also a potential problem. Years ago I wrote about chemicals and carpets which leach out into the atmosphere causing potential hidden problems. These chemicals might cause mysterious diseases; what veterinarians call 'idiopathic' diseases because they don't know the cause. A lot of illnesses are rather mysterious even to doctors and veterinarians. Perhaps it is the environment in which we place ourselves?

One expert in this area is Dr. Fay Couceiro. She is a reader in environmental pollution at the University of Portsmouth and an expert on micro-plastics. She knows what they are and where they are and what they might do to us. She conducted an experiment recently which showed just how much plastic people and pets are inhaling inside the home.

ASSOCIATED PAGE: Phthalates in vinyl flooring poisoning domestic cats?

As mentioned, it could be as many as 7,000 micro-plastic particles. The highest concentrations are normally in the bedroom where there's lots of soft toys, bedding and carpeting made of synthetic materials.

But the doctor doesn't know always uncertain about the damage they might cause. She has reduced the number of teddy bears on beds in her home and her children's bedrooms have a laminate floor that is plastic but less likely to produce micro-plastic particles than a synthetic or synthetic coated carpet.

She wants people to think about the potential for negative health consequences of plastic products in the home including clothing. I think perhaps the biggest steps one could make to get rid of my microplastics is to buy natural fibre clothing if that is practical nowadays.

One possibility, provided you live in an area where the air not polluted, is to open windows to allow plastic particles to be blown out of the home to the exterior. I'm not sure how practical this is.

You can buy second hand clothes made entirely of natural-based fibres. This may help. But even natural products can be dyed and treated which can undermine any health benefits in buying wool clothing, for example.

ASSOCIATED: Feline Diabetes caused by fire-retardants in carpets, curtains and upholstery

Dr Fay Couciero believes that it is almost impossible to reduce exposure because people have "infected every corner of our planet with this toxic and indestructible material". She wants to turn off the plastic tap but she is hopeful that these micro-plastic particles don't cause health problems. 

In the meantime I think it is wise to make a presumption that they do cause health problems but what kind of problem? More research is needed but if these particles affect us they affect our cat in exactly the same way. We cannot leave them out of the equation or our thinking.

Friday 27 August 2021

What parts of lilies are toxic to cats?

All of the lily is the answer to the question. I have spent a reasonable amount of time researching an answer to the question in the title, in terms of the specific chemical, without success I have to confess. I have searched the Internet using Google Scholar looking for studies on this topic. The studies that I found are quite old (e.g. 2009) and they tell me that they don't know the specific chemical that causes such toxicity to cats. But they do tell me that all parts of lilies i.e. the whole plant-petals, stamen, leaves, and pollen are toxic.

What part of lilies are toxic to cats? All of it.
What part of lilies are toxic to cats? All of it. Image: MikeB

Not all lilies are toxic, funnily enough. You can click on this link if you wish to find out which lilies are not toxic. However, as a cat owner you should not have any lilies in the home at any time in my honest opinion. This is because they are lethally toxic. They are just too dangerous and only a small amount of pollen from a stamen can harm or perhaps kill a cat.

There are many hybrids of the lily which is another confusing point. And as little as two leaves or part of a single flower can kill a cat. The onset of poisoning is rapid which suggests a rapid absorption of the toxin concerned. It is disappointing to realise that the scientists don't know what this toxin is. If you know better than me then please leave a comment and tell me exactly what this chemical is.

Click for the top 10 cat poisons in the USA and lilies are in the number 1 spot.

The experts say that the renal tubular epithelium appears to be the target of the toxin. A water-soluble fraction of the lily is nephrotoxic. The symptoms of lily intoxication include depression, anorexia, vomiting and salivation. Polyuria renal failure leads to dehydration and anuric renal failure and death results.

Specifically, it is called nephrotoxicity which means toxicity to the kidneys in my understanding of the word.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Will steaming fresh eucalyptus branches in my shower harm my cats?

There is a lot of information on the Internet about how toxic eucalyptus is to cats. As it happens it is also toxic to people if sufficient quantity is ingested. Swallowing 10 mL of eucalyptus oil caused a six-year-old boy to go into eight episodes of tonic-clonic convulsions from which he recovered with treatment. 

Eucalyptus shower
Eucalyptus shower. Image: The Chic Site.

The toxic symptoms are rapid onset and if an adult ingested 30 mL it would kill them. So, this is a very toxic product in certain dosages. I can't find out right now why it is toxic. Eucalyptus oil is used to clear the sinuses. In showers people hang up eucalyptus leaves and the steam gets into them which helps to make breathing easier if you have sinusitis.

The problem is that cats sometimes come into bathrooms especially if they are wild cat hybrids (they like water). My standard, tabby, moggy rescue cat comes up to the shower when I'm showering. Cats can be interested in the activity especially those who follow their human companion around the home. And if you've got eucalyptus oil mixed up with steam in the bathroom some of it could be deposited on the cat's fur from where it could be licked off when the cat grooms himself.

The obvious point is that a cat caregiver does not want to expose their cat to any risk particularly so when the event that might present the risk to their cat is entirely in their control. If a cat owner harms their cat or even kills their cat because they had a shower with eucalyptus leaves it would be a gross act of negligence. In fact, it would be quite possibly a criminal matter. It wouldn't get to the criminal courts because no one will be bothered about it (except the owner) but on a strict analysis it probably would be a crime. It would be that bad and stupid.

Associated: Is orange oil safe for cats?

To put it another way, you don't want to take the risk unless you can be absolutely sure that your cat won't come into the bathroom either during or after you've had the eucalyptus oil shower. And that might be almost impossible to guarantee because there will be water droplets all over the bathroom well after you left it. These droplets may contain eucalyptus oil. I don't know. Perhaps you are going to tell me that there's no chance that this would happen. But this is about risk and minimising it. The first duty of a cat caregiver is their cat's safety.

The info about toxicity to humans comes from a study: Eucalyptus Oil Poisoning by K. Jagadish Kumar, Sandeep Sonnathi, C. Anitha, and M. Santhoshkumar.

Saturday 7 August 2021

4 scientists deserve praise for saying the truth about feral cat predation in Australia

This band of four scientists deserve praise for pushing back against the doctrine as disseminated by the Australian local governments and the federal government, which is that feral cats on the continent are decimating native species and killing wildlife in the billions. These four scientists have written an article for the website The Conversation which I think puts the record straight. I've been writing about this for years and it almost seems that they have got some ideas for me but I am being big headed. These are the four I'd like to praise.
  • Arian Wallach, Lecturer, Centre for Compassionate Conservation, University of Technology Sydney;
  • William S. Lynn, Research Scientist, Clark University;
  • Francisco J. Santiago-Ávila, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Wisconsin-Madison and;
  • Joann Lindenmayer, DVM, MPH is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University
Their article is titled: Don't blame cats for destroying wildlife-shaky logic is leading to moral panic. The moral panic aspect of the title is interesting. It implies that shooting, trapping and poisoning feral cats in Australia is morally unjustifiable. It certainly is. And they mention, as I have, that Australia has declared war on cats, particularly the feral cat. 

Feral cat shooter of Australia
Mad bad and sick as far as I am concerned. Man carries tabby feral cat back to where? He's just shot it at night. He's having great fun saving Australia from native species Armageddon at the hands of feral cats. He is a member of the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia with a cat he shot. Photo: Adam Ferguson for The New York Times


This has been going on for donkeys' years. It is almost as if the governments of the various states of Australia are minded to indoctrinate their citizens into believing that the feral cat is their enemy. I had the pleasure of interviewing an Australian on the topic of feral cats and she almost recited like a mantra what she's been taught by these governments. Although I respect her point of view.

But the experts that I mention on this page say that they have a shaky case against cats. They said the claim that feral cats kill billions of animals causing a catastrophe in conservation does not stand up to scrutiny. Feral cats fit into the ecology of the Australian continent and it is complex. For example, when humans denude places of its vegetation small animals are more at risk of predation by cats because they can't hide. That is a single example.

And they say the small animals are vulnerable when people kill apex predators such as the feral cat. There is a knock-on effect. In Australia dingoes hunt feral cats which relieves pressure on native small animals, they say. If you got rid of the cats would the dingoes hunt small animals? And cats can contribute to the conservation of endangered birds by killing rats and mice. Rats are very efficient predators themselves and they prey on birds.

They say that cats play different roles in different environments and you can't assume that because feral cats are a problem in one place that they are a problem in all places on the Australian continent.

And you can't extrapolate from one small study about feral cat predation on native species and say that that happens across the entire country. In the words of the experts that I want to praise, they say that "many scientists take specific, local studies and over-generalise those findings to the world at large."

They state that there should be a far more rigorous approach to the study of feral and domestic cats and such studies should be "mindful of the importance of ecological context and avoid the pitfalls of faulty reasoning".

These guys deserve praise because they're pushing back against the conventional mantra of these governments which, as mentioned, is indoctrinating the citizens. It is time that this stops and a far more nuanced approach is taken which is also ethical. Almost everything that these governments are doing in relationship to feral cats are unethical and cruel. Their slogan is to kill them anyway possible. Crude and stupid, I'd say.

Thursday 8 July 2021

We need to identify the toxic substances in plants which makes them poisonous to cats

WHY, WHY, WHY are domestic cats injured by many plants that are toxic to cats when they chew on them??? Domestic cats like to chew on vegetation as we know. Their favourite plant is grass (click for reasons). We don't know how many domestic cats are injured by plants but they damage the kidneys resulting in kidney failure and death. The reason why I have overly emphasised "why" is because I want Google's search engine to find this article rather than simply treat this article as another one describing the toxicity of plants to cats. We don't want that. We want to know about the chemical in the plants which hurts cats.

Why are lilies toxic to cats?
Lily Pollen Kills Cats. Photo by wlcutler. Why? We don't know.

Regarding lilies Wikipedia states:

"The true mechanism of toxicity is undetermined, but it involves damage to the renal tubular epithelium...which can cause acute renal failure."

And, yes, I've been searching on the Internet for the reasons why many plants are toxic to cats without success. The most toxic of plants are lilies. And there are many species of lily. Not all of them, incidentally, are toxic to cats but cat owners would be wise to never have lilies in their home of any species. They are that toxic. But we do not know the toxic substance in lilies that injures cats' kidneys. It has not been identified apparently. If it has been identified I can't find the information.

I find this state of affairs strange, to be honest. If we knew the substances that can kill cats in lilies and other plants, we might be able to design an antidote which cancels that substance out providing an immediate and rapid cure. 

Perhaps the scientists are disinterested. Perhaps this is because when a cat dies "they are only cats". And cats are 'only cats' because there are too many of them on the planet, many of which are unwanted and without homes. That state of affairs has a knock-on effect on the mentality of people and their attitude towards domestic and stray cats.

You'll find millions of pages on the toxicity of lilies to domestic cats. But you won't find WHY. Please, can we have some information about this!

Think of the massive advantages it would bring to cat owners if they were able to have, in their home, a spot-on treatment which saves the life of their cat because they had chewed on a toxic plant. Wouldn't that be a commercial success? An antidote to toxicity in plants for the domestic cat? Surely that would be a commercial success.

Saturday 19 June 2021

Cairo authorities poisoned domesticated stray cat who mixed with Film Festival celebrities

NEWS AND COMMENT: a calico (tortoiseshell-and-white), fully domesticated community cat who lived with her kittens in the area around the Cairo Opera House has been poisoned with her kittens by the authorities because the Opera House complained about them. This was a cute and charming, effectively domestic cat, who interacted with film stars at the Cairo Film Festival earlier and the celebrities loved it. She had been dubbed "Festival Cat". It is the kind of thing that happens sometimes when cats wander off the street and judging by the photographs it seems that this cat enhanced the event. It gave the cameramen something to focus on.

Cairo authorities poison domesticated stray cat who mixed with Film Festival celebrities
Cairo authorities poison domesticated stray cat who mixed with Film Festival celebrities. This is Festival Cat who was poisoned together with her kittens.

And in Cairo they have quite a lot of street cats which are better described as 'community cats' because they are domesticated. But the authorities don't like them and neither apparently does the Opera House. They lower the tone, I guess. Conversely, the citizens have a much more tender approach to these animals and once they'd learned about the "murder" of this cat and her kittens they were outraged and protested. They posted messages on the Opera House's Facebook page. I believe that these posts have been deleted quite quickly because I can't find them.

The point is this though that a single vulnerable calico cat on the streets of Cairo is nothing to the authorities. She was 'just a cat' and they can be dispatched; culled in an expedient way without compunction or conscience. It is the people who have a conscience. And what is particularly mindless about this event is that another cat will no doubt move into the vacant space that was once occupied by "Festival Cat".

So, the activities of the authorities in this regard were mindless and cruel. The animal welfare laws of Egypt allow them to kill stray cats like this. It is entirely legal in that country. Although they can't kill domestic cats. I don't think that that is a particularly wonderful thing because if the authorities killed domestic cats, they will be destroying someone's property and engaging in criminality.

And this "murder" of a charming community cat brings to mind what we are taught, namely the veneration of the cat by ancient Egyptians thousand years ago. They worshipped cat gods such as Bastet and the impression is that it was a golden era for domestic cats. But was it? You might not be aware that commercial enterprises bred and killed hundreds of thousands of kittens and then mummified them to be offered up as sacrifices to the gods. This cannot be described as an example of the activities of cat lovers. It seems to me that the attitude of the elite in Egypt regarding cats was the same then as it is now: rather callous, self-indulgent and careless but not loving except for many individuals, citizens of Egypt who clearly are concerned and want to see animal welfare laws improved in their country.

Last February, the national administrative court in Egypt rejected a lawsuit by animal rights activists to stop the killing of stray cats. Once again, this highlights the disconnect between the authorities and the people of that country on the issue of animal welfare.

Sunday 11 April 2021

Phthalates in vinyl flooring a danger to domestic cats?

This is a cross post. If you would like to read the original article please click here. I am constantly made aware of the potential chemical hazards in a typical home. These are invisible and as such they are insidious and they can take effect over a long period of time. I am also acutely aware that some diseases in domestic cats are idiopathic, which means that the veterinarians do not know what causes them. And it is these two thoughts which may come together. Is it chemicals in vinyl flooring, sofas, and carpets that are harming domestic cats sometimes in some places and to a certain extent?

Picture: Pixabay.

In this instance my research indicates that phthalates are incorporated into vinyl flooring i.e. the type of flooring which looks like wood, to make it more pliable. Through wear and tear and perhaps just during normal use, or even without use, science has determined that phthalates migrate from viny into the atmosphere in the home.

We know that domestic cats spend a lot of time on the floor and on sofas and carpets. We often see domestic cats lying on kitchen floors or walking on them. It is not be beyond the bounds of possibility that domestic cats are being slightly poisoned by phthalates in those homes where there is vinyl flooring.

This chemical is not put into water bottles and food containers. I believe the reason for this is that the manufacturers know it is unsuitable for those products. However, scientific studies tell us that phthalates migrate from flooring to the atmosphere and therefore there is a real danger there. Phthalates are described as endocrine disruptors. In other words they disrupt the production of hormones.

Further, in the past few years research has indicated that there is a link between phthalates and asthma in humans and in addition to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type type II diabetes and low IQ and neurodevelopmental issues. You can go on to male fertility issues and autism spectrum disorders. There is a long long list and we know that doctors are still scratching their heads about some of these disorders so I would like to point the finger at phthalates as a possibility.

If these chemicals affect people in this way then surely it is reasonable to presume that they present a danger to domestic cats as well. And we know that hardwood flooring or fake hardwood flooring is very popular at the moment. I wonder if this trend to this type of flooring has inadvertently led to cat illnesses which veterinarians are finding hard to diagnose. I don't have the statistics but it is worth at least flagging up this potential.

I wrote about chemicals in carpets and fire retardants in furniture some years ago. The links take you to pages on those topics.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Cat poison


Note: this page was written around 13 years ago. I have just added a few more lines (April 29th 2023) and there have been many other updates. I could add some more as cat poison is a very big topic. It is still valid and it contains over 300 comments. At the time it was controversial and provocative.

The page is a little haphazard but I believe useful but don't come here to figure out how to poison cats. If you do that, you'll be an AH and possibly a criminal.

Aussie authorities are poisoners

The Australian authorities are the planet's biggest cat poisoners bar none. Yes, they like to poison feral cats with sausages chucked out of helicopters laced with 1080 poison (Sodium fluoroacetate) which kills slowly as I recall. And they've built a device which chucks poison over a feral cat or any animal that walks by. It is motion sensor activated. The cat licks their coat and bingo they're dead after a while. Highly immoral. But they don't mind. And they don't mind destroying the habitat of their small native marsupials and mammals despite the fact that they kill feral cats to try and protect them. Hypocritical comes to mind and thoughtless. 

As I said below it is normally a crime to poison cats but not in Aussie land when it comes to feral cats which they detest. It is the same in Kiwi land.

Flea treatments

Flea treatments not infrequently poison cats because for example a cat owner may use a dog flea treatment on their cat. Bingo, another cat accidentally poisoned to death by their owner. Or they want to help their cat by administering painkillers. Human painkillers are plain killers when used on cats. Another accidental way to poison a cat.

Commercial cat foods

Commercial foods can also poison cats:


If a pet food manufacturer poisons cats due to negligence the cat's owner should be able to claim damages up to $10,000. This is not the case at present as cats are seen as chattels - items to possess like televisions.

Carpets and sofas

Yes, carpet protecting chemicals impregnated in carpets and fire-retardant chemicals in some furniture are both potentially poisonous to cats. Beware of them. They are a hidden and insidious danger.

Antifreeze

Car antifreeze is a cat poison. It is probably one of the most common cat poisons. There is a spate of poisonings in Weston-super-Mare, UK, at the date of this post. All seem to have died from eating/drinking antifreeze. This has all the signs of being deliberate (but may be due to carelessness). Some people hate cats. A substantial number do in fact. A fair number of people search for the keyword "cat poison". That implies that some people are possibly thinking about poisoning cats. And some are trying to work out what might have poisoned their cat. Note: Go immediately to the vet if you suspect poisoning as speed can save lives.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used as instructed by your vet to make your cat vomit if she has been very recently poisoned by antifreeze.

This video no longer works and has been deleted...


Important: It is a crime to poison a cat deliberately. This is cruel indefensible behavior. In the UK, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 applies. It states that a person found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal shall face a maximum six-month prison sentence plus a £20,000 fine. My message to anyone contemplating it is to stop and think, why? There is no good reason to do. It is pure cruelty. Ask yourself what is driving you to think in that way. If you are able to do this honestly you will realise that the motivation to harm should be directed at someone else not the innocent cat. In which case help is needed. Please bear in mind that responsibly for a cat lies with a person. If you are incensed by a cat's behavior ask if the cause is an irresponsible cat owner. It will always prove to be the case. In which case leave the cat alone and talk with the person instead. The cat is a victim of our behavior.

To all those people in the USA thinking about poisoning a cat, the laws are often very similar to the UK and animal cruelty is a crime in the USA as well. Punishment varies from state to state but can be as severe as here in the UK. See Cat Cruelty Laws in the USA (this link opens in a new window).

Important: A visitor has left a comment saying he has killed 14 domestic cats (about 30 comments down). He lives in Australia (surprise). He is almost certainly committing serious crimes. Please read the comment and if you know who he is please tell me by leaving a comment. I will then inform the police and local RSPCA.


For those few who are planning poisoning: why do people plan malicious cruelty to cats? I seems that they are bored, unable to cope, angry, damaged individuals who strike out against the world and in doing so pick on a vulnerable creature, a companion animal that provides a lot of comfort and pleasure to a lot of people.

The poisoned cats are domestic cats. Yet a lot of cat keepers are irresponsible in letting their cats roam widely risking injury and yes poisoning by ill people.

It is a combination of events. Cat poison is used by ill and bad people against cats that are sometimes poorly looked after. The best immediate solution is to keep cats in or under control and supervision plus to find out where the anti-freeze is or was (if this is caused by anti-freeze) and do some work on investigating the matter ourselves. We cannot rely on the police in this country. They don't even bother to investigate many crimes against people (e.g. burglary) and those against cats are going to be low priority. Some plants are cat poison: see House Plants Poisonous to a Cat (which contains pictures) and/or Plants Poisonous to Cats for a fuller list.

Cat poison - Update 9th Oct 2008 on antifreeze poisoning: if this is not an act of maliciousness (and I shouldn't presume that it is) then it could be carelessness but I find this a little hard to believe but perhaps I am being cynical. Apparently this last spate of cat poisonings may be due to people topping up their cars with anti-freeze and spilling some. It also means that cats are drawn to antifeeze. The number of cats that have been poisoned indicates that this is deliberate, however, and that the anti-freeze was in more than one place. Also you don't need to put antifreeze in modern cars. The water coolant rarely if ever needs topping up and has antifreeze in it from purchase. Antifreeze is ethylene glycol and it causes acute kidney disease.


Other cat poisons and what to look out for and do

Cats are by nature curious and are liable, therefore, to ingest something poisonous and it is often not clear what it is as it might not be nearby. If the poison can be identified it will obviously help to decide treatment.

The first and most important step is most likely to be to make your cat vomit (although this is not always the case). How to make a cat vomit is mentioned below. What appears to be an excellent advice service in the United States called the Animal Poison Control Center(new window) run by ASPCA tel (888) 426-4435 that I would have thought would be the first thing to do after trying to make your cat vomit (if sure that this is the right thing).

Fungi

One fungi that is not that uncommonly seen in badly managed homes that are poorly ventilated and damp might be black mold or toxic black mold. This is: stachybottys chartarum (also known as S. atra) is known as "black mold" or "toxic black mold," and is frequently associated with poor indoor air quality that arises after fungal growth on water-damaged building materials. It is known to produce trichothecene mycotoxins including satratoxins.

Stachybotrys is a genus of molds, or asexually-reproducing, filamentous fungi. Closely related to the genus Memnoniella, most Stachybotrys species inhabit materials rich in cellulose. (Verbatim from Wikipedia as allowed under license).

Rodent Poisons

Strychnine: Rat, mouse, mole poison and coyote bait contains strychnine. In America it can be bought as a purple, green or red dyed pellet. Symptoms appear within 2 hours:
  • Agitation, apprehension
  • seizures lasting about 60 seconds (in contrast, epileptic seizures last about 3 minutes)
  • cat throws head back, turns blue because it can't breathe
  • small stimulus such as noise causes a seizure
Inducing vomiting should not happen is breathing is laboured (src: Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook). Take cat (covered with coat to protect from stimulus) to vet immediately.

Sodium Fluoroacetate: It is mixed with rat feeds. Very poisonous. Signs are sudden and include vomiting, agitation, staggering walk, convulsions, collapse. Induce vomiting. Take to vet for antidote.

Zinc Phosphide: Signs are laboured breathing, vomiting (blood), convulsions. No antidote.


Cat poison - update 9th October 2008: looking back on the massive pet food recall in the USA in 2007 it seems that the cause was a chemical called melamine that was added to wheat gluten that in turn is added to cat food to thicken the gravy. China recently went through a scandal about baby milk poisoning babies because it contained melamine. Apparently it adds protein to the product. It is also a human and cat poison. The cats poisoned suffered acute kidney disease. The wheat gluten was imported from China but I don't know if it originated in China. As far as I am aware the baby food products and the added melamine originated in China.

Wheat gluten is a meat substitute as it looks like meat. It is meat for vegetarians. Cats are obligate carnivores so I have no idea why it is in cat food. But then again lots of cat food is not meat or anything remotely like meat. If it was it would make it too expensive. I think cat food is too cheap. If it was more expensive it would be genuine cat food and the price might deter irresponsible cat keepers. See a lot more on melamine in cat food.

Cat poison - Update 21st October: Regarding the pet food poisoning referred to above, it would seem that damages have been agreed at $24 million. I suppose the USA pet food suppliers paid this and will try and sue the China suppliers of the poisoned ingredient for indemnity. Anyway, what is interesting about this is that the damages are for economic loss only. That is compensation for veterinarian bills, time spent away from work and property damage. The average claim is worth $1,500. There is no compensation for the greatest loss, the loss of ones dearly loved cat. This is called pain and suffering and is part of a claim in an action for injury arising out of negligence, for example, if one is suing on behalf of a person.

As I understand it the damages are limited to economic loss because a cat is considered a "chattel", an object considered no different to, for example, a washing machine. The law needs updating. This happens.

Update 3rd April 2009: Another case of cat poison being either carelessly left about (highly unlikely) or put out deliberately (far more likely, in my view). This latest incident happened in north Wales and Shropshire, UK. Three cats have died. The generous RSPCA inspector said that he wasn't sure if it was malicious or deliberate. But how often do we see antifreeze left lying around these days? Modern cars do not need antifreeze to be changed or renewed. This has almost got to be deliberate and as usual I am concerned that not enough effort is being made to catch the perpetrator or to investigate the matter. I wonder how many criminals actually get caught for poisoning or injuring cats? Very very few, I am sure.

Cat Poison Update 8-07-09: This is an imaginative way to poison a cat and commit a crime, cover the cat in motor oil and grease and wait to see if the cat tries to lick it off. This happened to two cats in Mattapan, Boston, USA. Fortunately, someone saw and rescued them. They were taken to the local MSPCA in Boston and washed clean. Never consider using cat poison. It is morally very wrong and a serious crime. Here is a street view of Mattapan:

Map no longer works - sorry.

Something more positive for a change. The treatment for poisoning from antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is to induce vomiting and get to the vet as soon as possible. This has to be done quickly. The signs of toxicity, which happen suddenly are vomiting a walk that looks as if the cat is drunk, weakness, stupor and eventually coma. According to the Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook you can induce vomiting by giving "hydrogen peroxide 3 percent: one teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight (up to 3 teaspoons per dose) every 10 minutes or until the cat vomits This can be repeated 3 only 3 times. I would ask you vet about this and keep some in safe storage as inducing vomiting is often (but not always) the first and immediate step.

Cat Poison Update 29-8-09: In Wales, UK (see map below) a person seems to be poisoning cats with antifreeze. 8 cats have been put down with kidney failure the sign of anti-freeze poisoning. As it is summer there is no need to be dealing with anti-freeze right now so this seems like deliberate poisoning but tests are still being carried out. Anyone in the area with suspicions should please contact the police and/or RSPCA as soon as possible.

Cat Poison update 9th May 2010: Someone or persons are poisoning cats with antifreeze in the north Sheffield suburb of Walkley. More than 11 cats have been poisoned. It is said that someone is putting down cheap dry food laced with antifreeze. The food is shaped as bite sized stars and fish.

You know that there are many poisons (more than 213) that a cat can encounter naturally by which I mean poisons not put down by humans with the deliberate intention of killing cats. I have a page on these poisons which you can read by clicking here. It is a list, no more.

The deliberate poisoning of outside cats proceeds unabated. It has done over many years. It is as if the perpetrators are untouchable as I never read about them being prosecuted and punished.

Antifreeze should and could be manufactured so that it is not poisonous. Read this article: Making Antifreeze Unpalatable to Cats.

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