Common Poisons in Cats.

Many of us own a beloved pet and when they become sick, it can be extremely distressing for both the pet and the owner. But what can be even worse, is when the sickness could have been prevented.

There are many things around the house that can be a normal household item for us, but that are extremely poisonous to our pets.

This article focuses on poisons for cats; but there are also many common things that can be poisonous for dogs. The following can be a guide for common toxins in cats:


Although a beautiful flower, lilies can be very poisonous to cats. All it takes is for a small amount to be eaten, and there is an instant risk of kidney damage. If a cat has been in contact with lilies, you may spot the dust on their fur and the animal may be vomiting, depressed, not wanting to eat, disorientated or may be acting strangely. The kidney damage can be fatal, but can also be treatable with fast vet care.

Dog Flea Treatment

This often contains a substance called “permethrin”, which is highly toxic for cats, attacking the nervous system and eventually leading to a slow death. This can happen if a dog treatment is put on a cat accidentally; or if a cat comes into close contact with a dog that has recently received the treatment. The cat will likely be very on edge, hypersensitive to noise and may start fitting.


A common substance found in many households/garages. This has a very sweet taste which makes it very tasty to cats. Little do they know, this substance will cause severe kidney damage very quickly, and very often kills, even if caught early.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

These painkillers may be prescribed to your pet by your vet for reasons such as a arthritis or a cut pad. When used at the correct dosage, these drugs can help our pets feel better. However if accidentally or purposefully over-dosed, your pet can get long lasting damage and even die. Remember to always keep to the dose that your vet has prescribed.


If you suspect your cat is in pain, don’t go reaching for the paracetamol. Cats do not have the ability to break down paracetamol. Even a small amount can prove fatal – it causes irreversible damage to the liver and the blood vessels. The gums turn a characteristic chocolate brown or blue colour, the paws can swell and he/she will be very unwell and may die, even with the best veterinary care.

Onions and Garlic

These are highly toxic to cats, causing severe damage to the red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Cats may become weak, pale and the toxin can even cause death.

Although the above may seem scary, it is of upmost importance to be aware of these toxins and the signs you may see, to give your pet the best chance of survival.