Toxins which can affect cats are numerous, but fortunately less common than occurs in dogs, mainly due to the cat’s greater discriminatory powers over what they eat and when[1].

The most commonly reported intoxications are due to flea collars (pyrethrin and OP overdoses) and the majority of these are sub-lethal dosing requiring conservative therapy.

Their unique metabolism (an inability to glucuronidate many proprietary drugs) makes cats especially prone to intoxication by many pharmaceutical products.

Listed below are the more commonly reported toxins affecting cats.

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Acetone
  • Amitraz
  • Amphetamine
  • Antibiotics (aminoglycosides, betalactams and fluoroquinolones)
  • Anticoagulant rodenticides (Ratsac bait)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Aspirin (Acetylsalicyclic acid)
  • Barbiturates
  • Bleach (Sodium hypochlorite)
  • Borate (Roach baits, lens cleaner)
  • Bromethalin (Rat bait)
  • Cholecalciferol (Rat bait)
  • Cyanide (Rat baits)
  • Cyanuric acid
  • Ethylene glycol toxicosis
  • Flouroacetates (1080 poison)
  • Hydroxycoumarin toxicity (Ratsac bait)
  • Indandione toxicity – (Ratsac bait)
  • Ivermectin
  • Lilies
  • Marijuana
  • Melamine
  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) (e.g. Meloxicam, Brufen, Aspirin)
  • Organophosphates (flea collars, flea soaps, flea shampoos)
  • Pyrethrins
  • Salinomycin
  • Snake bite envenomation
  • Sodium hypochlorite (Bleach)
  • Thallium
  • Vitamin A toxicosis
  • Vitamin D toxicosis
  • Zolpidem – imidazopyridine hypnotic drug


  1. ↑ Grave TW & Boag AK (2010) Feline toxicological emergencies When to suspect and what to do. J Feline Med Surg 12(11):849-860

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