Contact poisoning in Cats: cause, symptoms and treatment

Contact poisoning in cats: how does it happen? What are the symptoms? How can we help the cat and how to prevent the problem.

The cat is a rather active animal and always looking for new stimuli, which is why, as far as you can keep an eye on it, it will always slip into quite dangerous situations. Being able to observe all the movements of the cat is not easy, especially if it has the possibility of being able to go out and wander outside for hours.

What we can do is just try to be careful about what it eats and what surrounds them. In fact, it is necessary to be very careful about what lives around the animal, if you want to avoid contact poisoning in the cat. This also applies to products for the hygiene of our home and for the hygiene that concerns ourselves. In fact, contact poisoning in cats originates when a harmful substance comes into contact with the fur or skin of the feline. Let’s find out the causes, symptoms and treatment of our cat.

Causes of contact poisoning in cats

The causes of contact poisoning in cats can be many starting from food to hygiene products or even plants toxic to the animal, present at home or outside in the garden, where the animal can also run into fungal bacteria, if the environment is swampy or humid such as cultivated land. To be more precise, below is the list of causes of contact poisoning in cats:

  • chemical products : very often within the products we use for the hygiene of our home (detergents and detergents) there are chemical agents that could be harmful to our pet and cause allergic reactions on the cat’s skin and therefore become the cause contact poisoning in cats;
  • food allergies : by food allergies in cats we do not mean the allergy to food itself but to products such as additives, dyes or ingredients present in food and which can cause contact poisoning in cats, as they are particularly sensitive to them;
  • beauty products: by beauty products we do not only mean deodorant sprays and perfumes for humans but also the same products for parasites or those used for grooming they can be dangerous and cause contact poisoning in cats. A classic example is poisoning due to contact with an anti-parasitic pipette with an active ingredient that is toxic to cats. When a pipette not suitable for felines is applied. To avoid this problem, it is necessary to behave as for food. Whenever we give a new food product to the cat, we are very careful to give it to them in small doses which then become normal once the tolerance test is passed. The same must be done for new hygiene products for the cat, it is necessary to make sure in small doses that it can tolerate them or not. Which is why it checks on a small part of the cat’s skin that it does not cause any reaction.To conclude, among the causes of contact poisoning in cats we have the most dangerous one, namely products containing acids which, in contact with the skin and the cat’s fur, could also cause dangerous burns in the cat.


The signs that a cat has been poisoned in contact with something are very similar but the important thing is to know how to recognize them and intervene immediately. The symptoms we are going to list may indicate contact poisoning in cats:

  • irritated, inflamed and burned skin ;
  • swollen and red eyes ;
  • increased lacrimation;
  • the cat that gasps;
  • the cat sneezes;
  • wheezing;
  • hypersalivation;
  • coughing fits in cats .

Here are other symptoms common to all other types of cat poisoning such as:

  • lack of coordination;
  • He retched;
  • diarrhea in cats ;
  • convulsions;
  • abdominal pain.
  • mucous membranes pale or cyanosis, that is, they acquire a bluish color.
  • bleeding;
  • paralysis;
  • unexpected death.

It is essential to know how to recognize them, in order to be able to promptly help the cat, in order to prevent the health conditions from worsening.

Diagnosis and treatment of contact poisoning in cats

In order to make a diagnosis, the veterinarian will refer to the evident symptoms and those declared by the owner. It will also ask for the previous history, referring only to the moments before the poisoning or if in any case in the house or in the garden there may be products that may have caused contact poisoning and finally he will ask what the cat may have eaten from being poisoned.

Of course the owner will not be able to have an answer for everything as the contact poisoning in the cat could have occurred outside the house, but if the owner knows the cause it would be advisable to take a sample of the substance that caused the poisoning in the cat. The vet will then proceed with the treatment.

If the burn in the cat is localized, it will try to clean only that area to avoid moving the stinging substance to the rest of the body as well. If, on the other hand, the burn is caused by acids or other chemicals and is severe and even extensive, he will use specific products, in order to clean and treat the cat’s skin.

If, on the other hand, the problem is not serious, the vet may suggest that you stay at home and treat the animal from there, applying water that is neither hot nor cold, but simply lukewarm to prevent the cat from feeling further pain. Not forgetting to wear rubber or surgical gloves to protect your skin from residues of the substance.

In these cases, as with the health problems of our four-legged friends in general, prevention is the best solution. Preventing the cat from coming into contact with dangerous products is the first step to its safety. And if you can then try to control the outputs of your cat, without ever losing sight of it, especially if you are aware of the presence of toxic plants for the cat.

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