Can Rat Poison Be Used Safely in a Household with Cats?

Rat poison is highly toxic for cats. Cats that have swallowed rat poison are in danger of developing rodenticide toxicosis. Cats may get the toxicosis even if eating a rodent that has been poisoned with rodenticide. First aid help should be given and the cat needs to be taken to the vet to avoid excessive bleeding and death.

How Does Rodenticide Work

Anticoagulant rodenticides are the most frequently used poisons to get rid of rodents. The poison is a blood thinner and prevents the clotting in the body and causes internal bleeding, killing the rodents. However, the poison works on any mammals, so the exposure of cats and dogs is hazardous. The poison is deadly to birds or fish also.

Rodenticide Ingestion Symptoms

If your cat has ingested anticoagulant rodenticide, he will have blood in the stool and in the urine, he will be vomiting and will have bruising and bleeding under the skin or in the whites of the eyes. The cat will be lethargic and confused, which is a result of the bleeding in the brain. The cat will be pale, has low blood pressure and may have nosebleeds.

However, these symptoms occur several hours after ingestion and you need to take your pet to the vet immediately after you notice that he's eaten the poison.

First Aid Treatment

A cat that has been seen eating rat poison must vomit immediately; try to induce vomiting by giving the cat a solution of 3 tsp. hydroxide peroxide mixed with water. Open the cat's mouth and drop the solution in his mouth with either a syringe or a dropper. Encourage the cat to swallow the solution by gently massaging his neck.

If the cat doesn't vomit, repeat the procedure after 10 minutes. You can do this 2 or 3 times more. However it is recommended that you take the cat immediately to the vet.

It is almost impossible to induce vomiting more than two hours after ingestion, as the poison is too far in the digestive tract.

Even if you only suspect that the cat has ingested the rat poison, induce vomiting to be safe and take him to the vet.

Emergency Vet Treatment

The rodenticides may be fatal in very small amounts. The lethal amount depends on the weight of the cat.

The vet needs to administer an anti-anticoagulant shot, which is the antidote for rodenticides.

Afterwards, the treatment with anti-anticoagulants will last for a month or even more, so as to be able to reverse the anticoagulant effect of the rat poison. If the cat vomits and is given the shot quickly after the ingestion of the poison, he has high chances of survival.

If the symptoms are already present, the emergency treatment will include the antidote and blood transfusion, to provide the necessary amount to facilitate the clotting. The pet might get some IV fluids also and medicine to absorb the remaining poison in the digestive tract.

Rat poison can be fatal if the internal bleeding is not stopped in time.