Arsenic Poisoning In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Photo taken in Bangkok, Thailand

Cats can get arsenic poisoning from herbicides and pesticides. (Picture Credit: Songyuth Unkong / EyeEm/Getty Images)

Arsenic poisoning occurs when a cat inadvertently ingests arsenic, a chemical element usually found in rocks and soil. Arsenic is also an active ingredient in various insecticides and herbicides, which is often where a cat comes into contact with the substance.

For instance, cats who enjoy eating grass might and up ingesting arsenic if the grass has had treatment with a product that contains arsenic.

If you discover that your cat has ingested arsenic, call an emergency veterinarian straight away. You can also reach the Pet Poison hotline directly at 855-764-7661.

If you see signs that your cat might be suffering from poisoning, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of arsenic poisoning in cats.

Symptoms Of Arsenic Poisoning In Cats

Arsenic poisoning in cats can result in a varied range of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lower than usual body temperature
  • Acting lethargic or uncoordinated
  • Diarrhea
  • Poop containing blood
  • Losing consciousness
  • Collapsing due to exhaustion

Causes Of Arsenic Poisoning In Cats

Close-Up Of Cat Biting Grass On Field

(Picture Credit: Pete Farrington / EyeEm/Getty Images)

The main cause of arsenic poisoning is a cat inadvertently ingesting chemical products containing arsenic. Some feline medicines for heartworm also contain a small amount of arsenic, and poisoning can set in if an overdose occurs.

If a cat ingests too much arsenic, the poison moves around the body and adversely affects the blood vessels, which in turn can cause bleeding in a number of organs including the kidneys, spleen, and lungs.

Treatments For Arsenic Poisoning In Cats

If you notice that your cat has ingested arsenic and take them to the veterinarian, the vet will ask detailed questions about the type of substances they may have ingested.

They’ll most likely order blood tests, and they’ll analyze the contents of your cat’s stomach to get an accurate picture about the amount of arsenic in the body. Vets often use hair samples are often used to determine the amount of arsenic a feline has ingested.

If your cat vomits or poops at home before heading to the vet, try and bring a sample along to for additional analysis.

When providing treatment, vets often induce vomiting as a means to rid the body of the poison. They can also use a process called a gastric lavage to irrigate the stomach.

Additionally, vets can employ chemical compounds to try and slow down arsenic in the body and help wash it away. In cases where arsenic has affected the kidneys, vets might consider dialysis.

When your cat is recovering at home, it is important that you follow your vet’s advice, which might include switching to a special diet during the recovery period. Additionally, make sure that your kitty does not have access to any products or medicines around the house that might contain arsenic.

Has your cat ever ingested arsenic from an herbicide or pesticide? How did your vet  help your kitty recover? Tell us all about it in the comments below.