Rat Poisoning in Cats: Everything You Need to Know

Rat and mouse poisons usually contain substances that prevent the blood from being able to clot. There is now also a substance that causes neurological symptoms.

If you suspect that the cat has ingested rat or mouse poison, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Cats are less likely than dogs to eat prey or carcasses of dead rodents, so they are less likely to be poisoned by rat or mouse poison. It is mainly cats that eat a lot of rodents that are at risk of being poisoned, as the traditional remedies have the greatest effect if the animal consumes several doses.

In some cases, however, the cat is at risk of becoming ill after one or a few doses, namely if the active substance is alpha-chloralosis (which causes neurological symptoms) or new-generation anticoagulants.


Rat and mouse poisons usually contain anticoagulants. The drugs work by causing internal bleeding, as a result of which the blood loses its ability to clot. Symptoms of anticoagulant poisoning often appear a few days after ingestion. The cat gets pale mucous membranes due to internal bleeding, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, possible lameness due to bleeding into a joint, and bruising.

In case of poisoning with alpha-chloralosis, unconsciousness, disturbed heart rhythm and neurological symptoms are seen. Alpha-chloralose is mainly used in mouse poison.


A definite diagnosis is made by detecting rat poison in blood or urine samples. However, such an analysis takes several days and treatment is started already in case of suspicion of rat poisoning, ie if the cat is believed to have ingested rat or mouse poison or if it has had a tendency to bleed.


If the cat comes to the vet quickly after eating the poison, you can try to trigger vomiting by giving it an injection. Medical carbon is also given.

NOTE – We do not recommend that you try to induce vomiting with salt at home as this can lead to salt poisoning in the cat.

Treatment for anticoagulant poisoning consists of giving vitamin K injections and vitamin K tablets to restore the blood’s ability to coagulate. In life-threatening conditions, blood transfusions may be required. Alpha-chloralosis has no antidote, and these patients are given supportive and symptomatic treatment.


If the right treatment is put in time, the cat can recover completely without any lasting damage.

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