A great many things that you commonly find in your home are toxic to your kitty. The effects of ingesting toxic substances will vary depending on the size of the animal, what or how much was eaten or drunk previous to the ingestion, how much of the substance in question was ingested, your cat’s metabolic rate, the relative hydration and nutritional status of the cat, and the general health of the cat. If you think your cat has ingested something poisonous do not try to induce vomiting, instead call your veterinarian immediately or take your kitty to the emergency room at once if it is not too far away.

A Few Common Substances That Can Be Toxic to Cats

  • Aspirin
  • Acetomeniphen
  • Ibuprophen
  • Tylenol
  • Human medications and drugs
  • Any medication that has not been specifically prescribed by your vet
  • Over-the-counter flea and tick medications with Permethrin
  • Flea and tick products if misused
  • Iron
  • Vitamins (over-the-counter vitamins)
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Rodenticide
  • Insecticide/pesticide
  • Fertilizer
  • Antifreeze
  • Lead
  • Phosphorous
  • Household cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Drain cleaner
  • Paint
  • Turpentine
  • Motor oil
  • Gasoline
  • Kerosene
  • Easter lilies
  • Marijuana
  • Amaryllis
  • Angel’s Wings
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Azalea
  • Bean plants
  • Cacti
  • Crocus
  • Daffodil
  • Dumb Cane
  • Garlic
  • Hemlock
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Mistletoe
  • Mushroom
  • Nightshade
  • Parsnip
  • Poinsettia
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac
  • Poppies
  • Pothos
  • Tobacco
  • Tomato leaves
  • Tuberous Begonia
  • Walnuts
  • Wax Begonia

Symptoms to look for:

  • Changes in skin or mouth color
  • Muscle tremors
  • Respiratory changes
  • Increased salivation or dry mouth
  • Dry heaves
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Rubbing mouth on surfaces
  • Scratching at face or mouth
  • Diarrhea or constipation


If you suspect your cat has eaten something toxic call your vet first or take your cat to the emergency room if you can get there quickly. You can also call the Animal Poison Information Center at 888-4ANI-HELP. There is a $45 charge per case. You can also call 911.

Your vet may ask you to induce vomiting. This is NOT a good idea if your cat has ingested something like drain cleaner or acid that will do more harm than good if brought back up, so ONLY do this if directed to by your vet. If your vet does ask you to induce vomiting you can do it by giving your cat a teaspoon or two of ipecac syrup. After vomiting you will want to give your cat as much milk or water as possible (you may need to feed through a syringe or turkey baster).

Precautionary measures:

Keep all potential hazards out of reach of kitty. And remember that cats can jump and will jump just about anywhere. So if you need to, lock cabinets with poisonous substances.