Antidote for cat antifreeze poisoning?

Cat pill antidote for antifreeze poisoning
Cat pill antidote for antifreeze poisoning
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

When a Scottish woman sitting in her kitchen drank a cupful of car antifreeze she was told it could kill her. Antifreeze damages the same organs in a person as it does for cats: kidneys and liver. We know that it causes kidney failure in cats. It kills them.

The Scottish woman was taken to hospital and immediately treated. The treatment – the antidote – was two cupfuls of “the water of life”, better known as whisky1. A very simple and pleasant remedy to save someone’s life. Easy to administer and effective. It is the ethanol in the whisky that apparently counteracts the ethyl glycol in the antifreeze. She was give a choice of whisky, gin or vodka.

Speed is important in treating antifreeze poisoning. Cats are prone to antifreeze poisoning because people deliberately poison cats with it or the chemical has leaked from a car or been spilled by a person. Note: There is no need to buy antifreeze for modern cars, in my experience. Also you can buy antifreeze with a bitterant that makes it unpalatable to cats. Antifreeze usually tastes to cats.

With the urgent need to treat a poisoned cat promptly, it would make sense if there was an over-the-counter antidote for cats that could be administered by the cat’s caretaker. It could be administered immediately with a prompt follow-up visit to the vet. Of course the person would have to know that there cat had been poisoned by antifreeze. My reading of the experiences of people indicates that it is often not that difficult to come to that conclusion. Even as precaution it would be acceptable.

Three years ago a Russian developed an alcohol pill that can get people drunk. Why can’t the pet pharmaceutical industry make an alcohol pill for cats as an antidote for antifreeze poisoning? Note: to the best of my knowledge ethyl alcohol (booze) is no more dangerous to cats than to people.

It would allow for immediate treatment. The pill could also include activated charcoal to prevent absorption of the toxin from the stomach.

Perhaps I have missed a complication somewhere. I probably have but as far as I can see all the ingredients are in place for a cat pill that would save lives. Antifreeze poisoning is not uncommon. It would be nice to know that the sh*ts who deliberately poison cats could be beaten on occasions by giving a cat a pill.

Update: I am sure the complication is that it is not commercially viable to make it 😳


  1. – Tuesday, 31 December, 2002

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

10 thoughts on “Antidote for cat antifreeze poisoning?”

  1. That could be a life saver though, if anyone suspected that their cat had been poisoned with antifreeze they could administer a dose of alcohol in the few minutes before rushing to an emergency vet appointment, certainly worth a try in a desperate situation. (Administer the alcohol to the cat that is, even though in that situation I can see myself wanting to upend the bottle into my own mouth!)

  2. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    It would be so easy to add the bitterant to everything containing anti freeze rather than manufacture the antidote pill for cats but not many people think cats are important enough to bother to do that.

  3. And people would create a black market of cat alcohol pills and sell them at parties.

    Snowglobes contain water mixed with antifeeze – it helps the snow in the globe or something. If you ever smash a snowglobe your cat can die from licking the liquid. I even tasted it for myself once – a small globe smashed in the room and it tasted slightly sweet. I panicked for an hour that one of the cats had got to it. My face was white with fear and I was watching the cats like a hawk. It was not long ago on a visit to Slovenia.

    I read a story about a lady who lost her cat to a snowglobe – the cat at first was acting particularly cuddly, [possible a bit drunk even but seemingly happy. Her cat didn’t die until 3 or 4 days later. By the time they realized something was wrong it was too late to stop it.

    The snow globe I was given the day I arrived in Slovenia and I didn’t even have time to put it safely away before it dropped and smashed because one of the cats knocked it over – in the other room without us there. When I came in and saw it broken I swear to god I nearly fainted. I tasted the water and it was sweet and got even more scared. The cats were fine. It was a mini globe – very tiny, a sweet gift from somebody I know and luckily not a full sized one.

    I don’t think I have ever been so frightened. I was pale apparently. I was folling the cats around for 24 hours – stayed up all night to make sure they were behaving totally normal. It was fine in the end.

    I think everybody with cats should know about snowglobes having this in it. And I confirm it tastes sweet from my own experience. IT tastes like you could drink it at least when diluted in water. I can also say even a bit diluted in water can kill as with the story I read and it can take quite some time.

    Get rid of your snowglobes.

    Next time I would find either whicky or vodka and with a syringe squirt a tiny bit into the cat’s mouth I guess? Question though – for a cat, how much, in mililitres?

    1. And people would create a black market of cat alcohol pills and sell them at parties.

      Despair…. Probably right. Maybe that is why no one has made cat antifreeze antidote pills. There is probably a law against them.

      Put the pill on prescription – only available at the veterinarian. That would solve that.

      As for snow globes, you are also right. I did not know but they contain antifreeze to stop them freezing in warehouses before shipment to shops. They are another hazard for cats then?

      1. Yes – if I could only find the blog I would send you the link. Its a cat blog by the lady to whom this happened. So sad. Yes, they have antifreeze in them perhaps for the reason you suggested. I thought it was because it made the snow swish around better but yours makes alot of sense actually as they would crack if frozen.

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