Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat?

by Michael
(London, UK)

Missy who may have died of poisoning - photo by RahelSharon (link base of page)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Missy who may have died of poisoning - photo by RahelSharon (link base of page)

The answer is yes but not always and there are antidotes if caught in time. Here is some detail from two perspectives (a) the type of poison and treatment and (b) remedies against the person laying the poison. There are various rat poisons. Perhaps the best known are anticoagulant rodenticides. These stop the blood from clotting. This is achieved by the poison blocking the synthesis of Vitamin K, which is required for normal blood clotting. Other rat poisons (or chemicals used in rat poisons) are sodium fluoroacetate (1080), strychnine, phosphorus, zinc phosphate.

Rat control programs should (possibly must under local legislation) provide notification of baiting programs to avoid the poison being accidentally ingested by people and pets (see picture). Where local legislation does not create an obligation to notify, animal cruelty laws may impose a general obligation under certain circumstances.

rat poison notice of baiting


There are first and second generation types. I will presume today 2010 (Feb) that most are second generation. These are stronger. They require a single exposure to be fatal and a cat can be poisoned if it eats a rodent killed by the poison.  The poison remains in the cat’s system for a long time (up to one month).

There are no initial symptoms until the cat passes blood in stools or urine or bleeds from the nose. An internal haemorrhage kills the cat.

Treatment is: inducing vomiting, see a vet who will administer “fresh whole blood or frozen plasma”. Vitamin K, initially given by injection and then pills, is an antidote.

caution rat poison

Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080)

It can be mixed with rat feeds etc. A cat can be killed by eating a rat that has been killed by this poison.

Symptoms include: sudden onset, vomiting, agitation, staggering walk, convulsions, collapse. Treatment: induce vomiting then straight to the vet. An antidote is available.


The pellets are dyed purple, red or green. Symptoms of a cat being poisoned are unequivocal and rapid (within 2 hours): agitation, excitability followed by painful seizures (60 seconds), cat turns blue. A slight stimulation (e.g. clapping causes a seizure). Treatment: induced vomiting if the cat has not showed signs of laboured breathing. Take cat to vet immediately. Keep stimuli down.


A poisoned cat might have garlic breath. Other symptoms: vomiting and diarrhea followed later by cramps, pain in abdomen and convulsions leading to coma. Treatment: as for strychnine. No antidote.

Zinc phosphate

Symptoms include: laboured breathing vomiting (with blood sometimes), convulsions, death. Treatment: as for strychnine. No antidote.

Remedies against person laying the poison

It would not be an offence to lay down rat poison as long as it was done in an appropriate manner and reasonable precautions were taken to prevent access by domestic animals. The photographs of the signs above demonstrate this. I think this is an important test. Are there signs warning of rat baiting? If not the person laying bait might be committing a crime.

If the person who was laying the poison was informed of the presence of cats in the area would this create a situation under which Section 4 (1)  of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in the UK became effective? I am not sure.

However, if someone is laying down rat poison in a public place without precautions (i.e. carelessly), I would talk to them if they are known to you and/or photograph it (
for evidence), remove it and notify the police or RSPCA.  The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (in the UK) creates criminal offences.

From Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat to home page

Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat? -- Source on poisons: Book 1

Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat? -- Associated pages:

Cat Poison, this is a disturbing page as there are a lot of comments by people who want to poison cats – disgusting.

Link to original Flickr page

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Comments for
Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat?

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Apr 06, 2011 Poisoning cats...
by: Smoking Rabbit

I have placed rat poison in both my front and back garden, mixed with some chicken.

I don't invite rats or cats in my garden, and indeed don't want them.

My neighbours didn't ask me if it was o.k to get a cat, and don't take steps to stop it taking up my newly laid flowers and replacing it with excrement.

I have put poison down in my garden and any thing that enters it is at it's own risk.

Cat owners really do have some front, they buy an animal, let it out...it then ruins my garden, then goes home in time to eat and generate more waste to be dumped in my garden.

Get a dog's lead and walk it, and keep it out of my garden, or...it can pop round for dinner in my garden. Last supper.


Mar 17, 2011 @anonymous
by: monkey

Yeah, like fantasise about the worst unlikely thing a cat can possibly do - killing a child - then you can justify your weird f*cked up sociopathic need to poison animals. Keep taking the medication sweetheart, but don't get the packet mixed up with your Rentokil pellets. Freak

Dec 23, 2010 Damn You
by: Anonymous

Did Your cat gave ur neighbours immense problems I mean not just by "adoping"their property as toilet but by being a health hazard and destroying their property& peeing & pooing on other people door ,entrance ,window etc Are U a human being? if ur child did this he'll or u'll will be in sued .If u selfishly place more important on a cat than a human you shouldn't be on planet Earth.

Aug 30, 2010 Poor Kitty and now a new
by: Anonymous

Well, this one cat we had, Minnie, ingested rat poison. She wouldn't eat, she barely drank, her fur went all coarse and she got really skinny, and her pee was orange or whatever with blood. She died. Now another cat of ours is showing similar symptoms, damn neighbours!

Feb 23, 2010 My cat Spot
by: Joyce Sammons

My cat Spot ingested a poisoned rat and he survived. The neighbor who put the poison out never put poison out again after this happened. I don't know what kind he ingested but I do remember how it affected him. He was staggering and just had a weird look that wasn't normal. After the visit to the vet he layed around for 3 days. He only got up for the litter box and a drink of water. He recovered completely but it was a really scary week.

28 thoughts on “Will Rat Poison Kill A Cat?”

  1. Keep your cats indoors. Mine died due to antifreeze by a neighbor who hates all animals. Lesson learned. Be responsible and keep your cats from roaming free. I have a small dog now and the cat down the street actually picks on it in our own backyard. I set a cat trap (humane) but they begged us to let it go when we caught it. Still, they let it roam free.

    1. Well the people you refer to are being irresponsible but that does not mean all people who let their cat go outside our irresponsible. Sometimes it is safe to let a cat go outside. Also, you cannot simply blame cat owners if their cat is poisoned by somebody else. The ultimate responsibility for that poisoning is the person who poisoned the cat. He or she is the criminal. It is not a crime to let your cat go outside. We should therefore focus on the perpetrator of the poisoning which it seems to me you have failed to do.

      1. As long as you think that a cat dying from roaming outside will always be someone else’s criminal fault, your cats will keep dying outdoors….

        (remainder deleted as it was impolite and in poor taste – Admin)

        1. As usual you let your anger and bias blind you. I am not saying that it is always the fault of criminals. I am just making the obvious point that when the death is caused deliberately by laid out poison the fault is the poisoner. Common sense really. Sadly your anger overrides your ability to think.

  2. I’ve lived in rental apartments, and I am very vigilant when the landlords come around to do pest control. Thank goodness I was home the day a particular landlord swung by with the Orkin man. The Orkin man wanted to spray everywhere, in the cupboards with the dishes and in the window sills where the cats sunbathed. I stopped him. I told him “This stuff kills bugs, right?” He nodded. “I said “Okay then, what will it do to a cat that lies down in it and then licks its fur? Why do you want to spray that crap around my dishes?” He gave me this cheesy grin and claimed that it wouldn’t hurt me or the cats.

    “I don’t believe you. Get out.”

    They did. The problem was the tenant downstairs. I didn’t have a pest problem, she did, but the landlord was too cowardly to confront her about her housekeeping practices so he was going to treat the whole building. What amazed me was she owed him 2 years back rent (he admitted it) but that’s a story for another non-cat related rant. Never mind.

    This happened years ago. I’m glad I was home that day, which was actually a scheduled work day. I called off. No particular reason. Otherwise they would have come in and sprayed without my knowing, and when we became sick I wouldn’t have known why.

  3. They Get What they Get

    I think it’s funny that people allow they animals to shit and piss all over the fucking place and think everyone suppose to not care. Cat and dogs shit attracts bugs. Not to mention if they have fleas, and yes since they’re eating other little animals they can contract
    rabies. When walk outside my front smell like an out house. Thanks to my retarded neighbors who are feeding the neighborhood stray cats. I hate people that do stupid shit. My front is destroyed. And the only thing I’m told is oh well. “I see why people do shit retarded ass people like my stupid ass neighbors.

    1. You are exaggerating massively. Your comment is complete fiction. You might get some buried feces but cats don’t ‘destroy’ places as you suggest. You are a cat hater. That’s all.

      1. All these roaming cats have destroyed the gutters on my house by climbing up on my roof which has tore my gutters loose from the house. I also don’t let my dogs take a crap in their yards and if they did I would clean it up so why should their cats take a crap in mine.If you are going to have a cat keep it in your own yard and out of mine. We need stricter laws on the ownership of cats.

        1. How are cats ripping gutters lose from your house? They must have been fitted incredibly poorly. It is impossible to imagine. An army of feral cats climbing over your house ripping it to pieces. Give me a break.

          1. I’ll just send you the bill for your ignorance of all the destruction these cats do. It is because of people like you and their ignorance is why there are so many problems with cats.

  4. I just lost 2 cats due to rat poisoning they were my babies a female bout 1 1/2 yrs old and a kitten under a year I don’t know who put it down but I have an idea who I raised those two from babies and I helped birth them it really pisses me off that somebody would do something like that to a babie

    1. I am very sorry to hear your story, Marie. Sadly there are quite a few people who like to poison the domestic cat and they are nasty people who hate the cat and want cats to remain inside full-time. The best of luck for the future.

      1. Put them on a leash! Cats piss on my cars front door, let cats outside keep them on your own property!
        Why should I have to suffer, if a cat owner doesn’t agree that a cat needs to stay on there own property they are complete idiots while they are breaking the law

        1. I understand your feelings but it is not illegal to let domestic cats wander. So the people of your state or country do not agree with you. If they did there would be a law against against cats wandering onto other people’s property. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Lots of pretty fucked up people on this site. Just lost a beloved family cat this morning from rat poisoning. An 80 year old woman loved this cat and this was one great beast. The neighbor next door was angry because he was told not to park in her driveway and decided, why not?

    1. Hi Teresa. I am not sure where you get the idea that there are lots of f**cked up people on the site. There is one who I call Woody. He is a well known troller. But 99% of the visitors are very decent, gentle and kind cat lovers.

      There are a lot of cat haters out there and they want to harm cats. This needs to be addressed in articles and discussions. It is a very serious problem. Not enough is done to deal with the attitude of a significant segment of society who want to get rid of the domestic cat. Also not enough it done to improve the standard of cat ownership.

      1. spay and neuter! craigslist if full of people who did not realize their pet needed attention and care or are moving and have no intention of taking the pet they had to have.

      2. I’ll shoot you fucking cats in my yard. Especially now it’s known they spread coved 19.
        To fucking bad for you. I don’t want your fucking diseases so fuck off.

        1. You are a charming person aren’t you? Such finesse and mastery of the English language. There is no evidence that cats spread Covid-19. It’s your hatred of cats spilling out of you like a poison.

  6. Cats use people. They are predators. Some people fool themselves into thinking that cats exhibit human emotions like loyalty. To a cat, a cat lover is a sucker and an easy meal. A few of us know better and do what we can to rid the world of this nuissance. They carry diseases such as rabies. They kill small mammals and birds by the bushel. Their asshat “owners” don’t bother to spay or neuter them because its “inhumane”. They allow them to piss and poop in people’s fenced off yards and gardens. They allow them to breed uncontrollably, but if someone tries to do something about it they are quick to complain and prosecute. Take some responsability for your vermin or I will kill it.

    1. To a cat, a cat lover is a sucker and an easy meal.

      You have no idea that that is true and it is highly unlikely. There is no doubt that cats see us a ‘associates’ or friends and yes they want and need our food but want and need their companionship. Fair deal.

      They carry diseases such as rabies

      If the USA had better controls and cat welfare there would be not rabies in cats. Also how many rabies cases in cats occur annually? How many people get rabies from cats? A miniscule number.

      Humans carry diseases too and they kill other people far more frequently.

      Most cats are spayed and neutered and I agree that if they are not it is irresponsible.

      You are a cat hater and you don’t think rationally. Your hate becomes anger and that creates a horrible bias.

      1. Sandra Murphey, No. CA, USA

        Michael, You have responded to this irrational person with more control than I would. I find myself speechless with someone like this.

        1. Sandy, inside I sometimes want to hit ’em 😉 . I guess it is partly to do with my age (becoming creaky) and having dealt with this for years. You can see the bias and anger in their words.

    2. This is how killers start out – hate for animals. Very dangerous, fearful people. My cat just died from poisoning. I am guessing you watch videos of their suffering for your personal enjoyment,but I would never put want to see a rat or anything else die the terrible way he did – not even you. All for a 1 inch turd that he buried. He was my friend. I am 70 and planned a long life with him. I pity you for your hatefulness.

      1. I am sorry to hear of your tragic loss, Jean. I’d know what I’d do if if I knew a person had deliberately poisoned my cat: I hurt the sh*t as badly as I could. I hate people who do this sort of thing.

  7. I always use a rat poison that is not damaging to the environment. there are so many organic alternatives out there. ..

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