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What is Insecticide Toxicity?

Several common household insecticides are toxic to cats. Many of the products you use on your lawn or to treat fleas on your dog can be dangerous, or even lethal, to cats. Lawn and garden insecticides can be introduced into your cat's body through his paws when he walks on a newly treated lawn, or from grooming afterward. Many pet owners also bring these chemicals indoors on their shoes after walking on treated grass. Handling your cat after applying a permethrin-based flea treatment on your dog can also harm your cat. If you think your cat has symptoms associated with insecticide toxicity, see your veterinarian at once, as his condition could deteriorate rapidly. 

Insecticide Toxicity Average Cost

From 349 quotes ranging from $200 - $4,000

Average Cost

$600

Symptoms of Insecticide Toxicity in Cats

While all cats act differently when sick, here are some signs and symptoms that may be exhibit if a cat has been exposed to toxic chemicals:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Overall weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Unsteadiness while walking
  • Sudden collapse
  • Labored breathing
  • Eye tearing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Lack of coordination
  • Twitching
  • Lethargy
  • Head tilt
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disorientation
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Causes of Insecticide Toxicity in Cats

You must take special care to prevent you cat ingesting or coming into contact with lawn pesticides, household chemicals, and flea treatments for dogs. Some common causes of insecticide toxicity in cats are:

  • Poisoning after walking on treated lawn grass
  • Contact with other household pets after flea treatment
  • Handling after treating other pets with insecticides
  • Bringing lawn chemicals inside on shoes
  • Accidental ingestion
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Diagnosis of Insecticide Toxicity in Cats

Your veterinarian will need to examine your cat to determine if he has symptoms associated with insecticide toxicity. Before he examines your cat, he will ask you an important series of questions about your cat's health history. During this time, provide as much information as you can such as when symptoms first appeared, substances your cat may have been exposed to, and any previously diagnosed medical conditions your cat may have. 

Your doctor will also record your cat's weight, temperature, respiration rate and heart rate and record it for future reference. He will then examine your cat for signs of poisoning. In many cases, doctors take a sample of blood for analysis to determine the type of poison your cat was exposed to. He may also perform a urinalysis to determine if your cat's kidneys are functioning normally. 

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Treatment of Insecticide Toxicity in Cats

Your doctor will treat your cat for poisoning based on his symptoms and the cause of poisoning. If you cat is critically ill, your veterinarian will insert an IV for fluid and medication. He will also admit him to the hospital for monitoring if necessary. Cats that are having seizures or tremors may be treated with diazepam or phenobarbital. It may be necessary to treat other conditions that arise during treatment. Some cats develop medical conditions secondary to poisoning, such as liver failure, kidney problems, encephalitis, hypoglycemia, and anemia. 

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Recovery of Insecticide Toxicity in Cats

The outlook for cats diagnosed with insecticide toxicity depends on the severity of symptoms and internal damage. In severe cases, cats that do not receive treatment quickly die in just a few hours after exposure. Some cats may have long term disabilities after insecticide toxicity. However, many cats recover if they are taken to their veterinarian promptly and treated. When it comes to insecticide poisoning, time is of the essence. 

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent accidental chemical exposure in cats. You must be sure to take a few precautions to keep your cat healthy. If you have lawn insecticides or flea treatments, always store them in a safe place. Promptly clean any spills that occur before your cat can ingest or walk through the material. If you use insecticides on your lawn, don't let your cat outside or only allow him to go in an untreated area of the lawn. It is generally safe to let your cat on the treated lawn after the chemicals have dried. If you treat your lawn, take off your shoes outside to avoid bringing insecticides indoors. If it is necessary to apply flea treatments to your cat, read the label before applying to be sure it is safe for cats. Never use canine flea treatments on your cat.

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Insecticide Toxicity Average Cost

From 349 quotes ranging from $200 - $4,000

Average Cost

$600

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Insecticide Toxicity Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic medium hair cat

dog-age-icon

Five Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Possible Insecticide Ingestion

I sprayed an area with insecticide. I closed the door to leave the area to dry so my cat wouldn't go in there. My husband later opened the door to use the bathroom, but I'm not sure which time. I went home to check her 5 hours later. The sprayed area is fine and my cat seems fine. Should I seek emergency care just in case she has ingested it or monitor her for symptoms?

July 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

hello, If your cats are acting perfectly normal, they may be just fine. I would monitor them and if you see anything abnormal in the next few days, take them to your vet. I hope your cats continue to do great.

July 20, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

Cat

dog-age-icon

Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

I think my cat ingested insecticide from our weed eater. He likes to go up to it and lick it because it has left over grass but we had put out insecticide before cutting the grass which probably led to having some small amount on weed eater.

July 12, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, So sorry to hear about your cat. This may cause GI issues but your cat may be just fine. I would monitor him for the next few hours and if you see anything off with your cat, take him to your vet. They can give him medication to treat this toxicity.

July 12, 2020

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Mogu

dog-breed-icon

mixed

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

None

Hi, some roaches entered my room last night from a leak in the ceiling so I used a Baygon Cockroach killer aerosol spray to deal with them 'cause they were flying around. I sprayed them accordingly, then under my bed as well, to be sure. I left for a while (I don't remember how long exactly, but I fear it was less than 10 mins), then when I re-entered to grab my wallet, my cat ran in behind me. I caught him by the tail as he went under the bed and brought him out promptly. In my flustered state however, it didn't occur to me to wash his paws afterwards, so now I'm worried about him. It's been at least 10 hours since he ran into the room but so far he hasn't shown any change in behavior or symptoms other than some face/eye scratching earlier (which was still 10 or so hours after possible exposure). Should I be as worried as I am? What symptoms should I look out for? And, if he was exposed, could he spread exposure to my other cats? At the moment we're unable to bring him to the vet because of a bad storm where I am. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Aug. 11, 2018

Mogu's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Baygon Cockroach Killer contains cypermethrin which is toxic to cats, I don’t know how much Mogu was exposed to or if a toxic amount was inhaled or contact; you should keep a close eye on Mogu for the time being and contact the manufacturer on the number found on the product container. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.baygon.com.ph/en-ph/products/baygon-cockroach-killer/tabs/ingredients

Aug. 11, 2018

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Ozzy

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Domestic short hair Tabby

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Twitching, Seisures

I am concerned about long term side effects from pyrethrin toxicity exposure. I applied a 'natural' cat flea control that I got at the $ store as I have had no income for the last 2 months. Peppermint oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil are the active ingredients. I have 2 cats and applied one dose to each. My old cat was fine but our younger one started yowling 1 hour after dose but he normally is vocal to get out at night and I want him in due to predators. After a few hours he was still vocal and scratching the area but I just thought that the smell might be bothering him. The next morning I woke up to find him in a full blown seizure on the floor and rushed him to the ER vets. He felt really warm but vet said his temp was only slightly elevated which was good news. They bathed him and administered methocarbanol a few times. They advised to keep him overnight for monitoring and IV fluids but that would have been $1000 dollars and said that if I thought I could give him a pill that I could take him home once he was stabilized. The vet said she was not the worst case she has seen and put him at a 3-5 in a scale with 10 being the worst. After I got home and was reading the print out they gave me I read that if he were kept he would have gotten intralipids to bind the toxin which was written as a treatment I refused and I have no recollection as being discussed (but it was a stressful situation so I may have missed it though I would have been interested in him receiving this treatment because I discussed activated charcoal at application site or orally for this purpose at discharge which they advised against.) I only tried to administer the methocarbanol 1 time when they first recommended dosing him and was only able to keep 1/2 dose in him but since he never got really bad tremors again. (Slight paw twitches and ear flicks) that day and the day following. Eating and drinking and eliminating well. 2 days after no twitching still eating/drinking eliminating but more sleepy. Today is 3 days later and he still seems more sleepy than pre-application. I am not sure when I should be concerned that he may have permanent effects from this ordeal or if this is just his body taking the time to recoup. I am kicking myself for not recognizing how bothered he was that night and not washing it off him before it got so bad. Also I wish the vet went over written methods of treatment and had me initial refusal or acceptance of each because the intralipid treatment would have been something I would have considered an overnight stay for (if that was the only way he could receive them) but I knew I could monitor him at home and would not be shy about getting pills into him (although I was not as successful as I thought I could be and was very glad that he did not appear to need the medication as much as was anticipated.)

Aug. 7, 2018

Ozzy's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

From the list of active ingredients you gave, there are no pyrethrins present in the product just a few essential oils which may cause skin irritation and tremors in cats. Without knowing more detail I cannot say for certain but you should ensure that Ozzy is kept hydrated and follow up with your regular Veterinarian if you have any on going concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/blog/essential-oils-cats/

Aug. 7, 2018

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Mickey

dog-breed-icon

Medium hair

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomit

My cat ate a little bit of pesticide form the grass and he started to vomit and wouldn’t eat for about 1 day I was going to take him to the vet but henbe started to eat and drink normally. He is eating and drinking but he still vomited I don’t know if he is okay or if he got poisoned.

July 29, 2018

Mickey's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It is always good to visit your Veterinarian when you suspect or know that your cat has consumed a pesticide, you should visit your Veterinarian and take any packaging with you to be on the safe side. Without examining Mickey I cannot say for certain whether he is in the clear or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 30, 2018

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Rimuru

dog-breed-icon

Persian

dog-age-icon

9 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Drolling

Last night we spray some insecticide at home, unfortunately without knowing that our cat is under our mini table. We sprayed on her. We are not sure if it is directly sprayed on her face or not but sadly lately she was showing some symptoms like a lot of drolling. She act normally, but still were worried. We dont know what to do. We want her to go to vet but we dont have enough money to pay the bills due to some financial issues this past few weeks

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Patches

dog-breed-icon

Pharo

dog-age-icon

2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Tired

My kitten was rolling around in some insecticides. My kitty is disoriented and not responsive, yet conscious, he vommitted once and now he is breathing but not moving. He has been in the same spot for over 12 hours. He stares at the floor. Nothing else. What must I do??

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Dexter

dog-breed-icon

Japanese Bobtail

dog-age-icon

7 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Nausea

My cat licked my husbands arm while he was wearing OFF bug spray containing DEET. He drank water and the threw it up, but he has a history of eating and drinking very fast and making himself gag, so I can't be sure if it's from the DEET or if he just drank to fast. He is showing no other symptoms- he is up running around playing like everything's fine. Should we take him to the vet, or wait and see?

dog-name-icon

boots

dog-breed-icon

German Rex

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Throw Up

ok so there was a mosquito in my room and my cat was trying to catch it and without thinking i sprayed bug spray that where he was looking and he took a whif of it and couple seconds later he started to gag and kinda like a throw up and i’m very concerned what should i do

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Oscar

dog-breed-icon

American Shorthair

dog-age-icon

4 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

No Symptoms, Yet?

He hasn't shown any symptoms yet, though my cat Oscar has been exposed to bed bug powder that was scattered underneath my bed, and when I pulled back the bed to let him out (he wriggled in under there somehow? he's done it before) he smelled of the stuff, and I could feel residue on his fur, but couldn't see it. After a few minutes hesitation and looking this up, I decided to wipe him down with a dampened towel as much as he would allow me - even trying to get at his paws. (He's a good-tempered boy, so I was able to get most of him wiped down at least once.) Should I be concerned? Is he fine to monitor for a night? To my knowledge, he's been exposed to this before as he's crawled under my bed before (the powder has been there for a few years), but the smell and the feel of the residue on him just worried me. I'll update if he starts to act strangely, though he's munching on some kibble right now.

Insecticide Toxicity Average Cost

From 349 quotes ranging from $200 - $4,000

Average Cost

$600

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