Raisin Poisoning in Cats

Raisin Poisoning in Cats - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Raisin Poisoning in Cats - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

What is Raisin Poisoning?

Whether they’re baked into cookies and cakes or just eaten on their own as a quick snack, raisins are a delicious and popular treat for humans. Unfortunately, they’re not safe for cats or dogs to eat.

It’s not exactly known why raisins are toxic to cats, but just like grapes, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a range of other symptoms in our feline friends. In severe cases, raisin poisoning in cats can cause life-threatening kidney failure.

With this in mind, make sure you keep raisins (and any baked goods that contain them) well away from your pet at all times, and seek urgent veterinary attention if they ingest any raisins.

Whether they’re baked into cookies and cakes or just eaten on their own as a quick snack, raisins are a delicious and popular treat for humans. Unfortunately, they’re not safe for cats or dogs to eat.

It’s not exactly known why raisins are toxic to cats, but just like grapes, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a range of other symptoms in our feline friends. In severe cases, raisin poisoning in cats can cause life-threatening kidney failure.

With this in mind, make sure you keep raisins (and any baked goods that contain them) well away from your pet at all times, and seek urgent veterinary attention if they ingest any raisins.

Symptoms of Raisin Poisoning in Cats

The symptoms of raisin poisoning in cats may include:

If you notice any of the above symptoms, or if you suspect that your cat has ingested raisins, seek emergency veterinary care. If your pet develops kidney failure, raisin poisoning could potentially be fatal, so it’s vital to seek prompt treatment.

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Causes of Raisin Poisoning in Cats

It’s not known why raisins are toxic to cats. However, along with grapes and other dried grape products like currants and sultanas, raisins are dangerous for cats and dogs.

Unfortunately, there’s very little scientific data surrounding raisin poisoning in cats, but the MSD Veterinary Manual mentions anecdotal reports of kidney failure in cats after ingesting grapes or raisins. Pets with pre-existing kidney problems may also have a higher risk of suffering from raisin poisoning.

There’s significantly more data about raisin and grape poisoning in dogs. Interestingly, while some dogs seem able to eat a large amount of grapes or raisins and not show any clinical signs, others develop kidney failure. This means there’s no definitive data on what constitutes a toxic dose in dogs.

Given our limited knowledge on how raisins and grapes affect cats, any incidence of a cat eating raisins or grapes should be treated as a serious concern.

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Diagnosis of Raisin Poisoning in Cats

Diagnosing raisin poisoning starts with a full physical examination. The veterinarian will assess your pet's clinical signs and also ask you for the details of the poisoning incident. 

Providing information such as how many raisins your pet ate and the approximate time of ingestion will help your vet make an accurate diagnosis and choose the best course of treatment. If it’s relevant, take any product packaging with you to help your vet determine exactly how much your pet has consumed.

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Treatment of Raisin Poisoning in Cats

With any case of poisoning, prompt treatment is essential to maximize the chances of a good outcome for your pet. However, there is no antidote for grape and raisin poisoning in cats, so treatment instead focuses on decontamination followed by supportive care.

Decontamination

In many cases, the first step of treatment is to give your pet medication designed to induce vomiting. This helps to remove the toxins from your pet’s system, but please note that this procedure should only ever be carried out by a veterinarian or under the advice of your vet.

Next, the vet may give your cat activated charcoal, which binds to any toxins that remain in your pet’s stomach and absorbs them. This medication is given orally and helps protect your cat's gastrointestinal tract.

Hospitalization and supportive care

In severe cases of raisin poisoning, your pet may need to be hospitalized for at least 48 hours. During this time, IV fluids will be given to flush toxins out of your pet’s system and help promote healthy kidney function.

Blood tests will be required for 2 to 3 days following ingestion to assess kidney function and monitor it until it returns to normal levels. Medication may also be given to help manage any other ongoing symptoms.

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Worried about the cost of Raisin Poisoning In Cats treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Raisin Poisoning in Cats

The recovery time from raisin poisoning varies depending on the severity of poisoning. Your pet may need to be hospitalized for at least 48 hours while they receive fluid therapy and your vet monitors their kidney function. Longer hospitalization may be necessary if kidney damage occurs, and blood transfusions may be required in severe cases of poisoning.

Because very little is known about raising poisoning in cats, the safest approach is to make sure your pet doesn’t get a chance to consume any raisins. Grapes, currants, and sultanas should also be kept well out of reach of your fur-baby, along with baked goods that contain raisins or other dried grape products.

Raisin poisoning can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat is at risk of developing raisin poisoning, start searching for pet insurance today. See how plans from leading companies like Figo and Healthy Paws compare so you can choose the right policy for your pet!

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Raisin Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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