Slug and snail pellets often contain metaldehyde which is extremely toxic to cats, and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive salivation, tremors, convulsions, hyperthermia and even death. Some products labelled ‘pet friendly’ or ‘pet safe’ may contain Iron EDTA which although not as toxic can cause severe gastrointestinal disturbances.
Safer options to use include, broken eggshells around the perimeter of the garden, copper strips, and beer traps.
Rodenticides are designed to get rid of mice, rats and possums are likely to contain either toxic levels of anticoagulant or neurotoxins. Accidental ingestion can therefore lead to either bleeding disorders or depression, weakness and paralysis. Either type can be fatal.
If you are dealing with a rodent problem, restrict access to the area where you are putting down poison, and once the problem has resolved make sure you clear any remaining poison before allowing your cats back into the environment.
If your cat ingests a pesticide seek veterinary treatment immediately. A vet can induce your cat to vomit up the ingested substance if treated within the first two hours after ingestion. After this time supportive care can be given. Some pesticides have specific antidotes that can also be given. The longer the time left between ingestion and treatment the worse the likely outcome.