If you have a rodent problem in your home, the use of rodenticides can be a rather tricky situation. Although rodenticides can indeed kill pesky rats and mice, they can also lead to some potentially very dangerous consequences in your precious cat. Namely, secondary poisoning, a very scary concept.
Chemical rodent bait products are an extreme hazard for cats. After all, many cats are no strangers to eating mice and rats. If you are trying to get a handle on a rat problem in your home, it's vital to place any bait in an area that your cat absolutely cannot enter or reach, for her safety and well-being. Cats are very flexible creatures and can jump high and squeeze into some really tight spots, so be very creative and careful with your placement of rodenticides, should you decide to employ them at all.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, secondary poisoning is a very real danger for felines. If your cat eats a rat that is dead due to rodenticide, she runs the risk of passing away herself, an absolute nightmare scenario for you as a pet owner.
A large portion of rodenticides consist of anticoagulants, which are medications that inhibit blood clotting. Bromadiolone, fumarin and warfarin are just a couple of examples of common anticoagulants. If a kitty ingests an anticoagulant by eating a poisoned rat, it could trigger spontaneous bleeding. If this bleeding is ignored, it could bring upon deadly results.
If you think even for a millisecond that your fluffball might have eaten or even just chewed on a poisoned rat, get emergency veterinary attention for her immediately. The situation could be a matter of life or death for your cat, so take it seriously. The better you know the key signs of secondary poisoning, the better you will be able to tell what's going on. Be on the lookout for bodily weakness, gum paleness, bloody urine, seizures, unusual bruises, bloated abdomen and difficulty breathing. Any bleeding is also cause for concern, whether out of the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.
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