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Home > Cats > Will Cats Eat Rat Poison? What You Need to Know

Will Cats Eat Rat Poison? What You Need to Know

Pile of rat poison on floor

Dealing with infestations of rats and mice can be extremely difficult to manage, often requiring the assistance of a professional exterminator. Whether you rely on the services of a professional or you’re dealing with rodents on your own, rat poison may be something you want to use for quick and effective extermination.

If you have cats, though, it may have crossed your mind that rat poison might not be safe to have around them. Should you be worried about your cat eating rat poison? Generally, cats aren’t attracted to rat poison, but you should still be aware that they may try to eat it. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.


Will Cats Eat Rat Poison?

Rat poison refers to a group of poisons that all work in different ways, but all of these poisons are supplemented with flavors that make them more appealing to be eaten. This helps to get rats and mice to eat the poison, but the flavors can also appeal to domestic animals, including cats. Rat poison tends to be relatively appealing to dogs, but in general, it isn’t particularly appealing to cats. That doesn’t mean your cat won’t try to eat rat poison, though!

It’s extremely important to always keep any poisons and toxins well out of the reach of your cat, even if you think they won’t try to eat it. Cats can be curious animals, so it isn’t out of the question that your cat might suddenly take an interest in playing with, licking, or eating rat poison, even if they haven’t paid any attention to it before.

cat lying being massaged by owner
Image By: Pencil case, Shutterstock

Is Rat Poison Dangerous if My Cat Doesn’t Eat It?

As previously mentioned, you should always assume that known poisons and toxins are dangerous for your cat, even if they are unlikely to eat it. There is another huge concern with rat poison that many people overlook, though. Cats are avid hunters, and if you have an infestation of rats or mice, it’s very likely that your cat is not only aware of the infestation but an active participant in attempting to wipe out the rodents.

Cats don’t just catch prey, they may chew on, lick, or even eat their prey. What this means is that if a rat has consumed rat poison but has not died yet and your cat consumes the rat, then your cat has been exposed to rat poison through ingestion. Even though your cat didn’t directly eat the rat poison, they still received however much the rat ate before it died.

Even if you only have rat poison in outdoor areas, there is a risk that an animal may consume the rat poison and then be consumed by your cat. This is just as dangerous to your cat as eating the rat poison itself.



Most cats won’t intentionally eat rat poison, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to use around your cat. If a small animal consumes the rat poison and then your cat eats that animal, then your cat still has been exposed to that rat poison.

If your cat has consumed or may have consumed rat poison or an animal that consumed rat poison, then it’s extremely important that you reach out to a pet poison control hotline and get your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible for the best chance at a good outcome.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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