Although designed to kill rats and mice, cats often find rodenticides (rat and mouse poison) tempting as well. Most (but not all) rodenticides are composed of anticoagulants, a type of drug that prevents blood from clotting by interfering with vitamin K, a key ingredient in the clotting process. When taken in sufficient quantities by the cat, it results in spontaneous bleeding (internal bleeding, external bleeding, or both). If left untreated, this could prove fatal for your cat.
Common symptoms of toxicosis in cats include anorexia (loss of appetite), impaired movement, paralysis of the animal’s hind limbs, slight muscle tremors, generalizedseizures, and a depression of the central nervous system. Ingestion of extremely high doses may cause a sudden onset of muscle tremors, and even seizures.
Clinical signs usually develop within two to seven days of bromethalin ingestion, however it is possible that signs will not develop for up to two weeks following ingestion. If poisoning is mild, with minimal bromethalin ingestion, symptoms may resolve within one to two weeks of onset, although some animals may continue to show signs for four to six weeks.
As with any case of toxicity, ingestion of rat poison (directly or indirectly) by cats is a medical emergency. The prognosis of this condition depends entirely on how soon the poisoned cat is treated. And the earlier the treatment is proceeded with, the better will be the outcome. In case, poisoning in cats is caused due to contact poisons, feeding activated charcoal and milk of magnesia are effectual first aid steps. By any chance, if the pet exhibits signs of hemorrhage (bleeding from nose and mouth, bloody urine and stool), then it indicates a life-threatening condition.
Your cat may undergo bloodwork to detect what type of rodenticide was ingested. Many rat poisons work by inhibiting vitamin K-1. This vitamin is critical for clotting blood. Decreasing vitamin K-1 causes internal bleeding and hemorrhaging in the lungs, heart, brain and other vital organs. For this type of poisoning, your vet will administer a dose of vitamin K-1 to your cat and you may need to give your cat K-1 orally for several weeks afterward.