Everything fun and exciting that happened this week was overshadowed by the fact that our beloved cat, Little Girl, ate rat poison.
She is going to make it. That is only because of a series of fortunate events.
We saw her on Tuesday acting weird but were unable to catch her. Wednesday was extremely hot and she hid all day. It wasn’t until Wednesday night when we called for her with a can of wet food that she came and let us pick her up and take her inside. She was completely limp, wouldn’t eat or drink or respond to touch. We knew we had to take her to the emergency vet.
After a long, scary night of tests and uncertainty it was determined that her blood was not clotting at all and the probable cause was poisoning. Rat poisons are anticoagulants and that is exactly how they work to kill rodents. The animal bleeds from the inside and sometimes outside for seemingly no reason.
Little Girl was admitted to the hospital where she spent three days. She was given a transfusion and Vitamin K, which is the best treatment to introduce healthy platelets that make the blood coagulate again.
Little Girl was very lucky.
Unfortunately, this is a common experience and not all animals survive this occurrence. Children are affected by this every year, too. It is likely that Little Girl ate a few rats that had ingested the poison (she is a true huntress) or even ate the poison herself, as they try to make it tasty to animals.
We need to work together to help stop the spread of unnecessary poison in our communities.
What we can all do:
- Do no use ingestion style poisons. (See alternatives below)
- Talk to friends family and neighbors about the harm these poisons cause.
- Do not create habitat for mice/rats around your home. Clean out garages, barns, wood piles and brush and do not leave food/trash around.
- Value the neighborhood cat’s hunting abilities (or your own cat’s)
- Adopt a barn cat (cool program in Sonoma County, CA and likely elsewhere)
Alternative Traps to Poison
- Humane traps- a plastic or wire cage that holds bait and triggers when the animal enters. You can then take the animal out of the house or drive it away from your property.
- Sticky traps- not so humane but not as harmful to pets.
- Old fashioned snap trap (kills on contact)
- Electronic trap- a plastic house that has voltage inside (not as humane if it fails)
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned:
- Call your veterinarian, the nearest animal hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline at at 1-855-213-6680, especially if you notice your cat is bleeding.
- If you can find the container or label for the poison, bring it with you to the veterinarian.
Remember, if a poison can kill a rodent it can kill a pet.